Announcements and POSTS

  • See Posts section below for the latest news, upcoming concerts and classes, activities that might be of interest, and general music-related tidbits.  Additional links and information are on the Concerts, Workshops and Classes pages.
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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 Justin 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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  • O’Neill’s Irish Dance Music Book.  Here is an Index to O'Neill's.  You can download the whole thing (do read how it was compiled from abc notation) at if you want it.  Might be useful to have handy for reference on your mobile device.
Note you will need an RSS Reader if you wish to subscribe to Posts below.

Maggie's Classes at Maryland Hall

posted Mar 7, 2017, 3:12 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Aug 20, 2017, 1:35 PM ]

Drum and Celtic JamClasses for Adults! Maryland Hall for Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD: Fall, 2017. Starts October 10,2017 Tuesday night classesadult music workshops. 6:10-6:50 pm: Celtic Drum Jam: Enjoy our popular new class offering an overview of Irish drum rhythms and patterns suitable for Celtic music and for the student to then join the jam class that follows.(bodhran recommened, but djembe or dombek are welcome too! 7-7:50 pm: Celtic Slow Jam class ( Celtic and other instruments, call instructor to discuss) Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St, Annapolis MD 21401,  (410) 263-5544. . Browse the online catalog,  download a PDF of the catalog or click here to register for a class now! Contact instructor for questions, about your instrument, skill levels, class details,course books.

Karen Ashbrook classes

posted Sep 4, 2016, 2:33 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Mar 11, 2018, 7:26 PM ]

Group classes are at my house in Silver Spring and cost $55 for the day or $30 for a half day (if paid in advanced.  $5 more if paying the same day.)  Advanced registration required.    There's a potluck vegetarian lunch all participants are welcome to (and the food is always REALLY good!)
Mornings we work on chords and accompaniment.  Afternoons on arranging the tune. Music is given in advance.
See more information on individual upcoming workshops on the Classes/Workshops page.
Happy hammering,
Karen Ashbrook

Ken Kolodner concerts

posted Sep 4, 2016, 2:18 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Mar 29, 2017, 1:47 PM ]

Brad and I lead The Baltimore Old-Time Jam every other Tuesday at Liam Flynn’s on North Ave. , On Facebook, look for “The Baltimore Old-Time Jam”

More information:


Ken's full schedule

Peat & Barley (Bill Mitchell)

posted Apr 17, 2016, 8:19 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Dec 26, 2017, 8:28 PM ]

Check our schedule of upcoming events where you can enjoy our music. We hope to see you there!

You can find our full performance schedule at

Traditions show - Mary Cliff

posted Feb 10, 2016, 11:35 AM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Jan 2, 2017, 1:59 PM ]

For those of you who have listened to Mary's show, note that she is now broadcasting from an Arlington station, WERA-LP, FM 96.7, Saturdays 9 pm to midnight.  (per Folklore Society Feb. 2016 newsletter)

Receive notifications when new Posts are added

posted May 9, 2015, 9:01 PM by Eleanor Holsopple

You will need an RSS feed reader to receive them when you subscribe to Posts (see above).  Insert this URL in your reader:  This will enable you to keep current on concerts and classes offered by your favorite local HD players as I post the notices they send to me.  Ellie

News from Jody Marshall

posted Apr 7, 2015, 6:56 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Apr 28, 2017, 10:28 AM ]

Join Jody on the last Sunday of each month as she plays for the Celtic Communion service at Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean, Va. This meditative service is a relaxing way to end the busy weekend and get in a peaceful state of mind for the coming week. Service starts at 5:00 pm and is held in the chapel at Trinity Methodist, located at 1205 Dolley Madison Blvd. in McLean. All are welcome! 

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<>

Automatic Dulcimer Music

posted Jul 16, 2012, 7:27 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Jan 28, 2014, 8:16 AM ]

Andrew Kleeger of the Hammerheads Dulcimer Players writes:

Re:  Automatic Dulcimer Music

The volume is a little iffy … you might need to turn it up …

Also, Maggie Sansone's little buddy,

Patty Looman - 2017 Pattyfest

posted Jun 6, 2012, 9:08 PM by Eleanor Holsopple   [ updated Apr 28, 2017, 10:34 AM ]


Please announce to my dear friends in the Hammer Heads that Patty Looman, the wonderful teacher and celebrated hammered dulcimer musician died quietly this afternoon in Fairmont, WV. Some of them had known her, or had heard of her.

Late this afternoon, a small group of musicians set up their dulcimers in her room and played softly as she made her final journey. Over the years, Patty had taught hundreds of people in five states, always giving her services for free. Recently, Patty made the request that at her funeral, she would like as many persons whom she had taught who cared to attend, to gather and play the old hymn "Over The Sunset Mountains". This afternoon, her students played this hymn for their dearly beloved friend. After the first verse, Patty slipped into eternity.

Patty's passing will be mourned by the entire state and several surrounding states. Her funeral must be held in a venue large enough to hold dozens of devoted and grateful students who will indeed play this old hymn, among others, at her funeral.

Thank you so much for sending this message, with my continuing love and gratitude to the dear ones in the Hammer Heads .


Mary Ann Spears

Morgantown, WV 26505

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