Meet Maria Petersen, from Omaha, Nebraska. She was raised in the same Bavarian village as I and got me into country music. Here Maria is performing Amazing Grace with friend Jeff Osthus minding the saw. The zither has a keyboard of strings for melody and accompanying chords. Maria has performed often at the German American Club in Omaha, for many social groups, and at Bob Everhart’s annual country music festival. She plays Bavarian folk songs, country music, classical pieces and children’s songs. Maria founded a zither society and arranged a national convention of zither players in Omaha in 1999. She has released four CDs with her own recordings.

“My father was a carpenter, wheelwright, and passionate musician. So he decided to have a little house music with us children, my brother and I. Anderl, would soon give up on the zither. So father taught him the guitar. The zither also cut hard into my small fingers. But I practiced for hours at a time, because I wanted play it like my dad did. Well, my mother was very happy with me practicing too. She let me get off the chores when I was making music. She praised me consistently, even though all that practice might not have sounded so good. Here I am, still playing after all these years.” Amazing Grace on the zither!

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3 Responses to Country Music Bits: Amazing Grace on the Zither

  1. Maria Petersen (Leni) says:

    I enjoyed all the interesting great stories, and great pictures.
    Thanks for all you do and keep on writing, with such talent!

    • AnnElise says:

      Maria, you are my role model. You have kept the sounds of music alive. I have 30-year-old pictures to prove your enthusiasm. I am so happy that you are sharing your musical treasures.

  2. rita says:

    Music from the heart. So beautiful!

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