Faculty & Staff
Traditional American and Celtic Folk Music and Dance
A sterling example of how traditional music is alive. -- Rich Warren, The Midnight Special & Folkstage, Chicago, IL
The legacy of Aubrey Atwater is truly remarkable. I don't think one can sit in her workshop and not be touched by her presence. --New Mexico Dulcimer Festival participant Kay Peterson, Quemado, NM
Aubrey Atwater Bio
From Warren, RI, award-winning musician, singer, dancer, writer, teacher and public radio commentator, Aubrey Atwater presents captivating programs of folk music, dance, and narration. Aubrey has performed throughout the United States and beyond, singing and playing mountain dulcimer, banjo, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and whistle, and thrilling audiences with her highly percussive freestyle clogging. In a scholarly, yet humorous way, Aubrey conveys the heritage behind traditional folk music and dance, showing deep passion and understanding of folk history and key players.
Aubrey is particularly well-known as a mountain dulcimer player and teacher. She teaches a wide variety of unique workshops and uses over twenty tunings, playing styles that are both deeply traditional as well as modern and innovative. She counts long-time friend and mentor Jean Ritchie (1922-2015) as a great influence in her musical and personal life. Also, part of the acclaimed duo, Atwater-Donnelly, Aubrey and her husband Elwood Donnelly have fourteen recordings and nine books to their credit.
Thomasina Levy Bio
Molecular Dulcimer & Recombinant Folk Music
"Dulcimer playing which is both highly rhythmic and precisely melodic. Leo reaches his audience with stories, songs and good humor." Kent State Folk Festival
"Just wanted to say again how much I enjoyed the class. You were truly inspiring both as a musician and a teacher." Darcy Orr, NC (one of those many NC dulci-weeks)
Leo Kretzner Bio
Grew up in Detroit, listening to his Viennese father's classical zither recordings and his West Virginia mother's Nat King Cole discs.
Began playing drums, then guitar and later mountain dulcimer - since 1975, but first seen in 1968 played by Brian Jones and friends (Rolling Stones). Learned dulcimer from Margaret MacArthur of VT, with early influences from Jerry Rockwell, Lorraine Lee, Ron Ewing, and a raft of old timey banjo players. Played and taught at dozens of festivals and released four albums from 1977 to 1990. Remained active in playing locally (Seattle and California) while doing research in and teaching biology.
A new album is out in December '22: Mixed Colors - Art of the Four String Dulcimer.
Pioneering Contemporary Music on Mountain Dulcimer
Somewhere Over the Rainbow Rob Brereton and Patrick Crouch.
Rob Brereton Bio
Rob Brereton is considered one of the pioneers in contemporary mountain dulcimer playing. His years of studying classical guitar have polished his playing style while his degree in music theory and composition has given him a fresh approach to arranging.
Rob was one of the first dulcimer players to arrange extensively in chromatic and other alternate tunings. Although he specializes in the standards and early jazz tunes of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, and the like, Rob is equally adept at playing the more traditional celtic, Appalachian, old time, and other dulcimer repertoire.
Rob has taught all levels of dulcimer at most major music festivals and folk schools across the country as well as internationally. He has won several awards for his playing including a coveted Winfield National flatpicking award. Rob was one of the organizers of the Housatonic Dulcimer Celebration and continues to organize the occasional Dulcimer Cruise. He has been playing dulcimer for over 30 years and has been an internationally recognized performer and instructor since his first CD was released in 1992. David Schnaufer called Rob's playing "...strong and innovative."
Rob's music is featured on his recording, Someone to Watch Over Me available for download on iTunes, CD Baby, and most other music download sites.
In addition, Rob teaches K-6 music and has many private students. He also composes, arranges, and he directs several choirs near his home in CT. If you're interested in Rob teaching privately or at a venue, feel free to contact him.
Much to his friends' dismay, he also yodels. Please don't hold this against him.https://robertbrereton.com/someone-to-watch-over-me
Traditional Folk and Original Music
“I wanted to express my appreciation again for your workshops at Wallowa. I really enjoyed working with you, and am looking forward to getting a 4 equal distant dulcimer and playing your arrangements in your book, and from your workshop.” - Kay, Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas, 2019
“This class has been amazing......and I thank you SO much for taking the time to do the videos and for being such a really excellent teacher.” - Alex QDF # 8
Sue Carpenter Bio
New Frontiers in Dulcimer Playing
"You killed it man. I'm in awe. You have the ability to reach new frontiers" - Participant in the Chromatic Mountain Dulcimer Summit
"Grant Olson was wonderful. He is progressing well as an instructor and was open to any comments / suggestions that came up during his session. I will certainly sign up for a workshop with Grant at Nutmeg." - Participant in Nutmeg Dulcimer Club session, August 2021
Grant Olson Bio
Erin Mae Lewis
Festival Technical Support
" Technology is our friend!"
Erin Mae will be available throughout the day to provide technical support.
Erin Mae Lewis Bio
Festival Technical Support
" Technology is our friend!"
Steve will be available throughout the day to provide technical support.
Steve Eulberg Bio
Sign up to know more:
This day is designed to be an interactive experience with a dedicated opportunity for players to interact with each other and share the music and styles they've been exploring in 4 Equidistant string dulcimers.