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