Celebrating over 150 years

Join us for the 2024 Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming

April 4th – 6th, 2024
Hindman Settlement School – 51 Center St, Hindman, KY 41822

Join us as we celebrate the survival of our community, our people, and our iconic Hindman Dulcimer. This year, we will be streaming the HDHC live via YouTube. Based on feedback from our previous audience, we think the YouTube platform will be easier to navigate for our virtual audience. Click the button below to visit our YouTube channel. Go ahead and subscribe to be notified when we go live for Day 1 on April 4th, 2024. If you would like to chat during the event, go ahead and create an account or login on YouTube, then subscribe to our channel to be notified when we go live!

Event Schedule

Please note the schedule below is not finalized and subject to updates and changes. Thank you for your patience as we update this info.

Thursday, April 4th

11:15am → 12:15pm EST
Workshop (Beginner)
String Side Up with Dan Cox
Introduction to traditional dulcimer. Tunings and play methods.

12:15pm → 1:15pm EST
Intermission
Lunch Break Programming

1:30pm → 2:30pm EST
Lecture
Traditional Tunes/Songs, and their sources with Don Pedi
This workshop brings a personal element to the traditional music we play. Presented will be a variety of songs and tunes with brief biographies and personal stories of Don’s encounters with older-generation musicians.

2:45pm → 3:45pm EST
Workshop
Melodic and Chord Improvisation for a Path to Meditation or Composition with Lorinda Jones
Join Lorinda on a journey of discovery with you and your dulcimer. This systematic approach to exploring sounds, rhythms, scales and chords is often the approach I use for warm-ups, relaxation and improvisation with the goal of song shaping, as well as a calming technique I’ve used for years in music therapy application. We will be tuned in DAD and I will provide detailed guidelines for this process as well as some handouts for you to use to broaden this even further as you get more comfortable with the idea of making your own simple melodies and chord progressions.

4:00pm → 5:00pm EST
Lecture
Coming Home to the Square with Dr. Ron Pen
Shape Note Hymnody, sung from tunebooks, such as The Southern Harmony and the Sacred Harp provided a means for teaching a rural, frontier society how to read music. Vibrant and sturdy tunes were matched with “placekeeper” poetry so that the tunes could later be coupled with hymn texts from any church. The tunes were set in three- or four- harmony lines: Treble, Counter, Lead, and Bass. The innovative notation employed distinctive note head shapes: ovals, rectangles, triangles, and diamonds rather than the ubiquitous modern oval note head shape. This made it far easier to recognize and sing intervals. The intriguing tunes and independent vocal parts lent themselves to performance on the dulcimer. Indeed, folks played the music that was most familiar to them, whether secular or sacred. Upland South folks were very familiar with the shape note repertoire. This workshop will feature a brief historical and practical introduction, followed by singing several tunes through by shape in the singing school tradition. Then Lorinda Jones will teach several tunes in arrangements that Lorinda has crafted. We will focus on “Happy Land,” “The Promised Land,” and time permitting, “Holy Manna” from the Southern Harmony.

5:00pm → 5:30pm EST
Intermission
Supper Time!

5:30pm → 6:30pm EST
“Late for Supper Club” Workshop
Children’s Music featuring Randy Wilson
A wonderful exploration of the vast treasure trove of songs that Randy has collected over his many years of teaching children.  All levels.

7:00pm → 8:30pm EST
Concert
Concert with Faculty & Friends featuring Don Pedi
Open to the public at the Mike Mullins Heritage Center.

Friday, April 5th

10:00am → 11:00am EST
Workshop (beginner)
Curiously Scary Modal Tunings with Dulcimore Dan Cox
A not-so-scary method for playing all four commonly used modes by changing the tuning on one string one note to get to the next mode. We can start with the contemporary tuning DAD or traditional DAA, retune for the three other modal tunings and then return back to where we started.

11:15am → 12:15pm EST
Workshop
Play the Music of Kentucky Composer and Song Collector, John Jacob Niles with Lorinda Jones
John Jacob Niles was a song collector, born in Louisville KY, lived in Eastern KY fora brief time before serving in the military and later earning a music degree. (Brief history by Ron Pen) to start this workshop, then we will learn the beautiful melody of “Black is the Color”, recorded by so many folk artists, and “Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head”, a beautiful choral song.

12:15pm → 1:15pm EST
Intermission
Lunch Break Programming

1:30pm → 2:30pm EST
Workshop (Intermediate)
Kentucky Fiddle Tunes with Sarah Kate Morgan
I’ll share a few tunes I’ve picked up from the past 8 years of living and learning in the old time Kentucky music scene. DAD and DGD tuning, capo needed.

2:45pm → 3:45pm EST
Workshop (Intermediate)
Old Love Songs with Don Pedi
Favorite versions of Ballads and Songs pertaining to affairs of the heart. Some songs of love won, and some of love lost. Whether a cautionary tale or an uplifting testimonial we can all relate on some level. (Tab provided)

4:00pm → 5:00pm EST
Lecture
“Dulcimers and ‘Nilesimers’: Tradition and Transformation”
version 2.1
with Dr. Ron Pen

This workshop dusts off a topic introduced several years ago at the Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming and encourages conversation based on new developments in the dulcimer world particularly as they negotiate tradition and transformation.
The dulcimer is a special musical case because it has become identified with a version of the past, a “contemporary ancestor” that represents a Romantic image of the Appalachia that never was. At the same time, the dulcimer continues to evolve with contemporary performers, craftspeople, festivals, workshops, societies, conventions, recordings, and social media that challenge the traditional concepts of construction, repertoire, and technique. Illustrated with sound and images, this workshop surveys the broad sweep of dulcimer history and then examines the negotiation of conservative and progressive forces through the lens of influential luthiers with a focus on Kentucky craftspeople including Ed Thomas, Will Singleton, McKinley Craft, Jethro Amburgey, John Jacob Niles, Homer Ledford, and Warren May, and contemporary luthiers, such as Joellen Lapidus, Bob Gerard, Ron Ewing, David McKinney, Troublesome Creek String Instrument Company, etc. The contrasting gravity of tradition and the forward motion of transformation become resolved in the life of the contemporary dulcimer with a glance at the intersection of current craftspeople and musicians.

5:00pm → 5:30pm EST
Intermission
Supper Time!

5:30pm → 6:30pm EST
“Late for Supper Club” Workshop
Clawhammer Banjo Rhythm Psychology: How To Add Pizzazz To Your Performance featuring Willow Cartier
Teaching the ways in which different clawhammer rhythms can be applied to different tunes to drastically alter the tone and feel of a tune.  All levels.

7:00pm → 8:30pm EST
Concert
Concert featuring Sarah Kate Morgan with Faculty & Friends
Open to the public at the Mike Mullins Heritage Center.

Saturday, April 6th

10:00am → 11:00am EST
Workshop
Tunings and Play Methods with Dan Cox

11:15am → 12:15pm EST
Workshop (Intermediate)
Instant Variations for New Players with Sarah Kate Morgan
I’ll be sharing a simple tune, then showing you at least 7 ways to instantaneously add variation and make it your own, no hours of laborious practice needed. These techniques can be applied to any tune, not just the one we learn in class and will also help you learn more about your instrument. DAD and DGD tunings

12:15pm → 1:15pm EST
Intermission
Lunch Break Programming

1:30pm → 2:30pm EST
Workshop (Intermediate)
Some Creatures Great and Small with Don Pedi
Traditional Music is rich with songs and tunes naming many members of the animal kingdom. This workshop will contain a selection of favorite versions, featuring smooth, furry, and feathered subjects.

2:45pm → 3:45pm EST
Workshop (Intermediate)
Practice Drills to Improve Your Skills with Sarah Kate Morgan
Instead of learning tunes, in this workshop I’ll share a variety of drills that you can incorporate into your practice. I’ve designed these 6 drills to help with issues like finger dexterity and fluid intuitive fingering choice, flatpicking speed and accuracy, and right and left hand connection. DAD tuning.

4:00pm → 5:00pm EST
Lecture
Across the Great Divide: Fiddle Tunes That Unite Communities with Dr. Ron Pen and Lorinda Jones
Under the aegis of a Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant, Lorinda Jones and Ron Pen undertook a year of fiddle tune exploration targeting Kentucky traditional music within the context of old world/new world interchange and transformation. We learned various tunes through oral tradition, discussed their source musician biographies, pursued related anecdotes, and addressed facets of musical architecture and articulation.
The grant was concluded in 2024, resulting in a summative powerpoint presentation, and several performances. This workshop will serve as the culmination of our year of collaboration, and will summarize our insights as well as teaching several arrangements that reflect our learning and interaction with one another. Last year, Lorinda taught her arrangement of Estill Bingham’s “Old Aunt Jenny with Her Nightcap On.” This year’s workshop will focus on several other tunes drawn from this partial list of our shared tunes: “Cookhouse Joe,” “Golden Chain Tree,” “Cumberland Gap,” “Bonaparte’s Retreat,” “Bullfrog on a Puncheon Floor,” “Moonlight,” “Goodbye, Lover Goodbye,” “Durang’s Hornpipe,” and “Lovely Jane,” and “Christmas Eve.”

5:00pm → 5:30pm EST
Intermission
Supper Time!

5:30pm → 6:30pm EST
“Late for Supper Club” Workshop
Original Music Songs featuring Randy Wilson
A deep-dive into the process and product of a great Appalachian songwriter and poet.  All levels.

7:00pm → 8:30pm EST
Concert
Free Flying Farewell with Faculty & Friends
Open to the public at the Mike Mullins Heritage Center.

Event Staff

Don Pedi
Musician
Don Pedi is a Traditional Mountain Musician who started playing the dulcimer in 1968. He shares songs, tunes, and stories in a warm, often humorous, and always entertaining manner.

Don is known for developing a playing style for the fretted mountain dulcimer that can match a fiddle, note for note, while maintaining the rhythms and characteristics of traditional music. In 1974, he won first place in the first contest he ever entered, at Fiddler’s Grove, in Union Grove, N.C. In 1979, Don was declared “Master Dulcimer Player” and removed from future competitions at Fiddler’s Grove. Before retiring from competition in 1984, Don had amassed over forty first place ribbons in contests throughout the south east, both in solo competitions and as a key band member.

Over the decades, he’s been recognized and honored for collecting, preserving and performing Traditional Appalachian music. Since 1985 Don has championed folk music as an on air host at NPR affiliate Blue Ridge Public Radio, WCQS 88.1 in Asheville, NC. His weekly show “Close to Home” airs on Saturdays, locally from 8:00-10:00pm (Eastern Time) and simultaneously streams on the web. Don has also appeared in the motion pictures “The Song Catcher” and “The Journey of August King”, as well as a number of documentaries and music specials.

Sarah Kate Morgan
Musician
Inspired by a dulcimer built by her grandfather, Tennessee-born Sarah Kate Morgan has been playing dulcimer since she was 7 years old. She went on to place 1st at the 2012 National Mountain Dulcimer Championships at Winfield, Kansas at the age of 18. Morgan is also a talented singer and songwriter whose style reflects and honors life in southern Appalachia. She has performed and/or recorded with roots music giants such as Tyler Childers, Alice Gerrard, and Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones. Having achieved degrees in Traditional Music, Appalachian Studies, and Arts Administration from Morehead State University, her work centers on a lived belief that art and tradition are living, breathing tools that foster hope, build community, and create change. Visit Sara Kate’s website at SarahKateMorgan.com
Dr. Ron Pen
Professor and Director Emeritus
Dr. Ron Pen is a performer and scholar of the music of the Appalachian region. A founding member of the Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers, with whom he performed on A Prairie Home Companion, Ron is now Professor and Director Emeritus of the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of “I Wonder As I Wander”, a biography of folk icon John Jacob Niles. Ron began fiddling fifty years ago in Rockbridge County, VA and has since participated in various workshops and festivals across the region including Hindman Settlement School’s Folk Week, Augusta’s Old-Time and Singing weeks, Berea’s Christmas Dance School, Swannanoa Gathering, and Hindman’s Dulcimer Homecoming. He has also performed music across the globe with the Red State Ramblers and recently shared shape note singing with Sufi Chant in Lancashire, England. He is currently beginning a biography of Jean Ritchie for the University Press of Kentucky.
Dulcimore Dan Cox
Dulcimer Maker / Historian
The Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore Maker. I’m in my 11th year and just completed the 245th + instrument and over 2,000,000 listens on Soundcloud. I have studied the old masters and grow closer to the sharp iron and wood philosophy every day.
Lorinda Jones
Musician
Lorinda Jones grew up in the small town of Tompkinsville, Kentucky alongside the knobs of the Cumberland plateau. She was fortunate enough to be surrounded by old-time, gospel, shape-note and bluegrass music, and even classical music, which she pursued on piano and oboe. But it was when she met the “friendly cardboard dulcimer” as an adult music educator and began teaching and sharing the traditional music that she felt she had “come back home” to her roots. Lorinda has taught the dulcimer in schools, at festivals across the country and one of the few music therapists to have developed approaches to using the dulcimer in a therapeutic setting. She has been a pioneer for both the dulcimer and folk harp in Kentucky, having formed the Heartland Dulcimer Club, annual HDC Festival and the Heartland Harp Ensemble.

Lorinda has most recently been awarded an apprenticeship grant through the Kentucky Arts Council to study and learn Kentucky fiddle tunes with mentor Ron Pen.

Lorinda is a member of na Skylark, an all female Irish Chamber group specializing in the traditional music of Ireland performed on traditional instruments including harp, fiddle, pipes, voice, flutes and whistles. Their recording, Old Ceol, has been played on numerous radio and podcasts featuring the best of Celtic music.

Willow Cartier
Luthiery Instructor
Hailing from the flatlands of east-central Florida. Willow Cartier has been playing music for the majority of her life. Starting with ukulele, and soon joining the Space coast Homeschool band with clarinet at the age of 8. Over the years, she has acquired more instruments from a wide variety of origins. She started playing banjo at age 13, with a primary focus on Clawhammer style in an Old-Time fashion (think Rhiannon Giddens and Walt Koken.) This style of Banjo playing hails from the Appalachian Mountains and is older than the three-finger Scruggs style that is often heard in bluegrass music.

Willow has traveled the east coast with her family band Boylston Fish to festivals and events to better study and connect with the Old-Time folk tradition. She regularly attends local music jams, festivals, and classes whenever possible. She has also released a few solo projects under the stage name Windybug. She can often be found busking downtown or roaming the local festivals.

In the festival circuit, Willow is a two-time state champion banjo player, Winning 1st place in the novice category at the Florida state banjo competition in 2018, and winning 1st place in the journeyman category in 2022. She has also gone on to win 1st place in the Elliot County fiddlers convention old-time dance competition in 2023, along with placing in several other contests throughout the years.

Doug Naselroad
Master Luthier
Doug Naselroad is a Master Luthier from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. He is a former employee of Collings Guitars in Austin, Texas and owner of Naselroad Guitars, including the “Our Harps” brand of door harps. Doug began building instruments in 1969 with the help of Homer Ledford and is founder of the Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming, the Appalachian School of Luthiery, the Museum of the Mountain Dulcimer, co-author of the Culture of Recovery, Director of the Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company and host of the Knott Downtown Radio Hour, all in Hindman, Kentucky. He has constructed more than 10,000 instruments to date, some of which were pretty good.
Randy Wilson
Musician
Randy Wilson is a fifth generation eastern Kentuckian who worked for the Hindman Settlement School for 30 years doing songs, stories, and dances in the elementary schools. He plays traditional and original tunes on banjo, guitar, autoharp, and mountain dulcimer. Mr. Wilson has played in many festivals across the country- Appalshop’s Seedtime on the Cumberland, Hindman Settlement School’s Family Folk Week, The Great American Dulcimer Festival at Pine Mountain State Park, The Smithsonian Festival of Folk Music on the national mall, cultural exchange festivals with native peoples of Alaska and Puerto Rican folks in the Bronx, NYC. Included are concerts and cultural exchanges at the University of Rome, Rome, Italy and a recent tour of music in Japan. For twenty years Mr. Wilson produced Kid’s Radio for WMMT at the Appalshop in Whitesburg, Ky, airing children’s voices and oral histories from across the region. He made numerous recordings with students in addition to his own recordings- albums from children’s music to blues to Christmas songs.

Download Tablature

To view the tablature, you will need to unzip the file linked below once you have downloaded it.

To unzip files:

  • Open File Explorer and navigate to the zipped folder.
  • To unzip the entire folder, right-click to select Extract All, and then follow the instructions.
  • To unzip a single file or folder, double-click the zipped folder to open it. Then, drag or copy the item from the zipped folder to a new location.

In-Person Attendee Info

Lodging and meals for in-person attendees will be provided by our good friends/hosts at the Hindman Settlement School. To book lodging and/or the 3-day meal package, please contact Jessica: jessica.jones@artisancenter.net or call 606-223-3773

Lodging

$210 for Private Room at Stuckey Cabin
$105 for Shared Room at Stuckey Cabin

Meal Package - $140 for all 3 days

Lunch and Supper provided on Thursday, April 4th.
Breakfast, Lunch and Supper provided on Friday, April 5th, and Saturday, April 6th.