Larry Conger - Paris, Tennessee
Larry and his wife Elaine are co-directors of Dulcimer U Winter Weekend at Lake Junaluska.
They make their home in Paris, Tennessee where they operate a private music studio,
teaching piano, voice, guitar and drums as well as the mountain dulcimer. Some of
their instruction includes long distance learning via Skype and Larry's Tune of the
Month, a CD lesson by mail.
A graduate of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Larry has been involved with music as a vocation for over 35 years. Besides being a popular instructor at various dulcimer workshops around the country, Larry also served as a church music director for several churches during the late 1970s through the 1990s. He has been a participating artist for the Tennessee Arts Commission's Arts In Education program as well as the Kentucky Arts Council's Teacher Incentive Program, bringing dulcimer music into the public schools.
In 1995, Larry won the Southern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Mountain View, Arkansas. Three years later, he won the prestigious National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Larry has authored fourteen dulcimer books and has three recordings to his credit.
Elaine Conger - Paris, Tennessee
Elaine is also one of our directors for Dulcimer U Winter Weekend. She and her husband,
Larry work throughout the year to bring Winter Weekend together in January.
Elaine is a professional music educator and Orff-Schulwerk specialist who has a passion for instilling a love for the arts in young people. Her years as a professional musician, combined with her experience as a classroom teacher give her a unique perspective when working with students.
Her past musical experience includes touring with her own country band, performing on the General Jackson showboat at Opryland in Nashville and touring as pianist and back-up vocalist with country music superstar, Faith Hill. More recently, she has directed and accompanied numerous musical theater productions and even starred in a few herself. Her favorite role to date is as Patsy in "Always Patsy Cline." Elaine also serves as organist/music director for a local Episcopal Church.
Judy House - Winston-Salem, North Carolina (mountain dulcimer)
Judy began her study of music as the age of 9 when she was introduced to the flute;
piano soon followed. She has been playing and performing ever since with everything
from marching bands to gospel quartets to dulcimer ensembles! She received her first
mountain dulcimer in 1995. A graduate of the first class for Teaching the Mountain
Dulcimer from Dulcimer U at WCU, she has taught Mountain Dulcimer classes at Forsyth
Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC since 2010, has a number of private
students, and was added to the Dulcimer U staff in 2014 for the Teaching the Mountain
Dulcimer core class. She has also been a presenter at dulcimer festivals in North
Carolina for the past 3 years.
Judy is a graduate of Campbell University. She has had an extraordinary variety of opportunities as an educator over the past 40 years, teaching preschool through graduate level classes in North Carolina as well as planning and presenting staff development over much of the state.
Judy will be directing the beginner mountain dulcimer class at Winter Weekend.
Joe Collins - Shelby, North Carolina (mountain dulcimer)
Joe Collins has been a folk musician and mountain dulcimer player since the late
70s. A songwriter and vocalist, he performs with a lot of humor and some excellent
mountain dulcimer playing - sure to bring a smile to audiences of all ages. He has
won numerous competitions, including the 2007 National Mountain Dulcimer Championship
in Winfield, Kansas. In addition to performing, Joe is also well known for his laid
back teaching style, and he puts his doctorate in Adult Education to good use in dulcimer
festivals all over the country.
Joe will be conducting workshops for both intermediate and advanced players at Winter Weekend.
Paul Andry - Highlands, North Carolina (mountain dulcimer)
Originally from Mandeville, Louisiana, Paul is Louisiana’s premier mountain dulcimer
player. Known for his lyrical touch with contemporary music from New Orleans Mardi
Gras to Pop, Irish, Ragtime and Traditional American Folk Music, he is an excellent
arranger of music for the dulcimer, Paul has taught classes at many dulcimer events
and has competed successfully in several dulcimer playing contests, including the
Texas State Dulcimer Championship, which he won in 1994.
As an organizer, Paul is the founder of the Bayou Dulcimer Club and was one of the inspiring forces in the clubs joyous Mardi Gras Dulcimer Festival. Paul has taught at Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, North Carolina where he teaches individual and group lessons fro beginner to advanced. He has published three books of arrangements.
Paul will be teaching intermediate and advanced level mountain dulcimer classes at Winter Weekend.
Jim Miller - Hampton, Tennessee (hammered dulcimer/mountain dulcimer)
Jim has been playing and performing traditional music for more than 35 years. An accomplished
instrument builder and teacher, he has taught workshops at numerous festivals as well
as won many awards for his musicianship.
For twenty years, Jim was the owner of the Hampton Music Shop, in Hampton, Tennessee, where he handcrafted over 750 hammered dulcimers. He has played with Celtic, Bluegrass, Swing, Blues and Old Time bands, and has done session work on many recordings.
In addition to being an accomplished performer and workshop leader, Jim also is an enthusiastic jam facilitator (Jam-Meister, Master of the Jam, etc.) who likes to get everyone involved. He plays guitar, banjo, octave mandolin, bass, steel drum, percussion, autoharp, hammered and mountain dulcimers as well as his own off-the-wall musical inventions, which are always entertaining.
Jim holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education and has completed the course work for certification in music education. He teaches 4th grade at Cloudland Elementary School in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, where he leads an after school traditional string band program. He also teaches dulcimer and autoharp in the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program at East Tennessee State University.
Jim will be in charge of leading the jam sessions at Winter Weekend and teaching a workshop or two.
Guy George - Port Orange, Florida (hammered dulcimer)
Guy is a multi-faceted instrumentalist with jazz influenced roots. He has made his
mark in the dulcimer world as a performer, instructor, author/publisher and recording
artist. His diverse playing style adds a different twist to the sounds of the hammered
dulcimer, steel drum, pennywhistle, and saxophone, all of which he incorporates into
his performances and teaching.
A professional musician most of his life, Guy studied jazz performance, arranging and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. He travels throughout the United States and Canada performing and teaching at various types of venues and festivals. His teaching style is relaxed and fun, as he teaches tunes of many different genres and styles. In addition, he incorporates methods for more advanced practicing and playing techniques while simultaneously entertaining his students.
Guy has recorded with some of the country's great dulcimer artists; Maddie MacNeil, David Moran and Joe Morgan, Tull Glazener, Doofus, Heidi Muller, Gary and Toni Sager, and Aaron O•Rourke. He also has one recording of his own, Dreamcastle.
Guy and Sharrie live in Daytona Beach, Florida when they are not on the road where Guy enjoys playing steel drum, sax, pennywhistle and hammered dulcimer on the beach and in Tiki Bars around the area.
Guy will be teaching both levels of hammered dulcimer at Winter Weekend
Sharrie George - Port Orange, Florida (Ukulele)
Sharrie is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, studied music at the College of Charleston
in South Carolina, and has been involved with music and worship at churches in Ohio
since 1980. She plays guitar, ukulele, mountain dulcimer, bass, and sings. She and
her husband, Guy, write and produce instructional books for hammered dulcimer, steel
drum, pennywhistle, and other instruments. They also travel as instructors for these
instruments, and perform at various venues around the country. They have one CD they
have produced together, titled Dreamcastle.
Be sure to check out Sharrie's ukulele workshops at Winter Weekend.
Jess Dickinson - Madison, Mississippi (hammered dulcimer)
Jess began performing hammered dulcimer at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View,
Arkansas in 1990, where he was the featured hammered dulcimer player on the annual
Christmas show for seven years. Jess is the 2013 Southern Regional Hammered Dulcimer
Champion, and he and Jeff Hames won first place in the 2013 Southern Regional ensemble
Jess has performed with symphony orchestras and on stages across the country, both as a soloist, and with his bluegrass band, the Bluegrass Appeal, which recently released a CD, "From Dublin to the Delta," with guest performer Stephen Seifert.
For the past 25 years, Jess has instructed hammered dulcimer at numerous festivals and workshops including ODPC Funfest, The Memphis Gathering, Ozark Folk Center, Southern Strings, Arkansas Dulcimer Society, Lagniappe Dulcimer Festival, Southern Appalachian Festival, Buckeye Dulcimer Festival, and others. He is the author of "The Essential Hammered Dulcimer Instruction Manual," now set to go into its fourth printing, and sold across the United States and in twelve foreign countries. He also has produced numerous instruction videos for hammered dulcimer, many of which are available on DVD through his website, DickinsonDulcimer.com. His instruction videos occupy 12 of the top 20 results for "hammered dulcimer instruction" on YouTube.
When Jess is not performing or teaching hammered dulcimer, he is either working at his two day jobs – Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, and law school Professor.
Jess will be teaching both levels of hammered dulcimer at Winter Weekend.