The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

March 29, 2014

Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival continues today at Reagan Park

(Continued)

PALESTINE —

“The acoustics, because of the hardwood floors and the classrooms, are really perfect for singing or playing instruments or both. This is a wonderful treasure that Palestine has, the museum itself.”

Wright said while the festival draws people from across the country, many of the locals unfortunately aren't aware of the annual event.

“A lot of people in Palestine – like so many other things (when people) live close to something – will often not realize what they have in their own backyard,” she said. “There are tons of people in Palestine that still don’t know this has been going on now for 13 years.”

But the ones who do know tend to keep coming back – people like Eunice McLain of Crockett, who leads groups in singing hymns around an old piano in the museum.

“She likes to play this old-style gospel piano,” Wright said. “(She) walked by one day, sat down and started playing, so now this is a regular event in between each of the classes. We purposely leave 30 minutes between classes so (festival participants) have time to come by and sing – 'Singing with Eunice.'”

Two festival participants this year, John and Karen Keane, made the trip from Shreveport to take part in the old time music event for a second year.

“It’s a great festival, old time music, lots of workshops and stuff – the jams are just amazing,” Karen said. “My husband and I, we both teach elementary music in Shreveport... and we’ve had a good time so far. We have a lot of fun and learn a lot of new things.”

The two have been playing the dulcimer for “about three years now,” she added.

As she said it, another couple approached the Keanes to strike up a conversation about the make and model of their instruments. Apparently, these sorts of conversations take place throughout the weekend, as well as group jamming sessions during the day and late into the night.

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