Music Featured at Spring Luncheon

April 01, 2023 at 11:03 PM


The Sandy Lick Mountain Dulcimer Players from left:  Melissa Neff, Lillian Neff, Nancy Hillls, Ginny Schott, Leah Crosley, and Sue Stapleton.

        The Sandy Lick Mountain Dulcimer Players provided an afternoon of entertainment and education as the guests for the DuBois Area Historical Society’s 14th Spring Luncheon.

           Performing for the Sandy Lick Mountain Dulcimer Players were Ginny Schott of DuBois, Sue Stapleton of Reynoldsville, Leah Crosley of Sabula, Nancy Hills of Treasure Lake, Lillian Neff of Curwensville and Melissa Neff of Curwensville. The mountain dulcimer is one of only two musical instruments to originate in North America, the other being the five-string banjo. The long, stringed instrument is placed on the lap for playing and provides a rich and varied musical voice.

          They played a variety of musical pieces from folk songs to the Beatles, and included some Celtic music for the recently passed St. Patrick’s Day while involving the audience in some sing-alongs. Virginia Schott presented video highlights from previous Sandy Lick Mountain Dulcimer Players performances and included one of DuBois native Butch Ross, considered one of the finest mountain dulcimer players in the United States, performing.

            The Sandy Lick Mountain Dulcimer Players trace their origin back to a free-period activity first offered by Virginia Schott at DuBois Area High School. She became interested in the instrument after attending librarians’ workshops where it was used as part of story-telling activities. In addition to providing instruction for students at the high school, several adults became interested too, resulting in the adults practicing together outside the school setting.

            That initial group attracted additional people from the surrounding area and in 2010 the Sandy Lick Mountain Dulcimer Players performed for the first time at a DuBois Area School Retirees luncheon. The name Sandy Lick Mountain Dulcimer Players was selected in honor of the Sandy Lick Creek that runs through DuBois before connecting with larger rivers. The group wanted something that sounded folksy, but aptly described the group and indicated they resided in many different towns in western Pennsylvania.  

            Since that time the Sandy Lick Mountain Dulcimer Players have performed in five counties for church groups, nursing homes, senior centers, reunions and other organizations, including twice at the Indiana County Fair. The group has also hosted in DuBois a number of the outstanding dulcimer players and national champions from throughout the United States, including Butch Ross, to provide lessons and perform in concert.

            The luncheon held at Christ Lutheran Church in DuBois attracted 77 members and guests. Tom Schott served as the master of ceremonies. The lunch featured sandwiches from Subway and soup and macaroni salad from Catering by Paulette. Desert was cupcakes from Martin’s.


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