Sam Edelston (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer, Hammered Dulcimer)
Sam Edelston plays rock, pop, blues, country, traditional folk, and a lot more on
acoustic and electric mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, guitar, and banjo.
He specifically believes that both kinds of dulcimers belong in mainstream popular
music, and that mountain dulcimers are a much more logical entry instrument than
guitars. Sam draws his musical inspiration from rock bands, symphony orchestras,
modern a cappella, and anything else he hears. His online videos have over 1,000,000
views. Based in Connecticut, he has performed or taught at dulcimer festivals, folk
festivals, and other events in the Northeast, and at festivals as far-flung as Colorado,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, and North Carolina, plus numerous online festivals.
Dulcimer legend Joellen Lapidus wrote of him, “With his complex layered arrangements
of so many genres of music for the dulcimer, Sam has added a huge chapter to the
development of the mountain dulcimer as a versatile and ever growing musical
American folk instrument.” Nancy Barker, founder and director of Kentucky Music
Week, said, “You gotta have a class with Sam.” Sam also teaches online mountain
dulcimer courses and is chair of the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival in Connecticut. His
first album is coming out this year.
Steve Eulberg (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer, Hammered Dulcimer, and Guitar)
Celebrating 44 Dulcimer-Filled Years, Steve Eulberg continues to produce the “smile-
inducing, toe-tapping, thought-provoking folkgrass” which is how reviewers describe
this award-winning instrumentalist and songwriter’s music. He weaves together age-old
songs and tunes with new melodies and contemporary lyrics accompanied by dulcimers
and more. His 2022 book, First 50 Songs to Play on Mountain Dulcimer, published by
Hal Leonard is a best-selling favorite among players of all skill levels.
“I live for the aha! experiences that people have and am dedicated to helping people
enjoy their musical explorations on their instruments and share them with others,”
Eulberg says. Students respond enthusiastically to his engaging style and warm sense
of humor, making him in demand at festivals across the USA.
5-time award-winner in the national mountain dulcimer contest at Winfield, he is also a
multiple finalist in the national hammered dulcimer contest. His music has been in-
cluded in the Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer Compilations, Great Players of the
Mountain Dulcimer, and has been featured on PBS’ Road Trip Nation, United Airlines
Inflight Audio and NPR. He tours as a solo performer, and with the duos Fiddle
Whamdiddle (with Vi Wickam) and Steve & Erin Mae (with Erin Mae Lewis).
He earned a Master of Music Education degree from Boston University in 2007 with a
focus on teaching people to play folk music on folk instruments. He has published
several books to equip and nurture dulcimer and guitar players. Active in the PNW
Chapter of NARAS (Grammys), Locals 423 & 1000 AFM (Traveling Musicians), Eulberg
owns Owl Mountain Music, Inc., was the first guitar instructor on JamPlay.com. He is
co-owner and teacher at dulcimercrossing.com.
Dave Haas (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer)
Dave Haas lives in Charleston, WV and has been playing the mountain dulcimer since
1990. He teaches in both private and group settings and was the founding member
of the Almost Heaven Dulcimer Club in Charleston. Dave loves to share the mountain
dulcimer and its history with schools, churches, civic organizations, and has even
brought the dulcimer to those in prison! Dave is a popular instructor, performer and
jam leader at music festivals and has taught and performed with the mountain dulcimer
in over two-thirds of the United States and in the United Kingdom. He is known for his
gentle, fun, and enthusiastic teaching style. Dave has released eight dulcimer
instructional books/CDs – including the very popular “Let’s Jam!” book/CDs, four
instrumental dulcimer CDs, and a popular dulcimer chord chart. Dave is proud to be
an Endorsing Artist for Folkcraft Instruments since 2014.
In 2020, Dave retired Professor Emeritus from the University of Charleston where he
exposed countless students the joy of Chemistry. One of his favorite teaching activities
was to sing chemistry songs (on dulcimer and guitar) with his students. In addition,
Dave plays the guitar, sings, and enjoys leading music on Christian retreat experiences
such as Kairos Prison Ministry, The Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo, and Teens Encounter
Christ (TEC). Dave has been blessed with a wonderful wife, two sons, and 10
More information on Dave can be obtained at www.davehaasmusic.com.
Tina Gugeler (Teaching Hammered Dulcimer and Bodhran)
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, including the
2000 and 2015 U.S. National Hammered Dulcimer Championship. She appears on
recordings by Denver’s High Strung and the dance band Grandview Victorian
Orchestra and plays with a variety of local bands.
Erin Mae (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer)
Erin Mae is a freelance folk musician and mountain dulcimer teacher from Kansas who
has carved her own path every step of the way. She won the 2004 National Mountain
Dulcimer Championship at the age of 17, and has a degree from South Plains College
in Commercial Music, where she was the first student to study mountain dulcimer. She
continues today to be a leader of innovation and education in her musical community.
Erin Mae’s passion is to empower and equip others to find their own creative expression
in the world.
Joshua Messick (Teaching Hammered Dulcimer)
Joshua Messick is a National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, composer, producer,
audio engineer, and performer. He has released nine studio albums and is a featured
performeron God of War Ragnarök by Bear McCreary and Mary and the Witch’s Flower
by Studio Ponoc, the successor of Studio Ghibli.
Joshua is a genre-blurring artist with a knack for evoking emotion. He innovates with
his hammered dulcimer, creating immersive soundscapes that transport the listener
and connect audiences. His versatility extends to his recording studio, where he records
and engineers his work. Joshua has played thousands of concerts throughout the United
States, Japan, India, and Thailand.
Katie Moritz (Teaching Hammered Dulcimer)
2013 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, Katie Moritz is a musician and teacher
hailing from the Chicagoland area in Northern Illinois. She’s been playing music ever
since she could remember, starting piano as a very small child and playing the tuba
through school. Her taste in music is geared towards more eclectic sounds and it
wasn’t till she started playing the hammered dulcimer that she found her authentic
musical “voice”. The unique instrument was able to seamlessly sew together Katie’s
love of traditional music from around the world, 1940’s jazz standards, Broadway
musicals, bluegrass, and pop.
While studying under an Illinois hammered dulcimer master, Bill Robinson, Katie has
been awarded 7 consecutive folk arts apprenticeship grants with the Illinois Arts Council
(partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.) She has spent over a decade
studying traditional music and is dedicated to teaching and continuing a traditional
style of playing. At the same time, she has also spent most of her life learning and
playing music in scholarly settings, which has influenced her dulcimer playing to
encompass an uncommon blend of old and new. This edge has led her to receive
various recognitions including placing 1st in the Mid-East and Southern regional
contests, and the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship. In 2019 Katie even
became a finalist in the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship.
Diana Willson (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer)
Diana Willson was first introduced to the mountain dulcimer on a kayak trip to Florida
in 2016. Fellow travelers had brought their dulcimers on the trip and were playing out
by the pool of the hotel one evening. She was intrigued! The players placed a dulcimer
on her lap, taught her the first few bars of “Bile Them Cabbage” and the rest is history!
That chance, but very fortunate encounter, changed her life!
Diana returned home to Vallecito, a small community in southwest Colorado, bought
her first dulcimer and started learning. She soon found that playing the dulcimer by
herself was only partially rewarding; she really wanted to play with others. So, she
started teaching locally and now has two groups to play with! The “Vallecito
MetroGnomes” and the “Dam Jammers”.
Because playing the dulcimer has been so life-changing, Diana has made it her mission
to introduce others to the instrument and the huge variety of music that the dulcimer is
capable of playing.