Cromer yodeler wows them in Branson

How perfect is it that a singer from the flat prairies of southwestern Manitoba has perfected a musical style from the Swiss Alps?

Dorothy Roach was recently recognized in the US for her yodeling prowess. Last month, she travelled to Branson, Missouri where she received the International Award for yodeling from the Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA).

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As Roach says, the “li’l nobody” from Cromer got the surprise of her life when they called her name.

Even though Roach’s mother Ethel Cullen used to yodel and the whole family was musical, Dorothy herself didn’t start yodeling seriously until she met Miriam Dreher at the CGMA convention in 2007.

“I was horsing around and yodeling in the [convention] parking lot. Miriam Dreher heard me, she came over and said, ‘Do you yodel?’ I said, ‘Not really’ and she said, ‘Well, you need to be!’”

From that point on, Dreher, an accomplished singer, yodeler and multiple CGMA award winner from Alberta, took Roach under her wing and began mentoring her. With two provinces separating them, she would teach Roach over the phone and Roach would practice by singing along with Dreher’s CDs.

She began incorporating yodeling into her regular performances with her band as they travelled around the region.

After the glamour and excitement of the convention and awards gala, Roach came home to Cromer where she works the farm with her husband Jack and works at a nursing home in Elkhorn.

Although her busy life keeps her happily rooted close to home, Roach says, “If I can touch somebody’s heart and make them happy with my singing… I’d go anywhere to yodel and sing.”

International Award-winning yodeler Dorothy Roach – coming soon to a stage near you!

© Virden Empire-Advance