Back in 1976, when Dick and Anne Albin proposed to the Kentucky
Department of Parks a weekend music festival dedicated to the
mountain and hammered dulcimer, neither party had ever heard of
such a thing being done before. Some wondered if the idea would
fly at all – a whole weekend of music on a couple of little-known folk
instruments most people couldn’t identify,
if they’d ever seen one.
It flew, and forty-one years later, the
Great American Dulcimer Convention is still
going strong in its original venue,
Pine Mountain State Resort Park.
Someday, we’d like to determine who hosts the
longest-running dulcimer festival in America –
it could very well be us!
|ONE OF THE LONGEST
FESTIVALS IN AMERICA
The GADC, in its early years, was largely an
outdoor happening all around the Herndon J.
Evans Lodge and the Native Wildflower Garden
and Amphitheater. In the evenings, the audience
caravanned to the enormous Laurel Cove
Natural Amphitheater, to sit on large
sandstone boulders and plank benches.
In later years the C.V. Whitney Convention
Center was constructed at Pine Mountain State
Resort Park, and the GADC moved indoors.
|Dulcimer artists performed against the
dramatic backdrop of a sheer cliff,with a
reflecting pond at their feet and yellow
maple leaves showering around
them.For all its beauty, Laurel Cove
could be a chilling experience, and
when rain fell, the Clear Creek Baptist
Bible College down the mountain
generously allowed our evening
concerts to be held in their church
From the beginning, Dick and Anne worked
closely with Pine Mountain’s Park Naturalists,
initially Jim Ettman, succeded by Barry
Howard and Dean Henson. Now Keith Bowling
co-ordinates with Anne MacFie (formerly
Albin) who has directed the festival since
Today the dulcimer movement has four decades of phenomenal growth behind it. We’ve
seen both mountain and hammered dulcimer techniques skyrocket from simple folk
styles to sophisticated musicianship; the GADC embraces a place for both and
everything in between. Such dulcimer legends as Jean Ritchie and David Schnaufer
have graced our stage and classrooms, as well as a host of other brilliant dulcimer
artists, eager to share their knowledge and enthusiasm. We take great satisfaction in
the part this enduring event has played in introducing three generations of dulcimer
players to the instrument that became their passion, through the performances,
instruction, and friendships that have been the heart of the GADC down through the
STAY AT THE
PARK, OR ONE
ENJOY A WEEKEND
OF MUSIC AND FUN.
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