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JOSHUA MESSICK CD Release of Hammered Dulcimer Christmas Vol 2 Appearing Fri Nov 30th 2018 at 8p

Join National   
Hammered Dulcimer Champion


Stephanie Messick (Celtic Harp)
Sarah Land (Violin)
Ryan Knott (Cello)
James Kylen (Percussion)

for an inspiring evening 
of acoustic instrumental 
Christmas Music 
as we celebrate the release of 

Hammered Dulcimer Christmas,  Vol 2 

Hammered Dulcimer Christmas, Vol. II features full acoustic arrangements of 14 season musical essentials. The sound of the hammered dulcimer blends flawlessly with Celtic harp, strings, flute, and percussion to capture every dimension of the holiday spirit.

1. Ding Dong Merrily on High / Good King Wenceslas
2. Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming
3. Walking in the Air
4. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
5. White Christmas
6. Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella
7. Away in a Manger
8. I Wonder as I Wander
9. The First Noel
10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Sing We Now of Christmas
11. We Wish You a Merry Christmas / The Holly and the Ivy
12. The Coventry Carol
13. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
14. Patapan (Live Version)

$18 in advance 
$20 at the door

(Note: This special event will be repeated on Dec 7th)

Album Review

What an enjoyable listening experience! It has just the right amount of everything. It is stunning! It causes the listener to feel the sensational joy of the Christmas season, while appreciating the interaction of the instruments as they exchange the melodies, countermelodies and harmonies from one to the other. The arrangements are inventive and sensitive and the over all sound is balanced and well blended, and one will have a heightened awareness of the technical precision with which the musicians are playing and will be amazed by what a good mix it is… no instrument dominates, but each one shines at the right time, then fades into the background to support the ensemble

The hammered dulcimer, as usual with Joshua, is impeccable…stylistically pushing the boundaries of the capabilities of this instrument. And what an unexpected pleasure it is to hear his wife, Stephanie, on Celtic harp, particularly on “I Wonder as I Wander.”

“Ding Dong Merrily/Good King Wenceslas” as a dulcimer solo was perfect for the opener with its mixed rhythms and very effective contrasts between sustain and the damper pedal. “White Christmas” had no help from any other instruments as the dulcimer was strong enough alone, using rich, extraordinary arpeggios and melodic breaks with unexpected chromatic touches. The dulcimer solos are interspersed between the rich layers of great ensemble work, but “The First Noel” stands above the others as the virtual climax of the solo listening experience. The dynamic range is unsurpassed as is the effective use of every octave of the melodic range of the instrument.

The arrangements are all fresh and inventive and exceptionally compelling. Throughout the entire listening experience the flute is played so sweetly and sensitively, displaying much feeling! Amy’s playing is smooth, warm and controlled. The interplay between the flute and the rest of the ensemble was especially captivating in “Coventry Carol”… the flute doesn’t dominate the performance but she doesn’t hesitate to step up with skill and style. Her style and sound pair well with hammered dulcimer. The strings do their part to be the glue that holds the arrangements together and the bells and percussion were stimulating…especially on “Patapan.” The interplay between the instruments on “Sugar Plum Fairy” is unusually fascinating and stimulating.

While every piece increases the joyous sensations that erupt, some might say “God Rest Ye Merry/Sing We Now” is the climactic point. It is very well orchestrated with driving rhythms and background chords that will leave you breathless. “It Came Upon A Midnight, Clear” was unconventional in its harmonies, but what a pleasant break from the expected!

But, just between you and me…I won’t need to listen to any other Christmas music this year. To put it another way, this Christmas album is at the top of my list. I’m going to encourage all of my students to get it! Thanks for sharing your beautiful music.

— Peggy Carter

  “The hammered dulcimer has such a beautiful, ethereal sound that is reflective of Christmas, and also has a quality that is reminiscent of Bethlehem. It is the perfect instrument to tell the story of Christmas. 
---Joshua Messick



When his four-year-old ears heard the hammered dulcimer for the first time, Joshua Messick turned to his mom and said, “I promise I will learn to play the hammered dulcimer before I am thirty.” At nine, when he got ahold of a pair of dulcimer hammers and coaxed sound from the strings for the first time, a music teacher asked how long he had been taking lessons. “I haven’t,” he said, still going at it. It’s as if Joshua came into this world equipped with a pre-existing relationship with the hammered dulcimer. Joshua began arranging music at ten and composing in high school.

By the time he was eighteen, he became the 2003 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion Joshua is first and foremost a composer, crafting original compositions drawing from Celtic, Indian, Japanese, and New Age styles. For those who love more traditional music, he breathes new life into Appalachian Folk, Hymns, Classical, and traditional favorites. “I’ve put my entire life into this music,” he tells an interviewer, and it is readily apparent. 

Few musicians can span the breadth of styles he easily plays. Enjoy his music on iTunes or CDs, or catch him playing live and you will feel the soulful presence that stirs in his music. You will be transported to a peaceful, nourishing place. Messick further elaborates his soul by stating, “how music relates to people is something that fascinates me. Music is the sound of the human spirit and for me is prayer without words. There has been a process for me to understand the place music has in my life and why I play it. I used to play only for the purpose of becoming good. Now, I play music because I love it with an understanding that music is God’s gift to experience His love and healing. In addition to this, I seek to play honestly from the heart, learn as much as I can, and enjoy music” -