This year's performer / teachers:
Ranked as the most influential hammer dulcimer player of the last decade by readers of Dulcimer Player News, Rick Thum has made his mark on every aspect of the hammered dulcimer world. Rick is perhaps best known from his latest album, "Front Porch Waltz," and his festival performances, which have regularly earned him the “most popular performer” title at the largest national dulcimer festival. He brings a combination of passion and friendly accessibility to his teaching that makes his workshops and master classes favorites at festivals across the country.
Composer, musician, builder and teacher; music has been the foundation of Deborah's life. Nature is at the heart of her music. Her repertoire is either fun or beautiful, and lifting people up is always her goal. She has spent the past few years traveling around the country sharing her folk music, teaching Mountain dulcimer, composing, and developing the bowed dulcimer. She has played at the Branson Mill, and in programs and festivals throughout her travels. She has recently finished the first two books of a series for Mountain Dulcimer. "Learning the Mountain Dulcimer," and "A Round of Dulcimers."
Gary became interested in the Mountain Dulcimer in 1991 after seeing David Schnaufer's "Fischer's Hornpipe" video on CMT. He built a dulcimer in late 1991 and has been building and playing since that time. Gary, along with wife Toni are the owners of "Prussia Valley Dulcimers Acoustic Music Shop". They reside in Waverly, Ohio. Gary has taught playing workshops and performed at various midwest dulcimer festivals and at festivals as far south as Florida. Gary also has served as the 'dulcimer doctor' at many of these festivals. Gary and Toni have one CD to their credit entitled "Rats In the Fence Corner" and Gary can be heard on Doug Felt's "A Little of This & A Little of That" CD. Gary also has authored one mountain dulcimer tablature book, "Other Tunes For the Appalachian Dulcimer."
"The Ambassador of Bluegrass" is a full-time musician living in New Ulm, Minnesota. Dick Kimmel shows include music firmly rooted within bluegrass and old-time as well as some off-the-wall surprises. Over the past five decades, Dick Kimmel has made more than two-dozen recordings and performed extensively in the US, Canada, and Europe as a solo performer, with his band Dick Kimmel & Co, and as part of other musical collaborations. Dick was inducted into America's Old-Time Country and Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame (2008), inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame (2010) and into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame (2012).
Pam has worked with herbs on her Finnish homestead for 30 years. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Food and Nutrition and Communications. She is certified as an Herbalist by The American Herbal Institute.