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Dulcimer Days: Upcoming festival highlights the beauty of traditional fold instrument

More advanced dulcimer players can take advantage of other weekend workshops. There will be lessons on waltzes, Appalachian fiddle tunes, hymn, medieval and early music.

"There's so much more you can do with it," Keddell said. "You can play all different styles of music."

A jam session on Friday night and an open stage concert on Saturday will give festivalgoers a chance to showcase those different styles. On Friday night, the workshop leaders will put on a concert, and on Saturday night, the festival's three featured performers will take the stage for a closing concert.

One of those performers, Susan Carpenter, helped to start the Dulcimer Association of Albany back in 1985. She lives in Texas now and is making a special trip back to the area for the festival's 20th anniversary. She'll be joined by Susan Trump, a nationally known dulcimer player who was also instrumental in launching the association, and Steve Eulberg, an acclaimed musician from Colorado.

Keddell and Langley said the concerts would make good entertainment for families.

"The concerts are wonderful," Langley said. "It's rare that people have heard of this kind of instrument. It's just a lot of fun."

"We get really good responses from everybody," Keddell added. "They really seem to have a good time."

If families get hooked on the sound of dulcimers like Keddell and Langley both did, they can check out the vendors at the show who will be selling the instruments. Festivals are generally a good place to buy dulcimers since they're not widely available in music stores, Langley said.

"You can get them online on eBay, but the problem is, you can't hear them," she said.

When Keddell made her first purchase, she drove to a store in Connecticut, where she spent two hours trying out dulcimers. Since then, she's purchased about 10 more.

"It's addictive," she said.

Registration for the festival, which includes all events, is $45 at the door. The two concerts are $12 for visitors with $5 admission for those 12 and younger at Saturday's featured performers concert.

For information, visit www.bhsinging.info/daa/festival.html.""

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