Faculty & Staff

Aubrey Atwater

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

Original and Traditional Folk Music
I would just like to thank you for making everything so clear and easy to understand. It all makes sense now and has opened up a whole new world of dulcimer playing for me. I am grateful. - J. Brodie, Isle of Man, QDF #7
It is also rare to have classes for four-string playing. ... But It was so nice to attend a four-string class with really fun music and just play. ....Your class was one of the highlights for me this weekend. - Marcia Price QDF #6


Thomasina Levy Bio

Thomasina Levy, CT State Troubadour (05/06), is an award-winning songwriter, poet, and internationally recognized mountain dulcimer player whose performances weave together the best of traditional and contemporary folk music. She is a popular virtual workshop leader whose workshops frequently sell out. Her music has been aired in over twenty countries across the globe.
Described as a charismatic performer, she touches audiences with a simplicity, humanity, and strength drawn from the deep roots of the folk tradition. Parallel Universe, her latest full length album, was co-produced with Grammy winning cellist David Darling and is on the Hearts of Space Records label. This instrumental album received a Silver Medal from the Global Music Awards in December 2018, as well as the 2019 NAMA Award for Best Song of the Year. Her 2020 single, We are Thunder, We are Lightning, (https://youtu.be/5MqTPU36XG4) is a song/video that is a call to action to address the climate crisis looming over us all.

Leo Kretzner

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.

Rob Bereton

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.


Sue Carpenter

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 Carpenter2022

Sue Carpenter Bio

After years of playing piano and organ, Sue Carpenter bought her first mountain dulcimer in 1981 and was immediately captivated by its simplicity and challenged by its fingerpicking possibilities. Her innovative fingerpicking style has won her many awards including 2005 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS.
As a teacher, Sue is well known for her challenging, highly organized and intensive methods, nurturing patience, and energetic enthusiasm mixed with a healthy dose of fun. As an instrumentalist, she is best known for her expressive style and exceptional technical ability. She delights her audience and balances her repertoire with a wide range of styles and tempos: traditional, folk, original compositions, ragtime, fingerpicking, and strumming.
Born and raised in Quakertown, PA, Sue likes to think that her love for the mountain dulcimer was rooted in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country even before she knew about dulcimers or their German zither heritage. After years of playing piano and organ, Sue finally felt “at home” when she picked up a dulcimer for the first time, knowing that this was the instrument she had been unconsciously searching for all her life.
For more information, visit her website at: www.suecarpenter.net

Grant Olson

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 dulcimer pic-square

Grant Olson Bio

Grant is currently a junior at Cedarville University, from Andover, Minnesota, who has played the mountain dulcimer for nine years. He plays fiddle tunes, hymns, and arranges classical songs for chromatic mountain dulcimer. He enjoys composing his own tunes, and building his own dulcimers out of cardboard and styrofoam.
In 2019 he competed and won the mountain dulcimer championship at Winfield, using a cardboard dulcimer he made for 2 of the songs. Since then, he has continued writing and arranging, and built up a collection of youtube videos sharing his music.



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

Erin Mae is a freelance mountain dulcimer and folk music teacher who has taught at hundreds of dulcimer festivals and conferences around the world.

She has pioneered online mountain dulcimer instruction and helped numerous festivals pivot to online events during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additionally, Erin Mae teaches kids folk music workshops at schools and libraries, and organizes kids camps at bluegrass and folk festivals.

Steve Eulberg

Festival Technical Support

" Technology is our friend!"

Steve will be available throughout the day to provide technical support.


Steve Eulberg Bio

Steve has been teaching online since 2006 with JamPlay.com and freelance long-distance lessons.  He is co-founder of DulcimerCrossing.com and is a teaching artist at Truefire.com.  He was an early user of ConcertWindow.com and OnLineConcertThing.com. 
Together with Erin Mae, he helped to launch the first on-line dulcimer festival (Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering) in May of 2020 and provided Concert liaison and support for the first QuaranTUNE festival, providing support for Chromatic Dulcimer Day, Redwood Dulcimer Day and the Southern California Dulcimer Heritage online festivals.

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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.