Stephen Seifert, a professional mountain dulcimer player and teacher who has performed with musicians from jazz combos to symphony orchestras and written 10 books and instructional videos, will conduct a workshop and mini-concert on the 1920s standard “Down Yonder” from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Atonement Lutheran Church, 2800 W. Jefferson Ave., Springfield.
Seifert, who lives in Tennessee, has taught and performed at festivals and dulcimer clubs in Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Pensacola and places in between. In 1997 he soloed with dulcimerist David Schnaufer in “Blackberry Winter,” a concerto for dulcimer and orchestra by Schnaufer and composer Conni Ellisor. Recorded by the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (now Orchestra Nashville), the piece continues to be in regular rotation on classical radio stations around the U.S.
Known for a progressive, innovative approach to the mountain dulcimer, Seifert says he was inspired to do a workshop on “Down Yonder” by the different approaches musicians have taken to the song over the years.
“I first heard Willie Nelson’s sister play this on his classic ‘Red Headed Stranger’ album,” Seifert said. “I later marvelled at how players like David Schnaufer and Chet Atkins brought so much life to it. I’ll show a number of arrangements (at the workshop) and all the licks to spruce them up.”
The workshop will be from 6:30 to 8:30, and it is open to players of all skill levels. A capo is required, but loaners will be available. The mini-concert is from 8:30 to 9. Cost is $35 for the workshop (with the concert included). Cost for the mini-concert only is $5.
Here's a clip of Steve and Sarah Morgan, another dulcimer player from East Tennessee whom some of our members know from Kentucky Music Week and other festivals, playing on the Picking Porch at Mike Clemmer's dulcimer shop in Townsend, Tenn. It begins with about 30 seconds of "Down Yonder," and the whole thing is worth a listen. Together, they show what the instrument is capable of. Sarah has more on her website at http://www.sarahmorganmusic.webs.com.
And, with a hat tip to Bev of our Springfield and Clayville groups for sending me the link, here's a clip of Dave Hass playing "Down Yonder" at a festival in West Virginia. Hass, of Charleston, W.Va., has other videos on his website and was at Kentucky Music Week.