One Saturday a month for five years, the Jacksonville Jammers Dulcimer Club has met to play their instruments and teach others their love of music and dulcimers.

The group started when two acquaintances got together to play their dulcimers and learn together.

What Lynn Stanley and Margie Adams started has grown to average 25 members every meeting. And when the group isn’t jammin’ for their own enjoyment, they entertain others as well.

“We’ve played at Breckinridge village in Tyler, Mission Tejas State Park, The Texas State Railroad and the Rusk State Hospital,” said Gloria Welch, the group’s publicity chair. “We really want people to hear the great sounds that dulcimers can produce.”

The dulcimer is a small, stringed instrument with a fret board that is played by strumming, similar to how a guitar os played.

“Dulcimers start at about $250 and go up from there, depending on which type of wood you would like it made from,” Welch said. “The first time I saw one was when me and my husband were on vacation. I was so fascinated that I ended up buying a beginners kit and learning some things on my own, then taking lessons. It is a great time and I love it.”

The Jacksonville Jammers have an open-door policy — anyone is welcome at any meeting to come and listen, or even pick up a dulcimer and take some free lessons. Time is devoted to beginners lessons every meeting at which someone wants to learn.

The group also charges no dues to its members.

They play mostly folk music, but some other styles they try include classical waltz, gospel — just anything they’re interested in, Welch said.

The Jacksonville Jammers meets 5:30 to 8 p.m. the fourth Saturday of each month at the Jacksonville Senior Citizens Center on South Bolton Street, next to the fire station.

Anyone interested is encouraged to come to a meeting for a beginner lesson and to see what playing the dulcimer is all about.  

For more information about the Jacksonville Jammers, call Gloria Welch at 903-561-3794.

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