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We are so pleased to have these outstanding instructors with us for our 45th year! You can get to know them a little with the information on this page that they have provided for us.



David and Annette Lindsey : David first discovered the hammered dulcimer in June of 1978 while vacationing at Silver Dollar City, Missouri. Later that summer he bought a dulcimer kit, put it together, and taught himself to play. Right away David realized he was looking for a different sound than the kit had, so in November of that year he built his first dulcimer from scratch. Meanwhile, Annette became interested in the mountain dulcimer when visiting Mr. View, Arkansas, when she and David discovered the Ozark Folk Center in April of 1979. After purchasing a mountain dulcimer, David and Annette helped found the Sweet Song String Band, a group that is still active today. While playing in those early days, audience members began to ask where they could purchase a hammered dulcimer, and join the growing community of players for themselves. Once they learned that David had built his own dulcimer he was asked to make dulcimers for them – and David’s Dulcimers was born. David and Annette travel all over the United States performing, instructing, and selling David’s Dulcimers. They are privileged at times to get to perform with their daughters, Angie and Cara. Cara is continuing David’s love for playing the hammered dulcimer as well as learning the trade of making them. She has been working with David in the shop and building dulcimers with him since 2004. The family enjoys playing and singing old-time and gospel songs, and all are very involved in the Red River Valley Dulcimer Club and sponsoring Winter Creek Reunion, held every year in October at the home of David’s Dulcimers in Bennington, Oklahoma. Their favorite thing to do is to help others find the love for the music that changed their lives so completely that day back in 1978. www.DavidsDulcimers.com  

Mark Wade  is an avid hammered dulcimer performer, composer, and teacher.  A National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, he can be heard on more than a dozen recordings and is a columnist for the Dulcimer Players News journal. An active private teacher, Mark's students include the 2004, 2007, and 2012 National Hammered Dulcimer Champions. Mark has also published four instructional books with Mel Bey, Inc.  When Mark was a student, his trumpet playing was his gateway into music schools, since the American dulcimer was not a standard conservatory instrument. His exceptional trumpeting allowed him to expand his musical limits throughout academia, which culminated in his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Trumpet Performance from The Ohio State University. All the while, the formal training of his trumpet studies was being absorbed into his dulcimer playing.  This is the very essence of Mark's unique style - a blend of traditional dulcimer playing with his formal classical training.  Mark is proud to have served the dulcimer community as the only professor in the U.S. offering dulcimer lessons for academic credit.  Mark was invited lecturer and performer at the 2013 Cimbalom World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan.  In addition he has toured Austria, Slovakia and Hungary as principal trumpet of the Classical Music Festival Orchestra and Brass Quintet of Eisenstadt, Austria. He has performed for audiences of notables including: Presidents George Bush, Sr. and Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and former U.S Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen.  Wade has also performed with the Beach Boys  and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Benedict College Community Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra. Mark and his wife, Cristina, live in Akron, OH with their two sons.  He has published six instructional books for the hammered dulcimer, 7 CDs, as well as various arrangements of classical pieces in sheet music.  He was the headliner at the 2012 Coshocton Dulcimer Days Festival. More information can be found at: www.markalanwade.com or "friend" him on facebook.com.

Wendy Songe
Wendy, endorsing artist for Folkcraft Instruments, is a highly sought after instructor and performer, and a popular sight at music festivals and community events across the USA.  She is the 2018 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion, 2012 Texas State MD Champion, and 2012 Southern Regional MD Champion.  In 2018 Wendy was awarded the SDC Branson, MO "Dream Big, Do Good Community Action Hero" award and was named "Tulsa People" by the Tulsa People Magazine, Feb. 2019, for  her accomplishments in music and her numerous contributions to the community through her music outreach programs for veterans, seniors, disadvantaged children and people with disabilities.  When she isn't traveling Wendy keeps busy with private lessons and managing her passion projects:  The Sisterhood of Song Women's Retreat and Mobile Outreach Music Missions.
Wendy's eclectic musical style and diverse genres encompass the piano, guitar, ukulele, Bodhran, voice and MD and is frequently featured in magazines, podcasts, radio and television broadcasts. She has  released two albums to date.

Bill Schilling has been singing and playing various folk instruments for over 40 years. He has performed for audiences of all ages in many settings from coast to coast. His high-energy performances may include folk songs, slide programs, and/or stories selected specifically for your group. His performances often involve members of your group. Bill regularly performs and records with other artists including Linda Sigismondi. Since Bill believes that his music should be inclusive, he is involved in many groups which share music including leading Dulci-More: Folk & Traditional Musicians. He has been the director of Dulci-More Festival since it began, and the twenty-first one will be on Memorial Day weekend in Lisbon, Ohio. Bill plays 6 and 12 string guitars, autoharp, octave mandolin, hammered and mountain dulcimers, 6 and 12 string banjo guitars, National steel guitar, mandolin, ukuleles, bowed psaltery, recorders, electric wind instrument, harmonicas, bazooka, jug, and an assortment of inexpensive or homemade instruments. Bill is also a charter executive committee member and past president of Folknet: the Northeast Ohio Folk and Traditional Music and Dance Society, leader of the Dulcimer Society of Trumbull County, an original member of the Canton Folk Song Society, and Music Coordinator of Folk Music at Weatherbury Farm.  www.billschilling.org 

Sharon Kirby is a bowed psaltery player and co-owner of Spring Creek Psalteries, along with her husband, Terry Kirby.  She has performed at Dulcimer Days, the Apple Butter Stirrin' festival, Roscoe Village's Christmas Candle Lighting festivities, and at the Symphony held at Tamarack in West Virginia.  She also enjoys entertaining at local nursing homes in her home town of Massillon, Ohio.  www.springcreekpsalteries.com 

Jason Fawks  
​Jason's love of music began at an early age learning piano. A solo pianist and multi-instrumentalist, he loves using his musical gifts and talents to bless others.  He plays piano regularly on Saturday nights at the Amish Door Restaurant in Wilmot, OH.  Jason is also available to teach private piano, harp, guitar, and mountain dulcimer lessons from his home studio and onsite at your home in the Holmes  County, Ohio area.  He enjoys many styles of music including hymns and gospel, Celtic, classical, light jazz (Charlie Brown), standards, etc. and also plays a variety of other instruments including the harps that he build, classical guitar, ukulele, Irish whistle, recorder, accordion, lap dulcimer, autoharp, and harmonica.  Jason specializes in playing for venues/special events that need peaceful background/dinner music and is available for performing a concert at churches, businesses, retirement homes, coffee houses,etc.  His wife and daughters are also available to do concerts as a family where they sing together and share testimonies of God's faithfulness.  They are known as the "Fawks Family Minstrels." Jason has a CD available that he recorded of traditional hymns he arranged., called "Hymns on a Steinway".  Jason see music as a universal language, a gift from God, which has the ability to touch people like few things can.  www.jasonfawks.com

​Jim Miller                    

Jim plays Irish and Old-Time music on Irish & modern flute, whistle, and recorder, and is active in a number of sessions in Northeast Ohio.  He has performed and presented workshops for whistle, flute and other instruments at Central Ohio, Mohican Appalachian Festival, Coshocton Dulcimer Days, Dulci-More Festival, Music Along the River, and other festivals in Ohio.

Tish Westman

Tish is one of three full-time resident studio artisans at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia which is an art center showcasing "The Best of West Virginia", Arts and Crafts from across the state.  Along with being a woodworker and Luthier she also is a singer/songwriter, musician and teacher of many stringed instruments.  She plays bowed psaltery, ukulele, clawhammer banjo, autoharp and has won several awards on mountain dulcimer.  She also organizes an annual Bowed Psaltery Symphony which is going into its 11th season which brings in over 50 musicians from all over the country.  Tish has CDs recorded with "Psaltrio" and many song books.  She has performed on Mountain Stage and many other music venues including our local Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, WV.  Her passion is teaching people to play music, fiber arts and gardening.  

 Instructors Bios

June 14-16, 2019

Aaron O'Rourke
Aaron began teaching and performing on the mountain dulcimer at the age of 16.  In a short period of time, Aaron became one of the headlining names at dulcimer caps and traditional music events across the U.S., including Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp, WCU's Dulcimer Week, Augusta Heritage Center's Traditional Music Week, Kentucky Music Week, The Florida Folk Festival, and more.

In 2010, Aaron won the National Mountain Dulcimer Competition held at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS.  He is also a past winner in the Florida Old-Time Music Competition and the Southeastern Regional Dulcimer Contest in Mountain View, AR. 

Aaron has released three solo albums and two albums as front man of the Aaron O'Rourke Trio.  His latest recording, appropriately titled "Unaccompanied" features all solo tracks on mountain dulcimer, banjammer (a banjo/dulcimer hybrid), and fingerstyle guitar.  The album pulls heavily from influences in classical, jazz and traditional fiddle tunes, while at the same time making forays into the raw energy reminiscent of Aaron's early days in a punk band! 
Joe Collins
Joe fell in love with the mountain dulcimer back in 1978.  At the time he was doing occasional coffeehouses as a college student in eastern North Carolina, and a good friend thought that he might be interested in tackling another instrument besides the guitar.  He took her little instrument home, and she did not get it back for three years!  Today he plays a lot less guitar and a lot more dulcimer than in those early days.After competing in a number of competitions and winning several regional competitions over a ten-year period, he won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2007.  Over the past twenty years, he has had the opportunity to teach and play in festivals from California to the east coast, from Florida to Vermont, and a lot of places in between.  A folk musician and mountain dulcimer player since the late 70's, Joe combines mountain dulcimer wizardry with good, solid vocals.  He is a songwriter and vocalist, inspired by artists like Simon&Garfunkle, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson.  But as he grows older and pudgier, he realizes that perhaps the most profound influence on his musical bent was the old Burl Ives records he listened to over and over again as a kid.  His performances are sprinkled with a lot of humor and some excellent mountain dulcimer playing - sure to bring a smile to audiences of all ages.  
Joe graduated from East Carolina University with Bachelor and Masters degrees in English, from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity with Religious Education, and from NC State University with a Doctorate in Adult Education.  He has worked in Religious Education for most of his professional career and is an associate professor of religion at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC.  And, of course, he continues to write songs and accept as many opportunities to teach and perform as he can!
David Mahler 
Davida Lynchburg, Virginia based musician, began playing the hammered dulcimer at the age of ten.  Four years later, in 2004, he competed and won the title of US National Champion (setting the record for the youngest contestant to ever win).  David is quite versatile on the dulcimer, playing and teaching various genres from American folk, Celtic, Contemporary, to even Classical.  He has recorded with Folk, Country, Rock, Indie, pop, and even a metal band.  He is part of an American-Chinese-Jazz-Folk-Fusion group called, "Silk Cedar", with whom he has toured music halls throughout China, and in the US.  He also plays with a folk duo call "Hickory Cathedral", with cellist and multi-instrumentalist, Paul Friesen-Carper.  Aside from producing several albums of original content, he has put out one instructional dulcimer book.  Each of his instrumental recordings have within them refreshing, heart-opening melodies which reveal different seasons he has had with the hammered dulcimer.  Always, he remains open to ideas and opportunities that incorporate the hammered dulcimer into new avenues of music and the arts.