This year volunteer Nancy Edmonds has done an amazing job finding unique peformers to entertain visitors at the Festival of Trees. On November 29th visitors will have the oportunity to hear classic Christmas music on the mountain dulcimer performed by two of the best artists in the country! Come and experience the beautiful timeless sound of the mountain dulcimer while enjoying the sight of our Christmas trees!
Nina Zanetti comes to dulcimer from a diverse musical background, including choral music, violin, viola, piano, and shape note singing. She has taught at dulcimer festivals in PA, VT, CT, and NY; has produced a tablature book called The Softer Side of Dulcimer; and has also co-authored (with Beth Lassi) two books of duet arrangements. She and Beth are featured in Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer Play Music for Christmas, and Nina has also produced a CD of solos and duets, The Sum of the Parts, with Bill Collins. Most recently, Nina became the 2008 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS.
Beth Lassi learned to play several instruments before discovering the dulcimer but none captured her interest or her heart the way this instrument has. She has performed in a variety of settings both as a soloist and in small groups and has taught at festivals throughout the northeast. Beth, along with Nina Zanetti, performs on the compilation CD, Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer Play Music For Christmas. She is also the mountain dulcimer coordinator of the Cranberry Dulcimer and Autoharp Gathering held in Binghamton every summer.
Hear Nina play the Castle of Dromore http://ninazanetti.com/dromore.html
On November 29th, the GTO’s will peform with their unique style of acapella Doo-Wop. The GTO’s, “Good Times Oldies” are a pure acapella ensemble that recreates and sometimes adds to the traditional harmonies of Doo-Wop. Bob Marcello, the singer who started the group, sings lead and second tenor. Bob started singing Doo-Wop on the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y. as a young man. The group he fashioned was a Christian group called “Chalk” (Chalk, because he was a white guy who could sing!) Years passed, but not his love of Doo-Wop Acapella and singing the oldies but goodies. Bob now lives in the Capital District of upstate N.Y. where he started the original GTO’s in 2001.
Another great entertainer, Stacy Heller offered her time and her voice last year for our Festival of Trees. This year she will perform December 3rd in the evening and on both weekends of the festival. To learn more about Stacy, read her bio below!
Stacy Heller is a vocalist who has been performing around the Capital Region area for approximately 3 years. She has in the past performed at the Schenectady Historical Society’s “Festival of Trees” and the New York State Museum and in the future will be performing with the Classic Theatre Guild for their 6th Annual New Play Festival where she is in both “The Giant Hoax” by Kit Goldstein and “Yours Till Niagara Falls” by Sandi Dollinger. She is currently a full-time college student at Schenectady County Community College majoring in Music Performance with a Voice concentration. She plans to continue her education by getting her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Education.
Didynamous, (botany for a four-petalled flower) was started several years ago when Sylvie Briber found herself seated next to a wonderful tenor (Bob Lillquist) in church choir. Their voices seemed to blend so well that they just needed to find an alto (conveniently Bob’s wife, Pat) and then Chris Walcek agreed to join them as bass-baritone. Voila! The group was formed!
They have sung several times at their First Unitarian Society, and public events, including most recently at the Stockade Walkabout, the downtown holiday celebration, “Magic and Melodies,” (see them again this year on Thursday, Dec. 3 in City Hall, 6:30-7:30pm) and also as part of the “Festival of Trees” at the Schenectady County Historical Society, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2-4pm.