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Tom McConnell In The House!

January 13, 2023
A few weeks ago, my friend Tom McConnell stopped by the shop for a visit - and for some maintenance on a couple of his Folkcraft dulcimers. Tom is a science professor at Ball State University, in nearby Muncie, Indiana. He's the author of the "Baritone Dulcimer Jam Book" - perhaps you've heard of it? Or own it? (If not, CLICK HERE to find out all about it.) And Tom is also, of course, an amazing musician!

tom mcconnel posing with his baritone jam book
Back around 2010, Folkcraft opened up its concert hall to the brand new Fort Wayne Ukulele Club for their monthly jams, and it was in that era when I first met Tom. He came for the uke jams, stayed for the dulcimer jams, and was an important figure in both groups. I've been friends with him for years now, and I got to thinking about all the rest of you that are like Tom - friends from our shared music-making. How many of you have I met at Kentucky Music Week? Or Homosassa? Or OVG, Evart, Lagniappe, Arkladulcifest, or any of the other festivals I've attended annually since 2006? How many of you are regulars at the shop, coming here for our clinics, festivals, concerts, or jams? I can name a half-dozen of you that I've met at harp (not dulcimer!) festivals, even.
Now, take a moment and think about your musician friends. Where did you meet them? When? How long ago? Maybe you even met your spouse at a music festival?
I'll bet that most of you have made a lot of friends at in-person events. Let me know how music making has affected/influenced/improved your social life, and I'll include some of your thoughts in next week's newsletter.
Thinking about my music friends makes me smile. 
Hopefully, you're smiling now, too!
Thank you for reading - I can't wait to hear some of your "dulcimer-friend" stories!
Richard Ash, luthier-qho-smiles-while-thinking-about-dulcimer-friends