Rob Brereton is returning to Dulcimer Week for his second year to teach Intermediate and Advanced classes. Rob endeared himself to everyone at Dulcimer Week in 2017 for his depth of musical knowledge and his kind and patient approach to teaching. From Connecticut, he is considered a pioneer of contemporary mountain dulcimer playing. He was one of the first dulcimer players to arrange extensively in chromatic and other alternate tunings. While he teaches many classes in the familiar DAD tuning, students who wish to branch out appreciate his mastery of DF#A, which is featured in the songs he recorded on his CD mentioned below. 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. 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. He has taught all levels of dulcimer at most major music festivals and folk schools across the country and won several awards, including a coveted Winfield National flatpicking award. Rob has played dulcimer for over 30 years. He is also a K-6 music teacher and composer, arranger, and choir director. His CD, Someone to Watch Over Me, is available for download on iTunes, CD Baby, and most other music download sites.
Thomasina joins us for the first time as an Advanced Beginner and Intermediate instructor. She discovered the sweet sounds of the mountain dulcimer in the hills of West Virginia, immediately captivated by its sound after her first strum. Though she has studied music on the violin, piano, and guitar, no other instrument speaks to her like the mountain dulcimer. Her unique and complex adaptation of the instrument with its sweet, simple sound has become one of her trademarks. Thomasina’s voice has been described as “both sweet and strong with a moving spiritual strain.” Her original and traditional dulcimer compositions and arrangements appeal to a wide range of audiences – from children to grandparents. She is also a “teaching artist” with the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, integrating her art form into school curriculums. With a Master of Science degree in Education, Thomasina uses music, poetry and visual arts to help students of all ages discover their own creative abilities.
Honored to be selected as the Connecticut State Troubadour for 2005 and 2006, she became Connecticut’s Ambassador for music and song. In 2011, the song “Out of Many” that she co-wrote with Joanie Spear won the “Best Song Single of the Year” in the Native American Music Awards. Thomasina’s music has been aired in over twenty countries. She is a highly esteemed dulcimer teacher/performer who has been featured at countless dulcimer festivals such as The Swannanoa Gathering, August Dulcimer Daze, The Memphis Dulcimer Festival, Winston-Salem Dulcimer Festival, Augusta Dulcimer Heritage Festival, Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival, Appalachian State University, Western Carolina Dulcimer Festival etc. As one of the founders and organizers of the Housatonic Dulcimer Celebration, Thomasina has been instrumental in helping to bring students, teachers, and other musicians together from all over the U.S. to celebrate the joy of making dulcimer music.
We’re also pleased to have Sarah Morgan with us as a first-time instructor at Dulcimer Week. She’ll be teaching both Advanced Beginner and Advanced classes. A native of East Tennessee, she started her musical journey at seven years old. She fell in love with traditional and folk music as the years went on. Sarah won the National Dulcimer Championship at age 18 in 2012, in addition to winning several regional contests, and a year later she was a finalist in the 2013 International Acoustic Music Awards. She soon became a popular instructor at dulcimer festivals back East.
Sarah’s music embodies her respect and joy of folk music and her creative approach to arranging. Backing traditional Appalachian melodies and haunting old time tunes with fresh harmonies and a progressive drive, she lends a new feel to seemingly “old” tunes, while accompanying pure and heartfelt vocals with the unpretentious sound of the Appalachian dulcimer. She incorporates the rich musical heritage of her Tennessee home into her music. Her live shows bring Folk, Americana, and Old-Time roots music to the forefront, where only Sarah and her dulcimer can be found behind the microphone, creating a subtle yet powerful sound that brings the relevant music of the past to today’s audience. She is currently enrolled in the Traditional Music and Appalachian Studies program at Morehead State University.
Bob Webb, from Joseph, OR, has played guitar and cello since childhood, and mandolin and mountain dulcimer for over 35 years. He has co-hosted Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas and taught its beginner class to rave reviews since 2011. A resident of Charleston, West Virginia before moving to Oregon, Bob was a member of National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage house band for its first nine years, where he accompanied artists such as Odetta, Tom Paxton, Shawn Colvin, Bill Staines, Peggy Seeger and Arlo Guthrie. He taught over 700 children and adults in summer camps, churches, schools and community centers to make his own design of cardboard box dulcimer. In 2005, he and Heidi Muller co-founded of the Music Mentors after-school instruction program in Charleston that is still continuing today. Bob has taught at festivals including Kentucky Music Week, Colorado Dulcimer Festival, Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering, Wallowa Fiddle Tunes Camp, Ohio Valley Gathering, Gebhard Woods and Dulcimer Chautauqua on the Wabash. He has published instruction and tune books for dulcimer, mandolin and fingerpicked guitar. He performs with Heidi Muller in a duo and they have recorded four CDs together. As a recording engineer with his own studio, Bob has co-produced dozens of CDs for old-time musicians, jazz players, songwriters and storytellers and helped create award-winning public radio documentaries.
Heidi Muller is the organizer of Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas. She has played dulcimer for over 30 years and taught at numerous dulcimer festivals across the country. An award-winning songwriter and guitarist, she performs both solo and in a duo with Bob Webb. Her song, “Leaving the Methow,” was included on the Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer, Vol. II CD. She has recorded five solo CDs, four duo CDs with Bob Webb, and published nine dulcimer songbooks and one book of original songs arranged for guitar accompaniment.