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Support Staff



Denise Borens


Denise Borens

Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee
Administrative Director

Denise is the heartbeat of Dulcimer U, working behind the scenes while everyone is in class to address all of the small details that make the week run smoothly. She can be found in the vendor area selling raffle tickets or helping participants with room assignments, in the classrooms making announcements, or in nearby Sylva running errands.

Denise has been playing the mountain dulcimer for 15 years as a member of Three Rivers Dulcimer Club in Waverly, Tennessee and 14 years as a student of Conger Music Studio in Paris, Tennessee.

She is a retired generating plant operator and instructor for the Tennessee Valley Authority. If you have a question about anything regarding Dulcimer U, Denise is the one to ask as she probably knows the answer.


Gary Sager


Gary Sager

Waverly, Ohio
Dulcimer Doctor

Gary is the resident "Mr. Fix It" at Dulcimer U, making himself available to do repairs or upgrade work on your dulcimer throughout the week. He will also be one of the largest merchandise vendors in attendance.

Gary became interested in the Mountain Dulcimer in 1991 after seeing David Schnaufer's "Fischer's Hornpipe" video on CMT. He built a dulcimer in late 1991, then began building seriously in 1992 and has been building and playing since that time.

Gary, along with wife Toni are the owners of "Prussia Valley Dulcimers Acoustic Music Shop". Gary has taught playing workshops at Fort New Salem Dulcimer Festival, Dulcimer Doin's in Dayton, Ohio, Buckeye Dulcimer Festival in Ashley, Ohio, The Great River Road Dulcimer Festival in Grafton, IL, Yellowbanks Dulcimer Festival in Owensboro, KY, Chestnut Ridge Dulcimer Festival in Greensburg, PA, Western Carolina University Dulcimer Week and several other regional festivals. Gary and Toni perform occasionally at these festivals.

Gary and Toni have one CD to their credit, "Rats In the Fence Corner", which features an eclectic blend of tunes. Gary can also be heard on Doug Felt's "A Little of This & A Little of That" CD. His first tablature book, "Other Tunes For Appalachian Dulcimer" was published in March of 2009 and features many tunes not normally heard on mountain dulcimer.

Visit Prussia Valley Dulcimers at


Kitty Pentecost


Kitty Pentecost

Gallatin, Tennessee
Vendor Area Manager

Kitty and her husband, Mike come to WCU each year to help with two completely different aspects of Dulcimer U. Kitty's duties include managing our vendor area. She coordinates space with each of the vendors, helps set-up tables and assists customers with sales when the vendors are not present. When she is not busy in the vendor area, she can be found running errands around the conference center. You might even find Kitty sitting in on a class or two as a participant, feeding her dulcimer habit.

Kitty's outgoing personality, contagious laugh and winning smile always seem to rub off on the participants and staff alike, resulting in the warm and friendly atmosphere for which Dulcimer U is best known.

Kitty managed the Word Processing Center for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship in Nashville before she became a stay-at-home mom to Sarah and Daniel (now grown). She now spends her time tending the garden and playing the dulcimer. Kitty has been a member of White House (TN) Dulcimer Club for eight years and is a private student of Larry Conger.


Mike Pentecost


Mike Pentecost

Gallatin, Tennessee
Sound Engineer

Mike is in charge of providing sound reinforcement for the various activities at Dulcimer U. He learned audio recording, mixing, and sound reinforcement system design while serving in the military. Mike was assigned to the Audio Productions Section of the White House Communications Agency during the Richard Nixon Administration. For three years, Mike traveled in advance of the president both nationally and internationally. He participated in the Nixon visits to China, Russia, and Iran.

One of the many duties of the Audio Productions Section is to provide high quality sound reinforcement and recording services for entertainers that perform at the White House after State Dinners held for visiting dignitaries. Some of the entertainers for which Mike has set-up sound systems, mixed audio, or recorded include Frank Sinatra, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, The Osborne Brothers, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, The Mike Curb Congregation, The Carpenters, Beverly Sills, and the memorable Prisoner of War Dinner with Sammy Davis Jr. and friends.

After military service, Mike returned to Nashville to work in the audio/visual industry. Mike is vice president of Southeastern Sound, Inc., a low voltage systems integrator based in Nashville.

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