Multiple musical skills provide entertainment

Native Southwest Oregonian Delsa Corder grew up in logging towns before the prevalence of television. Musical inclination dominated her dad’s side of the family.  “Someone moved a piano into our house when I was little,” she said. ”I liked to tinker with it.” Much too modest to acknowledge how skilled she’s become on the instrument, Corder explains, “We usually didn’t have people who gave or took music lessons in the small timber communities where we lived. Dad was a logger. When someone gave him a fiddle, he taught himself to play it by ear.”

Her childhood homes became neighborhood centers for music lovers to congregate and enjoy tunes and rhythms. By age eight, young Delsa  played piano along with the adult fiddlers at square dances held in local grange halls.

On weekends, Corder’s  family continued to host musically gifted visitors who’d park their instruments at her dwelling during inclement weather. Surrounded and beckoned by these objects, she inevitably gravitated to guitars, accordions, and Dad’s fiddle, which she eventually retained and cherished.

At Glendale High School in early teen years, Corder encountered a music teacher who conscripted her to play the bass drum in the school band.

Years later, her spouse, Joe, spotted a mandolin at a local music store. “Do you want it?” he asked. His wife quickly accepted. Then  she  bought some mandolin chord books, and taught herself to pick melody.

She also played the bass for a while, and plied her rhythmic talents to clogging. Still, she disdains lavish compliments, and despite audience ovations, insists that her skills are nothing special.

These days Delsa Corder enjoys entertaining with small musical groups at various local retirement facilities, senior centers, and grange halls.  “If I were sitting in a nursing home,” she says, “ I’d want to hear that lively kind of music.”
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent

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