News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 23, 2008

EDITOR'S NOTE Sounding the bell for those who hear different drummer

Are there any bagpipers out there? If so, please take a deep breath and step forward.

How about folksy musicians who employ “front-porch” instruments to play or accompany their favorite tunes? Here’s a chance to come down from the porch and show off what you do and how you do it.

The Wabash Valley has an impressive corps of talented musicians. Whatever their chosen musical style or instrument, they each make a significant contribution to community culture.

We are fond of featuring musicians in the pages of the Tribune-Star, where you can often read about their exploits and see their photographic images. It’s common to see them pictured with their guitars, pianos, drums, or classical instruments such as violins, brass or woodwind instruments.

But it occurred to us recently that there is a whole world of exotic, off-beat musical instruments out there that rarely get heard from, talked about or featured on our pages. So we decided to do something about it.

A couple of weeks ago we began publishing an advertisement in the newspaper asking readers who own or play exotic instruments to contact us. We’d like to include them in an upcoming feature story.

We’ve receive a half-dozen responses so far with instruments ranging from the harp to the banjo. That’s a good start. But we suspect there are more out there.

Anyone own and play a mandolin? An accordion? And, of course, don’t forget the ever-popular bagpipes.

Percussion instruments would be fun to feature, items such as the bodhran (Irish drum), bongos, washboard or spoons.

And there is surely a whole orchestra of folk instruments around. Maybe a washtub bass? Alto recorder? Penny whistle? How about a juice harp? Or a harmonica?

If you have an instrument you think we might be interested in and would like to participate, please contact us. Mark Bennett, our feature writer/columnist, is working on the story. Send

Mark an e-mail at, or give him a call at (812) 231-4377.

• • •

Speaking of Mark Bennett …

Mark was recently named Feature Writer of the Year by CNHI, the Tribune-Star’s parent company. In addition to a substantial monetary award, he was presented an impressive wall plaque by the company.

CNHI’s annual contest is extremely competitive. It is open to all of its 98 daily newspapers and 100-plus weekly publications. The Tribune-Star competes against newspapers with paid circulations above 12,000. The T-S circulation is approximately 25,000.

The award represents outstanding recognition for Mark’s exemplary work on behalf of our readers. We’re proud of Mark’s accomplishment and congratulate him.

• • •

I have more awards news:

The Tribune-Star won five awards — four of them for first place — in the annual Indiana Associated Press Managing Editor’s Newswriting and Photojournalism Contest. The awards were announced last Saturday during the annual Indiana APME Awards Banquet in Indianapolis.

The awards went to:

• Stephanie Salter, first place, editorial writing.

• Stephanie also won first place in the feature series category for three columns she wrote about changes in the Amber Alert system in wake of the kidnap and killing of a Terre Haute boy.

• Chad Steenerson, first place, headline writing.

• Joseph C. Garza, first place, sports photography.

• Joe also won third place in the multiple picture group category of the photo contest.

Hearty congratulations to Stephanie, Chad and Joe.

Jones can be reached at (812) 231-4336, or by e-mail at