Sign-up continues for Dulcimer U at WCU

by Jun 21, 2012A&E, Happenings0 comments

     CULLOWHEE – Registration continues for Dulcimer U, a residential program at Western Carolina University that draws dulcimer enthusiasts from across the country for a week of classes, concerts, jam sessions and fellowship.

     WCU’s 13th annual summer dulcimer conference will be held Sunday, July 15, through Friday, July 20, and will be hosted by Larry and Elaine Conger of Paris, Tenn. Named the national champion dulcimer player in 1998, Larry Conger is the author of eight books of dulcimer arrangements and has been featured on numerous recordings. Elaine Conger is a former classroom teacher and backup singer for country music artist Faith Hill.

     The Congers have designed a dulcimer program that should appeal to players of all ages, skill levels and musical tastes, said Bobby Hensley, associate director of continuing education at WCU. “Their experience as classroom instructors and nationally sought-after performers makes Larry and Elaine the very best at what they do,” Hensley said.

     Participants in Dulcimer U spend mornings developing their playing skills and afternoons taking elective courses that allow them to explore different facets of the mountain dulcimer. The lineup of accomplished performers and instructors for the conference includes Ralph Lee Smith of Reston, Va., who is widely considered to be the foremost authority on mountain dulcimer traditions and history, Hensley said. Also, for the first time, the event will offer a course in “Playing for Others in Healthcare and Related Settings.”

     The award-winning instructors at Dulcimer U will come together to present a concert, “Dulcimers in the Round,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 19, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Tickets for the general public go on sale Tuesday, July 10, at the Bardo Center box office. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $7 for students and children.

     Dulcimer U will be headquartered in one of WCU’s newest facilities, Blue Ridge Residence Hall, which provides for accommodations and other conference activities in one building.

     Info: or call the Office of Continuing Education at 828-227-7397.