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Intriguing instruments

Two upcoming concerts to showcase hammered dulcimer and clarinets

Silverwood Clarinet Choir plays a free concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, at Temple Concord in Syracuse.

Silverwood Clarinet Choir plays a free concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, at Temple Concord in Syracuse. Submitted photo

— National Hammered Dulcimer Champion Dan Duggan will triumph on the trapezoid at a concert to benefit Great Camp Sagamore at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church, 5299 Jamesville Road.

“The hammered dulcimer has a wondrous, magical sound,” says Albany-area musician Bill Flanagan. “It has a full, rich tone with glorious sustain.”

Adirondack acoustics

Saturday’s Sagamore concert pairs Duggan’s band, Jamcrackers, also featuring guitarists Peggy Lynn and banjo man Dan Berggren, and Quickstep, a trio comprised of fiddler John Kirk, guitarist Trish Miller and bassist Ed Lowman.

Two of the top folk combos in Upstate New York, Jamcrackers and Quickstep play songs rooted in the local lore of the Adirondacks and northeast woodlands.

Duggan, who lives in Red Creek, is an etnthusiastic master of the hammered dulcimer, an ancient ancestor of the piano. It is a stringed instrument played by mallets which strike pairs of strings stretched over a trapezoidal sounding board.

Tickets for Saturday’s concert cost $15 in advance, or $20 at the door; greatcampsagamore.org; 354-5311.

Clarinet Choir

The clarinet is far more familiar instrument than the dulcimer, but rarely do you hear 14 of them playing all at once.

The Silverwood Clarinet Choir presents REED! All About It at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, at Temple Concord, 910 Madison St., in Syracuse. Admission is free; 475-9952.

The program will feature all of the single reeds of the woodwind family along with a saxophone choir led by Dr. Ronald Caravan. Guest artist Monk Rowe will conduct his arrangement of the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” The clarinets will also perform a klezmer suite and music from South America.

The 14 member clarinet choir under the direction of Pamela Mastrobattisto includes Holly Bossert (Baldwinsville), Melanie Smelski (East Syracuse), Paul DiPastena (Liverpool), Kathleen Freer (Manlius), Kenneth Freer (Manlius), Anthony Greene (Fayetteville), Wally Merriam (Fayetteville), Gen Pandori (Syracuse), Colleen Reynolds (Baldwinsville), Theresa Rutkowski (Manlius), Linda Spinella (Liverpool), Terri Tallman (Chittenango) and Jack Tomlinson (Phoenix).

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