September 27th, 2016

Redditch woman strikes right note to bring World Congress to the borough

Updated: 3:46 pm, Oct 01, 2015

A REDDITCH woman is bringing the world to Worcestershire next month – and it’s all for the love of an ancient musical instrument.

When Sally Whytehead first heard the dulcimer (which means ‘sweet song’) she fell in love with its sound and since then she’s been championing its cause, teaching herself how to play and attending and holding workshops to promote it.

Now she’s bringing the biannual Dulcimer World Congress to Redditch and Malvern with over 200 people from around the globe heading here to celebrate its magical musical qualities.

“I’m a self-taught amateur and just go to the occasional workshop to pick up new tips and techniques,” said the Purshall Close resident.

“I’d always loved the sound of the harp but there is something in the more metallic sound of the dulcimer that makes it so attractive.”

Back in the Year 2000 Sally applied for and got a grant to spread the word about the instrument, which is stringed and played like a zither with hammers.

She did outreach classes and held her own workshops, becoming in the process a champion for its qualities.

“There has been a small nest of players in Redditch for a while, we meet at the Baptist Church in Studley every fortnight, while Birmingham has a tradition of playing it too,” said Sally.

The launch event for the Congress is at the Palace Theatre on October 8 and this will be followed by workshops for two local schools to experience its qualities followed by more workshops across the county.

The focus then moves to Malvern where there will be events running from Monday, October 26 ending with an international gala concert on Thursday, October 29. For more details visit dulcimerworldcongress.co.uk .

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