Once again I am preparing to perform the piece “Sail Away” by Malcolm Dalglish written for hammered dulcimer and chorus.
I have already performed this piece a few times with the same middle school chorus teacher. Since that last previous time was almost two years ago it still takes time to relearn the music and arrangement. Since the piece moves along at a rapid pace with many sections to the arrangement I find it necessary to memorize the entire piece. Memorization is also necessary since sight-reading on the dulcimer can be quite difficult.
Performing in an ensemble is so much different than my typical mode of performance which is solo. To coordinate the ensemble process takes added practice over and above just learning one’s part. There must be work done to ensure the parts mesh and flow together. For me it is reminiscent of the days long ago when I performed as part of the musicians playing with an international folk dance troupe, The Mandala Folk Dance Ensemble.
Here is a previous time I performed this piece with the same choral director: