We are so pleased to have these outstanding instructors with us for our 44th year! You can get to know them a little with the information on this page that they have provided for us.
Bing Futch: You never know what's gonna happen next as at Bing Futch show. Using Appalachian mountain dulcimer, Native American flute, ukulele, drums and electronic effects, he deftly navigates the varied waters of tradition and modern Americana with passion, wit and a genuinely huge heart for sharing music with a crowd. As a nationally touring performer he's headlined at such events as the Florida Folk Festival, Old Songs Festival, The Big Muddy, Kentucky Music Weekend, Common Ground on the Hill, and The Walnut Valley Festival.
In 2016 Bing competed in the International Blues Challenge in Menphis, TN, advancing all the way to the finals and was give the award for "Best Guitarist" in the solo-duo category, despite competing solely on the mountain dulcimer. He can often be found teaching music workshops at various festivals and colleges, presenting music education programs at schools and libraries and producing episodes of his video podcast "Dulcimerica" which has been viewed by over a million people worldwide and is currently in its 11th year.
While traveling over 30,000 miles annually, Futch's home away from home is a 26 foot long Fleetwood Tioga Ranger that has been dubbed "Imua". While off the road, he lives in Orlando, FL with his wife, Jae, and a menagerie of critters.
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. 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
Country Sunrise Special has been joyfully making music for more than 25 years. They have evolved from their early beginnings as The Nicholas Family some 60+ years ago. They were honored to represent both Ohio and West Virginia at the International Folklife Festivals held in Washington, D.C. in the early and mid 1970’s. Recordings of their music are included in the history files of America at the Smithsonian Institute. They have been fortunate to share the stage with Boxcar Willie, Country Gentlemen, Stoneman Family, Lewis Family, Johnny Paycheck, Larkin Family, Dan Seals, and others. They offer tight mixed vocal harmonies and strong acoustic instrumentation. Look for them playing in the village!
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
Gary became interested in the mountain dulcimer in 1991 after seeing David Schnaufer's "Fischer's Hornpipe" video. He has been building and playing dulcimers since that time. Gary's mountain dulcimers bear the name "Prussia Valley" and are known for fine craftsmanship, pleasant tone and great sustain. Gary began teaching mountain dulcimer in 1995 at various mid-west festivals. Gary, along with wife Toni playing autoharp, released their first CD in 2006 titled "Rats in The Fence Corner" which features an eclectic mix of fiddle, country, contemporary and Irish tunes. Gary can also be heard on Doug Felt's recording "A Little Of This, A Little OF That". Being one of the instructor/performers of the First Annual Key West Dulcimer Festival in 2010, Gary also has a selection on the Key West Dulcimer Festival CD. Several years ago Gary authored his first tablature book for mountain dulcimer entitles "Other Tunes for Appalachian Dulcimer". In 2001, Gary, along with wife Toni, opened the "Prussia Valley Dulcimers Music Shop" in Waverly, Ohio. From there, they supply instruments, recordings and instructional material to folk musicians throughout the US and the world. firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric is enjoying his retirement after 40 years of teaching orchestra and band in southeastern Indiana. Eric is a bass specialist who performs regularly on string bass (Classical, Jazz, & Bluegrass), tuba, and bass guitar. Eric is also an accomplished hammered dulcimer player.
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
Danny and Dottie Shepherd
Danny has been a performing musician for over 45 years. During his early years as a drummer he joined the band at school and played in local rock bands. While attending Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN he received his draft notice and enlisted in the US Army. As a military musician he taught percussion at the Armed Forces School of Music, while also performing across the US, Central and South America, and also served as the Enlisted Bandleader with the 79th Army Band, Ft. Clayton, Panama. After retirement he completed a BA in Music Education and began teaching K-5 music in Clarksville, TN for 18 years. After attending KMW in 2007 he began teaching the mountain dulcimer to his 4th and 5th grade students which led to his writing the "Mountain Dulcimer for Children" teaching method and other music instruction books.
Dottie has been a performing musician for over 40 years. From her early 20's she participated in music ministry team and led worship for seventeen years while living on the Panama Canal. She performed original songs in church and became a well-known inspirational speaker and vocalist for a variety of Latin-American organizations. She recorded her original composition on a contemporary Christian album "For You"in English and Spanish and later appeared on television in the US and Canada. In her local community she was well-known for performing in a country western band; a vocal trio and on-stage in numerous theatrical productions. After 20 years on the Panama Canal, she married Danny in 1994 and relocated to Hopkinsville, KY.
Danny and Dottie have performed together ever since - on their church praise team, for local community events, and at numerous dulcimer festivals (Arts Council International Festival, Bluegrass Creek Dulcimer Festival, Derby Day Festival, Gateway Dulcimer Festival, Heartland Dulcimer Festival, Henderson Dulcimer Festival, Homer Ledford Festival, Kentucky Music Educators State Conferences, Kentucky Music Week, Lee County Gathering, Ohio Valley Gathering, Red Hill Dulcimer Festival, and Yellowbanks Dulcimer Festival).