Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs



Sherri Farley
Sherri Farley

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News Release

Contact: Rebecca Edwards, Blackwell History of Education Museum
(815) 753-1236

October 24, 2006

Dulcimer, banjo star in 'Musical Documentary'
at NIU's one-room schoolhouse

DeKalb — Northern Illinois University’s Blackwell Museum invites the public to a “Musical Documentary” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Milan Township One-Room Schoolhouse.

The concert at the schoolhouse, located on Annie Glidden Road near the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, will trace the rich cultural heritage of the banjo and dulcimer and their role in America’s past.

Sherri Farley will demonstrate both the hammered and the mountain dulcimer and talk about their origins. Farley has been playing and performing for more than 15 years, and is an Illinois Arts Council grant recipient as well as being included on their Artstour roster.

The word “dulcimer” means “sweet sound,” and it’s a fascinating instrument with a rich heritage. Mountain dulcimers are American-born instruments developed by early Appalachian settlers. After being discovered by folk musicians, dulcimers grew beyond their mountain roots and were used by musicians playing jazz, blues and ensemble music.

Alan Deaton is an accomplished musician of many instruments, percussive as well as string, and other primitive instruments such as the washboard. He will tell the story of the banjo as he strums some traditional tunes. Deaton and Farley also will entertain by playing duets such as “Amazing Grace,” “Simple Gifts” and “Whiskey Before Breakfast.”

Refreshments will follow the event. Parking is available behind the schoolhouse in Lot L. For more information, call Rebecca Edwards at (815) 753-1236.

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