Mitzie Collins, noted hammered dulcimer player, and The Striking Strings Hammered Dulcimer Ensemble of the Eastman Community Music School, which she directs, will give a program titled “CELTIC MUSIC AND MORE” on Saturday, May 4, 2013, 7:00, at the First Presbyterian Church, 64 Oswego Street, Baldwinsville.

As a special feature of Striking Strings appearance in Baldwinsville, members of the group will also be giving a free introductory workshop on the hammered dulcimer at the church from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Collins comments, “We will bring extra instruments and quickly show people how to play a tune on our many strings. No preparation or experience is necessary, and all are welcome from grade school up.” Both the concert and the workshop are free.

The concert will feature music from Celtic countries, as well as selections from countries where this many-stringed, trapezoid-shaped instrument is played. Tunes from Switzerland, England and Germany, as well as traditional American melodies and songs will be included. The Striking Strings Ensemble was formed in 2008 and has quickly become a popular performing group in Western New York State. They have also gained international acclaim, with members performing at the 2011 Cimbalom World Association Congress in Budapest, Hungary. Performance venues can be informal, such as community dances and farmers’ markets, or formal, such as Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, and the chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse.

Striking Strings has a total of sixteen members – with close to a dozen performing at each of their concerts. Every program is custom designed: an audience can count on hearing lively dance tunes and poignant slow airs and having other instruments, such as the accordion, flute, penny whistle, fiddle, recorder, and bass, combine with the resonant hammered dulcimers. At the conclusion of all their concerts there is an interactive opportunity for audience members to play the instruments. Members of the group come from the entire region – Rochester, Perry, Byron, Webster, Henrietta, Penfield, North Chili, Caledonia and Pittsford. Jon and Kathy Bowen of Baldwinsville have the distinction of traveling the furthest to be a part of the Striking Strings.

Mitzie Collins has two degrees from the Eastman School of Music and teaches Western Music History and hammered dulcimer classes through the Eastman Community Music School. She is one of the founding members of the Golden Link Folk Singing Society of Rochester, and was awarded the 2007 Artist Award by the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester. In 2011 she was elected a board member of the Cimbalom World Association.

Mitzie Collins and her husband Tom Bohrer formed Sampler Records Ltd., in 1975, and her recordings were sold nationally for many years. For a number of years Mitzie brought her popular Christmas program with Roxanne Ziegler and Glennda Dove to Baldwinsville.