Dec 01, 2012 - Celtic Christmas by Dually Noted to Benefit The Tulsa School of Arts & Science

Celtic Christmas by Dually Noted to Benefit The Tulsa School of Arts & Science


        A couple of summers ago, at the Silver Dollar City amusement park in
Branson, Mo., Wendy Songe fell head over heels in love.
        The object of her adoration was the unique, ear-catching music of an
Appalachian Mountain dulcimer. And since she first heard those notes
wafting over the Missouri mountainside, her life hasn’t been the same.
        “I’d been at the park all day, and as I was getting ready to leave, I
heard a sound that I’d never heard before,” she remembers. “It sounded
ancient. And it was calling to me.”
        Eventually, she traced the source of the music to a kiosk just on the
edge of the park, where a woman was strumming a dulcimer.
        “The notes were ringing in the background in harmony with the melody
she was playing,” says Songe. “It was mesmerizing. And that’s when I
fell in love with the dulcimer.”
        Fewer than three years after that encounter, Wendy Songe is an
award-winning dulcimer player, just beginning a three-state, four-city
holiday tour with her musical partner Jonathan Dowell in support of
their new Christmas disc.  Collectively billed as Dually Noted, the
two officially begins their road trip with the Jazz Depot concert.
        In April of last year, Songe and Dowell met at the Ozark Folk Center
Dulcimer Jamboree, held at Mountain View, Ark. Although she had begun
playing piano at the age of three, later taking up guitar and
mandolin, Songe had only been a serious dulcimer student for a few
        “I’d enrolled in several classes at the Ozark Folk Center, and
Jonathan was one of my instructors,” she notes. “He’s an amazing
instrumentalist. I found out he’d been playing since 2001, and that he
was a Southern Regional Dulcimer Champion, a Texas and Colorado State
Champion, and a National Silver Medalist.”
        Songe has a bit of a competitive streak herself, so it wasn’t long
before she was also not only entering regional contests, but also
placing at or near the top. One of her big moments as a contestant
came when she returned for the Ozark Folk Center Jamboree earlier this
year – and found herself facing off against her erstwhile instructor.
        “Jonathan was not teaching or judging, so we competed against each
other, He took second – and I won,” she says, laughing. “We are now
good comrades and fierce competitors who expect to compete against one
another again and again. Our styles are different. We complement each
other, but we’re also very competitive.”
        That attitude goes a long way toward explaining why the show is
dubbed a Celtic Christmas Showdown. That’s also the name of Dually
Noted’s brand-new disc, which will be on sale at the Jazz Depot event.
        As is the case with all four of the duo’s upcoming shows -- two in
New Mexico and one in Springfield, Mo. – there’s a benefit element to
the Wednesday concert. Part of the proceeds will go to the Tulsa
School of Arts and Sciences, now holding classes in temporary quarters
after its former building burned to the ground. “We have worked with the students from the Tulsa School of Arts and Science and we are  glad to do our part in supporting and encouraging others to as well. They have an incredible music program led by incredible educators.” says Jason McIntosh, CEO of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
        “I have two children who attend the school, and I know it’s more than
the structure,” she says. “It’s people like Zach Roddy, the music
director, and Eric Doss, the director of the school. It’s the
students. It’s the people, and they’re still going strong.”
        The school, in fact, provides the evening’s opening act, the TSAS
Quint Jazz Combo.
        “It’s a five-piece group, and they’ll do some fantastic jazz to open
the show,” Songe says. “When we come on, we’ll play a lot of Celtic
music and some traditional Christmas songs: `Carol of the Bells,’
`Greensleeves, `Silent Night.’ So it’ll be a nice mix. We’ll present
it a little like a dulcimer contest, but in a very lighthearted way.”
        Dennis Moran, of Dulcimer House of Tulsa, is set to emcee the show.
        “A mountain dulcimer has never been played on the stage of the
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame before,” says Songe. "I look to folks
coming to share some music and raise some money for the Tulsa School
of Science and Technology.’
        More information on Songe and Dually Noted can be found at and\duallynotedmusic
        The TSAS Quint Jazz Combo is set to open the Celtic Christmas
Showdown at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of
Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St.
Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students, with a portion of the
proceeds benefiting the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences.
Refreshments will be available for purchase. For more information,
call Bettie Downing at 918-281-8609 or visit
        The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural and
educational organization, with a mission to inspire creativity and
improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans through preservation,
education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.
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