Resonate150: Melodic percussion that strikes a chord with your soul
Music of the marimba, hammered dulcimer, and percussion
Doug and Sarah Haag are a married couple from Fortville Indiana who studied percussion in college. Neither pursued a career in the music field but recently went through a musical rebirth when Sarah started playing marimba again, 12 years after leaving it at college. Just one year later they added hammered dulcimer to their line up and now offer a range of cover tunes, modern classical works, movie themes, and even some hymns. Doug is a master on cajon and percussion, and Sarah is a 2018 Hit Like A Girl Contest Winner and a top 5 finalist in this year's National Hammer Dulcimer Championship. Playing at venues like the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Rhythm! Discovery Center, and various art walks and festivals, Resonate150 is out to surprise and inspire audiences with rich unique sounds of tuned wood,strings, and acoustic percussion!
Merriam-Webster defines "resonate" this way: to continue to produce a loud, clear, deep sound for a long time; to have particular meaning or importance for someone; to affect or appeal to someone in a personal or emotional way. This is the heart of Resonate150 - producing a sound that strikes a chord with the soul and inspires action. Some need peace and others need a driving force to fuel their day. Providing a little of each, Resonate150 leaves listeners ready to pick up their dreams and go after it!
In order to avoid confusion with other entities using the name "Resonate" the duo decided to add a number at the end of the name: a reference to Psalm 150 (a common rally cry for musicians who follow Christ). While their music is not intended for an exclusively Christian audience, the couple felt that Psalm 150 captured the heart of why they are passionate about music.
Percussionists at neighboring schools, Doug and Sarah met at a music competition (ISSMA Solo & Ensemble). They both attended Ball State University with majors in music education & performance. While both went through the same program and played many of the same instruments and works, Doug had a love for drum set and hand drums while Sarah gravitated towards keyboard instruments such as marimba. One shared passion was snare drum in marching band.
In 2004 Sarah graduated and no longer had access to marimba - that part of her music was left in the past and essentially forgotten. After getting married they spent the next decade focused on careers: Sarah worked for a premier mutual fund company as a service rep and later business analyst. Doug spent time in several roles including radio personality / event coordinator, barista, and insurance agent. He currently works as a supervisor for a respected insurance company. Meanwhile, the couple engaged in music through their church worship team with Doug playing drum set and Sarah on bass guitar. In 2013 they welcomed a son, and Sarah made the leap to be a stay at home mom right before Christmas 2014.
AN EPIC YEAR AND A NEW START
In January 2016 Sarah’s parents told her about a marimba being auctioned at an estate sale on the local 4-H fairgrounds. Skeptical, they went to check it out at a public preview and quickly realized it was a rare treasure available in their backyard! With less than 24 hours before the sale they prayed and discussed options with family. With a strategy in place, Sarah's dad handled the bidding and won. A part of Sarah's past was literally resurrected!
2016 overflowed with events and people that inspired them to take music to the next level even with a family and career. As it turned out, they had multiple connections to the marimba's previous owner: a fiesty go-getter named Judy. Back in the late 80s / early 90s she went to the same church where Doug grew up (and later married Sarah). Judy was inspired to start playing at roughly 60 years of age after hearing a Hungarian cousin of the hammered dulcimer - she settled on marimba after not being able to find a hammered dulcimer. Ironically, she studied under Jeffrey Nearpass, the same teacher that both Doug and Sarah had during high school (probably just after Judy studied with him). After learning this Sarah, Judy, and Jeff all met at his home studio - a gathering nearly 30 years in the making!
Doug and Sarah spent most of 2016 working through recovery from a near-tragic accident in the family and an illness that left Doug in bed for 2 months. They were just picking up the sticks and mallets again when they saw (along with millions of other people) a video that went viral on Facebook of a hammered dulcimer player from Goshen Indiana named Ted Yoder. Just like Judy was inspired long ago by a cousin instrument, Sarah was also inspired and ended up meeting both Ted and his wife Donna at a music festival about a week later. This couple exposed the lie that it's impossible to be successful musicians while having a great marriage and raising a family. Both families have since become friends and if Ted performs anywhere close to Indianapolis the Haags are in attendance!
Sarah thought at the beginning of 2016 that marimba would be her sole focus (especially considering the investment). However, that unexpectedly changed in late July 2017 when one of her aunts revealed that she had a Master Works hammered dulcimer sitting in her closet and offered to let Sarah borrow and play it, then teach her. Within a couple months Sarah fell in love with the sound and had to have one of her own. She picked it up on January 22, 2018 - almost 2 years to the day of when she brought home the marimba! (1/23/16).
Already being friends with a former national champion, Sarah started the journey of playing hammered dulcimer at a competitive level. She quickly added the instrument to public performances and recently competed in the National Hammer Dulcimer Championship during the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. After barely a year of playing she placed in the top 5. Watch for her in the coming months and years to be at other hammered dulcimer related events!