Mingo Creek Strummers Beginnings
In July 2007, after finishing a wood working project, Mr. Ron, Tara Hall Home for Boys Board Member, demonstrated to the boys how to play a dulcimer he had crafted. The intent was to show the boys what kinds of things could be made from wood. However, the boys were more interested in learning to play the dulcimer than making one. So, Mr. Ron and Mrs. Patsy talked about the possibilities of forming a club to teach the boys how to play the dulcimer and presented the idea to Mr. Dumm, the Executive Director, who thought it was a good idea.
Over the next few months Mr. Ron raised the funds to purchase 12 dulcimers and 12 wooden music holders and necessary accessories to outfit the club. The dulcimers and music holders arrived in December 2007.
The first unofficial session with the boys took place in December in an attempt to keep the interest alive over the Christmas vacation. The first official instructional session was held on January 23, 2008. Sometime shortly after that session the group decided to call themselves the Mingo Creek Strummers.
The original group started out with eleven boys, but that number quickly dropped to six or seven and that number has stayed fairly constant. About twice a year, depending on the number of new boys and interest, a new group is started. Eventually the new group is assimilated into the main group.
The first public performance by the Mingo Creek Strummers was in May 2008 when they performed at the Tara Hall graduation ceremonies. Since then the group has gone on to perform at churches, schools, assisted living facilities and other public functions. They have become goodwill ambassadors for Tara Hall Home for Boys.