When the Mill Run Dulcimer Band started performing at Colvin Run Mill in the late 1970s, visitors would pause to listen while touring the mill then go on their way. The band didn’t mind, though, because it had prepared only a few songs, so it was easy to recycle them with the changing audience, member Kit Putnam said.
As the group expanded its repertoire of old-time Appalachian, gospel and dance music and contemporary folk, the audiences grew. The band began performing seven concerts a year at the mill in Great Falls.
More than 30 years later, the tradition comes to a close when the group plays its final concert at the mill at 2 p.m. Sunday. The end of the band’s regular performing schedule is partly because to the death of Keith Young, 82, who founded the group 35 years ago in his living room in Annandale. Young died in February after a fall. Putnam said it is also difficult to maintain a regular schedule because two band members live at least an hour’s drive from Northern Virginia.