Dulcimer Group

"I know of no other setting where people like us can come together with the best musicians in the world for such a measly fee. I will come to Stringalong forever." Chuck Wimpee, Biology Professor

October 2008 Stringalong Weekend


Muriel Anderson

MURIEL ANDERSON (Fingerstyle Guitar) Widely respected as one of the foremost fingerstyle guitarists in the world, Muriel is a commissioned composer and '89 National Fingerpicking Guitar Champion. She is host of All Star Guitar Night, and has released 7 CDs, 3 videos and guitar books. She performs throughout the US and in Japan, Malaysia and Paris.

Karen Ashbrook

KAREN ASHBROOK (Hammered Dulcimer) With delicate touch, shimmering lilt and authentic ornamentation, Karen is considered one of the finest Irish hammered dulcimer players anywhere. She has performed throughout the US, Europe and the Orient, has published a music tutor on Irish music, and has many recordings.

Cathy Barton and Dave ParaCATHY BARTON and DAVE PARA (Singing, Banjo, Flatpick Guitar) Cathy and Dave have created dynamic performances acclaimed for 25 years for their variety and expertise in vocal and instrumental musical traditions of the Ozarks. They have performed across the U.S. and Europe.

Carroll Brown

CARROLL BROWN (Calligraphy) Carroll graduated in Graphic Design from Layton School of Art. He created calligraphy for Pabst Brewing and interior graphics and signage for Pick 'n Save, Sentry, Sendik's, and a Super Valu. He taught commercial art classes at Cardinal Stritch University.

Donn Christensen

DONN CHRISTENSEN (Contra/Square Dancing) Donn has been calling community dances in the Ashland/Chequamegon Bay region for several years. He teaches First Friday dances at Northland College's and senior citizens at his WITC/Cornucopia. No experience needed…just comfy clothes and a playful spirit.

Bruce Emery

BRUCE EMERY (Guitar) Bruce is the owner of Skeptical Guitarist Publications and the author of two series of guitar method books, Guitar From Scratch and Music Principles for the Skeptical Guitarist. He has operated the Bruce Emery Guitar Studio in Raleigh, NC, since 1986. He performs and records in the Emery-McKnight Duo.

Diana Hedges

DIANA HEDGES (Wooden Toys, Greeting Cards) From Minnesota, Diana has been the Director of the Edina Art Center since 1986. Born in Iowa with a crayon in her mouth, Diana has been involved in Arts Education for more than 30 years. She sells beautiful watercolor cards as fundraisers and her classes are lively and fun.

Jo Larson

JO LARSON (Handbells) Jo is the music coordinator for Belgrade United Methodist Church where she directs three handbell choirs and shares in directing the chancel choir. Jo is on the board of River Bend Bells, Mankato, Minnesota's Community Handbell Ensemble, serving as associate director in charge of music selection.

Ken Leinbach

KEN LEINBACH (Nature/Ecology) Starting in an old trailer in a crime-ridden city park, Ken led the effort to build the state-of-the-art $5 million Urban Ecology Center, where he is the Executive Director. The UEC hosted over 50,000 visitors last year. Ken has received 2 prestigious national awards for his contributions to ecology education.


BRETT LIPSHUTZ (Tinwhistle/Flute) Brett has twice played at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil and toured with the Trinity Dance Company. He has taught flute at the Old Town School in Chicago, Milwaukee’s Conservatory of Music, and the Association Irlandaise in Paris. He has many recordings and radio broadcasts.

Joel Mabus

JOEL MABUS (Songwriting, Fingerstyle Guitar) Known for his wit, songwriting brilliance, and instrumental perfection, Joel will tickle your funny bone and touch your heart. A premier singer-songwriter, Joel has appeared with Doc Watson, Mark O'Connor, Joan Baez, John Prine, and Garrison Keillor. He garnered the #1 spot in airplay as reported world wide to FOLKDJ-L.

Sowah Mensah

SOWAH MENSAH (African Drumming) A Master Drummer from West Africa, Sowah is a music professor at Macalester College and St. Thomas, where he also directs the African Music Ensemble. A native of Ghana, Sowah has played with the Ghana National Symphony Orchestra. In 2000 he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist.

Karen Mueller

KAREN MUELLER (Autoharp, Mountain Dulcimer) Winner of the 1986 International Autoharp Contest, Winfield, KS, Karen is twice a champion of KS State Dulcimer competitions. She performs Appalachian, Celtic and contemporary music in venues from CA to NY, both as a soloist and band member.

David Nunley

DAVID NUNLEY (Gospel Singing) David has been playing piano since age four. At age eight, he studied piano and theory at the WI Conservatory of Music, where he won numerous scholarships. He has been Professor of the UW-M Gospel Choir since 1999 and teaches Music at Vincent High School in Milwaukee. He also serves as Minister of Music for All Peoples Congregation.

Mary Park

MARY PARK (Autoharp, Mountain Dulcimer) Author of a mountain dulcimer instruction book and regular columnist for beginning players in the Autoharp Quarterly Magazine, Mary has taught at the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering and Wisconsin festivals. Her philosophy is “It’s never too late,” and “It’s got to be fun.”

Amy Plant

AMY PLANT (Digital Photography) A Certified Consultant at Apple Inc., Amy has served as a multimedia instructor at ITT Technical Institute and Think Innovative Media. She currently teaches digital photography for UW Outreach. Owner of a training and web design firm, Web Etcetera, Amy teaches others how to use their computers as both a tool of necessity and an outlet for creativity.

Lil' Rev

LIL' REV (Ukulele, Harmonica) Voted Best Folksinger in 2004, Best Instrumentalist in 2000, and Best Acoustic Act in 1996-7 by the WAMI music industry awards, Rev was inducted into the Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003. He is author of Hal Leonard’s Ukulele Method Book and Hohner’s '96 National Blues Harmonica champion at Avoca, IA.

Kim Robertson

KIM ROBERTSON (Folk/Lap Harp) Classically trained on orchestral harp, Kim’s work encompasses over 20 album projects, 11 volumes of harp arrangements, three instructional videos and an international itinerary of concerts and retreats.

Randy Sabien

RANDY SABIEN (Fiddle) A jazz violinist in the tradition of the great swing players Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, and Stuff Smith, Randy has appeared on TV's Austin City Limits, NPR's A Prairie Home Companion, and has recordings on Red House and Flying Fish records.

Ann and Will Schmid

WILL and ANN SCHMID (Singing) Will is principal author of #1 selling Hal Leonard Guitar Method. He has directed choirs and taught singing since 1962. Ann is author of several autoharp books, and founder/director of the UWM Folk Center (Stringalong Weekends). The Schmids have performed on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Show, radio, TV, and in fests and schools throughout the U.S.

Special Consensus Bluegrasss BandSPECIAL CONSENSUS BLUEGRASS BAND (Greg Cahill, Banjo; Justin Carbone, Flatpick Guitar; Ashby Frank, Mandolin; and David Thomas, String Bass) Performing since 1975, Special Consensus initiated the Traditional American Music Program in 1984 in schools across the country. They have appeared on The Nashville Network “Fire On The Mountain” show, toured for 3 seasons in the musical “Cotton Patch Gospel,” and released 12 additional recordings. In 2003, they received a standing ovation at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Their Everything's Alright release was included in the Top 10 Recordings of 2005 in Bluegrass Now magazine. The band has toured internationally. Greg Cahill (banjo) is President and Board Chair of Nashville's International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). Justin Carbone (flatpick guitar) was featured in major bluegrass periodical “Bluegrass Now.” Ashby Frank (mandolin) won 2 of the most prestigious mandolin contests in the world - Galax, VA and Merlefest in NC, when he was only 16. David (bass) has won many band contests in his home area in AL.


BILL STAINES (Singing, Songwriting) With 22 albums and 4 songbooks, Bill averages 200 performances a year. His songs have been recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Mason Williams, The Highwaymen, Glen Yarborough, Jerry Jeff Walker, Grandpa Jones and others.

Kim Stanfill-McMillan

KIM STANFILL-MCMILLAN (Silver Clay and Fused Glass Jewelry) Owner of two pottery studios since 1997, Kim has been creating and teaching various crafts at art fairs, festivals and shows (most juried) for over 30 years. She is known for making learning new crafts fearless, fun and exciting.

Gary Stone

GARY STONE(Instrument Building: Dulcimer, Banjo, Harp, Bodhran) Gary Stone has been building folk instruments since 1984. The kits are designed so beginners can make a good sounding, great looking instrument. For photos, instrument descriptions and prices, please see Stringalong High Notes.

Paul Wagner

PAUL WAGNER (International Folk Dance) Paul has been dancing, performing, teaching, and leading international folk dance since 1975. He is a co-leader of the Eau Claire International Folk Dancers, performs with the Bistra Voda Dance troupe, and has led folk dance workshops throughout the Midwest.

Katie Waldren

KATIE WALDREN (Mountain Dulcimer) Katie has authored 5 books, recorded 7 albums, and provided innovative workshops for numerous festivals nationwide. The music from her duo Heartwood appears in 2 Public Television documentaries, and a Narada sampler.

Neal Walters

NEAL WALTERS (Autoharp, Mountain Dulcimer) A member of the Mill Run Dulcimer Band for over 20 years, Neal recorded 8 albums. He is editor of Music Hound Folk, and has taught at Boone, Augusta, Kentucky Music Week, Black Swamp, Autumn Hills, Cranberry, Housatonic, Dulcimer Daze, Swannanoa, and others.