Sharing our music

During this COVID-19 time when we have been missing playing together, meeting at jams, and enjoying the sweet sounds of our dulcimers in groups, we propose “sharing our music” in other ways! If you have a recording, either audio or video, of you or your group, and would agree to having it shared on our webpage, please send it to

Shared here is September on the Mississippi by Larry Conger and the traditional Irish tune Southwind dating back to the 1700’s, both played by five members of the Pride of the Blue Ridge, all members of our Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players Club.

September on the Mississippi and Southwind, played members of the Pride of the Blue Ridge

Hector the Hero, arranged by Tull Glazener in two parts, with a bass dulcimer, is found below. It is played by 4 members of the Pride of the Blue Ridge.

Hector the Hero, played by members of the Pride of the Blue Ridge

In Memory of Tom Scanlan


by Dinah Ansley
on behalf of the Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players Club

​ One day, about 15 years ago, two people took note of an instrument they heard played on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The moment changed mountain dulcimer history in Central Virginia and beyond.

​   With extraordinary dedication and enthusiasm, Tom and Jan Scanlan became this area’s strongest advocates for an instrument that barely anybody could identify.  They studied, researched, and took lessons so they could play the mountain dulcimer.

​ Tom and Jan went to workshops in North Carolina and hosted house concerts in Harrisonburg.  They attended out-of-state dulcimer gatherings and instituted local dulcimer jams.  They volunteered time and skills to put on local workshops and a three-day festival.  Their efforts contributed significantly to the formation of the Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players Club.  Their leadership and support  are substantial factors in the growth and well-being of today’s ongoing dulcimer Club.

​ Tom and Jan played mountain dulcimer for church groups and ladies luncheons; for civic organizations and classrooms of children.  They played on freezing mornings at a far-flung sugar camp during Maple Festival time and on blistering afternoons at Humpback Farm on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  They played on t.v. and on radio.  They played with others in cities and farms and for themselves in their precious Highland cabin.

​ Being a woodworker, Tom took up building mountain dulcimers.  Initially he taught himself from kits and then began experimenting with his own designs and ideas.  Tom made and sold hundreds of  dulcimers, as well as occasionally gifting a lucky recipient with one of his creations.

​ Tom Scanlan, in partnership with his beloved Jan, was the strongest, most enthusiastic advocate of and promoter  for the mountain dulcimer in all of Central Virginia.  Tom’s physical presence departed this world on Monday, August 31, 2020.

​ Today the dulcimer world is both impoverished with Tom’s passing and enriched with the memories and ongoing realities of his dulcimer generosity. 

​  We miss you Tom and give thanks for you and all you gave us. Our hearts and love go to Jan and the Scanlan family.

Online Opportunities

11th annual New Mexico Dulcimer Festival (online)

Pay for only the workshops you wish to take, $15 per workshop.

Our festival has grown from 7 mountain dulcimer workshops in 2010 to 50 workshops in 2019 focusing on mountain and hammered dulcimer, but other folk instruments as well. We offer a full complement of additional activities. We work hard to keep registration fees low which pay for about half of festival expenses – thank you! Registration revenue is critical to festival survival. We’ve been seeking grants since 2013 which have paid for about 17% of expenses. We are grateful for these funds as this little boost makes a huge difference in what we can offer, and we get to promote our sponsors’ worthy efforts. Other minor sources of revenue and private donations have helped us grow the festival into what we hope is a Southwest treasure and a tangible resource in your musical growth and enjoyment. Read more.

17th annual Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival

Nutmeg will be ONLINE this year. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 2-3, 2020. Featured artists will be Jerry Rockwell on mountain dulcimer and Joshua Messick on hammered dulcimer:

Plus an all-star team of workshop leaders:

Richard Ash, Ken Bloom, Cliff Cole, Sam Edelston, Rudy Gabrielson, John Hallberg, Ryan Imran Husain, Tom Irving, James Jones, Mack Johnston, Melanie Johnston, Marya Katz, Saina Khaledi, Bernd Krause, Randy Marchany, Jody Marshall, Juliana Parker, Ellen Pratt, Randy Raine-Reusch, Brett Ridgeway, Bill Ruyle, Carol Walker, Pam Weeks, Norm Williams … and MUCH MORE!

Menucha Dulcimer Lunch and Learn

Get your “virtual vitamin D” (Delightful Daily Doses of Dulcimer) at Menucha Dulcimer Lunch and Learn – Sept 14 – 18, 2020

5 days of 90-minute online lunchtime lessons from these exceptional instructors:
Nina Zanetti – Monday, 9/14
Larry Conger – Tuesday, 9/15
Tish Westman – Wednesday, 9/16
Jim Miller – Thursday, 9/17
Rob Brereton – Friday, 9/18

Can’t make it to every lesson? Participants will receive private links for viewing later. Visit our website for more info and to register

Remembering Madeline MacNeil

We are saddened to hear of Madeline MacNeil’s passing. She is known as the “Mother of Modern Day Dulcimer” and shaped her career around playing dulcimer and accompanied by her lovely clear voice.
Maddie was the founder and original publisher of DULCIMER PLAYER NEWS, a position she held for almost three decades. In the early years, the publication was assembled and mailed from her dining room table, with the help of other dedicated dulcimer players.

Many friends from the dulcimer world have posted moving tributes on Maddie’s Facebook page:

A number of these tributes contain musical selections in her honor, including Steve Seifert and Bing Futch, who created Dulcimerica Episode 486 “For Maddie” (see here).

See more here:

Join Us At Our Next Jam

NOTE: With fall weather upon us, the times of gathering outdoors in pleasant temperatures is past! Until we are able to meet safely indoors, our jams are “on hold”. Updates to our schedule will be announced here and via email to club members.

NEXT JAM – October 17, 2020, 2 – 4 pm

October 17, 2020 – 2 – 4 pm at Shelter #2, Oakdale Park, Bridgewater. Let’s make ONE MORE ATTEMPT at an outdoor jam! The last two jams were cancelled due to high water and rain in August and cool weather in September. We are crossing our fingers for a sunny afternoon on October 17.

Oakdale Park is easy to get to, and the entrance is very near the North River Library entrance.  Shelter 3 is the 3rd shelter on the right, on the way into the park.  Oakdale Park is located at 134 Mt. Crawford Ave., Bridgewater , VA 22812. It is easily accessible from Main Street (Route 42) and also from I- 81 or Route 11.  There are signs for both the Library and the park, near intersections in Bridgewater where turns need to be made.


We miss seeing all of you and are anxiously awaiting news that we can again safely gather indoors!

[In the winter, if COVID restrictions are lightened, we hope that jams will be held in the WAYNERSBORO Library, rather than the Fishersville Library. Parking at the end will allow easy no-stairs access to the lower level where we will be meeting.]

Note: In the event of inclement weather, PLEASE CHECK THIS WEBSITE or our Facebook page for a notification of cancellation.

Thanks to our secretaries!

The officers of the Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players Club extend our appreciation to Debbie Campbell for her service as Secretary of the Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Player for slightly more than a year.  Each month Debbie sent out jam reminders, as well as club announcements.  With the increasing demand of caring for her family members, as well as her work requirements, Debbie feels she needs to set aside her secretarial activities and requests we find someone else to fill this role.  Becky Chalam who has served as Secretary in the past has agreed to be responsible for this function for the remainder of 2020. 
Please express your appreciation personally when you see Debbie at a dulcimer event and also welcome Becky.


“Dulce” was formed in 2015 by a core group from the Charlottesville Women’s Choir and Sue Davis.  We now have seven women and may be joined by music therapist and dulcimer player Janice Stegall-Seibert. We meet on the last Tuesday afternoon of the month at clubhouse of Sharon Baiocco in Charlottesville for two hours of playing together.  

Two of our players now have Blue Lion dulcimers, and most of us are working on chording and finger picking.  Membership is informal, by invitation.  Each meeting, we share tunes we are working on, and, if music is not copywritten, we share the music so others can learn with us.  Our choices are very eclectic, from folk ballads to fiddle tunes and sweet old hymns, with an occasional popular tune thrown in.  We are just beginning to work on songs with harmonies.  Most of all, we value the fun of playing together! – Sharon Baiocco