Stephen Seifert's teaching and playing has made him a favorite with dulcimer players all over the country since 1991. In that time, he's been a featured performer at hundreds of dulcimer
festivals and other music events including Kentucky Music Week, Black Mountain Music Festival, Augusta Heritage Center, John C. Campbell Folk School, Ozark Folk Center, Walnut Valley Festival in
Winfield KS, Nonsuch in England, and the Tono American Music Festival, in Tono, Japan.
Stephen was dulcimer soloist with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and was featured on their Warner Classical recording of Conni Ellisor and David Schnaufer's Blackberry Winter, a concerto for mountain dulcimer and string orchestra. The piece continues to be in regular rotation on many classical stations around the U.S. (The recording album is titled "Conversations in Silence" and can be sampled and purchased on iTunes.) Stephen has performed this piece with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony, and many others. Conni wrote Stephen a second piece for dulcimer and full orchestra. Mark Steighner has also written two pieces for Stephen and full orchestra.
Stephen was Adjunct Instructor of Mountain Dulcimer with David Schnaufer at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music from 1997 to 2001. He also taught, performed, and recorded with David as a duo throughout the country.
Most recently he's been one of the five coordinators of online QuaranTUNE Dulcimer Festival. Stephen has authored ten books, four CDs, and hundreds of instructional videos
Stephen Seifert website
Stephen Humphries workshops (HD)
Stephen Humphries is the 2007 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, a full-time music educator, freelance percussionist, and composer. Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he teaches percussion and
instrumental music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels at the Silverdale Baptist Academy. In addition, he is an adjunct professor of music at Covenant College and teaches percussion
and hammered dulcimer privately. Interspersed with all that, he performs and teaches at dulcimer and folk festivals around the country. His concert performance at Nutmeg 2014 showed his mastery
of genres ranging from Bach to rock, as well as sacred music, fiddle tunes, and his original work.
Stephen has five recordings on hammered dulcimer to date: By the Pond, Landrum & Humphries (in collaboration with Dan Landrum), Let Earth Receive Her King, Hosegrass (a bluegrass/rock fusion band), and most recently Tales from the Kingdom: A Bedtime Story for Children of All Ages. His recordings, articles, and transcriptions have been featured in Dulcimer Players News, Mel Bay’s DulcimerSessions.com, and the lesson website DulcimerSchool.com. Additionally, Stephen has written two method books entitled Two Hands, One Mind: A Method for Hand Interdependence on Hammered Dulcimer and A Rudimental Approach to the Hammered Dulcimer, Vol. 1.
Stephen Humphries website
Carolyn Brodginski was a quick study when she finally got her hands on a mountain dulcimer after four decades playing guitar. The sweet sound, and many voices of the dulcimer opened a new musical world and opportunities. It wasn’t long before the dulcimer was integrated into the sound of her band, and she began teaching privately, at festivals, and at St. Francis Hospital where she worked as a therapeutic musician from 2015 until Covid hit in March of 2020. Since 2020, she has been a regular song leader, and two-time mystery guest in Pat Clark’s weekly “Send In The Music” jam. During the pandemic, she also learned to play the Celtic harp. An award-winning singer/songwriter, four of her original songs have been featured in the music sampler of Dulcimer Players News, including her latest song, “Sherry’s Diamonds,” a harp/dulcimer duet, which was in the August 2022 edition.
Cliff Cole fell in love with the hammered dulcimer at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 1985 and he’s been hammering on ever since. He started off as a drummer playing rock, jazz, and blues, and
then carried that musical experience and sense of rhythm over to the hammered dulcimer and folk music. Rounding out his musical expression, Cliff studies acoustic guitar, plays the blues harp,
and enjoys singing.
He has taught workshops at many dulcimer and folk music festivals, including Nutmeg, the Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering, Pocono Dulcimer Festival, and French Creek Retreat.
Cliff performs as a member of Tachyonmetry, DayBreak, and the Dulcimer Boys. As a recording artist, his music can be found on Spotify and other music streaming platforms. He is a member of the Nutmeg Team.
Sam Edelston is on a quest to bring dulcimers into widespread public awareness. Though he's best known for his arrangements of many kinds of popular music on acoustic and electric mountain dulcimer, he has also been playing diverse music on hammered dulcimer for more than 30 years. (He's teaching hammered dulcimer at Nutmeg this year.) He loves his chromatic bass bridge on his hammered dulcimer as much as he loves the "half" frets on his mountain dulcimers.
Sam has performed and taught at festivals as far away as Kentucky, Minnesota, Louisiana, Colorado, and many online festivals, and his YouTube videos have been heard more than 1,000,000 times, in more than 190 countries. He also plays guitar and banjo, and is chair of this festival. Sam's first CD will be released this fall.
Judy, with her husband, Kirk, are the founders of the Camel City Strummers Dulcimer Club and the Triad Dulcimer Orchestra, both of which are in Winston-Salem, NC. In early 2021, they founded the First National Dulcimer Orchestra, which meets weekly over Zoom and performs at festivals by invitation. They are the directors of the Winston-Salem Dulcimer Festival which is held the first Saturday in May in Winston-Salem, and The Orchestra Symposium, which is held the last week of May in the beautiful mountains of NC.
Judy’s passion for the dulcimer has led to her teaching at festivals around the country and presenting at conferences and universities concerning the Mountain Dulcimer. She also enjoys working with those interested in becoming effective teachers of the mountain dulcimer and other folk instruments. Judy has written 9 dulcimer music books, with more on the way! She lives in Winston-Salem, NC
Kirk House has been playing the dulcimer for 15+ years; for the last ten years he has specialized in the bass dulcimer. He is a certificated dulcimer teacher, through Western Carolina University (Dulcimer U program). Kirk plays several different styles and designs of bass dulcimer, including 3-string, 4-string, and double-bass. He performs as part of a duo with his wife Judy House, as well as a member of the quartet string section, "SASSy" and the multi-instrument quartet "PDQ." He recently helped found the First National (virtual) Dulcimer Orchestra, and directed the first “Orchestra only” dulcimer festival, the Orchestra Symposium. He regularly volunteers at the local Hospice, where he visits patients and plays gentle dulcimer music for them.
Other musical interests of Kirk's include mandolin, bowed dulcimer, ukulele, and shape-note singing. After teaching online at Nutmeg in 2021, Kirk is delighted make his first in-person appearance here.
Tom Irving is a dulcimer player and an innovator, always looking for better ways to do things. He is the creator of Possum Pads, as well as ergonomic noters and wrist rests for dulcimer players. Based in Massachusetts, where he is the leader of the New England Dulcimaniacs, Tom is a member of the Nutmeg Team.
Ron & Dawn Jordan
Ron and Dawn Jordan are Wolf Hill Woodworking, located near Albany, NY. One year, when they were vending at the Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music & Dance in upstate New York, their booth was across from a hammered dulcimer builder, and they learned to love both the music of hammered dulcimers and the people who made and sold them. Ron took up the hammered dulcimer, and his favorite hammers were made by renowned hammer craftsman Bob Bedard. Bob taught Ron his techniques, and eventually when Bob retired in 2021, Wolf Hill took over making Bob Bedard hammers. They also make playing stands and accessories for hammered and mountain dulcimers, and more.
Marya Katz is a retired National Board Certified music teacher who still lives and breathes music in her daily life. She has led dulcimer workshops at many festivals, teaches private students, composes, and performs with the folk group Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge. She recently taught a week-long workshop at Perelandra in NC; she will be teaching there again in June 2019. And somehow, she still finds time to direct the choir at her church and pull weeds from her gardens at home in Blacksburg, VA. She has had her original compositions published in Dulcimer Players News and online for the dulcimersessions.com magazine, and has published several books of traditional arrangements and original compositions. Her newest venture is a book of "practical" theory for hammered dulcimer players, titled "Building a House of Basics."
Don Kawalek has been passionately building stringed musical instruments since 1976. He makes banjos, guitars, mountain dulcimers, hammered dulcimers, and a variety of mandolins in his studio (a/k/a his sanctuary) in Bunker Hill WV. In a former life, he was a schoolteacher. This is his first time at Nutmeg.
Jody Marshall, a native of the Washington, D.C. area, grew up in a musical family. Enchanted by the sound and visual appeal of the hammered dulcimer, she developed a passion for the instrument and was soon playing everything from traditional jigs and reels to Mozart, the Beatles, and beyond. Her performance credits include the White House, the Kennedy Center, and Wolf Trap’s Filene Center for the Performing Arts.
Jody was a founding member of the popular folk trios, Ironweed and MoonFire, and also performed extensively with the award-winning ensemble, Connemara. She is also a popular dulcimer teacher, and has been on the faculty of many festivals and arts workshops across the nation and overseas.
The Washington Post describes Jody’s music as “lovely, lively, and shimmering.” She has several recordings to her credit, and is also the author of a book of Christmas music for the hammered dulcimer, as well as two books featuring dulcimer duets.
Ellen Pratt has been playing the dulcimer since 1999 and composing original music for most of that time. She enjoys both the quieter chord melody style using fingerpicking and the hard, fast
strumming of old-time music and jam tunes. Her most recent focus is arranging classical pieces and original tunes for ensembles, and she has published eight books of Ensemble Arrangements for
Mountain Dulcimer with a few more in the works.
Ellen is a member and ensemble book contributor for the First National Dulcimer Orchestra, she teaches at dulcimer festivals across the Northeast, and she co-coordinates the August Dulcimer Daze in Vermont. When not playing music, Ellen is an elementary school teacher, and she also teaches dulcimer classes to 3rd and 4th graders after school.
Nate Pultorak got hooked on hammered dulcimers at an early age, and got deeply enough into it to win the 2019 National Hammered Dulcimer Championship. His palette ranges from bluegrass and folk, to classical, to pop, classic and progressive rock, and his cinematic songwriting style. He seeks to push the boundaries of what the dulcimer can do by incorporating looping, tapping, plucking, and capturing multiple notes with one hammer. Nate lives in the northern reaches of New York State.
Carol Walker is a happily retired high school choral teacher (recipient of the NJ Governor's Teacher of the Year Award in 2003), and performs on mountain dulcimer, piano, harp, melodica, and upright bass. In 2022 she formed the New York Dulcimer Orchestra, based in the Lower Hudson River Valley. This 20-member ensemble enjoys presenting performances at libraries and retirement communities in NY and NJ. Carol's folkloric research single-handedly brought traditional music of the Isle of Man to the mountain dulcimer, leading to a CD of Manx tunes, "Alas, the Horse Is Gone," as well as two books of "Tailless Tunes." Carol's instructional works include the three "DNA* Dulcimer Ditties" book/CD sets, as well as DVD on the Homespun label. Carol published her 10th and 11th dulcimer tab books in 2023, and expects to release Volume Two of her Winnie-the-Pooh Songbooks Series in early 2024.
Dwain Wilder, founder of Bear Meadow Folk Instruments, has been building mountain dulcimers since 1991. He regularly gets orders from as far away as Europe, Great Britain, and the Far East. Dwain is also one of the few dulcimer builders who takes on apprentices and teaches them the craft. In addition to his instrument building, Dwain has also published poems in various periodicals and collections, and writes occasional essays on Zen practice.
Dwain will have his tools at Nutmeg. If you have a mountain dulcimer that needs work, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Norm Williams is co-founder of The Pocono Dulcimer Club, a coordinator of the Pocono DulcimerFest held each year in April in East Stroudsburg, PA; and co-founder of the Maiden Creek Old Time Music Festival held each July. He has taught at many festivals throughout the Northeast, and also works with individual students. In addition to mountain dulcimer Norm plays guitar, ukulele and banjo. Norm is a lover of Old Time music and performs solo and with the bands Wayfarers & Company, Tom & Betty Druckenmiller, and the Dulcimer Boys with Cliff Cole & Rob Yoder. He lives in Emmaus, PA.
Nina Zanetti is the 2008 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion. She comes to the mountain dulcimer from a diverse musical background, including choral music, violin, viola, piano, and shape note singing. She plays regularly at churches, historic sites, and community events and has taught at major dulcimer festivals throughout the country and online. Nina is especially fond of the “softer side of dulcimer” and has a strong interest in American folk hymns, Early Music, and ensemble playing. She has published ten books of tablature arrangements for mountain dulcimer. She is featured on Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer Play Music for Christmas (CD) and she has recorded a CD of solos and duets with Bill Collins, as well as two solo CDs, Beside Still Waters and Winter’s Light.
Dwain Wilder - Mountain dulcimers
Tom Irving - Possum Pads and other mountain dulcimer accessories
Don Kawalek - Mountain dulcimers and other instruments
Ron & Dawn Jordan - Hammers, HD and MD stands, and accessories