July 25, 2017

Performers and Instructors 2017

The Colorado Dulcimer Festival includes a number of great performers and instructors who teach classes, perform, and help everybody enjoy the music!

We feature two out-of-state Mountain and Hammered Dulcimer Guest Artists—different ones every year (one specializing in Mountain Dulcimer and one specializing in Hammered Dulcimer), our local Festival regulars (in alphabetical order) Karen Alley, Bonnie Carol,  Tina Gugeler, Malacha Hall,  Judy Jones. This year we welcome back  Steve Eulberg  an “honorary Coloradan” and the founder of the Colorado Dulcimer Festival. We also welcome back  “honorary Coloradan”, Erin Mae.  This year we welcome four new teachers and performers to our lineup: Ellen Baranowski, Dianne Jeffries, and Heidi McClure. 


By the way, our local performers and instructors include
3 National Champions:
Karen Alley, Bonnie Carol, and Tina Gugeler.
These champions have won several titles,
including First Place winner,
at The National Dulcimer Championship,
Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, Kansas.

Tina Gugeler was the
2015 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion.

Karen Alley was the
2014 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion.

So Colorado had First Place winners
two years in a row.


For the 2017 Festival, we’re excited to present the following performers and instructors.


Guest Artist: Jody Marshall


(Teaching Hammered Dulcimer and Performing)

Growing up with a jazz musician for a father, a mother who loves to sing, and a drummer for an older brother who introduced her to the music of the Beatles, Jody Marshall absorbed the strains of many different musical styles – from swing-era standards and Dixieland jazz to pop, rock, and folk. So began an eclectic love for music that continues to nourish her imagination today.

Jody began singing harmony with her mother when she was four years old, and couldn’t wait till she was old enough to take piano lessons. But it wasn’t until much later, when she began playing the hammered dulcimer, that her musicality found its true voice. Now she is well known for her lively and expressive style, as well as for her creative arrangements of both solo and ensemble pieces. In keeping with her varied musical tastes, she is equally adept at playing Celtic jigs and reels, Renaissance and medieval dance tunes, classical music, and other genres. She delights in finding and adapting pieces that sit well on the dulcimer but aren’t normally heard on the instrument, mining material from the likes of J. S. Bach, BBC television shows, the Allman Brothers, and Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. Jody is also an innovative piano player with a style all her own, by turns driving a powerful rhythm for a rollicking reel or softly lilting a gentle waltz.

The Washington Post has described Jody’s work as “…deftly balancing the artful and the playful…lovely, lively, and shimmering.”

Visit Jody’s Website

Guest Artist: Susan Trump


(Teaching Mountain Dulcimer and Performing)

For years, Susan Trump has been winning fans with her singing, her outstanding instrumental skill on the mountain dulcimer, guitar and banjo, and her clear, relaxed teaching style.

She is a much sought-after instructor and performer whose work has included The Old Songs Festival, NY; Glen Rose and SAM Fest, TX;  Appalachian State University,  Boone, NC; Heartland/ Heritage Dulcimer Camp, MS;  The Buckeye Festival, OH; The Ozark Folk Center, AK; Kentucky Music Week and The Yellowbanks Festival KY; and other festivals and dulcimer events nationwide.  She has won awards in both banjo and mountain dulcimer competitions.

Susan’s magic stems from her ability to link the pastoral, tranquil images of traditional rural America to our contemporary life.  Her songs touch the heart, recall the past, and inspire the times ahead.   Her sense of humor always adds a fresh touch to her performances, combined with her outstanding artistry on the mountain dulcimer, guitar, banjo, and fretless banjo .

Visit Susan’s Website

Our local teachers, in alphabetical order by last name:

Karen Alley

Karen Alley

(Teaching Hammered Dulcimer and performing)

Karen Alley was playing the fiddle at a folk festival in 2004 when she discovered the Hammered Dulcimer, and quickly found that she could make much nicer sounds on the dulcimer than on the fiddle. Hammered Dulcimer rapidly became a passion, and within a few years she began performing throughout the state and eventually in many other states, placing in local and national competitions. She also enjoys teaching both private lessons and festival workshops. Her favorite repertoire varies from Celtic melodies to church hymns to show tunes.

Karen moved to Colorado in the fall of 2013 to attend graduate school at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in glaciology.

Visit Karen’s Facebook Page

Ellen Baranowski


(Teaching Children’s Mountain Dulcimer Workshop)

Ellen Baranowski  is a classically trained ( which means she has a lot to learn) musician who started singing folk as a child. Changing from Music Ed to Early Childhood lead her into a life of Folksongs for Children. Ellen heard her first dulcimer at  19 in Halls Crown Center in Kansas City and started dragging everyone she knew along to hear this wonderful sound from then on.

Ellen has taught her own 8 children ( who refused to be VonTrappish) music and taught in private and public school, piano, and Folk Music Classes all over the country.
She now sings for her grandchildren( who show much more promise than her children) and may showcase them as soon as they are potty trained.
She also sings for her son Noah and his friends who are differentlyabled.
She has her BA in Early Childhood Education her teaching certificate from ECE to 8th grade and is working on her Masters in Kodaly.

Bonnie Carol

Bonnie Carol

(Teaching Mountain Dulcimer and Hammered Dulcimer, and performing)

With a natural energetic ease, Bonnie Carol sings and plays hammered and fretted dulcimers as well as African marimba, bodhrán, folk drums and hand percussion. A performance is likely to encompass traditional music from North and South America, the British Isles, Caribbean rhythms, and even Tex-Mex tunes, all fitting together in that exuberant whole we call World Music.

In addition to her solo concerts, Bonnie can be found playing in an African marimba ensemble, a Celtic ensemble, a square dance band, and with a bunch of renegade classical/ jazz musicians in an ensemble called “Windy Peak. “

Bonnie’s music has filled concert halls form New York to Nicaragua for four decades. She is an international ambassador for peace in the most artistic sense, a visionary from the high country of Colorado. She has an arresting natural charm, extraordinary talent and energy, acres of instruments and mountains of talent.

Bonnie possesses professional credentials that are some of the most complete in the industry. She has produced, recorded, and distributed half a dozen recordings of her music, on which she plays the majority of the instruments. She put her knowledge of traditional music, dulcimers, and African marimbas into the eight books she has authored. Most of the dulcimer contests across the nation have seen Bonnie win or place.

Visit Bonnie’s website

Steve Eulberg (Honorary Coloradoan)


(Teaching Hammered and Mountain Dulcimer and Performing)

“… a superb dulcimer player … and a first rate composer.”—Neal Walters, Dulcimer Players News

He’s a versatile full-time folk musician who specializes in fretted and hammered dulcimers, but his first instrument was his mother’s ukulele. At a youth retreat the weekend after Jim Croce’s plane went down, he became so fired up about the guitar that he grabbed the only thing in the house with strings. His mother wanted her ukulele back so that Christmas, he got a guitar. As a college student, he heard his first dulcimers, but never thought he could afford his own. It wasn’t until graduate school when he realized that he wouldn’t have to live on peanut butter sandwiches the rest of his life, because the Hughes Dulcimer Company was just down the street. He bought a kit and built his first dulcimer. It’s been love ever since – through a career performing folk for kids to seniors, as a composer, and as an inner-city pastor, this award-winning touring musician brings joy to all who hear him.

Steve has a musical soul influenced by many, including Tchaikovsky, Jean Ritchie, and Stevie Wonder. He’s shared the stage with folk artists John McCutcheon, Bryan Bowers, Maggie Sansone, Emma’s Revolution, and Mundy Turner. Steve is a five-time National Winner in Mountain Dulcimer and a three-time National Finalist for Hammered Dulcimer, in addition to other honors.

Visit Steve’s Website

Tina Gugeler

Tina Gugeler

(Teaching Hammered Dulcimer and performing)

2015 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion

Tina Gugeler first heard a hammered dulcimer in 1986 while living in Ketchikan, Alaska. It quickly became her passion and soon it seemed everyone on the island had heard Tina and her band, BearFoot. She played on the docks for cruise ship tourists, for weddings and dances, and at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau.

Since moving to the Denver area in Colorado in 1990, Tina has become a full time musician; performing solo and in small combos with fiddle, guitar or piano, and in several local contra dance bands. Along with her busy performance schedule, she teaches students on the dulcimer and bodhràn.

Over the years, Tina has won many local and regional competitions and in the year 2000 she won the U.S. National Hammered Dulcimer Championship.? She appears on recordings by Denver’s High Strung and the dance band Contrafusion.

Visit Tina’s website

Malacha Hall


(Teaching Mountain Dulcimer)

Malacha was given her first “not very good” dulcimer in the early 70’s.  Since she already played the guitar, she recognized the diatonic scale and was able to play it immediately. But she didn’t really take it seriously until she met Neal Hellman at a festival in Manitou Springs. She bought a better dulcimer and has been playing ever since.

Malacha now has 14 dulcimers and teaches in a club with almost 80 members. The club has groups in Westcliffe, Cañon City, Colorado Springs, and Castle Rock.

Visit the Serendipity Peak Dulcimer website

Dianne Jeffries


(Teaching Mountain Dulcimer)

Dianne Jeffries saw a dulcimer for the first time in 2003 at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.  Because she enjoys bagpipes, the drone sound of the mountain dulcimer immediately appealed to her and she returned home with one.  With very little musical background, she attempted to teach herself how to play it.  She is extremely grateful for her very patient husband who encouraged her during the time when she didn’t know her dulcimer needed frequent tuning.

Meeting & taking lessons from Steve Eulberg was a tremendous blessing. He helped her overcome bad habits, develop her musical skills, face the fear of playing the dulcimer publicly, and rise above mediocrity.

The dulcimer has become her favorite way to drive away the stress of her very busy schedule as an entrepreneur, church volunteer, belly dancer, homemaker, wife & grandmother. Musically, she coordinates a diverse dulcimer jam group which meets twice a month, gives mountain dulcimer lessons, demonstrations, and performs with the Loveland Heart Strings at various locations near Loveland, CO. She finds introducing others to the sweet sound of the dulcimer extemely rewarding.

Judy Jones


(Teaching Hammered Dulcimer)

Early piano lessons gave Judy Jones a love of music, followed by active participation in choral groups and school and community bands in her Ohio hometown. She began playing Hammered Dulcimer 11 years ago, first with Willie Jaeger at Swallow Hill and later with Bonnie Carol.

Judy plays in the Lots O’ Irish band and does solos for parties, retirement centers and art galleries. In 2011 she won the Colorado Dulcimer Festival Hammered Dulcimer contest, and has taught Beginning HD at the festival for the past six years.

Erin Mae


(Teaching Mountain Dulcimer and Performing)

Erin Mae got her first Mountain Dulcimer at the age of seven. Ten years later, in 2004, she won the prestigious National Mountain Dulcimer Championship—making her the youngest winner of the award at the time. Now, after playing for 20+ years, Erin has developed a unique and progressive style, with her signature percussive chop and flat-picking fiddle tunes. One guitar player quipped, “Erin can do more with three strings than I can do with six.”

Erin studied classical piano at Sterling College in Sterling, KS before pursuing a degree in Commercial Music, with an emphasis in bluegrass and acoustic jazz, at South Plains College in Levelland, TX. Graduating in 2010, she is the first Mountain Dulcimer player to complete the program.

As a cancer survivor, Erin firmly believes that her music and faith were paramount to her healing. Erin strives to let her music and story act as a beacon of light for those going through difficult times, and is currently writing a book documenting the effect this experience had on her music and worldview. You can hear that passion as Erin Mae culls from her instrument music, which lifts the spirit and heals the soul.

Erin tours full time as part of the duo Scenic Roots. Erin has also participated as an instructor at children’s music camps; as well as various festivals, and providing private lessons.

Visit Erin’s website


Heidi McClure


(Teaching Hammered Dulcimer)

Heidi McClure learned to play the hammered dulcimer as a result of going to Winfield (The Walnut Valley Festival) and seeing John McCutcheon play this strange percussion instrument that makes music. Heidi learned to play drums from her dad who taught her drum rudiments on the basement stairs. These drum skills transferred well to the hammered dulcimer and helped to make it her instrument of choice.  She was part of the Irish band, Ceol Ceili, for 9 years. She has been a supporter of the Colorado Dulcimer Festival for years and, in addition to helping with whatever needs doing during the festival, she is the MC of the Festival’s Friday and Saturday night concerts.