Monday, January 29, 2018

Dulcimer Day in Duluth - not happening in May 2018

Thank you so much for attending a Dulcimer Day in Duluth festival or wanting to attend one!  I hope you are enjoying the dulcimer and playing your instrument.  I am very thankful to the helpers over the years, especially Terry Brown (my husband), Cherlyn, Bruce, Billie, and Phyllis and Gary. I am also thankful to the musicians that have made their way to Duluth (for many their first time in Minnesota), and to the local artists that have come over the years. 

Dulcimer Day in Duluth folk music festival has been held annually over the last 16 years.  It's been a day of learning opportunities with numerous classes and concerts with top performers showcasing a variety of styles to play dulcimers and introducing new tunes, having meals together, participating and listening to open mic., and a vendor area with local artisans and instrument/accessory booths. Besides dulcimer classes there have been a nice variety of other instrument classes offered, too. Unfortunately, due to decreased attendance over the past few years the festival will not be held this year.  Perhaps, if a funding sponsor or grant could be secured the fest may be held again but given the costs of the performers, traveling of the teacher/performers, venue rental, and other expenses it just isn't being covered by the lowered attendance.  Partly the poor Canadian money exchange rate, partly people being busy, it's at the point that the festival for 2018 won't be happening this May. I've thought and thought about it and even thought about just organizing a gathering but I think people really enjoyed the classes.

I know quite a few of the people relied on the mailing for the Dulcimer Day announcement.  I was mailing about 700 brochures but that won't be happening this year so really only the web and email folks will know - or at least know first.

It's been an honor to create a fun day and a day that encouraged learning more about folk instruments - most of which many people have never heard of!   I appreciate those who have traveled and made time for attending the festival and even supported it by buying a tshirt. It was fun to see smiles of people having a good time.  There are past group photos and photos from the festivals at 

Keep on playing your instrument!

Wendy Grethen

Dulcimer Day in Duluth coordinator for 16 years

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday music

I recently went to a concert at the College of St. Scholastica that had a bunch of parts to the performance - drummers, steel drums, singers, and a youth performance.  It's great to hear live music and hear melodies and rhythms via voices and instruments.  In November I also visited the Swedish Cultural choir in Duluth practicing of the Santa Lucia event in December.  I enjoyed their music and a piano and violin player accompanied the singers.  Last night we went to a Norwegian concert where there was a 5 piece band. The main singer sang songs from Norway and some he wrote.  He sang some of the common holiday melodies here but in Norwegian.  Scenic slides were shown with the Northern Lights and the beauty of Norway and where the group lives the sun sets November 21 and doesn't come up again until January 21.  That would be strange.  In early December I'll be doing to the Italian Club and the men's singing group will perform.   Music is cultural, music is history, music uplifts and soothes.  Music is funny.  Music is a joy.  Music is something for everyone.

I'm looking forward to digging into learning some Scandinavian melodies on the dulcimers and to strum and hammer holiday favorites.  A few weeks ago I got to play for a private event at the Great Lakes Aquarium with the lights of Bentleyville in the background. 

I'll end with some favorite lines from some favorite holiday songs that I think just might apply to dulcimers:

Oh what fun it is to.....

....shouted out with glee....

All is calm, all is bright....

.....comfort and joy


Dulcimers make great gifts.  I also have plenty of instruction books in stock and CDs.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rent a dulcimer this summer

I have mountain dulcimers and hammered dulcimers available to rent.  Hammered dulcimer rentals are $50 per month and mountain dulcimers are $45/month.  A deposit is required. Sign up for a lesson and you'll be playing music in no time.

By the way - I offer day trips from Duluth.  Upcoming trips are a Dixieland Jazz Music Paddleboat cruise on the St. Croix River on Sunday June 25.  We will go to Stillwater to board the boat.  A full buffet is included in this 2 hour cruise.   More info on the trips at

DDD 2017

Another Dulcimer Day has taken place.  It was a full day with the classes, concerts, meals, and vendors.  Thank you to everyone who participated.  It was great to have new participants come and returning ones as well who are growing in their skills and love of dulcimer music.  Photos will be posted as they are processed.   Beautiful weather, fun music, and good times bringing people together new and old - thank you all.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Vendors at Dulcimer Day

Dulcimer Day will have 6 main vendors and

Bill's pottery - he uses textures in his work
Diana - with natural soap and weavings - ahh the smells are just wonderful
Ruth - with quilted items and dyed wool - pretty amazing beauty
Dave - ukulele variations, amps - fun instruments
Sue - with Northwood's watercolors - lovely artwork with trees, rocks and wate,  Flowers, too.
Lee and Paula - with wooden items from birdhouses to cutting boards to woodturned bowls -he uses many kinds of wood showing the variety of natural colors.

and Dulcimers In Duluth
Mountain dulcimers - McSpadden dealer - Ginger model, Baritone, and multiple 'regular' dulcimers, dulcimer instruction books, dulcimer strings, cases, cardboard dulcimer kits, and more.  You can even get an I Love (heart) Dulcimers 'wooden' notepad.

Shop from 10AM-3PM.  If you are planning on coming to just the concert then come early to shop.  If you are taking workshops - shop on the breaks or during lunch.

There also will be a few extra Dulcimer Day tshirts to sale.  All the extra Dulcimer Day sweatshirts already sold.
The tshirts are a heather dark grey and there will be some heather blue.

Weather forecast for early this week - snow and wind.
Weather forecast for Dulcimer Day weekend -mostly sunny, high in the 50s.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Can you hear the music?

Come to Dulcimer Day to hear fun traditional music on dulcimers!  Gentle airs and original music by Susan Trump coming over from New York, high speed old-time tunes by Don Pedi from North Carolina, and Linda Thomas and Dan will do hammered dulcimer and guitar duos.   What about you?  In the classes you'll be playing tunes and adding more skills.  Whether you are a new beginner dulcimer player, returning long time players or someone wanting refresher tips, Dulcimer Day is the place to be.  Hope you can make it.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the fest.  The fest is here because of you.

Tshirts have been ordered for those who pre-ordered one and I bought a few extra tshirts and sweatshirts.  The color is heather dark gray and light grey lettering - sort of a black and white look.

Next week it's time to make copies of the class handouts, make name tags, and final order for meals.

I'm thankful for having the instructors/performers come all the way to Duluth as well as the participants.  It's a delight to keep the dulcimer family growing.  Thank you, thank you.  We'll see you soon.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

It's a tie! NEW! Sweatshirts for sale at Dulcimer Day

So great to see registrations coming in from quite a few different towns.  It's been a nice mix of returning folks and several new people.  It's a tie now between Wisconsin signups and Minnesota signups.  A couple people from Canada, too - Thunder Bay and Winnepeg!

Tshirts $16 are available for pre-order as well as hooded pullover sweatshirts  $32.  The color is still being decided upon.  A few extras may be available at Dulcimer Day but it's recommended to pre-order to have one or two ready in the size you want.   Past years have had Jean shirts and tank tops - if you'd really want one of these let me know by April 10.

Quite cold temps still but spring promises to be ahead.  Time change is coming up and we are seeing some flocks of birds.  For some reason the Gales of November were happening in March.  We've had strong winds this week.