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dulcimers at Launde 2013


Nonsuch Dulcimer Club annual gathering at Launde Abbey  ~ October  2014 

A most enjoyable weekend was spent  at the lovely medieval Launde Abbey in Rutland (UK) last month.


Launde Abbey

This was my fifth visit to the festival to teach dulcimer and this time the abbey had undergone a major facelift and was even more comfortable and spacious than before.  A lovely new restaurant wing and smart, helpful catering staff all helped the weekend go off smoothly, not to mention the well-equipped bar.


dulcimer class

I lead three mountain dulcimer classes, a voice workshop and gave a concert with the other main tutor: hammer dulcimer player, Sue Harris.  Participants came from far and wide, including Holland, Germany, Belgium and even the USA, giving the festival an international feel. 


Dan teaching technique


My dulcimer classes were on right hand finger-picking styles,  song accompaniment in Ionian tuning (DAA) and a hints and tips class, which evolved into a performance skills seminar.  My voice workshop covered a range of vocal techniques including intonation, breathing and projection - all based on my popular weekend workshop Everyone Can Sing.   


tuning up during concert


The concert was held in the atmospheric chapel on Saturday afternoon and the appreciative audience contributed enthusiastically to the mood of the occasion.  Sue and I played our own brand of English hammer and mountain dulcimer respectively, then closed the concert with a (quickly improvised) duet of one of my favourite Scottish songs. 


chapel concert

It was great to see so many 'mountaineers' (mountain dulcimer players) with good instruments and stronger technique - the Nonsuch club has made great progress.  Another highlight for me was circle dancing after the varied student concert on the Saturday evening.  An impromptu band was formed, who performed a lively French dance to get us all going.

I enjoyed my work, ate well,  caught up with old friends and met new ones - all-in-all a most enjoyable weekend.


The photographs with me in them were kindly taken by Christopher Seaman - thanks Chris!



more images ...




cyclamen by Launde Chapel


dulcimers in the library


autum tree in Launde Abbey gardens


une épinette

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