Shadrach Productions is named after my first dulcimer, built by the late Michael Autorino and acquired in 1978. The name comes one of the three fellows in the book of Daniel in the Bible, chapter 3: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who all refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol at the sound of many instruments, one of them being the dulcimer, according to the King James Version. A translating error was eventually discovered; the dulcimer appears to have been some kind of bagpipe.
Anyway, on August 1, 1983, exactly at 12 noon, I furthered King James’ cause: Shadrach Productions became reality at the Burlington County NJ Clerk’s office. I proceeded to sell dulcimers for Michael Autorino, and through those sales raised half the capital to publish my first book, Striking Out and Winning! This was followed by The Hammered Dulcimer A-Chording to Lucille Reilly in 1990, and a second edition of Striking Out in 1992. A revised second edition of Striking is in progress at this time.
In 1988, I at last discovered a name index in the back of my Bible concordance (a book I’d owned and used for years but never saw in the last several pages–who needs to look for an index when that’s all a concordance is?). There, I learned that Shadrach means “rejoicing in the way.” That’s a good choice for a happy-sounding instrument, don’t you think?
Listeners and students always ask me: If there’s a Shadrach, is there also a Meshach and Abednego? Yes. I won Meshach, a 15-15 Professional model dulcimer built by the late Bob Tack, when I took second place in the 1991 National Hammered Dulcimer Championship. Bob also built Abednego, a lightweight version of Meshach which travels via UPS when I fly to a performance.
Shadrach’s publishing concerns have expanded to include instructional materials for diatonic autoharp, which I began playing in 1990 (after telling myself in 1987 that I would never play autoharp: Ah, never say never!). Since becoming the first person to win both Mountain Laurel Autoharp Champion and International Autoharp Champion in the same year (1995), I’ve been slowly assembling a series of monographs (small booklets of 28-32 pages devoted to digging deeply into one topic), three of which are available in the Marketplace on this site. A book about how to play diatonic autoharp is also in the works.
Through Shadrach Productions, I remain dedicated to providing quality instruction to you about how to play both of these wonderful instruments. And there are CDs, too. For more information about current products, click here. Go out there and sound good!