MacDowell Music Club learns about marimba

Allen Marler presented a program on the marimba to the MacDowell Music club at their March meeting.

The MacDowell Music Club of Crystal Springs met March 13 in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs. The program was “Music is ….. Marimba Magic.”
Bettye Sledge introduced Allen Marler, guest speaker and musician. Marler began his program with an original composition for the marimba entitled “Heritage of the Working Man,” which he wrote for his dad on his dad’s birthday. He then described the instrument and showcased its different attributes and traits. The marimba can be played for classical, symphonic, and even rock and roll music. Marler played “Largo” by Antonin Dvorak and then played a Led Zeppelin piece from the early ‘70s entitled “Cashmere.”
There are many differing opinions about when and where the marimba came to be. Legend has it that a tribe in Africa whose queen was named Marimba or Mother of Song (or creator of all music) is from where the instrument name came. Originally, the instrument was made of solid wood in a keyboard fashion on a chromatic scale. It uses a 440-pitch tuning frequency. The tubes below the “keyboard” are called resonators, which amplify the sound.
Marler then gave examples of two different styles that can be played on the marimba. “Sabre Dance,” from the ballet “Gayane,” was played in staccato style.
For the second style, ethereal or mysterious, he played “East Wind,” from “Saving Mr. Banks.” Marler then ended his program by playing the theme song from the movie “Toy Story” – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” Everyone present agreed that the program was not only informational but also delightful.
The business meeting was called to order by President Leslie Horton. The National Federation Collect was recited and all three verses of the National Federation Hymn were sung, accompanied by Susan Sullivan. There were 13 members present plus five attending via YouTube livestream. Five visitors were also present. November minutes were approved, and the treasurer’s report was given.
Under committee reports, members learned that “A Grand Night” program for 2021 has been postponed. The nominating committee reported that the existing officers would remain for 2021-2022, with the exception of secretary. Bettye Sledge agreed to be secretary with backup help from Margaret Druetta. Officers were accepted by acclamation.
The scholarship committee reported that a scholarship for day camp at Mississippi College is $300. There is one piano student definitely interested in going, with others still deciding. A motion was made to send up to five students, and the motion passed unanimously.
Jackie Donahoe, the social chair, was thanked for sending cards as needed to club members. The “Together We Sing” song was introduced by Billie Davis. “That’s an Irish Lullaby” was written in 1913 by J.R. Shannon. The club sang the refrain after Leslie Horton read the words of the two verses.
Laurie Gwaltney shared that all the homes for the 2022 Musical Tour of Homes are set, and Nancy Sullivan has agreed to chair the committee.
The next meeting will be held April 10 at First Baptist Church, which is a change from what is in the yearbook. Kenneth Jolly will have some of his students performing. Bettye Sledge will be the accompanist for the meeting. If refreshments are to be served, Margaret Druetta will contact those who are to provide them.
The meeting was closed with the singing of the benediction, “The Gift of Song.”