28th Annual ... held at Recreation Unlimited
Ashley, Ohio

March 6 - 10, 2019         


Extended Session Staff




Intermediate 2 & Advanced

Linda Brockinton started playing music at the age of 11.  Flute was her first love.  She majored in flute in college.  At that time she played with the Arkansas Symphony for 4 years. 

After college, she got married and had children and did not pursue her chosen career of teaching music except for teaching private lessons. 

Later, her second husband bought her a dulcimer.  After a few years playing, she decided to try to become proficient enough to be able to teach the dulcimer and music which is what she had always desired to do. 

After much practice and many competitions, she won the Southern Regional Dulcimer Championship and then went on to be the first woman to win the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2001.

Since that time, she has spread her love of the Mountain Dulcimer and music across the country to many music and dulcimer festivals. 

Linda plays finger picked style which is a sweet soft side of the dulcimer that early on was not embraced by the dulcimer community.  This style requires more chordal playing which fills the music with beautiful flowing individual notes not often heard on the dulcimer. 

She has written 9 dulcimer tab books and 9 CDs as well.  She loves the old time hymns and the Celtic music brought to the Appalachian Mountains by the settlers from Scotland and Ireland, but her biggest love is sharing the dulcimer with new players hoping to keep its 'sweet' sounds alive.



Intermediate 2 & Advanced

Jody Marshall, a native of the Washington, D.C. area, grew up in a musical family. Enchanted by the sound and visual appeal of the hammered dulcimer, she developed a passion for the instrument and began playing in the late 1980s. Her performance credits include the White House, the Kennedy Center, and Wolf Trap’s Filene Center for the Performing Arts.

Jody was a founding member of the popular folk trios, Ironweed and MoonFire, and also performed extensively with the award-winning Celtic ensemble, Connemara. A popular dulcimer teacher, she has been on the faculty of many festivals and arts workshops across the nation and overseas. From 2010 to 2014, she was also the staff coordinator of the Augusta Heritage Center’s Spring Music Week in Elkins, WV.

           The Washington Post describes Jody’s music as “lovely, lively, and shimmering.” She has several recordings to her credit, including Cottage in the Glen (on the Maggie’s Music label) and Carol of the Bells. Her books include Carol of the Bells: Seasonal Favorites for Hammered Dulcimer and Other Instruments  and A Baker’s Dozen: 13 Duets for Hammered Dulcimer and Other Instruments.

For more information, visit




Intermediate 2 & Advanced

Aaron O'Rourke began teaching and performing on mountain dulcimer at the age of 16. In a short period of time, Aaron became one of the headlining names at dulcimer camps and traditional music events across the country including Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp, WCU's Dulcimer Week, Augusta Heritage Center's Traditional Music Week, Kentucky Music Week, The Florida Folk Festival and more.


In 2010, Aaron won the National Mountain Dulcimer Competition held at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS. Aaron is also a past winner in the Florida Old-time music competition and the Southeastern Regional Dulcimer Contest in Mountain View, AR.


Aaron has released three solo albums and two albums as front man of the Aaron O'Rourke Trio. His latest recording, appropriately titled, "Unaccompanied," features all solo tracks on mountain dulcimer, banjammer (a banjo/dulcimer hybrid), and fingerstyle guitar. The album pulls heavily from influences in classical, jazz and traditional fiddle tunes, while at the same time making forays into the raw energy reminiscent of Aaron's early days in a punk band.

To date, Aaron has authored 20 instructional books for mountain dulcimer covering a diverse range of technique and repertoire. In addition to teaching at camps and festivals, Aaron is a regular contributor of video lessons to  



Intermediate 2 & Advanced

National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, Mark Alan Wade, has performed and taught hammered dulcimer for over 25 years. A multi-instrumentalist, the trumpet is actually his primary instrument. As a student, his trumpet playing was his gateway into music schools and it allowed him to expand his musical limits throughout academia. This culminated in his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Trumpet Performance degree from The Ohio State University.

Although it is an unusual pairing, his formal trumpet study has shaped him into the dulcimer player he is today.  Dr. Wade is an invited lecturer and performer for the Cimbalom World Association, the international professional organization for dulcimer players and professors. In 2013, he was a featured performer at their World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan. He has performed in Canada, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. In the U.S., he has performed for audiences of notables including Presidents George Bush Sr., President Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen.

As a trumpeter, Wade has also performed with the Beach Boys, the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, the Buckinghams, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Lima Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra.

Mark and his wife, Cristina, recently moved to Akron, OH with their two sons. He has published six instructional books for hammered dulcimer, and seven CD albums. More information can be found at:  .




Past Beginner/Early Intermediate

Once again, Diane will bring her love of music to the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival.   At her home in NE Ohio Amish company, her home is filled with music as she gives lessons on piano, guitar, and mountain dulcimer to many in the community.

She has given freely of her time and talent to help new players on the mountain dulcimer along their musical journey.  Her orientation introductions have included comparing learning the dulcimer to football, fishing, and I know that I am forgetting some good ones.

For many years, we knew Diane as the mother who brought (sat in class ) two of her daughters (Hannah and Joanna) to the festival. 

We are so glad that this year you will be working with our
past beginner/early intermediate group of mountain dulcimer players.




Past Beginner/Early Intermediate

Pam Bowman has played guitar from the time she was young. Her father was a guitarist who played and  sang on a local, Michigan station in the 50's. Pam is a native of the Evart (Funfest) area, hailing from Marion, Michigan.

It was in this dulcimer rich region that she first heard and saw a hammered dulcimer being played by a friend's father, while still a teen.  It was nearly 10 years later when she noticed it's unique tones drifting through the air of a local, historic craft shop,  that she inquired about the dulcimer in the recording, and thought to herself..."I'm old enough to buy one of those now!" 

Since that time she has been performing with the hammered dulcimer for 19 years as a duo with Jeff Gardner on guitar,  and with a five piece group called Just Jammin' - performing gospel/country/bluegrass music

In 2005 Pam entered and won the Southern Regional Hammered Dulcimer Competition in Mt. View, Arkansas. 

Pam gives private lessons and group lessons on the hammered dulcimer, as well as teaching work-shops and performing at various festivals.  Pam also performs her unique hammered dulcimer style and arrangements for many other venues. 

She has eight recordings available, as well as 2 instructional books on the hammered dulcimer and a series of instructional cd's focused on hymns.  Contact Pam at:  (231) 743-6639  Fbook - Pam Bowman and the Hammered Dulcimer




The past few years there has been very little interest in the mountain dulcimer on this level.   If you know of any folks that would like to get a solid start on the mountain dulcimer, bring them along.   If interest picks up, we'll have the class with Joe Steiner as instructor.

We are so accustomed to seeing Joe with a banjo in either teaching classes or running jams.  He has a great knowledge of tunes in many genres, but also has a fine knack of getting folks to play together in a jam setting or in the Band -It! workshop. 

In recent years, he has picked up the mountain dulcimer and taken some favorite tunes and his own style to the dulcimer. 

Joe has taught the past beginner level mountain dulcimer for the extended session during the past several years. 

This year, he will work with new players and players just getting into the mountain dulcimer. 


The past few years there has been very little interest in the hammered dulcimer at this level.   If you know of any folks that would like to get a solid start on the hammered dulcimer, bring them along.   If interest picks up, we'll have the class with Chris Steiner as instructor.

In 1997, when Chris Steiner responded to a newspaper ad that said, “Learn to play 10 songs on the dulcimer in 2 hours.  Keep the dulcimer. $35”, little did she know where it would lead.  That first dulcimer turned out to be a cardboard mountain dulcimer. Within two weeks, she was performing at the county fair and local nursing homes. A few months later, she saw her first hammered dulcimer, and fell in love all over again. The very first dulcimer festival that she attended was none other than Buckeye, and she has attended every one since then, as a participant the first four years, and an instructor the last thirteen. (Yes, she has all of her name badges to prove it!) As someone who never touched a stringed instrument until she was in her 40s, Chris is living proof that you are never too old to learn, and she just LOVES teaching “old dogs new tricks”.

In addition to private lessons, Chris conducts workshops and performs at several festivals and venues yearly.  Her vita includes assisting with in-school music clubs and programs and conducting workshops for school teachers for “Bluegrass in the Schools” in conjunction with the International Bluegrass Music Association in Nashville. This is a program that promotes old time and bluegrass music as part of a standardized school curriculum. An exciting highlight of this time was when she taught 120 inner-city school children in Nashville how to make and play “bucket basses”.  They then accompanied Joe while he played banjo for them.  

Both Chris and Joe are very active in festival leadership in both the dulcimer and bluegrass world.  In addition with assisting Shari and Joyce with the “Dulcimers in the Cornfield” Festival in Wapakoneta for three years, and assisting wherever needed at Buckeye for the last decade, they are very active and key leaders in the Northern Indiana Bluegrass Association which hosts two huge, multi-day bluegrass festivals a year in Kendallville, Indiana.

Chris (Cooperrider) Steiner is one-half (the better half, she says!) of Chris and Joe - Old Time Duo.  Chris’ instrument of choice is the hammered dulcimer, but she can also be found playing upright bass when the opportunity arises. For more information about Chris or Old Time Duo, check out or email Chris at


Allison Miller
began her musical career at age three with Suzuki piano lessons under the tutelage of Carol Wunderle and although she continued to play piano for the next thirteen years, she picked up the harp at age fourteen and began to explore the traditional music scene.

She attended workshops at the Ohio Scottish Arts School and, after completing an undergraduate degree in biology, had the opportunity to pursue post-graduate studies in Clarsarch (Scottish small harp) and Scot's Song at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland  Allison taught with the Comhaltas coinin Erin group in Scotland, has taught both privately and publicly in America, and has appeared in concert in Scotland, Canada, and at multiple venues in the States. 

She and her sister, Sairey, play as a harp duo, "The Hired Hands,' and they released a recording, Something, in the spring of 2009. 

She has her Doctorate in Physical Therapy and hopes to bring both good tunes and ergonomic playing techniques to the field.  She has competed extensively and has been awarded the title of National Scottish Harp Champion of America after winning the 2012 National Scottish Harp Competition and is the current Treasurer of the Scottish Harp Society of America.


For many years, Shari created, taught, led, and facilitated the Band workshop here at Buckeye.  It's the type of workshop that draws on a lifetime of music experience to bring out the best in all players.  Shari has been involved in teaching music workshops on guitar and mountain dulcimer, developing workshop schedules, cr
eating and running festivals and camps as a member of Sweetwater, Country Strings, and as a past officer, president, and member of the Mountain Dulcimer Society of Dayton, and now music leader for a local community group, Nine Mile Creek out of Russia, OH. 

Here at Buckeye, she has been stirring the pot as assistant director to Louise Ziegler (Director Emeritus) and now as Co-Director with Joyce Harrison.  Last year, Shari seized the opportunity to once again lead the Band-it! workshop.  The Band-It! workshop is so special in that each participant has a purpose and adds to the music.  It's a wonderful class to keep and sharpen music skills.   She is really excited to be doing it again this year.







Hammered Dulcimer

Mountain Dulcimer

(Urbana, Oh) 

Phyllis has been playing autoharp since 2006. Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering at Newport, Pa was her first experience playing an autoharp. Her musical background goes back to the age of 8 when she received an accordion for her birthday.

Playing Clarinet and Saxophone became her passion while at Graham Local Schools. After graduation, keyboard playing was once again her top priority. In 2003 she joined the West Central Ohio Community Concert Band (Clarinet) and The Fountainaires Jazz Band (Saxophone). In 2007, she joined the Mad River Valley Dulcimer Society playing the autoharp. Phyllis enjoys all types of music and believes everyone should enjoy playing the autoharp as much as she does.  Returning for her third year at Buckeye, she would like to get folks started on the right track with her teaching at both beginner and early intermediate levels.

This year, Phyllis will also be joining Shari in The Band-It! class in assisting the autoharp participants in picking and back-up playing techniques.

(Elida, OH)

Jill has been playing mountain dulcimer since 2010, when she received a mountain dulcimer as a birthday gift from a “dear couple” from her church.  They had remembered how “intrigued” she was with the dulcimer group that had played at their church and wanted to “pass on” a dulcimer they had.  That one birthday gift has changed the direction of her “Life’s Journey”.  Unlike anything she could ever have imagined, music has “puffed up” her sails, and charted her on a new course.   

Other than 2 years of  “the dreaded piano” in elementary school, Jill’s music experience truly began with her mountain dulcimer.  From the moment she stuck her head into a jam in Wapakoneta, Ohio – scared to death and wanting to RUN out the front door when Shari and Joyce asked her to bring her dulcimer in and play with them,…she’s been hooked.     

Though the mountain dulcimer will always hold a special place in her heart, the hammered dulcimer is where she has found her home.  In 2011 Michael Allen  of Cloud Nine, made her a hammered dulcimer of Curly Maple….and the journey continues.  She is a member of Nine Mile Creek String Band in Russia Ohio.

(Rochester, OH)

Ricki was introduced to the lap dulcimer about 18 years ago, when she was asked to build cardboard dulcimers with her developmentally delayed high school students as part of their occupational orientation class.   Ricki and her students built approximately 1300 dulcimers during the 3 years they built these instruments for a non-profilt agency in Elyria, Ohio. 

She has played for about 15 years and has attended the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival for most of those years.  She loves jamming and learning new tunes and hopes to transfer that love to her new players and beginners.





As the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival has grown, the 'behind the scenes' work and details have grown. 
With so many 'extras' planned for this year, look for these folks helping to make this year the BEST ever.

Co-Director - Shari Wolf

... has been involved with the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival since it's inception 28 years ago.  The first 20 years was spent in helping Louise Ziegler start and organize the festival.  Since then along with assistant director, Joyce Harrison, the festival has moved forward and hopes to continue as long as our participants want it to.   

Musically, she was a founding member of Sweetwater, an Ohio-based trio.  The Sweetwater group was a cornerstone of the festival until their group finale' in 2008. 

Since that time, Shari has been involved with her educational materials business, Country Strings, manages websites for a wide variety of music-related groups, past president of the Dayton Dulcimer Society
, and music leader for Nine-Mile Creek, a community stringband. in Russia, Ohio.

She also manages websites for the a number of small local businesses in her area.  During 2011 marked the 3rd year of the DULCIMERS IN THE CORNFIELD Festival in late April that she, along with Joyce Harrison, plan, organize and make happen.

She'll join Country Strings in  kicking off Friday night's concert and in leading the Sunday morning Gospel Sing.  In addition to being involved with Buckeye, she helped with the organization of the Old Time Gospel Music Retreat as a member of Country Strings.   For more information about Shari and duo with Joyce Harrison (Dulcdaze), click here.

Co-Director - Joyce Harrison

... has been actively involved in the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival for the past 21 years, first as a participant, then in 1997 as an instructor, and in 1998 assisting Louise Ziegler and Shari Wolf in the organization of the festival.  She has researched and made the initial contacts for the hammered dulcimer instructors.  She also revised the design of the brochures and registration forms along with creating name tags, schedules, and other various office duties. 

This year, 2019, Joyce will be attending to festival operations and problem solving as co-Director.   She'll join Country Strings in  kicking off Friday night's concert and in leading the Sunday morning Gospel Sing. 

In addition to being involved with Buckeye, she organized the Old Time Gospel Music Retreat for 15 years as a member of Country Strings.  Joyce and Shari Wolf organized the DULCIMERS IN THE CORNFIELD Festival held in April, and they were involved with many other 'live' music events at the Famous Old Time Music Company formerly in Wapakoneta, OH.   Joyce is also member of a community based stringband out of Russia, Ohio, Nine Mile Creek.
For more information about Joyce and the duo with Shari Wolf, (Dul-C-Daze),
click here.

Festival Advisors - Chris and Joe Steiner

Chris and Joe have been great supporters of the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival for well over 20 years. There willingness to help out with whatever needed done has been invaluable. 

Both are fine instructors ... Chris on the hammer dulcimer and for several years, the Band it! class.  Joe has taught clashammer banjo, mountain dulcimer, and Band It!.


For the past 10 years they have worked as a team in running the sound for concerts, open stages and some jams.

Thanks Chris and Joe for being there to support us all.






are long-time friends of the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival.  Many years ago, Louise presented to them the challenge of handling the registration table during the entire festival.  They accepted the challenge. 

We can't imagine the festival without them!





They also organize and  manage the performers table as well and make it their business to have that extra bit of knowledge about the performers and their product to help enhance sales.   On Friday and Saturday night with help from other volunteers, they make sure that CDs are at the Lodge for additional sales.

This all consuming job can be stressful at times, but every year they show up with smiling faces ready for the challenge.

Debbie is a fine hammered dulcimer player while Brian learned the mountain dulcimer from Louise Ziegler many years ago.




is a local resident living about ten miles from Recreation Unlimited.  She has been involved in the local dulcimer community for many years.  She started taking lessons from Buckeye's own, Louise Ziegler and became her playing companion until life got in her way.  

Several years ago, she contacted us about getting back involved with the festival.  It has been wonderful having her back with us.   You'll see her smiling face in the Dining Hall as she checks your name in the food line.  It's such an important job.  You might see her driving a golf cart helping folks to get from building to building. 

She also helps with festival preparation doing anything we need done.  Her willingness to step up and being responsible for instructor copies has been invaluable.

Thanks, Shirley, for all you do!!!

For man years, Shirley's mom, Erma helped us on the weekend at the Performer's Table.  Thanks, Erma!



entered the dulcimer community as a result of receiving a mountain dulcimer from a former Lima - Great Black Swamp member.   She found out about the jams at the Wapak Store of Vernon and Kitty McIntire and joined us one Saturday.

She's never looked back.  In watching Joyce Harrison play her hammered dulcimer, she fell in love with the instrument, took lessons and is now teaching our Saturday beginners.

As support staff, you'll see her all over the festival taking photos.  She does have a knack for capturing that candid shot!

Jill also helps with festival prep when she can get away from her job as a jewelry designer and office manager at a jewelry store in Lima.


has been a long time participant of BDF willing to help in any way.  Several years ago it became obvious that I had over extended myself in trying to video record the concerts, open stage and some of the jams.

Sandy stepped forward to help us with this.  She is our official videographer.  You'll see her handiwork on our YouTube Channel,

Festival YouTube Channel






has been with this festival since the very first year.  She is no longer on staff, but is still a valued member of our festival.  We still hope to see her at the festival "if the weather be right!" 

She served as a hammered dulcimer instructor and music advisor for many years.   Dorothy also ran BDF open stages.  When presented the challenge of organizing a "CLASS" open stage, Dorothy came up with the most innovative way of making it work.

Dorothy, THANK YOU for all your work, support, and friendship!  We miss your smile and all the things you did for us!



have been wonderful supporters of Buckeye for many years. 

You'll see Mike driving the golf carts from early Wednesday until the last person leaves on Sunday.  Mary Jo does so many things that we know, but many things we don't even know to help make BDF a success.   

I was looking for a nice posed picture for Mike and Mary Jo, but this one seems more in character.  You just never know what's going to happen when Mike and Mary Jo are around.

I am so sorry that health issues have led Mike & MaryJo to make the decision to 'pass the torch' in being able to help and attend BDF.  We will and already miss you both so much!   Summer, 2018 

Hello to All Who Love the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival  (May, 2017) 

It is with a heavy heart, but a joyful and peaceful soul that we must let you know that Louise Ziegler (a driving force of the festival and director for the first 20 years) passed away early Friday morning, May 19, surrounded by family. She stood up to cancer and it didn't take her spirit. She was peaceful ... Hospice was wonderful.  I treasure the time we had with her and the special 'sharing' time with her daughter, Jan, early in the week.  Thinking of all the family and friends with which she has been reunited, makes my spirit smile.

There was a Celebration of Louise's Life on June 10  at her home in Ashley, Ohio.     We filled the yard with music, remembrances and JOY! 

We are thinking of her family but also of her music family from the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival, The Old-Time Gospel Music Retreat,
The Heritage group, many area dulcimer groups, and just folks that she was able to share the joy of the dulcimer.

God Speed wonderful friend!   ~~ Shari and Joyce 



Last updated:  October 28, 2018

Webmatician: Shari Wolf

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