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!