The Foothills Dulcimer Club

presents the

18th Annual Mid-Winter

Mountain Dulcimer Festival

(Workshops & Concerts)


February 25, 2017


Workshops: 9 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Concert (free & open to the public): 5:15 p.m.

@ Christ Covenant Church; Shelby, NC

1050 Sam Lattimore Road  

Shelby, NC 28152

Hotlink to Go Directly to Registration



Skill Levels Explained






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*

2:00  – Session 3

3:15  - Break

3:45  - Session 4

5:00  - Break

5:15  - 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 $10.  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 description of each class is listed below the schedule in alphabetical order.



1st Period Workshops

9:15 a.m. – 10:30

Basic Mtn Dulcimer I

(Beginning Beginner)

- Galambush & Roberson -

Chords Made Easier
- Shull -
Fingerpicking for the Frist Time
(Novice & up)
- Zanetti -
Entertaining the Older Generation
(Novice & up)
- House -
Swinging Hymns
- Ellis -
Incidental Instrumentals
- Collins -

2nd Period Workshops

11:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Basic Mtn Dulcimer II

(Beginning Beginner)

- Galambush & Roberson -

Hymns that We Love
(Novice & up)
- Shull -
Folk Songs for Dulcimer
(Novice & up)
- Pedi -
Backup w/out Running Over the Lead
- Ellis -
Early Music for the Mtn Dulcimer
- Zanetti -
Let It Ring!
- Furman -

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 Don Pedi, Jeff Furman, Michael Shull.

3rd Period Workshops

2:00 3:15


More Skills for Beginners
- Shull -
Improving Your Flatpicking
- Furman -
The Way of the Dulcimer
(All levels)
- Pedi _
Capo Anyone?
(Novice & up)
- House -
Three Minor Christmas Carols
- Galabush -
Gentle Pizzaz!
- Zanetti -

4th Period Workshops

3:45 – 5:00


Basic Jamming for Scaredy Cats
- Roberson -
Improving Your Strum
- Furman -
Let's Smooth It Out
- Zanetti -
Little Songs
(All Levels)
- Pedi -
Teaching Little Hands to Play
- House -
When Irish Eyes Are Weeping
- Collins -

5:00 - 5:15


Community Concert

Free to the public!

5:15 - 6:30 p.m.

Concert will feature Nina Zanetti, Flat Mountain Dulcimers, Judy House, Bradley Ellis, Joe Collins

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Class Descriptions (alphabetical order)

Back Up Without Running Over the Lead. (Novice to Intermediate) A workshop on how to do little things that make someone else sound good. Some basics and practical applications to make you a good backup player. Will include some familiar songs that will sound better with you playing backup. (Instructor: Bradley Ellis)

Basic Jamming for Scaredy Cats (Beginner/Novice) Everyone goes through it…. feeling uncomfortable at their first jam.  Get acquainted with jam etiquette, get comfortable using the basic chords in the key of D, or cheat off of the guitarist or the more experienced dulcimer player sitting next to you.  Find out the significance of “potatoes” at jams.  (Potato jam?)  We will practice jamming and come up with a list of what tunes are often played at jams so that you will know what to practice and feel more confident participating in these fun activities called “jams.”  (Instructor: Margit Roberson)

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 & Margit Roberson)

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

Capo Anyone (Novice and Up) Use a capo to play in a wide variety of keys!  Learn the what, when, where, and why of the capo.  You must bring a capo with you to participate in class! (Instructor: Judy House)

Chords Made Easier (Novice) Don’t keep struggling with getting from one chord to another! This workshop is about learning and becoming proficient playing chords through building your muscle memory by playing chord scales. (Instructor: Michael Shull)

Early Music for the Mountain Dulcimer (Intermediate/Advanced) Learn music from Medieval, Renaissance, and possibly Baroque periods.  Slow or jolly, this music sounds great on mountain dulcimer. We’ll talk briefly about the instruments, sources, and styles of these different periods, then will enjoy playing some music of the times, in arrangements for mountain dulcimer. (Instructor: Nina Zanetti)

Entertaining the Older Generation (Novice and Up) Dulcimer players get numerous opportunities to play their dulcimers for shut-ins and retirement home residents.  Music is a wonderful way to bring back delightful memories for our older friends and family. Come learn a few songs that they can relate to and enjoy and make some new memories for yourself in the process. (Instructor: Judy House)

Fingerpicking for the First Time (Novice & up) Learn to fingerpick and how to make this style of playing sound pretty. We'll start with an overview of right-hand technique for fingerpicking, and then will work on reading tab for fingerpicking arrangements and on interpreting this tab with respect to chord structure. We'll explore the different patterns of fingerpicking and will learn some tunes to gain practice with these patterns. If time permits, we’ll also explore how to take tab arranged for strumming or flatpicking and turn it into a fingerstyle arrangement. (Instructor: Nina Zanetti)

Folk Songs for Dulcimer (Novice & up) is a mix of traditional and Simple DAD chord and chord-melody arrangements of songs popular during the Folk Revival.
Selected and presented by one who frequented the coffeehouses and folk festivals in Boston, Cambridge, Newport and New York during the 1960's and early 70's. (Instructor: Don Pedi)

Gentle pizzazz ! (Intermediate/Advanced) Playing slow, lovely tunes doesn’t have to mean “easy” or technically boring! We can add a bit of sparkle, without detracting from expression, in our slow pieces by incorporating some advanced technique, such as: bends, harmonics (“natural” and “artificial”), vibrato, tremolo, muting, and other special techniques for both right and left hands. We’ll practice the techniques and then learn some tunes that show how they can be incorporated into an arrangement. (Instructor: NIna Zanetti)

Hymns that We Love (Novice & up). Traditional Hymns that have won our hearts arranged for the mountain dulcimer. (Instructor: Michael Shull)

Improving Your Flatpicking (Novice) Flatpicking is a great way to emphasize melody or harmony notes and provide contrast to strumming. In this technique and repertoire workshop you will be given exercises for practicing the techniques, explore how and when you might choose to incorporate flatpicking into your playing, and learn some new tunes to allow you to use your new flat picking skills! (Instructor: Jeff Furman)

Improving Your Strum (Beginner-Novice) - one of the basic techniques of dulcimer playing is the strum. This workshop will focus on the techniques to improve your strum and rhythm and will give you exercises that you can use to practice these techniques. We will also play with some recorded music and with each other to practice your strum and experiment with different rhythms. Be prepared to do a lot of strumming! (Instructor: Jeff Furman)

Incidental Instrumentals (Advanced) Are you a pretty good player and need some challenging tunes to stretch your skill level. This is a repertoire class of tunes not normally heard on the mountain dulcimer because of incidentals, those pesky notes for which there are no frets on the mountain dulcimer tuned in DAd or for which transitions to those notes are somewhat challenging. We’ll learn and practice some techniques that make these types of songs accessible on your dulcimer (Instructor: Joe Collins)

Let It Ring! (Advanced) - Improving your sustain and connecting notes can greatly enhance the fluidity and overall quality of your playing.  This workshop will explore concepts and techniques to help you improve your smoothness. There will be a heavy emphasis on improving your fingering so you can connect notes more efficiently, and we will also explore how to get your right and left hands to work smoothly together. And you will learn some beautiful music along the way!  Please bring a CAPO. (Instructor: Jeff Furman)

Let’s Smooth it Out (Novice)  Smooth, connected fingering is key to playing slow tunes beautifully and expressively.  We will use/learn some lovely tunes to provide examples for learning how to make your dulcimer “sing” in a smooth, lyrical style.  We’ll work on tools that promote smooth playing, such as use of slides, playing melody across the strings, chord fingerings, and avoiding the “hiccup pickup”. (Instructor: Nina Zanetti)

Little Songs (all levels) These are fun, simple and clever songs from the Southern Mountains. (Instructor: Don Pedi)

More Skills for Beginners (Beginners) This workshop will reinforce the “Basic Mountain Dulcimer Workshop”  and add some tender, loving DGd to the mix. Michael have you playing some wonderful tunes in a tuning that is, in many ways, easier than the current most popular tuning for the dulcimer. (Instructor: Michael Shull)

Swinging Hymns (Intermediate and above). A repertoire workshop of old hymns arranged to swing. (Instructor: Bradley Ellis)

The Way of the Dulcimer (all levels) A fun, informative, well researched, fact based history of the beginnings and evolution of the dulcimer. Antique, replica, vintage and modern instruments are employed to demonstrate the Who, Where, When, and Why of changes in the dulcimer 's construction and the way it is played. While this workshop is mostly a lecture/demonstration format, instruction and Tab will be provided for a few songs ranging from early traditional to more contemporary chord based dulcimer arrangements. (Instructor: Don Pedi)

Teaching Little Hands to Play (Intermediate and Up) Because of its simplicity, the Mountain Dulcimer is a very practical instrument for children to learn to play. Also, folk songs and children’s songs are easily adapted to this instrument.  Join me for a look at how to get started when working with children, getting them excited about playing, and developing an appreciation for our American Music Heritage. (Instructor: Judy House)

Three Minor Christmas Carols (Intermediate & above) While all Christmas carols are lovely and many have merry tunes, it is also worthwhile to know some of the hauntingly beautiful Christmas carols written in minor keys.  We will work on “The Huron Carol/’Twas In the Moon of Wintertime,” a Canadian carol in Am, DAC tuning; “In the Bleak Midwinter” in Em using a capo in DAD tuning, and “I Wonder as I Wander” in Em, DAD tuning without a capo.  Yes, Christmas is a ways off, but you’ll have lots of time to work toward playing these carols with all the beauty and passion they can evoke.  Bring a capo (some will be available to borrow for class). (Instructor: Nancy Galambush)

When Irish Eyes Are Weeping (Intermediate & above) For centuries, tragedy was a way of life for the Irish. Some would argue it may still be. This is a Celtic repertoire workshop of sad, sad songs from the emerald isle. Learn to play Irish songs that will make people cry in their Guinness! (Instructor: Joe Collins).

Skill Levels Explained 

The Foothills Dulcimer Club want our workshops to meet the needs of all workshop attendees; therefore, we try to provide for players with a wide variety of skills. The definitions below are rough estimations of what we mean by each designation.

Beginner: I'm brand new to the instrument or I'm so new that I still need more practice and instruction in basic playing skills.

Novice: Still relatively inexperienced, but I know how to play a few songs and know how to figure out how to play a basic song with tablature. I am in the process of learning chords and expanding my ability to vary my strumming and/or picking to match the song I am playing.

Intermediate: Pretty proficient at using tablature and/or playing by ear to learn a variety of music. Understand and can apply chords relatively easily in my playing.

Advanced: Understand and can apply chords and often adapt different chords to music. Feel comfortable flatpicking, strumming, or finger-picking in a wide variety of rhythms, speeds, and dynamics.

 You are free to sign up for any workshops you desire, even one that is above your present skill level. However, please realize that the instructors will be teaching each workshop assuming that students have skills at the designated level for that workshop.


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 - $45 before February 17, 2016 -  Includes Workshops, Lunch, and all concerts:     

Registration - $55 after February 17, including paying at the door.  Does not include lunch, but lunch will be available for $10 as long as the food lasts.  Those who pre-register will go through the line first.   /p>

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

Nina Zanetti is the 2008 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion.  She comes to the mountain dulcimer from a diverse musical background, including choral music, violin, viola, piano, and shape note singing.  She plays regularly at churches, historic sites, and community events and has taught at dulcimer festivals throughout the country. . She has published nine books of tablature arrangements for mountain dulcimer, and is featured on Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer Play Music for Christmas (CD). She has recorded a CD of solos and duets with Bill Collins, as well as a solo CD, Beside Still Waters. 


Links:  Nina's Website

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 and eleven 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

Jeff Furman is an award-winning mountain dulcimer player who is known for his smooth and expressive style.  His gentle, humorous, and effective teaching style has made him a highly popular instructor at numerous mountain dulcimer workshops across the country.  Jeff is a multi-instrumentalist who has been playing old-time and traditional music since 1980. On the mountain dulcimer he has a particular fondness for waltzes and Celtic airs. He has been performing for more than 30 years, and his technical abilities and musical sensitivity have made Jeff a popular choice for playing on multiple recordings, including music from Ireland, Scotland, the Appalachian Mountains, and American folk tunes. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Links: Jeff's Website

Nancy Galambush began playing in the 1990’s when her husband, the late JC Bradshaw, asked her to learn to play an instrument he had built. Over the years, she has learned much about teaching, taking classes from some of the best-known instructors in the country and studying teaching at Western Carolina Universitys Dulcimer U program. Her students without musical experience have also helped her find teaching strategies that meet their needs. She has taught at dulcimer workshops across North Carolina and in Cordova, Alaska, in addition to private students. Nancy has a special interest in the history of the mountain dulcimer and has shared that history during her concerts and through East Carolina Universitys Lifelong Learning Program.

Nancy’s goal for beginning students is for them to experience the excitement of finding that they CAN play, even if they have no musical background. With more advanced students, she uses a variety of approaches, whether teaching skills or tunes, recognizing that students have differing strengths and therefore differing needs.

A member and coordinator of the Waterbound Dulcimers club in Kinston, NC, she also plays in Flat Mountain Dulcimers along with Dave and Margit Roberson, combining the sounds of the mountain dulcimer with the guitar, mandolin and cello . Nancy plays cello in the Pitt Community College Symphony Orchestra and lives in Snow Hill, NC.

Link: Flat Mountain Dulcimers Facebook Page

Margit Roberson, mountain dulcimer player and instructor from Goldsboro NC has been introducing the dulcimer to new players for over 10 years. She has great patience with students who have no musical background, as she herself had no experience playing music when a dulcimer was first placed in her lap in the late 1990’s. After a bit of instruction and a lot of practice, she found the joy that making music can bring. Since that instrument was placed in her lap, Margit has taken instruction from some of the finest instructors in the country and has taught at workshops in Kinston, Shelby, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and Rocky Mount NC.

In addition to teaching, Margit plays with and is a founding member of the Waterbound Dulcimer club in Kinston, NC. She also enjoys sharing her music by performing with Flat Mountain Dulcimers, a trio which includes her husband David Roberson and Nancy Galambush. Together they bring mountain tunes on their mountain instruments to the flat lands of eastern North Carolina. In addition to dulcimers, the group combines the sounds of the guitar, cello and mandolin (which Margit also plays) with the dulcimer. The group’s music can be heard on their CD "The Many Colors of the Mountain Dulcimer". Margit is a Special Education teacher by profession.

Link: Flat Mountain Dulcimers Facebook Page

Michael Shull brings together a wide diversity of Americana influences to his unique style. In addition to his national award winning credentials on the mountain dulcimer, his musical presentation continues to be both humorous and entertaining. He will surely keep your toes tapping with his smooth renditions of mountain gospel songs done Appalachian style. Michael has built a solid reputation as one of the premier dulcimer players in the country. To date, he has recorded 10 CDs and written 8 tablatures books for the dulcimer. Get ready to enjoy an amazing acoustic performance celebrating the music of the church.

Links:  Michael's Website
Bradley Ellis started playing the mountain dulcimer when he was 7 with the encouragement of his grandfather Ray Anthony. He is 17 now, but way back when he was 12 years old, he won the 2011 National Mountain Dulcimer Championship – the youngest ever to have won the title. This was no fluke; he had finished 2nd in the nationals the year before as an 11-year old and won the Kentucky State Championship.  Since then his musical skills have continued to grow. He is a member of marching band and jazz band in which he plays alto and baritone saxophone, keyboards, chimes, marimba, and xylophone. He also plays guitar and a couple other instruments in his spare time.

He has produced a CD and has taught dulcimer in several festivals already. He continues to grow as a workshop leader, and we at the Foothills Dulcimer Club of Shelby are happy to claim him as one of our own.

Don Pedi is a Traditional Mountain Musician who plays the dulcimer. He shares songs, tunes and stories in a warm, often humorous and always entertaining manner. Don is known for developing a playing style for the fretted mountain dulcimer that can match a fiddle, note for note, while maintaining the rhythms and characteristics of traditional music. He won first place in the first contest he ever entered at Fiddler’s Grove in Union Grove, North Carolina in 1974 Before retiring from competition in 1984, Don had amassed around forty first place ribbons.

Over the decades, he’s been recognized and honored for collecting, preserving and performing Traditional Appalachian music. In addition to performing solo, beginning in 1982, Don has played with and absorbed tunes from his friend and music partner Bruce Greene. Since 1985 Don has championed folk music as an on air host at NPR affiliate WCQS 88.1 in Asheville, NC. His weekly show “Close to Home” airs on Saturdays, locally from 8:00-10:00pm (Eastern Time) and simultaneously streams on the web.

Don has appeared in the motion pictures “The Song Catcher” and “The Journey of August King”, as well as a number of documentaries and music specials.

Links: Don's Website
Judy House is a certified Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer instructor and music director for The Camel City Strummers.  She is fortunate to teach at dulcimer festivals across North Carolina, including one at Western Carolina University for dulcimer teacher certification. She also provides private and group instruction, as well as educational and musical programs at schools, churches, and senior homes. Judy performs with the Cantabile Jubilee Trio. The author of 5 books of musical arrangements for the Mountain Dulcimer, she lives in Winston-Salem with her husband, Kirk.

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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 miles from 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  (704-487-2800 or 1-800-230-4134)

2001b East Dixon Blvd; Shelby, NC 28152

About 7.5  miles from the workshop.


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