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: We are changing our Jam schedule for this summer. We plan on once-a-month jams in outdoor venues! July 11, August 15 and September 19 jams will all be held at Bridgewater’s Oakdale Park from 10 am to noon.

Here is our summer’s schedule, weather permitting:
June 20 – Shelter 3, 10 am – noon
July 11 – Shelter 3, 10 am – noon (largest shelter, near the restrooms)
August 15 – Shelter 1, 10 am – noon (first shelter on the right)
September 19 – Shelter 3, 10 am – noon (largest shelter, near the restrooms)

For the foreseeable future the jams will need to be outdoors with social distancing and masks, preferably. We will meet at Bridgewater’s Oakdale Park in a shady shelter – you will need to bring a chair, music stand and your Dave Haas Jam book.

NOTE: There restrooms adjoining this shelter, but due to the COVID sanitizing schedule, they open at noon daily.  

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 you will need to turn.
Stay well.  Can’t wait to see you at our next jam.  Look for an email if the weather turns bad.


Check back for fall jam plans.

[In the fall, 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

Retirement Communities & More

Music Memories:

Familiar Music for those in Nursing Care, Memory Units and Retirement Villages

In the dining rooms, the community rooms and gathering places of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, White Birch Retirement Home, Sunnyside Retirement Community, The Springs Retirement Community in Hot Springs, and Brookdale Senior Living, strains of familiar tunes and hymns are often heard. Tom and Jan Scanlan, have entertained in these venues for literally hundreds of hours over the years. They are greeted enthusiastically, and the question each time at the end is “When will you be back?”

Sometimes they are joined by other club members and players, and make special appearances from time to time to celebrate birthdays or other special occasions.

Jan, Shannon, Patricia and Tom at the Sugar Maple Festival

In addition to their regular circuit in the retirement communities, they make an annual appearance at the Maple Sugar Festival in Highland Co., in March and at the Hands and Harvest Festival in Highland Co. in October each year.

Jan at Highland’s Old Time Fiddler’s Convention

Jan and Tom include music related stops in their travels, including several areas that claim they are the home to Old Joe Clark of the old time tune. However, Kentucky may have the most authentic claim; they have his statue and  plaque to prove it!

Old Joe Clark himself, at home in Kentucky!


Some of our northern-most club members are the “Heartstrings”

Club members Vicky Germroth, Arna Zulauf, Irene Mertens, Ann Grisdale and Sally Walters gather to play as “Heartstrings”.  This year they played at the Greenfield Nursing Home in Strasburg in February, April and May. They took our Limberjack  (Jig Doll) and the residents loved it!  They also attended the Poconos Dulcimer Festival in Stroudsburg, PA in April.  In October, Tom and Jan Scanlan joined the group as they played at Brookdale Senior Living in Harrisonburg. Last December Heartstrings played Christmas music at the “Merriment in Middletown” event  and at Bellegrove Plantation in Middletown and are scheduled to perform at both places again this December.

“The Pride”

The Pride of the Blue Ridge – Blue Lions!
Batesville Market, December 1, 2019

The Pride performed at the Batesville Market (read more here) the afternoon of December 1. It was a fun venue and lovely market!

Batesville Market Part I
Batesville Market Part II
Batesville Market Part III
Our Corner at Batesville Market

The Pride also will play at the Augusta County Library in Fishersville on December 11.

Homecoming Sunday at Holy Cross Episcopal Church

On September 15, 2019 in Batesville, several dulcimer players joined Renée Willis in providing the prelude for the special Homecoming service. Every pew was filled, and the tables overflowed with food at the fellowship meal! What a lovely historic place to gather for worship!

Play well, listen to each other… and, what, we were supposed to look up and SMILE, TOO?
We were a well-fed group!