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Los Alamos residents Jonathan and Tessa Dowell have been regular spectators at the Southern Regional Dulcimer Championship held at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark., for about 12 years.
They keep returning to the championship because of the scenery, Jonathan said – and the people, Tessa added. And the biscuits served at breakfast, Jonathan joked.
On a more serious note, Jonathan said, “the company is so talented. The other musicians in this community are truly world-class musicians.”
In the past several years, the Dowells have stopped being members of the audience and have joined the competitors. Of the stage in Mountain View, Jonathan said, “It’s like the Carnegie Hall of Folk Music.”
This has been a successful move from the spectators’ seats to the stage for the Dowells. Jonathan has competed in the individual division four times. Last year, he earned first place. This year, he and Tessa performed in the ensemble division and earned first place. Tessa also competed in the solo division this year and earned fifth place.
The competition was held at the end of April.
To earn first place in the ensemble division, was “exciting” and “fun,” Tessa said.
“(It was a) little surprising ee no, we worked hard at it,” Jonathan joked.
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