Stephen Seifert is one of America’s premier dulcimer players. He is returning to Dulcimer Week, having taught for us when we started out in 2011 and 2012. A protégé of the late David Schnaufer who taught dulcimer at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and recorded on numerous country music albums, Steve was a gifted young student who has gone on to become one of the most sought-after instructors in the country. He has taught at hundreds of dulcimer festivals and was featured at the Tono American Music Festival in Japan. He has played dulcimer with Orchestra Nashville and is featured on their Warner Classical recording of Blackberry Winter, a concerto for mountain dulcimer and string orchestra. Steve was Adjunct Instructor of Mountain Dulcimer with David Schnaufer at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music from 1997 to 2001. He has produced numerous instruction books, videos and CDs.
Rob Brereton is teaching at Dulcimer Week for the first time this year. Coming to us from Connecticut, he is considered one of the pioneers in contemporary mountain dulcimer playing – he was one of the first to arrange extensively in chromatic and other alternate tunings. 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 the Winfield National flatpicking award. Rob’s music is featured on his CD, Someone to Watch Over Me available for download on iTunes, CD Baby, and most other music download sites.
Aaron O’Rourke is an outstanding young musician and instructor who is returning to Dulcimer Week for his second time, having been on our staff in 2013. He has broad musical interests, from Celtic airs and fiddle tunes to jazz and swing tunes. Aaron discovered the dulcimer when he played in a punk band, and less than ten years later, he won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Winfield, KS. Now living in Signal Mountain, TN he is known for playing banjammer in addition to dulcimer, plus guitar and other instruments. Aaron says, “It is my goal to bring the dulcimer to an audience that might not get to experience the instrument otherwise and hopefully represent the potential of where this instrument could go… I also love the technical challenges this instrument demands when played in certain contexts. Its broad possibilities on an artistic and technical level support the potential for the dulcimer to play a more central role in the broader music scene today in America and the world.”
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. Living previously in West Virginia, he 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 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. Bob has published 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 recorded and 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. From Joseph, OR, she has been an instructor since its beginning in 2011, and is this year stepping down from teaching classes but may teach an elective or offer private lessons at camp. She has played dulcimer for over 30 years, and is a songwriter/guitarist with an extensive catalog of CDs and dulcimer songbooks.