Clarendon Hills Church group has fun with Appalachian dulcimers
John Beckett of Hinsdale plays the dulcimer during a practice at the Church of the Holy Nativity. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:50AM
CLARENDON HILLS — A different kind of musical instrument has become a source of enjoyment for a small group at The Church of the Holy Nativity.
Started a few years ago by church members Judy and John Brackett, the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer group meets at the church to rehearse and sometimes play for services.
The Appalachian, or mountain, dulcimer is a fretted instrument with three or four strings and generally is regarded as being one of the easiest string instruments to learn and play.
“It’s a beautiful instrument to look at, and it is fairly simple to learn for people who not musically inclined,” Judy Brackett said. “You don’t have to be able to read music to play and enjoy it.”
Neither Judy, nor her husband, John, a Clarendon Hills dentist, have musical backgrounds. The couple acquired an Appalachian dulcimer a few years ago and attended a festival in North Carolina for dulcimers.
After getting their own dulcimer, the Bracketts decided to start an Appalachian dulcimer group at their church. About a dozen people signed up to be part of the group.
“It’s not an instrument many people around here have heard of,” Brackett said. “There are four of us who meet regularly, and we have two new people, too. We just enjoy getting together and being able to make some music.”