WHEW!! What a weekend we had – filled with music, laughter, and friendship. We attended the Jubilee Pickers' annual dulcimer festival.
Friday night we kicked off the festival with a potluck dinner and jam session. Some folks had been there during the day, just playing music all day, but we had our first-of-the-month errands to do so we couldn't get there until dinner time.
As is the usual case with potluck dinners, the food was plentiful and delicious. We all ate our fill, cleaned up and got out the instruments. For the next two hours, the building resounded with gospel tunes, folk music, country music, and singing. It was fabulous!
Saturday was the big day – long hours and lots of activity. Randy, Pat and I got to the festival site about 9:40 or so and prepared to stay for the rest of the day. There were small groups of folks gathered together playing music. Some of them were practicing for the main event that afternoon, Open Stage.
Open Stage is the focal point of our festival. It is an afternoon filled with people sharing their musical talents. Clubs perform, duos, trios, groups, and soloists take their turn on stage. Some of the performances are fun, while others show themselves to be consummate musicians. And some fall somewhere in-between. All who perform love music.
Both Randy & I performed several times. Randy performed with the Pickers and his psaltery group. I was so excited to see him step a bit out of his comfort zone and perform. He did great, too!
I performed with the Pickers, Jam 'N Folks, and solo. Each of the groups performed two songs and I was privileged enough to sing “White Cliffs of Dover” with Jam 'N Folks. I also performed “Shenandoah” as a solo. Such a beautiful song. And the crowd was nice enough to ask for a second song – how about that! So, I performed “Danny Boy” as well. Again, the crowd was very gracious.
In addition to performing, I had been asked to MC the afternoon's activities. The main thing in doing that is to keep things moving, something that is not always easy to do when you have 20 to 30 folks trying to set up and break down instruments as different performers try to get on stage. But, I did what I could to keep the crowd happy. We also drew for door prizes in between performances. That's always fun to see a big, brawny man get a pretty necklace!!
The day was again topped off with dinner provided by the Pickers. It is tradition to serve red beans and rice, salad, and corn bread. Let me tell you – the folks eat it up! (pun intended!)
After dinner, folks gathered together once again for a jam session. Randy, Pat & I were ready to go home by the time the remnants of dinner had been cleaned up. We left about 7:30, going on 8:00 and were glad to get home. It had been a great day, but it was time to be home.
This morning Randy, Pat & I again headed to the festival site for the hymn, praise & worship hour. We really enjoy this quiet time of the festival. It's a great way to thank God for His gift of music and the fellowship that is shared among us. It's always a small group that attends, but that's okay. The intimacy is part of what makes this event so special.
We had a midday dinner with Darrell & Judy and Dick & Pat at The Shrimp Basket. On Sundays, they offer all-you-can-eat fried shrimp dinners. And it is gooooooooooddddd!! It was also really nice for the six of us to have some time together. Between Dick & Pat, they've had some kind of illness most of the winter so we've not been able to do much.
Darrell & Judy will be leaving this Thursday, so it was a little bittersweet as this was the last meal we'll share this season. They will take us to the airport on Tuesday and we'll say our good-byes then. We'll sure miss having them right behind us – Randy & I have loved how our friendship with them has grown so much deeper this year. They are truly good friends.
Okay, I have rambled on enough for two posts! Hope you enjoy the pictures. If you're friends with me on Facebook, check out the video I uploaded of my performance. The quality isn't great, but it'll give you an idea.
And if you want to see more pictures, click here.
Until the next time . . .