The Foothills Dulcimer Club

presents the

16th Annual Mid-Winter

Mountain Dulcimer Festival

(Workshops & Concerts)


February 28, 2015


Workshops: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Concert (free & open to the public): 5:00 p.m.

@ Christ Covenant Church; Shelby, NC

1050 Sam Lattimore Road  

Shelby, NC 28152










Hotels in Shelby



Workshop Schedule

8:30  – Registration & Introduction of Instructors

9:15  – Session I

10:30 - Break

11:00 – Session 2

12:15 p.m. – Lunch*

1:30  – Session 3

2:45  - Break

3:15  - Session 4

4:30  - Break - or Jamming

5:00  - Concert

 *  The club includes lunch at no extra charge if you are a preregistered participant.  If you have a non-participant with you, he/she may eat with us for $7.  The club has a well-deserved reputation of doing a great lunch!

 * During lunch there will be a short, free concert featuring some of our instructors.


Below is a schedule of classes.  A few more are yet to be listed.  A description of each class is listed below the schedule in alphabetical order.  At this point there is a possibility some of these workshops could be changed or moved to a different time.  The schedule will be settled by the first of January.



1st Period Workshops

9:15 a.m. – 10:30

Basic Mtn Dulcimer I

(Beginning Beginner)


The Way of the Dulcimer
(all levels)
Playing Backup for Dulcimer (various levels & instruments)
Basic Flatpicking (intermediate)
Elvis Love Songs (upper int to advanced)

2nd Period Workshops

11:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Basic Mtn Dulcimer II

(Beginning Beginner)


In Perfect Harmony (advanced beginner & up)
Adding to Your Hymn Repertoire (novice & up)
Going a Few Rounds
(intermediate & up)
The Moveable Capo (advanced)

LUNCH w/ Concert

12:15 – 1:20

A great lunch is available on site and is included in your pre-registered workshop fee.  Concert will feature Judy House, Mike Clemmer, Don Pedi

3rd Period Workshops

1:30 – 2:45

Traditional Dulcimer for Beginners (Beginner)
Sweet & Gentle Songs for the Mtn. Dulcimer (beginner & up)
Banjammer (advanced novice & up)
Twisted Tunes (intermediate)
Hot Licks for the Dulcimer (intermediate)

4th Period Workshops

3:15 – 4:30

Strumming-Does Your Right Hand . . . ? (Beginner)
Lose the Noter! Chords 101 (Novice)
Using a Capo
Old-Time Music for Dulcimer (intermediate)
Partner Songs (intermediate)



Community Concert

Free to the public!

5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Concert will feature Bradley Ellis/Joe Collins, Michael Shull, Flat Mountain Dulcimer, Larry Conger

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Class Descriptions (alphabetical order)

Adding to Your Hymn Repertoire (Novice & up)  Some favorites and some not so familiar songs for your dulcimer. (Instructor: Michael Shull)

Banjammer (novice & up). This workshop is an introduction to a unique instrument that is played like a dulcimer, but sounds like an old-time banjo. You do not have to have a banjammer to come to the workshop, but bring your dulcimer to learn some techniques that work especially well on the banjammer, but can also be used on a standard dulcimer. (Instructor: Mike Clemmer)

Basic Mountain Dulcimer - Getting Started (Part I) (Beginner Beginner).   A workshop that covers all the basics one needs to get started on the instrument including tuning, holding the instrument, basic noting technique, what to do, and what not to do as a beginning player.  We'll be learning a few basic tunes. (Instructors: Nancy Galambush and Margit Roberson)

Basic Mountain Dulcimer - Getting Started (Part  II)  (Beginner Beginner).  Continuation of the workshop above.  (Instructors: Nancy Galambush and Margit Roberson)

Elvis Love Songs - (upper intemediate/advanced) Elvis will be in the building! (Instructor: Larry Conger)

Flatpicking Basics (advance novices & up) Info and exercises to help you play more cleanly and effectively with your picking hand. We’ll also try a tune or two to make sure you’ve got it. (Instructor: Bradley Ellis)

Going a Few Rounds on the Dulcimer (intermediate & up) Rounds are a great and easy way to begin harmonizing and blending in with other dulcimer players in a performance or just for fun. This workshop will introduce you to some rounds that are relatively easy to learn, but really impressive when you play with a couple or more other players. (Instructor: Joe Collins)

Hot Licks for the Dulcimer (intermediate & up) Want to hold your own in a jam with those bluegrass types. This workshop will help you add a little zing to your playing. (Instructor: Michael Shull)

In Perfect Harmony (advanced beginner and up) Learn to write a quick and easy harmony part for you, or your partner, to add more depth to your music. Bring a pencil and your dulcimer. This course is NOT for music majors! (Instructor: Judy House)

Lose the Noter, Chords 101 (novice) a primer for chords, chord shapes and chord transitions. (Instructor: Michael Shull)

Old-Time Music for Dulcimer (intermediate & up) Always a new selection of Traditional Songs, Tunes and Hymns, collected from authentic sources throughout Southern Appalachia. Don recommends bringing a recording device to the workshop. (Instructor: Don Pedi)

Partner Songs - (intermediate & up)  Two songs played together as a duet. (Instructor: Larry Conger)

Playing Backup for Dulcimer (for guitarists, bassists, and dulcimerists of varying skill levels). This workshop is for anyone who wants to become better at playing backup for a dulcimer, no matter what instrument he/she plays, including another dulcimer. (Instructor: Mike Clemmer)

Strumming – Does Your Left Hand Know What Your Right Hand is Doing? (beginner-advanced beginner) For so long, the right hand has been neglected. This workshop will take a look at where your right hand is, where it should be, and what it is capable of doing! Come teach your right hand how to take the lead, and your left hand will follow! (Instructor: Judy House)

Sweet & Gentle Songs for the Mountain Dulcimer (beginner & up). While we appreciate fast & furious tunes, sometimes it's good to relax and play sweet, gentle songs on the mountain dulcimer. Let's face it; some songs are just prettier. This is a repertoire workshop of pretty tunes that are not that hard to play, but really make the soft melodious sound of the dulcimer shine. (Instructor: Bradley Ellis)

The Moveable Capo - (advanced)  Using barre chords in place of a capo. (Instructor: Larry Conger)

The Way of the Dulcimer (All Levels) Includes a brief history of the dulcimer, as well as, early and modern tunings and playing techniques.  A few vintage instruments will be available for demonstration and for attendees to play. Don recommends bringing a recording device to the workshop. (Instructor: Don Pedi)

Traditional Dulcimer for Beginners (beginners and up) Simple and fun. Don recommends bringing a recording device to the workshop. (Instructor: Don Pedi)

Twisted Tunes - (intermediate) Taking familiar tunes and twisting them into something other than they were originally intended. (Instructor: Larry Conger)

Using a Capo (novice & up) - Have you ever wanted to  play in different keys so that you can join others in a jam or  to add interest to your playing?  Using a capo is a easy method to play in A and G, two keys which are often used in jams.  Bring a capo or we'll have some at the festival that you may borrow.  (Instructor: Nancy Galambush)



Address for your GPS: 1050 Sam Lattimore Road; Shelby, NC 28152


From I-85:  Take the Kings Mountain/Shelby exit (74 West).  Proceed on 74 Bypass until it intersects 150 in front of Shelby High School.  Turn left onto 150.  Go 4 miles to Sam Lattimore Road.  Turn right on to Sam Lattimore RD just before you get to a Chevron gas station.  Christ Covenant Church is immediately behind the gas station.  It does not look like a typical church - no steep, no windows.  It is a converted factory.  Come around to the back side of the church where there is a set of glass doors.

From 74 West:  Come into Shelby on 74 Bypass.  Proceed on 74 Bypass East until it intersects 150 in front of Shelby High School.  Turn right onto 150.  Go 4 miles to Sam Lattimore Road.  Turn right on to Sam Lattimore RD just before you get to a Chevron gas station.  Christ Covenant Church is immediately behind the gas station.  It does not look like a typical church - no steep, no windows.  It is a converted factory.  Come around to the back side of the church where there is a set of glass doors.

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Registration Information

Preregistration - before February 20, 201 Workshop, Lunch, and all concerts:  $42   

Registration - $52 after February 20, including paying at the door.  Does not include lunch, but lunch will be available for $9 as long as the food lasts.  Those who pre-register will go through the line first.  

For registration forms, directions, and the interface to pay online click HERE. After you register, you will be taken to a page with an unrelated survey. You do not have to take the survey unless you want to do so.  Just go to the very top of the page and click on the little hotlink that will say "continue" after it is through processing your registration.

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About the Instructors

Larry Conger makes his home in Paris, Tennessee. There he operates a private music studio, teaching piano, guitar and percussion as well as mountain dulcimer. A graduate of The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), Larry has been involved with music as a vocation for over 35 years. Besides being a popular performer and instructor at various dulcimer festivals around the country, Larry has also served as a Church Music Director for several Baptist churches.

In 1995, Larry won the Southern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Championship at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas and won the prestigious National Mountain Dulcimer Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.

Larry and his wife Elaine are directors of Dulcimer U at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, hosting numerous dulcimer related workshops throughout the year. They are also directors of their own Duet Dulcimer Retreat at Paris Landing State Park near Paris, Tennessee.


Joe Collins began playing the dulcimer in the late 70s and has been a popular instructor/performer in festivals around the country for years.  He has five recordings nine popular tab books to his credit as well as a number of championships, including the 2007 National Mountain Dulcimer Championship.  Joe loves teaching and has a doctorate in Adult Education.  In addition to teaching dulcimer, he teaches Discipleship Studies as an associate professor at Gardner-Webb University.  Thus he has plenty of opportunity to share the two greatest passions in his life:  his music and his faith in Christ.


Links:  Joe's Website

Don Pedi has been collecting, preserving and performing traditional Appalachian music for more than four decades. He has spent most of his life working, playing music and living alongside old time country musicians in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.  He has developed a playing style that translates the older style fiddle and banjo tunes, ballads and songs to the dulcimer, while maintaining the traditional rhythms and stylistic sensibilities.

A gentle and humorous teacher, Don’s shares his love of traditional music and the mountain dulcimer in a class setting that is supportive and non competitive.

Links: Don's Website

Flat Mountain Dulcimers

Nancy Galambush first encountered the sound of a Mountain Dulcimer on a family trip to the Smokey Mountains in the ‘60’s.  In 1997 her husband, JC Bradshaw, offered to make one if she’d learn to play it.  She took him up on his offer.  Since then she has attended workshops and brought the knowledge home to others in eastern North Carolina, where she was a founding member of Waterbound Dulcimers.

Margit Roberson was introduced to the dulcimer years ago, when she bought one for her husband from a Sears and Roebuck catalog.  It was soon forgotten. Years later she met JC Bradshaw and Nancy Galambush and was reintroduced to it.  She originally thought she couldn’t play because she could not read music and didn’t have any musical background. but she did learn by going to workshops and playing with Waterbound.  

Nancy and Margit play along with Margit’s husband Dave in Flat Mountain Dulcimers (pictured to the left), an ensemble which includes the guitar, mandolin, cello and wash board in their arrangements.  They have produced a couple of really fine CDs with traditional and contemporary songs with a "dulcimer twist."

Judy House is a graduate of Campbell University. She has had an extraordinary variety of opportunities as an educator over the past 40 years, teaching preschool through graduate level classes in North Carolina.  Judy began her study of music as the age of 9 when she was introduced to the flute; piano soon followed.  She has been playing and performing ever since with everything from marching bands to gospel quartets to dulcimer ensembles! She received her first mountain dulcimer in 1995.  A graduate of the first class for Teaching the Mountain Dulcimer from Dulcimer U at WCU, she has taught Mountain Dulcimer classes at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC since 2010, has a number of private students, and was added to the Dulcimer U staff in 2014 for the Teaching the Mountain Dulcimer core class. She has also been a presenter at dulcimer festivals in North Carolina for the past 3 years.   She enjoys leading the Camel City Strummers in Winston-Salem as well as the Triad Dulcimer Players.

Mike Clemmer is well known for his unique, high quality dulcimers that he builds and sells in Townsend, TN at Wood-n-Strings Dulcimer Shoppe.  Over twenty years ago, an acquaintance asked Mike to help him catch up on his dulcimer orders. Armed with years of experience repairing violins and guitars, Mike accepted the challenge and learned the art of dulcimer building. "If you had a blank check, what would you want to do?" Connie Clemmer asked her husband, Mike. After talking and praying about it, Mike realized what he wanted ... his own shop for building and selling handcrafted mountain dulcimers.  Its been a labor of love ever since. 

Mike's long sought dream-come-true has evolved from his life-long love of many types of music, playing, singing and his reputation for repairing, trading and buying instruments.  What many people don't know is that Mike is also a very fine player.  He and his wife Connie have just released a great CD that demonstrates his unique stylings on the instrument, and we look forward to what he has to offer as in instructor.

Bradley Ellis is the 2011 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion, the youngest champion in the 40-year history of the event held every year in Winfield, KS.  He is a student of several instruments including piano, guitar and saxophone, and he has played the dulcimer for seven years.  At the age of seven, Bradley was in the living room with his grandfather, whom he calls Paw Ray, and started strumming a dulcimer. Paw Ray Anthony makes dulcimers, so he asked Bradley if he wanted to learn how to play the instrument. He got on the floor with his grandson and the rest is history.

Bradley is very involved in music in his high school and in the community at large, playing often for events like weddings and in local concerts.  He released his debut CD entitled "Red-Haired Boy" a couple of years ago and he'll have a few for sale at the festival.

Bradley has been a member of the Foothills Dulcimer Club of Shelby for as long as he has been playing the dulcimer, and we are so proud of this amazing young musician.
Michael Shull has performed onstage since he was a child. He grew up singing, playing, and traveling throughout the southeast performing with his family. He loves and can play many styles of music, but it wasn’t until later in his life that he discovered the magic of the mountain dulcimer. It became a musical focal point in his life, and in embracing it he quickly rose to prominence as one of the finest dulcimer players in America. He is a multiple regional and national award winning dulcimer artist. He released his first dulcimer recording in 1998. Now, after more than a decade into his dulcimer odyssey, he has compiled 10 CDs and 8 books of tablature and has showcased the instrument's simple elegance and potential in countless competitions and concerts.

Links: Michael's Website

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Hotels in the Shelby Area


We have not reserved a block of rooms in any of the following hotels.  As far as I know, all of these hotels are in pretty good shape and are moderately priced.  The newest hotel is the AmericInn, followed by the Holiday Inn and the Hampton Inn.  You must call the hotel to make reservations.


AmericInn (800-634-3444)
428 E College Avenue, Boiling Springs, NC 28017
About 3.6 miles from the workshop


America's Best Value Inn (704-482-3821 or 1-800-997-5148)

825 West Dixon Blvd.; Shelby, NC 28152
About 5.1 miles from the workshop. 


Days Inn  (704-482-1800)

1431 West Dixon Boulevard; Shelby, NC 28152

About 5.9 miles from the workshop.


Super 8 (704-484-2101 or 1-800-997-5148)

1716 East Dixon Boulevard; Shelby, NC 2815 

About 6 milesfrom the workshop.


Holiday Inn Express  (704-480-0881 or 1-800-997-5149)

2001 East Dixon Blvd, Hwy 74; Shelby, NC 28152

About 7.3 miles from the workshop.


Hampton Inn  (704-482-5666 or 1-800-230-4134)

2012 East Marion St; Shelby, NC 2815

About 7.5  miles from the workshop.


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