Announcements and POSTS [New]

  • See Posts section below for the latest news, activities that might be of interest even though not featuring hammered dulcimer, and general music-related tidbits.  The detailed information that had been placed on the Concerts, Workshops and Classes pages are being transitioned over to this page's Posts, to be completed by the end of the year.
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  • Hammered dulcimer and plein air painting camp in Ireland, June 11-20, 2015, see more information on the Classes/Workshops page.

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  • Donation to Fairfax Library Foundation.  The Fairfax libraries have offered us very nice space for our jams at no cost for many years.  In 2013 we collected donations totaling $80 to send to this Foundation which provides assistance to the libraries.  Thanks to all those who contributed.  If you missed this opportunity, you may donate directly to them using the choices on their website,  See their thank you letter.
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  • Web Site Updates: Notification by Email.  A list has been developed of musicians and listeners who want to be emailed when the site is updated each month.  To get your name on the list, send an email to Hilary with the subject of "Add Me for HD email."  Use the subject "Remove Me from HD email list" to be taken off.  REMINDER:  If you were on the list, but Hilary's email to you bounces, you'll have to resubmit your email address as she then has no way to contact you!
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Classes with Karen Ashbrook

posted Mar 2, 2015, 8:04 PM by Eleanor Holsopple

It's been a different year and extra therapeutic music work and additional family needs have kept me from organizing my monthly HD group classes.

March 20-22 in the Shepherdstown, WV 
Upper Potomac Dulcimer Festival
several levels of classes, great teachers (myself too this time!)
You can attend for just one day - Friday-, Sat, Sun and various other combos.   Or just come out for the concert Saturday night.  I hope to see some of you there!

After that I will resume my classes in my home in Silver Spring, MD.
Saturdays April 18 and May 9.  
Topics TBA, although one of those will be a serious chord work out with the classic French cafe waltz "Sous le Ciel de Paris"  (Under Paris Skies) on my new CD "KA/PO in Concert."

No group class in June.  July and August we'll see if anyone is around!  
So you will be hearing again from me with details for April and May classes.

Happy hammering!

Sunday April 12: Ken & Brad Kolodner with Genticorum

posted Feb 10, 2015, 9:38 PM by Eleanor Holsopple

On Sunday, April 12, my son Brad and I will join with Alex LacQuement and Genticorum in an intimate concert of old-time and Quebecois music at the Stony Run Friends Meeting House. Genticorum is a fantastic trio from Canada featuring fiddler Pascal Gemme, flutist Alexandre de Grosbois-Garand, and guitar Yann Falquet. These folks are among the best performers of traditional French-Canadian music. I had a chance to play with the group a few years back. We will no doubt play all together! Click HERE for tickets and more info


See Genticorum here Genticorum on youtube

See Genticorum with Ken, Laura Risk and Keiran Ken playing with Genticorum, Laura Risk, Keiran Jordan

Sunday, April 12 at 7:00 pm  

The Stony Run Friends Meeting House
5116 North Charles Street 
Baltimore MD 21210 




$23 in advance ($1.00 service fee for credit cards); $25 at the door; $12 children under 13

Online at

Facebook at

On the phone via credit card, 410-746-8387

Or send a check to Ken Kolodner, 3806 Fenchurch Rd, Baltimore, MD 21218  

Upcoming Concerts & Classes - Maggie Sansone

posted Jan 27, 2015, 3:54 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Mar 2, 2015, 8:10 PM ]

Feb. 24 - March 31  Winter/Spring Classes

Annapolis, MD at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts,
801 Chase St, Annapolis MD 21401, (410) 263-5544.
Hammered dulcimer Workshop (intermediate)
Celtic Slow Jam (mixed instruments)
NEW**Hammered Dulcimer - Starting from Scratch!
(a 3 hour one day workshop)
Hammered Dulcimer for Beginners... Keep on Hammering! Browse the online catalog,  download a PDF of the catalog or click here to register for a class now!

March 22, 1-3pm  Art Fest in Annapolis, MD  Free!  Maryland Hall event includes live music with Maggie's Celtic Slow Jam Class demos. Explore all that Maryland Hall has to offer at the annual Open House on Sunday, March 22 from 1-4 pm.  From performances to art demonstrations, hands-on projects to gallery events, this FREE event will be an exciting afternoon full of fun and creativity for children and adults.  Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St, Annapolis MD 21401,
(410) 263-5544

New!  Cold Frosty Morn at West River
Celtic Holiday Music & Songs

Maggie Sansone, Andrea Hoag & Sharon Knowles
with Patrick Egan. 
Enjoy this unique blend of Celtic and American roots music as the musicians create lyrical interpretations of traditional music for the holidays. It features Maggie Sansone on hammered dulcimer, Andrea Hoag on fiddle, Sharon Knowles on Celtic harp and with Patrick Egan on guitar and vocals.  Hear music and songs from the ancient Celtic Lands, Jigs and Reels from Ireland and Scotland, old time tunes from the Appalachians, medieval carols and traditional holiday favorites. Heartfelt and uplifting suitable for all ages!

A Hammered Dulcimer Collection
by Maggie Sansone 
Celtic, early music and multi-cultural improvisations that takes the hammered dulcimer to a new level with Sansone's trademark energy and grove based compositions.

Upper Potomac Spring Music Weekend

posted Jan 26, 2015, 9:03 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Jan 27, 2015, 3:55 PM ]

Upper Potomac Spring Music Weekend, 3/20-22, Shepherdstown, WV.  Instructors include Cindy Ribet,  Jody Marshall,  Karen AshbrookMick DohertyPaul OortsLe Bruit Court dans la Ville.  Brochure.  See more below.

Performance and Teaching Information - Ken Kolodner

posted Nov 24, 2014, 7:56 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Mar 2, 2015, 8:13 PM ]

Hello dulcimer players,


I wanted to let you know about a couple of festivals and workshops that I am doing in the coming year. I am doing quite a bit less teaching festivals than usual but I hope to see you out there!    


In April, I again will hold The Fourth Annual Watkins Glen Hammered Dulcimer Retreat geared to intermediate players (but all levels welcome). For the 11th year in late May, I return to Monee, IL for an all-day workshop for intermediate/advanced players. I will be teaching fiddle and hammered dulcimer for a full week at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, MD (July 5-11). My son and a large staff will be joining me. I will be teaching/performing at The Gateway Dulcimer Festival in IL early August. And once again, I will hold my Sandbridge weeks. We had 54 players from 23 states (plus Canada and Russia) attend last year.  The 11th Annual Sandbridge Dulcimer Retreats will run consecutively in late September and early October. Contact me now if you are interested – the weeks do fill up.


Here is my schedule of festivals – see for more concerts etc.

Fri-Sun, Apr 17-19, 2015: Watkins Glen, NY

The Fourth Annual Watkins Glen Hammered Dulcimer Retreat. An intensive weekend retreat for intermediate hammered dulcimer players; commute or stay at The Seneca Lodge Lake House, Watkins-Glen, NY. Limited to 16 players. Contact Ken directly for details or contact Kate at and 607-546-6477 For more info, go to 

Sat, May 23, 2015: Monee, IL
11th Annual "Monee" Hammered Dulcimer Workshop  An all-day hammered dulcimer workshop for intermediate/advanced players (advanced beginners welcome as well but please contact Ken), followed by a house concert and a jam. All meals included in cost of $90 for the day ($85 if you send in your check at least two weeks prior to the workshop). Saturday evening concert with Ken Kolodner, Mark Grobner and Friends at 7:30 p.m. (suggested donation $20) followed by a reception and jam. Location for workshop and house concert: Barb Milosevich, 5343 West Pauling Rd., Monee, IL 60449, 708-534-2582, To register contact Ken at or 410-746-8387 (or send check to Ken Kolodner, 3806 Fenchurch Rd, Baltimore MD 21218)

Sun, Jul 5 – 11, 2015: Westminster, MD

Teaching/performing hammered dulcimer and fiddle at Common Ground Festival on the Hill – class will be determined soon. My son Brad will be teaching banjo. Walt always puts together an amazing staff (e.g. Bruce Molsky, Guy Davis and many others will be coming this year)!  We will be playing for the festival on the weekend (July 11-12) as well.


Fri, Aug 7-9, 2015: Belleville, IL
Teaching and performing at The Gateway Dulcimer Festival 

Contact: Sharon at


Sep 20-26, 2015: Sandbridge, VA 
WEEK #1 The 11th Annual Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreat. A private weeklong workshop primarily for intermediate level players in Sandbridge Beach, VA.  Maximum of 18 players per week. Last year, we had 54 players from 23 states (and Canada, Russia) attend over the three weeks. The environment is super relaxed and supportive. The workshops are held in a very large 12 bedroom beach house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the very quiet town of Sandbridge, which is a few miles south of Virginia Beach, VA.  Participants stay either in very nice private or shared rooms (mostly private) in either the main house or in a nearby five bedroom house. Lots of seafood, instruction, jamming, dolphins, hot-tub, pool, beach and fun! Ken approves all participants. Spouses/guests welcome. Contact Ken at 410-746-8387, For full details, see

Sep 27-Oct 3, 2015: Sandbridge, VA 
WEEK #2 The 11th Annual Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreat for Intermediate and Advanced Players at the beach. This is the same as week #1 but the level is higher.

Oct 4-10, 2015: Sandbridge, VA 
WEEK #3 The 11th Annual Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreat for Advanced Players at the beach. This is the same as week #1 and #2 but the level is very high! We move fast!!


Selected concert appearances:


Mar 27, 2015       Ironton, OH - Ken & Brad perform at Bowman Auditorium in Collins Center - 7:30 p.m.

Apr 11, 2015        Kennett Square, PA - Ken & Brad perform for the Hadley Memorial Fund - Details TBD

Apr 18, 2015        Watkins Glen, NY – Ken performs for The Schuyler County Concert Series

May 17, 2015       Fredericksburg, VA - Ken & Brad perform for the Marine Half Marathon - 9:00 a.m.

May 23, 2015       Monee, IL – Ken w Mark Grobner and Friends – house concert 7:00 p.m.

Jul 11, 2015         Westminster, MD – Ken and Brad at The Common Ground on the Hill Festival

Oct 11, 2015        Savannah, GA - Ken & Brad perform at the Savannah Folk Festival



Ken Kolodner

Upper Potomac Music Weekends - 2015

posted Nov 16, 2014, 11:27 AM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Jan 27, 2015, 3:45 PM ]

Joanie Blanton
Upper Potomac Music Weekends
(304) 263-2531

Dear Students, Teachers and friends of the Upper Potomac Music Weekends!
  Greetings!  The Fiddle Retreat and Pipers Weekend information is complete, the websites will soon be updated and it's time to send off applications to get the early bird discount on tuition or to apply for a work or performance scholarship if you need one!  The Fiddle Retreat site is complete, the Pipers website should be done by the end of the week. There are some staff changes from my last email, which I am very excited about.
  I've attached the brochures of both weekends as PDF's to this email, so that you can see our offerings of classes and find out more about our staff, and have a printable application form to send in with your payment.  We are also able to do a PayPal invoice, if you'd rather, to accept credit cards for your payment.  Send me an email with your application information and I will send you a paypal invoice.

 We have great programs in store for both weekends with a wide range of classes.  Lots of opportunities for jamming,  some opportunities for learning more about instrument maintenance and more are featured in both weekends.

 I highly recommend making your hotel reservations ASAP.  In order to get the discounted rate, you need to reserve at least a month in advance; but there is no penalty for cancelling your reservation, if you need to, if you do at least 72 hours in advance of the weekend.  The Pipers Weekend coincides with an event at the University for their Jazz Band, and many rooms are already reserved at the Comfort Inn, but there is currently plenty of space at the Clarion, and it is only a few dollars more.  If you are looking for a roommate to share a room, make your reservation, and let me know, and I will send out a "room sharing" list with the class notes the week before the program... in time for someone to cancel a room without penalty.

 For your convenience, I have listed the staff for each weekend below, as well as information about the Shepherdstown Music and Dance Holiday concert, which may be of interest to some folks.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you at one of these weekends this season. All great, with some of our best staff ever. Please join us!


Joanie Blanton


Cindy Ribet has been singing and performing for most of her life and has over 25 years experience performing, recording, teaching, and composing for the hammered dulcimer. She also plays and teaches fiddle, recorder and guitar. She has recorded 6 CDs and has taught at the Swannanoah Gathering, John C. Campbell Folk School, the Augusta Heritage Festival, and the Cork Dulcimer Festival in Ireland. Her enthusiasm when she teaches and plays is evident and contagious.

Jody Marshall, a clear and insightful teacher, is known for her easy to understand and enjoyable style of instruction. Her lively and dynamic playing is featured on her latest recording on Maggie's Music, "Cottage in the Glen." She is also the author of a new book of holiday arrangements, Carol of the Bells: Seasonal Favorites for Hammered Dulcimer and Other Instruments. Jody performs in DC-based Celtic bands Connemara and Emerald Glen. Jody is the director of the Spring Dulcimer Week programs at the Augusta Heritage Workshops in Elkins, WV.

Karen Ashbrook is the author of Playing the Hammered Dulcimer in the Irish Tradition and is a popular teacher and performer at dulcimer festivals around the country. Karen plays Celtic, Belgian and French music with her husband, Paul Oorts. With her delicate touch, trademark shimmering lilt, and ear for authentic ornamentation, Karen Ashbrook is considered one of the finest Irish hammered dulcimer players anywhere. Based in the Washington, DC area, Karen teaches and performs Celtic, contra dance, and Jewish music. She performs as a duo with her husband Paul Oorts, playing his native Belgian and French music and with the dance band, Cabaret Sauvignon. She has several recordings, solo, with her husband, and with the group Ceoltoiri, on the Maggie's Music label.

Mick Doherty has been performing music on the hammer dulcimer since 1979, busking on the streets of many US and European cities, and in concert halls and at dances. Based in Portland, Oregon, Doherty is a member of the Trail Band, and the Cascadia Folk Quartet as well as being a musician, composer, storyteller and voice actor, with the Oregon Shadow Theatre who have twice received the UNIMA-USA Citation, the highest award in American puppetry.

Paul Oorts a native of Belgium, is adept at musette accordion and almost everything with strings. His instrumental versatility and consummate knowledge of many different styles of music has made Paul the accompanist of choice for many hammered dulcimer players and dance bands. He plays English, Scottish, vintage and contra dance with Goldcrest, Gigmeisters, Cabaret Sauvignon and numerous DC area bands.

Le Bruit Court dans la Ville brings together three legendary musicians from the Quebecois folk scene. The cult trio is formed by Andre Marchand (guitar, vocals and feet), Normand Miron (accordion, harmonica and vocals) and Lisa Ornstein (violin). Lisa, Andre and Normand share a passion for music, drawing inspiration from the legacy left by musicians and singers from the past. In English, the bands name would be : The Buzz around Town. Born out of this exceptional meeting, marked by long-time bonds and friendships, is music that is full of nuance and energy, and deeply rooted in the tradition of its originators. Mesmerizing laments, lively call-and-response songs, and energetic traditional dance music from the Quebecois and Acadian repertoires are interpreted with passion, sensitivity and finesse.

All for now. Send those ideas, requests and look for our web pages to be updated in the next few weeks! And sign up early to save!

New CD - Karen Ashbrook

posted Nov 16, 2014, 11:19 AM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Mar 2, 2015, 8:15 PM ]

Announcing the release of our new CD "KA/PO in Concert"!  

New and Old Traditional Music from Belgium, Ireland and Beyond on hammered dulcimer, harp guitar, accordion,  wooden flute and cittern.

CDs available for purchase & downloads at:

"Karen and Paul's newest recording, recorded at a European-themed concert for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, is the first to focus entirely on their duet arrangements. The tunes range from sprightly, playful and mischievous to introspective, contemplative and comic, all showcasing their incredible virtuosity and their complete mastery of the many facets of European dance music. This is music that will have you wondering how in the world they find this stuff even as your foot is tapping insistently. I don't know a branle from a bourrée, but I recognize great music when I hear it! " Neal Walters, Dulcimer Players News

Follow KA/PO on Facebook!

Copyright © *2014* *KA/PO Karen Ashbrook & Paul Oorts*, All rights reserved.

Send correspondences to
Our mailing address is:
*820 Dennis Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20901*

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Ireland Trip - Hammered Dulcimer - June 2015

posted Aug 11, 2014, 5:53 PM by Eleanor Holsopple

From: Karen Ashbrook <>
Date: Sun, Aug 10, 2014 at 9:59 PM
Subject: Hammered Dulcimer in Ireland 2015!
To:, Karen Ashbrook <>

I am organising another hammered dulcimer and plein air painting camp in Ireland with Jeanean Martin, June 11-20, 2015 
We have an optional 3 days of siteseeing and painting in Doolin June 11-14 and then we'll go to Carna, County Galway on the Connemara Coast where we will have classes  from June 14-20.  (the classes are June 15-19).  The hammered dulcimer class will of course be in Irish music!  We'll be staying in the Carna Bay hotel, an elegant family run business with gourmet meals.  There is a pub in the hotel plus a few more in town.  Carna is the center of great sean nos singing, dancing and music in the Gaelic speaking part of Ireland.

Visit my website for more details at

or you can write me and I'll email you a flyer.
happy hammering,
Karen Ashbrook

Soldier's Joy: An American Classic

posted Jan 31, 2014, 3:14 PM by Eleanor Holsopple

Library of Congress blog <>
> 01/16/2014 06:24 PM EST
> "Soldier's Joy" is one of our favorite fiddle tunes, and one of the oldest  and most widely distributed tunes in the English-speaking world. There are 
> numerous renditions of this piece located throughout Library of Congress  collections, many of which are online.  Let?s take a brief tour of this
> American classic."Soldier's Joy"  appeared in late eighteenth-century  sheet . . .
>      ------------------------------
> This service is provided by the Library of Congress at<>

Old-Time Jams - Baltimore area

posted May 27, 2013, 6:51 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated May 27, 2013, 7:05 PM ]

Ken Kolodner writes (5-27-2013):

Hello everyone,


For those in the Baltimore area, every other Tuesday, my son Brad and I have been leading an Old-Time jam at Liam Flynn's Ale House. The next Old-Time jam is this Tuesday, May 28 from 7:30-10:30 p.m.


This jam is free and a great way to hear Old-Time music in the heart of Baltimore. We have had a super turnout so far, with up to 35 musicians playing and many more listening and enjoying the scene. If you play old-time music, come and join us to play some tunes. Or just come, relax, have a drink and listen!  


Please invite friends and continue to spread the word. The next jams are 6/11, 6/25, 7/9, 7/23, 8/6, 8/20. I will miss 6/11 and 6/25 but should make the others. Put them on your calendar!


If you want to find out more about the jam on a regular basis, email Brad ( to get on the email list. You may also want to join the Facebook group:


Join the Baltimore Old Time Jam Faceboook Group


See you on Tuesday.



Ken and Brad

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