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Deborah "DJ" Hamouris: Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering

Parking info for BDG5 - April 18, 2017

This year, the parking garage next to the Freight has been demolished and is being rebuilt. Parking is available at the Center Street Parking garage, the Milvia Street surface lot, & the Prominade Garage, details here: http://www.downtownberkeley.com/downloads/ParkingResources_DBA_Jan2015.pdf
Note: the Promenade Garage is not open Sunday, but street parking is free.

Parking in Berkeley can be . . . interesting! Here are some tips.

For the Faculty Concert at the Back Room Friday Night, check out the venue's info, here:
http://backroommusic.com/transportation-parking/

Handicapped parking is available on Addison Street, just across the street from the Freight and in front of Geko Geko Thai restaurant.

This year, the parking garage next to the Freight has been demolished and is being rebuilt.

Parking is available at the Center Street Parking garage ($20/day), the Milvia Street surface lot ($14/day), & the Promenade Garage ($11/day), details here:

http://www.downtownberkeley.com/downloads/ParkingResources_DBA_Jan2015.pdf


Note: the Promenade Garage is not open Sunday, but street parking is free.

5th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering! - March 25, 2017

The 5th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering!
Quality music education on the dulcimer in the Heart of Berkeley!

Saturday, June 10, 9am-4pm Workshops $75/$85 after 6/3/17 
http://freightandsalvage.org/5th-annual-berkeley-dulcimer-gathering 

Faculty:
Larry Conger
Steve Eulberg
Holly Tannen
Deborah “DJ” Hamouris
Dusty Thorburn

The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering is for anyone interested in playing the mountain dulcimer. This American folk instrument is enjoyed by beginner and master alike, easily accessible to new players and adaptable to all genres of music. Young and old can play a tune right away!

At the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering you choose 3 out of 12 classes taught by 5 teachers, with subjects including repertoire of several kinds and technique. The day is planned for maximum time in community with about 50 mountain dulcimer aficionados. Some dulcimers will be available for loaners and to purchase. And all the instructors will have CDs, books & other products you can’t live without!

The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering is fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts, providing non-profit support for bay area art projects of all types. To make a donation for our event, please write to berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com.

Here are the events for this year’s gathering:
Friday night, 6/9, 7:30pm, Faculty Concert $10/advance, $15/door @The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 (ticket link coming)

Saturday, 6/10, 9am-4pm, workshops at the Freight, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
http://freightandsalvage.org/5th-annual-berkeley-dulcimer-gathering 

Afterglow Jam, 4:30-6:30 (location tba)

Sunday, 6/11, 1-4pm, Workshop with Larry Conger at the Freight, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
$40 separate registration fee
http://freightandsalvage.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering-post-gathering-workshop-larry-conger

Our Faculty Concert will feature performances from Larry Conger, Steve Eulberg, Deborah Hamouris, Holly Tannen, Dusty Thorburn and the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra,. This performance is open to the public, so invite your family & friends for a night of good music.

For more information:
http://www.berkeleydulcimergathering.com/
http://freightandsalvage.org/5th-annual-berkeley-dulcimer-gathering

Facebook event page  https://www.facebook.com/events/1333131243392000//
or email bekeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com

Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Class Offerings

Registration entitles you to 3 classes, participation in the Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale, and the Afterglow Jam. Once you register, you’ll receive an email from berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com to select classes and receive other important info about the 5th Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering.

You can register online: http://freightandsalvage.org/5th-annual-berkeley-dulcimer-gathering

call the box office at 510/644-2020, ext 0, or

mail a completed registration form http://www.freightandsalvage.org/files/ClassRegistration.pdf
and check for tuition to:
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704

Class Period 1: 9:45AM-11AM

Mountain Dulcimer 101 (Dusty Thorburn) (Complete beginner)

This workshop is for the absolute beginner; no experience with any musical instrument is necessary.  We will learn the parts of the dulcimer, how to position the dulcimer on your lap, what to do with the right and left hands, and how to read tablature.  We will then begin with multiple versions of a song or two, starting very simply and slowly adding new elements until lo-and-behold, we’re playing music together!

Use of the Capo (Larry Conger) (Advancing Beginner/Intermediate) - DAD tuning

In this class, Larry will present five short songs, all of which use the capo, to demonstrate the various places a capo can be used on the mountain dulcimer. The presentation will help guide you through the process of properly seating the capo as well as what sort of capos are available on the market today. 

The Magical Moveable Chord (Holly Tannen) (Beginners/Intermediate) DAD or DDD tuning

No tablature required, just a flatpick, three fingers and an optional thumb. I’ll show you how to play Goodnight Irene in the keys of D, G, and A without re-tuning.

4th class TBD

Class Period 2: 11:15AM-12:30PM

Easy Old Time Tunes for Real Beginners (Deborah Hamouris) (Beginner)

Choosing music from the American Old Time Fiddle repertoire you’ll get more melody string patterns under your fingers, with chord options for those who are ready for them. Just fun stuff to play alone or with others. 

Elvis Love Songs (Larry Conger) (Intermediate) DAD tuning

This class will explore 2-3 songs that are actually old, traditional melodies made popular by Elvis. Love Me Tender, I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You, and The Twelfth of Never will be presented as time allows.

Lullabies from Around the World (Dusty Thorburn) (Beginner/Intermediate)

Lullabies are almost always pretty, gentle, and slow, making them perfect for the dulcimer and accessible to beginning players. We will learn a French lullaby, a Zulu lullaby from South Africa, a Spanish lullaby, an African-American lullaby, an Indonesian lullaby, and more if time allows. A few arrangements involve (optional) intermediate-level left-hand techniques but all are a within the range of a beginning player with minimal experience playing simple chords. All can be played either fingerstyle or with a flatpick. Warning: you may find yourself longing to curl up in your mother’s arms once again.

Noel New-Velet French Carol meets Dave Brubeck (Steve Eulberg) (Advanced)

I’ve always loved the 12th century French Carol NOEL NOUVELET, but it really came alive to me when I explored using a capo at the 4th fret, strumming, finger-picking and then playing in 5/4 timing like Brubeck’s Take Five. This tune was selected for Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer, Vol 2. 

Class Period 3: 1:40-2:55PM

Rennaisance & Medieval Music (Deborah Hamouris) (Intermediate/Advanced)

Fingerpicking our way thru early music, we'll learn tunes from Europe. Courtly or pastoral, this music is pleasing to hands & ears. A capo is required. 

Five Fingers On the Fretboard (Larry Conger) (Advanced) 

This workshop addresses the “moveable capo” meaning that, instead of using a capo, the player will learn to use his/her last three fingers to form a moveable barre chord while the thumb and index fingers play the melody in front of the barre chord. A fun challenge for those adventurous players. DAD tuning.

The Old Style: Melody Against Drones (Holly Tannen) (Beginners)

Play by ear, chordlessly and tablessly. Jean Ritchie taught herself to play without written music - you can too. I’ll hand out a list of songs and tunes you can play without chords. If you can sing them, you can play them! Try a couple on your own, and we’ll learn some together, with and without a noter. DAd or DDd

Advanced Bluegrass (Steve Eulberg) (Advanced)

Bluegrass on the Mountain dulcimer is not only possible but fun! We’ll review the importance of the Chop and Classic Bluegrass Licks, and then we’ll explore harmonies and soloing as we challenge mandolins for a place in the band! (DAd tuning, bring a capo)

Class Period 4: 3:05-3:30PM

Dulcimer Orchestra Sectionals

Instructors will lead separate rehearsals for our Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale. You may choose the level you are comfortable playing.

3:40-4:00PM; Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale – Larry Conger

We will join together in the lobby to play our piece, ending the day in grand style!

Sunday, 6/11, 1-4pm, Post-Gathering Workshop with Larry Conger

(Advancing Beginner and Beyond) ($40 separate registration)

http://freightandsalvage.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering-post-gathering-workshop-larry-conger 

This workshop will present various arrangements that will focus on economy of movement and consistency of fingering while addressing various embellishments that should make your playing smoother and more comfortable. Come prepared to learn major and minor chords in DAD tuning and discuss their most efficient fingering. Several tunes will be used to reinforce these concepts.

All instructional materials will be provided, including tab for the visual learner and MP3 audio tracks for the auditory learner. Some tunes will be challenging for the advancing beginner but should help to facilitate your advancement to the intermediate level and beyond.

Handy items to bring include a music stand, pencil, eraser, highlighter, capo, picks and extra strings. Class limited to 20 students.

Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering: Class Levels

About the skill levels
To help you pick the best workshops for your experience, all of our workshops are classified by the skill level of the material. Although you’re welcome to attend any classes you’d like (and there will be no test), you’re likely to get more from classes designed with somebody of your skill in mind.

Absolute Beginner: You do not need previous dulcimer experience or musical background.

Beginner: You know how to hold your instrument, and can strum and play some simple tunes. You may not feel confident yet, but you love the music that your instrument can make! These classes will help you learn some chords, gain more comfort with your instrument and your ability to find and play tunes by ear and from music and tablature.

Intermediate: You have the skills of the previous levels and you’ve learned the basics of strumming and reading tablature, you need to expand your playing techniques and musical theory. You are learning to embellish your basic music with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides; to adapt an arrangement with different chord positions; to play in and modulate to different keys with and without a capo or retuning; to flat-pick and fingerpick a tune. You can play in different tunings.

Advanced: You have the skills of the other levels plus the ability to play at least 4 chords in DAd or DAA tuning, to use 2-3 fingers (left hand), and be comfortable with at least 2-3 basic rhythms, utilize melody runs on all the strings using scales, then adding arpeggios and patterns from within chords, as well as a strummed chordal melody.

Instructor Bios

Larry Conger

Larry is a full time, professional musician. He operates a private music studio, along with his wife Elaine, teaching piano, guitar and drums as well as the mountain dulcimer at their home in Paris, Tennessee. Some of Larry’s instruction includes numerous dulcimer festivals, long distance learning via Skype and his Tune of the Month.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Larry has been involved with music as a vocation for almost 40 years. Besides being a popular instructor at various dulcimer workshops around the country, Larry also served as a church music director for several churches during the late 1970s through the 1990s. He has been a participating artist for the Tennessee Arts Commission's Arts in Education program as well as the Kentucky Arts Council's Teacher Incentive Program, bringing dulcimer music into the public schools.

In 1995, Larry won the Southern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Mountain View, Arkansas. Three years later in 1998, he won the prestigious National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Larry has authored fifteen dulcimer books and has three recordings to his credit. www.larryconger.com 

Holly Tannen

Holly was given a dulcimer by her first boyfriend for her seventeenth birthday. It helped her get over her adolescent shyness, and she adapted the dulcimer to backing up fiddle tunes and playing in string bands. She moved to England in 1974, playing and singing around the folk clubs. She returned to Berkeley in 1980 and went on to get her master’s degree in folklore. Holly now specializes in English and Scottish ballads, seasonal songs, and her own satirical songs about life in Mendocino. Holly’s CDs include Between the Worlds, Rime of the Ancient Matriarch, and Crazy Laughter. hollytannen.com/ 

Dusty Thorburn

Dusty grew up strumming guitar and singing Kum Ba Ya and Blowin’ in the Wind before it was a cliché. A professional historian, he sees traditional music as a way to connect with people from the past, especially those who left few written records of their lives. A long-time guitarist and occasional mandolin player, Dusty discovered the dulcimer several years ago and has been obsessed ever since, entranced by the simple beauty of the instrument’s design and sound. Dusty serves as a Moderator at the immensely popular website Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer, founded and leads the monthly River City Dulcimers gathering in Sacramento, and offers private lessons at The Strum Shop in Roseville. His arrangements, lessons, and compositions combine a respect for traditional sounds with a modern, blues-influenced sensibility.

Steve Eulberg/Artistic Director

"Smile-inducing, toe-tapping, thought-provoking folkgrass" is how reviewers describe award-winning instrumentalist and songwriter Steve Eulberg's music. He weaves together age-old songs and tunes with new melodies and contemporary lyrics accompanied by dulcimers and more.

"I live for the aha! experiences that people have and am dedicated to helping people enjoy their musical explorations on their instruments and share them with others," Eulberg says. Students respond enthusiastically to his engaging style and warm sense of humor, making him in demand at festivals across the USA.

Award-winner in the national mountain dulcimer contest at Winfield, he is also a multiple finalist in the national hammered dulcimer contest. His music has been included in the Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer Compilations, Great Players of the Mountain Dulcimer, and has been featured on PBS' RoadTrip Nation, United Airlines Inflight Audio and NPR.

Active in the San Francisco Chapter of NARAS (Grammys), Local 1000 AFM (Traveling Musicians), Eulberg owns Owl Mountain Music, Inc., was the first guitar instructor on JamPlay.com is co-owner and teacher at dulcimercrossing.com.

Deborah Hamouris/Founder & Executive Director

Deborah (DJ to her friends) is a performer, songwriter, teacher, recording artist, choral director, and community music organizer. She teaches mountain dulcimer classes at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley; directs the singing groups Women & Song and the Unconditional Love Choir; and teaches private voice, dulcimer, and songwriting students. With Steve Eulberg, Deborah co-founded the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra in 2014. Musically versatile, she performs as both a jazz vocalist as well as a traditionally-influenced songsmith with her dulcimer.

Deborah is currently working on a CD & theatrical music piece with guitarist Mimi Fox, 1 in 8 – original stories & songs reflecting recent cancer treatment. Previous recordings include Snapshots, also recorded with Mimi Fox, and The Green Man recorded by The DulciMates, a vocal & dulcimer duo with husband, Buffalo. Deborah is the founder and Executive Director of the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering held annually at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. In her spare time, and when the cat allows, she knits. http://djhamouris.com/

2017 Registration Info - January 1, 2017

Registration for the 2017 Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering will open in March.

3 events for 2017:

Friday, 6/9, 7:30pm - Faculty Concert at the Back Room
Saturday, 6/10, 9-4pm - Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering at the Freight & Salvage
(followed by a jam 4:30-6)
Sunday, 6/11, 1-4pm - Workshop with Larry Conger at the Freight & Salvage

Registration & ticket links in March.

2017 Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering - January 1, 2017

BDG2017Postcard_resized.jpg

2017 Date & Headliner Announcement! - August 23, 2016

SAVE THE DATE!

June 10th will be our 2017 Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering at the Freight & Salvage.

LARRY CONGER will be our headlining artist/instructor!
Other faculty will be Holly Tannen, Steve Eulberg, Deborah Hamouris, Dusty Thorburn and Mark Ungar.

June 9th will be the faculty concert at a new venue, The Back Room (Bonita at University).

More details to come -- please stay tuned and mark the dates in your 2017 calendar NOW!

Registration Open for Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering! - March 2, 2016

TICKET LINK: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1099231

The 4th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering!
Quality music education on the dulcimer in the Heart of Berkeley!

Saturday, May 7, 9am-4pm Workshops $75/$85 after 4/30/16

Faculty:

Aubrey Atwater
Steve Eulberg
Deborah “DJ” Hamouris
Dusty Thorburn
Janet Herman
Laura Devine Burnett
Mark Ungar

The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering is for anyone interested in playing the mountain dulcimer. This American folk instrument is enjoyed by beginner and master alike, easily accessible to new players and adaptable to all genres of music. Young and old can play a tune right away!

At the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering you choose 3 out of 13 classes taught by 7 teachers, with subjects including repertoire, instrument care, technique, and jams. We’ll also have an instrument technician to help with evaluation and repair of your dulcimer. The day is planned for maximum time in community with up to 75 mountain dulcimer aficionados. Some dulcimers will be available for loaners and to purchase. And all the instructors will have CDs, books & other products you can’t live without!

Here are the events for this year’s gathering:
Friday night, 5/6, 7:30pm, Faculty Concert @Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar St., Berkeley
http://facconcertbdg2016.bpt.me/

Saturday, 5/7, 9am-4pm, workshops at the Freight, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1099231

Afterglow Jam, 4:30-6:30 at East Bay Media Center, 1939 Addison St., Berkeley

Sunday, 5/8, 1-4pm, Post-Gathering Workshop with Aubrey Atwater at the Freight, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
$40 separate registration fee
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1123413

Our Faculty Concert will feature performances from Aubrey Atwater, Steve Eulberg, Deborah Hamouris, Dusty Thorburn and the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra,. This performance is open to the public, so bring your family & friends for a night of good music.

NEW THIS YEAR!:
~ An intensive 2-period class, “Clearing the Hurdles: Moving from Intermediate to Advanced” will be offered to the first 10 students who request it by writing to berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com. This two-period class is intended to help intermediate students evaluate their current skills and add to them to become more proficient players. You’ll get Steve Eulberg’s full attention in this smaller, more focused environment. Clearing the Hurdles will be for the first 2 periods before lunch, leaving you the 3rd period for an elective. Check the skill levels for intermediate.

~ Post-Gathering Workshop with Aubrey Atwater on Sunday, 5/8: Feedback from many of you has said, “Could we have 2-days of workshops?” We have asked Aubrey to teach a class on Sunday to satisfy that itch! Please note the separate registration for this workshop. Space is limited, so sign up early!

For more information:
http://www.berkeleydulcimergathering.com/
http://www.thefreight.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering
Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/1020157538042015/
or email bekeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com

Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Class Offerings

Registration entitles you to 3 classes, participation in the Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale, and the Afterglow Jam. Once you register, you’ll receive an email from berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com to select classes and receive other important info about the 4th Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering.

You can register online 
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/739875
call the box office at 510/644-2020, ext 0, or
mail a completed registration form http://www.freightandsalvage.org/files/ClassRegistration.pdf

and check for tuition to:                           
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704

Class Period 1: 9:45AM-11AM

Introduction to Mountain Dulcimer (Deborah “DJ” Hamouris) (Complete beginner)

You’ve never tried one of these things before, but think it will be fun. (You’re right!) You’ve heard them but don’t know how to play them. (This one’s for you!) You love music and want to play an instrument. (You’ve come to the right place!) We’ll understand how the dulcimer works and how music works. After this class you are ready to participate with everyone else!

 

Songs of the Sea (Aubrey Atwater) (Intermediate/Advanced)

Aubrey, an Ocean State native, will present traditional seafaring songs each in its own way beautiful, playful, tragic, or joyous. You will need a capo for one of the songs.

 

Fiddle Tunes Jam (Dusty Thorburn) (All Levels)

Slow jams are a traditional way of learning songs in Irish and bluegrass circles.  We will not only play slowly, but concentrate on fiddle tunes that sound great at slow speeds. Learning fiddle tunes obviously builds up your repertoire, but is also a really fun way to develop both right- and left-hand technique.

 

Clearing the Hurdles (Steve Eulberg) (Intermediate) Part 1 of 2
Intensive Track: Moving from Intermediate to Advanced Playing – limited to 10 students*

2 Part Session: for people who want to buckle down and focus.

 

Dulcimer players tend to describe themselves as Intermediate for a long time, and often want more advanced work and options, but get stuck and struggle to clear the hurdles to Advanced Playing.

This workshop will help you develop self-assessment skills and use the tools at your disposal to diagnose how to move forward and prescribe a plan to help you reach your goals, including:  how to develop an arrangement for sharing, how to practice the rough spots and effectively smooth them out, and how to rehearse for performance.  Finally, we’ll develop skills to assess the performance after it is complete.

*This intensive track will be offered to the first 10 registrants who request it by writing to berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com.

 

Class Period 2: 11:15AM-12:30PM

Beginning Repertoire (Dusty Thorburn) (Beginner)

In this course you’ll learn some good tunes to build on what you learned in the Intro class. We’ll start with basic melodies and slowly add some interesting rhythm and basic chords. You will also receive material to work on at home and a resource list for finding tablature and videos of other dulcimer players.

 

Using the Dulcimer as a Harmony Voice (Aubrey Atwater) (Intermediate/Advanced)

Aubrey will share what she has learned over the years from Jean Ritchie: creating a second voice with the dulcimer while singing.

 

Clearing the Hurdles: Moving from Intermediate to Advanced Part 2 (Steve Eulberg) (Intermediate)
Continues from first period

 

Waltzes for Two: Lead and Rhythm in Three-Quarter Time (Deborah “DJ” Hamouris) (Adv. Beg - Intermediate)

Instant duets happen when each player knows both the tune and the chord progression. Among musicians this is known as taking either the lead or the rhythm parts. Using folk and early music waltzes, you’ll learn what to do with both parts so you and a friend can have fun switching off!

 

Class Period 3: 1:40-2:55PM

Care and Feeding of Your Dulcimer (Mark Ungar) (All levels)

How and when to change strings, tune up tuners, and care for the wood of your instrument. Learn how to make decisions on modifications such as adding strap pins, extra frets, or switching out your friction pegs for machine tuners.

 

Tunings and Modes on the Mountain Dulcimer (Aubrey Atwater) (Beginner/Intermediate)

What makes the dulcimer sound so lonesome and beautiful? One answer is tunings and modes. Participants will learn the difference between a mode and a tuning and about the different modes and where they come from. We will tune to three commonly used modes: Ionian, Mixolydian, and Aeolian.

Americana Roots & Gospel Songs in DAA (Janet Herman) (Intermediate & up) 

On the West Coast we often favor DAD tuning, but DAA has lovely potential for song settings, especially for the lower female vocal range. This class takes advantage of the haunting open sound of the dulcimer while tackling soulful traditional and contemporary Americana songs. Learn how to achieve nice effects with minimal movement on the fretboard. Bring a capo.

 

Advancing our Skills: The Blues in E, D & C (Steve Eulberg) (Advanced)

Using blues chords and typical chord progressions, we’ll learn how to bluesify a tune, to work on our backup skills and venture into improvisational soloing.  If you have a 1+ fret it could come in handy, but is not required. DAd, DAA, DAC tunings

 

Laura's Sing, or Not, Dulcimer Jam class (Laura Devine Burnett) (All levels) 

You’ll learn some fun songs to jam along with others, get tips on playing lead with  creative license, and enjoy singing with your dulcimer! Although singing is not required, you just might like it.

 

Class Period 4: 3:05-3:30PM
Dulcimer Orchestra Sectionals
Instructors will lead separate rehearsals for our Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale. You may choose the level you are comfortable playing.

 

3:40-4:00PM; Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale – Steve Eulberg

We will join together in the lobby to play our piece, ending the day in grand style!

Sunday, 5/8, 1-4pm, Post-Gathering Workshop with Aubrey Atwater (All levels except complete beginner)
$40 separate registration fee
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1123413

The many possibilities of the mountain dulcimer are part of the beauty of this extraordinary American instrument. Moving at a comfortable pace, this exciting three-hour class will cover, as time allows: repertoire with a variety of technique including singing and playing chords, tunings, strumming, fingerpicking, flatpicking, playing by ear, improvising, and any other topics that may "happen" as a result of group chemistry.  Participants will leave the class amazed with themselves and full of new ideas!  Please bring a dulcimer in good playing condition, a recording device if you wish, and any other accessories. Limited to 16.

 

Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering: Class Levels

About the skill levels

To help you pick the best workshops for your experience, all of our workshops are classified by the skill level of the material. Although you’re welcome to attend any classes you’d like (and there will be no test), you’re likely to get more from classes designed with somebody of your skill in mind.

Absolute Beginner: You do not need previous dulcimer experience or musical background.

Beginner: You know how to hold your instrument, and can strum and play some simple tunes. You may not feel confident yet, but you love the music that your instrument can make! These classes will help you learn some chords, gain more comfort with your instrument and your ability to find and play tunes by ear and from music and tablature.

Intermediate: You have the skills of the previous levels and you’ve learned the basics of strumming and reading tablature, you need to expand your playing techniques and musical theory. You are learning to embellish your basic music with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides; to adapt an arrangement with different chord positions; to play in and modulate to different keys with and without a capo or retuning; to flat-pick and fingerpick a tune. You can play in different tunings.

Advanced: You have the skills of the other levels plus the ability to play at least 4 chords in DAd or DAA tuning, to use 2-3 fingers (left hand), and be comfortable with at least 2-3 basic rhythms, utilize melody runs on all the strings using scales, then adding arpeggios and patterns from within chords, as well as a strummed chordal melody.

Instructor Bios

Aubrey Atwater
From Warren, Rhode Island, award-winning musician, vocalist, writer, and dancer, Aubrey Atwater presents captivating programs of folk music, dance, and narration. Aubrey is in great demand for performances and classes and has performed throughout the United States as well as England, Ireland, and Canada. She sings and plays the mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, guitar, mandolin, and Irish tin whistle, and thrills audiences with highly percussive traditional clogging. In a scholarly, yet humorous way, Aubrey conveys the heritage behind traditional folk music and dance, showing a deep passion and understanding of folk history and its key players.

 

Aubrey is particularly well-known as a mountain dulcimer player and teacher throughout the US and beyond. She offers a wide variety of unique workshops, uses over twenty-five mountain dulcimer tunings, and plays in both deeply traditional as well as modern and innovative styles. She counts long-time friend and mentor Jean Ritchie (1922-2015) as a great influence in her musical and personal life. Part of the acclaimed duo Atwater-Donnelly, Aubrey and her husband Elwood Donnelly perform with up to 7 other band members and have 12 recordings and 7 books to their credit. www.atwater-donnelly.com

 

Janet Herman has been playing dulcimer since her teens, and brings a heap of musicality, enthusiasm and encouragement to her teaching. She co-founded Redwood Dulcimer Day in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 2001 and served as event and artistic director for its first 10 years.

Janet is especially known for her singing, and her performance of "High on a Mountain" was one of the highlights of the documentary film Hearts of the Dulcimer (2013). She arranges songs on dulcimer from many traditions and recently co-edited Music of the World for Mountain Dulcimer with Neal Hellman (Hal Leonard Publications).

Beyond her dulcimer life, Janet holds a Ph.D. in Folklore/Ethnomusicology from UCLA and serves as writer and research consultant with the Music of Bhutan Research Center based in Thimphu, Bhutan. She also plays tenor banjo, whistle, and mandolin with the Irish band Dance Around Molly and performs and records with Zambra, a global a capella group.

Dusty Thorburn grew up strumming guitar and singing “Kum Ba Ya” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” before it was a cliché. A professional historian, he sees traditional music as a way to connect with people from the past, especially those who left few written records of their lives. A  long-time guitarist and occasional mandolin player, Dusty discovered the dulcimer about six years ago and has been obsessed ever since, entranced by the simple beauty of the instrument’s design and sound.  Dusty serves as a Moderator at the immensely popular website Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer, founded and leads the monthly River City Dulcimers gathering in Sacramento, and offers private lessons out of The Strum Shop in Roseville.  His arrangements, lessons, and compositions combine a respect for traditional sounds with a modern, blues-influenced sensibility. http://www.rivercitydulcimers.com/

 

Mark Ungar

Mark has 50 years experience playing guitar and other stringed instruments He offers instrument repair and setup at his shop in Richmond California. He will be teaching dulcimer care, maintenance, and stringing techniques at this year's Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering, as well as performing repairs and string changes. Strings and strap buttons will be on sale. 

 

Laura Devine Burnett has been playing Mountain Dulcimer for over 40 years, with her first teacher being Joellen Lapidus. She was so inspired then, and continues to inspire her students to this day.

 

Laura is featured in the documentary Hearts of the Dulcimer which premiered at film festivals in 2013. Her former group, Dulcimer Girls, has performed at the American River Music Festival, Don Quixote's Music Hall, and Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. Their youtube video Old Ways has over 30 thousand views.

 

Steve Eulberg/Artistic Director
5-time national mountain dulcimer winner, 3-time national hammered dulcimer finalist, Steve Eulberg weaves old-timey with blues and contemporary tunes adding original songs into a tapestry of “smile-inducing, toe-tapping folkgrass” that captivates and energizes audiences of all ages.

Steve's music has been featured on United Airlines’ Inflight Audio, PBS’s Roadtrip Nation and National Public Radio.   An active touring musician, film and theater composer, he has had two recordings on initial Grammy ballot and several songs in the Top 10 Independent Country Chart reported by The Music Review.

Founder of the Colorado Dulcimer Festival and the Colorado Dulcimer Orchestra,  he served as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1000, the non-geographical local of the AFM, specifically created for traveling musicians.  His elementary school programs are engaging, informative, uplifting and fun! Steve has established the Dulcimer Orchestra Library Project and, together with DJ, has co-founded the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra. He teaches guitar at www.jamplay.com and is co-owner of www.dulcimercrossing.com where he teaches people to play both mountain and hammered dulcimers. His Patreon project is creating new music for solo and ensembles, and creating a digital archive of his past work.  wwwlpatreon.com/steveeulberg

 

Deborah Hamouris/Executive Director
Deborah (DJ to her friends) is a performer, songwriter, teacher, recording artist, choral director, community organizer, and producer of musical events. She teaches mountain dulcimer classes at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley; directs the choral groups Women & Song and the Unconditional Love Choir; and teaches private voice, dulcimer, and songwriting students. With Steve Eulberg, Deborah co-founded the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra in 2014. Musically versatile, she performs as both a jazz vocalist and a traditionally-influenced songsmith, with her dulcimer.

Deborah’s recordings include: “Snapshots”, recorded with jazz guitarist, Mimi Fox; “The Green Man” recorded by The DulciMates, a vocal & dulcimer duo with husband, Buffalo “Welcome to Annwfn” with brother Rick Hamouris; and “Songs of Love, Magic, and Other Mysteries” with vocal trio Moonrise Deborah is the founder and Executive Director of the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering held annually at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. In her spare time, and when the cat allows, she knits. http://djhamouris.com/

Announcing the Faculty for BDG2016 - February 17, 2016

The Fourth Annual
Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering

Featuring:
Aubrey Atwater
Steve Eulberg
Deborah "DJ" Hamouris
Dusty Thorburn
Janet Herman
Laura Devine Burnett
Mark Ungar

Your choice of 3 workshops from 13 options
Lunch options available
Grand Ensemble
Jam at end of day

ALL levels are welcome!
Loaner instruments available.
New and used dulcimers for sale.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS AND MORE DETAILED INFORMATION HERE, SOON.

REGISTRATION WILL OPEN MARCH 1ST.

4th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering - February 9, 2016

DulcimerAd2016V2_resized.jpg

Save the Date for BDG 2016! - October 11, 2015

The 4th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering will be held

May 6 & 7, 2016!

Friday, May 6: Concert at BFUU

Saturday, May 7: Workshops at the Freight and Salvage

Save the dates and tell your friends.

Afterglow Jam Booked - May 18, 2015

I just booked a great spot for our Afterglow Jam! It's just a block west of the Freight, too, so you don't have to move your car! Here are the deets:

Afterglow Jam, 5/30, 4:30-6:30pm
East Bay Media Center
1939 Addison St.
Berkeley

All participants, faculty & staff are invited to join in.

EARLY BIRD & LUNCH OPTION DEADLINE IS MAY 23rd! If you haven't already registered, this coming Saturday is the last day to register at the early bird rate of $75 AND the last date to order a box lunch. After that, it's $85 online or at the door and lunch is on you! Register HERE: http://www.freightandsalvage.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering

FACULTY CONCERT TIX ARE $10/ADVANCE; $15 AT THE DOOR. The fantastic -- no, really fantastic! -- faculty for the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering will perform at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists a week from Friday. ANYone will love the music these folks make. And our little dulcimer orchestra will perform, too. Would love to share these treasures with you. Bring a friend! http://facultyconcertbdg2015.brownpapertickets.com/

And check here for up to date news!

Scholarships, Donations & Volunteers, Oh, My! - April 28, 2015

Scholarships: The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering has offered partial scholarships ($40) each year to help low-income players attend. This year we have two confirmed scholarships and are soliciting more donations to help provide additional ones.

If you are in need of a scholarship, please send a note to

berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com

In your note (100 words or less) please include your experience with dulcimer or why you want to learn if it’s new to you, a few words about your life, and your contact information by May 15. You’ll be notified of our decision by May 20th.

Volunteers: We need a few volunteers to help make this event run smoothly! Especially needed are 3 or 4 people to help with set-up in the morning on Saturday, 5/30, as well as clean-up. 2-3 people are needed at the Faculty concert Friday, 5/29, to help with set-up & clean-up, and to serve refreshments. We can offer free attendance at the concert for your volunteer service on either day!

Donations: The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering and the Freight and Salvage welcome donations for this event!

To make a scholarship donation, please send a check to the Freight by May 10th, earmarked “donation Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering”. Please also send a note to us at berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com so we know we can offer more scholarships.

Checks to the Freight & Salvage are tax deductible. Please send to:
Freight & Salvage
2020 Addison St.
Berkeley, CA 94704

We incur many expenses to put this event on, including facility rent for the Faculty Concert, Afterglow Jam, travel expenses for the faculty, & BDG staff for the day. Donations before the event help with up-front costs. If you can help, please Paypal donations to:
berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com

Or send a check to:
Deborah Hamouris
662 Fairview St.
Oakland, CA 94609

We are so grateful to the greater Northern California dulcimer community for fostering fun
& educational gatherings for all of us.

Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering
~ Quality music education on the dulcimer in the heart of Berkeley. ~

HAVE YOU REGISTERED YET?
http://www.freightandsalvage.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! - March 27, 2015

Registration is open for

The Third
Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering!


"Quality music education on the dulcimer in the Heart of Berkeley!"

Saturday, May 30, 9am-4pm Workshops $75/$85 after 5/23

 

Register online

Faculty includes:

Butch Ross
Steve Eulberg
Neal Hellman
Deborah “DJ” Hamouris
Janet Herman
Mark Ungar

The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering is for anyone interested in playing the mountain dulcimer. This American folk instrument is enjoyed by beginner and master alike, easily accessible to new players and adaptable to all genres of music. Young and old can play a tune right away!

At the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering you choose 3 out of 12 classes taught by 7 teachers, with subjects including repertoire, instrument care, children’s songs, and showing off on the dulcimer. We’ll also have an instrument technician to help with changing strings and evaluating your dulcimer. The day is planned for maximum time in community with up to 75 mountain dulcimer aficionados. Some dulcimers will be available for loaners and to purchase. And all the instructors will have CDs, books & other products you can’t live without!

Here are the events for this year’s gathering: 
Friday night, 5/29, 7:30pm, $10 @Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar St., Berkeley
http://facultyconcertbdg2015.bpt.me/
Saturday, 5/30, 9am-4pm, workshops at the Freight, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
Afterglow Jam, 4:30-6:30 at location TBD

Our Friday concert will feature performances from the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra, Neal Hellman, Janet Herman and our headliner, Butch Ross. This performance is open to the public, so bring your family & friends for a night of good music.

For more information:
http://www.berkeleydulcimergathering.com/ 
http://www.thefreight.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering
Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/1384502108531517/
or email bekeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com

Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Class Offerings

Registration entitles you to 3 classes, participation in the Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale, and the dulcimer jam after workshops. Once you register, you’ll receive an email from berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com to select one for each class period.

You can register online 

https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/739875

call the box office at 510/644-2020, ext 0, or 
mail a completed registration form http://www.freightandsalvage.org/files/ClassRegistration.pdf

and check for tuition to:                       
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704


Class Period 1: 9:45AM-11AM

Mountain Dulcimer String Side Up (Steve Eulberg) (Complete beginner)
You’ve never tried one of these things before, but think it will be fun. (You’re right!) You’ve heard them but don’t know how to play them. (This one’s for you!) You love music and want to play an instrument. (You’ve come to the right place!) We’ll understand how the dulcimer works and how music works. After this class you are ready to participate with everyone else!

Italian & Early Music for the Dulcimer (Neal Hellman) (Intermediate)
Ancient and Renaissance music of Italy and France for the dulcimer. Slow Airs, Laudas (Church Music of the 12th Century) and dance music such as El Tutu,Tourdion, Dance by Mouret and Bianca Fiore and airs such as Lauda di MariaMaddelena and just for fun Bach’s Minuet in G.

Old Time Country Duets in DAd (Janet Herman) (Advanced)
Close harmony singing acts of the 1930s and 1940s like the Delmore Brothers, Blue Sky Boys, and Louvin Brothers were hugely influential in the development of bluegrass and country music.  Come learn several of these tuneful, fun-to-sing “brother duets.”  Although originally performed on guitar and mandolin, these rootsy classics transfer well to the dulcimer.  We will learn vocal lines of both parts, back up chords and strums, and melody/harmony parts on dulcimer for instrumental breaks between verses.

If You Like One Tune, You’ll Like ‘em Both (Butch Ross) (Intermediate and up)
Learn to recognize recurring patterns in old-time tunes and use them to help you quickly learn new tunes.    


Class Period 2: 11:15AM-12:30PM

Beginning Repertoire (Deborah Hamouris) (Beginning)
You’ll learn some good tunes for practicing what you’ve learned in String Side Up, plus get a few more for later. Basic chords in D will also be covered. A resource list for finding tab and video links of other dulcimer players will be provided.

Challenging our Skills with Simple Music: The Blues in A (DAd tuning) (Steve Eulberg)
This is the workshop you’ve been working toward and waiting for!  Using blues chords and typical chord progressions, we’ll learn how to bluesify a tune, to work on our backup skills and venture into improvisational soloing. 

Show Off! (Butch Ross) (Intermediate - Advanced)
Learn to make unusual, offbeat and fun sound on the dulcimer. In short, stuff that sounds cool! Learn string-bending, natural and artificial harmonics, two-hand tapping, slapping, hammer-ons, pull-offs and using the dulcimer as a drum.

Celtic Jam (Dusty Thorburn) (Advanced Beginner-Advanced)

Bring a tune you’d like to share or learn one from the leader or other players. If you need some ideas, you can download a tunehttp://www.rivercitydulcimers.com/celtic-tunes-for-dulcimer


Class Period 3: 1:40-2:55PM

Children’s Songs of Jean Ritchie (Janet Herman)(Beginner)
Learn to sing and play some of the stellar songs off of Jean Ritchie’s Marching Across the Green Grass 1968 album for children and other lovely simple songs from her vast wonderful repertoire. Following Jean’s lead, we will play some of these melodies on the dulcimer high string.  On other songs we will use easy chordal back up styles that mimic Jean’s guitar playing. Bring a “noter” or small stick (or just a finger!).

The Music of Celtic Harper Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738) (Neal) (Intermediate-Advanced)

In this new workshop the student will learn how to play in G, Em, Bm, D and Am all in the D-A-d tuning while learning the enchanting music of the famous blind Harper Turlough O’Carolan.  Players will user basic embellishments for this class. (hammer-ons and pull-offs)

Care and Feeding of Your Dulcimer (Mark Ungar) (All levels)
How and when to change strings, tune up tuners, and care for the wood of your instrument. Learn how to make decisions on modifications such as adding strap pins, extra frets, or switching out your friction pegs for machine tuners.

Beatle’s Jam (Butch Ross) (All levels)
Join Butch in playing some of your favorite Beatle’s tunes!


Class Period 4: 3:05-3:30PM
Dulcimer Orchestra Sectionals
Instructors will lead separate rehearsals for our Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale. You may choose the level you are comfortable playing.

3:40-4:00PM; Dulcimer Orchestra Grand Finale – Steve Eulberg
We will join together in the lobby to play our piece, ending the day in grand style!

Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering: Class Levels

About the skill levels

To help you pick the best workshops for your experience, all of our workshops are classified by the skill level of the material. Although you’re welcome to attend any classes you’d like (and there will be no test), you’re likely to get more from classes designed with somebody of your skill in mind.

Absolute Beginner: You do not need previous dulcimer experience or musical background.

Beginner: You know how to hold your instrument, and can strum and play some simple tunes. You may not feel confident yet, but you love the music that your instrument can make! These classes will help you learn some chords, gain more comfort with your instrument and your ability to find and play tunes by ear and from music and tablature.

Intermediate: You have the skills of the previous levels and you’ve learned the basics of strumming and reading tablature, you need to expand your playing techniques and musical theory. Learn to embellish your basic music with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides; to adapt an arrangement with different chord positions; to play in and modulate to different keys with and without a capo or retuning; to flat-pick and fingerpick a tune. You can play in different tunings.

Advanced: You have the skills of the other levels plus the ability to play at least 4 chords in DAD or DAA tuning, to use 2-3 fingers (left hand), and be comfortable with at least 2-3 basic rhythms, utilize melody runs on all the strings using scales, then adding arpeggios and patterns from within chords, as well as a strummed chordal melody.

Instructor Bios

Butch Ross
Typically the dulcimer is used for playing simple tunes and accompanying the voice, most people can learn a song or two within a few minutes of first encountering the instrument. Which is probably why the one phrase you'll hear a lot at a Butch Ross concert is "I didn't know you could do THAT on a mountain dulcimer!" Ross has taken a simple folk instrument and energized it with technical wizardry, inventive arrangements and a healthy dose of rock-n-roll attitude. It’s this groundbreaking and iconoclastic approach that caused ukulele-virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro to comment, "Now I know what a dulcimer is supposed to sound like."

Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Ross, who has chosen the dulcimer as his preferred instrument, has become an in-demand performer at folk and dulcimer festivals through the US and Europe. He’s performed at such festivals as the Central Ohio Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and the Lancaster (UK) Music Fest as well as the prestigious Philadelphia Folk Festival.

When Butch Ross opened for Bill Staines last fall, he received a rare accolade: a standing ovation for an opening act. He transforms the lowly mountain dulcimer into a virtuoso's instrument, drawing from it unexpected power and expressiveness. He mixes old country and Appalachian songs with his own wordy, literate, poetic ballads about people, places, and situations you might read about in a good book of short stories. He has a strong clear voice and a stage presence of boyish charm.” --Minstrel Coffeehouse

“Butch Ross is a rockstar. He plays the mountain dulcimer and in case you're thinking ‘Rockstar? Mountain Dulcimer? Doesn't compute,’ let me fill you in on a little something. Butch Ross does something that no one else can touch. What he does is amazing. His genius is in the fact that he found something unique to him and he just worked it to a point where no one can come close to matching it. He's seriously brilliant.” --Hayley Graham
http://www.butchross.com/index1.html

 

Neal Hellman, nationally acclaimed performer and teacher of the mountain dulcimer, has been active in performing, writing, teaching, and recording acoustic music for the past 30 years.

Neal’s latest recording, Emma’s Waltz, is a colorful dance through traditional and contemporary acoustic music styles. Featuring seventeen different musicians playing compositions from Ireland, Scotland, Finland, America and France.

Neal's other recordings include: Autumn In the ValleyDream of the Manatee(with Joe Weed) and Oktober County, all on the Gourd Music label. 

He is the author of many books on the Appalachian dulcimer, including Celtic Songs & Slow Airs for Mountain DulcimerThe Dulcimer Chord Book, The Hal Leonard Dulcimer Method, and Music of the World for Mountain Dulcimer.      

As founder, director and one of the primary artists of the Gourd Music record label, Neal has produced over forty albums, including Simple GiftsThe Fairie RoundTender ShepherdThe World Turned Upside Down and Jefferson’s Fiddle, creating a uniquely distinctive sound, featuring a variety of acoustic instrumental ensembles, rich in texture and tonal color.http://www.gourd.com


Janet Herman has been playing dulcimer since her teens, and brings a heap of musicality, enthusiasm and encouragement to her teaching. She co-founded Redwood Dulcimer Day in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 2001 and served as event and artistic director for its first 10 years.

Janet is especially known for her singing, and her performance of "High on a Mountain" was one of the highlights of the documentary film Hearts of the Dulcimer (2013). She arranges songs on dulcimer from many traditions and recently co-edited Music of the World for Mountain Dulcimer with Neal Hellman (Hal Leonard Publications).

Beyond her dulcimer life, Janet holds a Ph.D. in Folklore/Ethnomusicology from UCLA and serves as writer and research consultant with the Music of Bhutan Research Center based in Thimphu, Bhutan. She also plays tenor banjo, whistle, and mandolin with the Irish band Dance Around Molly and performs and records with Zambra, a global a capella group.


Dusty Thorburn grew up strumming guitar and singing "Kum Ba Ya" and "Blowin' in the Wind" before we knew it was a cliché. A professional historian, he sees traditional music as a way to connect with people from the past, especially those unable to leave written records of their lives. A guitarist and occasional mandolin player, Dusty discovered the mountain dulcimer about five years ago and has been obsessed since, entranced by the simple beauty of the instrument's design and sound. About three years ago he founded River City Dulcimers, a group of musical friends who meet monthly in Sacramento. His lessons, arrangements, and compositions combine a respect for traditional sounds with a modern, blues-influenced sensibility.http://www.rivercitydulcimers.com/


Mark Ungar 
When not performing or recording with his bands Axis Of Blues, The Gravel Spreaders, and Avalon Rising, Mark works as a guitar setup and QC technician for a large manufacturer of vintage-style instruments. He has been studying instrument repair for the last few years, and plays several stringed instruments (not simultaneously).


Steve Eulberg/Artistic Director
5-time national mountain dulcimer winner, 3-time national hammered dulcimer finalist, Steve Eulberg weaves old-timey with blues and contemporary tunes adding original songs into a tapestry of “smile-inducing, toe-tapping folkgrass” that captivates and energizes audiences of all ages.


Steve's music has been featured on United Airlines’ Inflight Audio, PBS’sRoadtrip Nation and National Public Radio.   An active touring musician, film and theater composer, he has had two recordings on initial Grammy ballot and several songs in the Top 10 Independent Country Chart reported by The Music Review

Founder of the Colorado Dulcimer Festival and the Colorado Dulcimer Orchestra,  he served as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1000, the non-geographical local of the AFM, specifically created for traveling musicians.  His elementary school programs are engaging, informative, uplifting and fun!  

Steve has established the Dulcimer Orchestra Library Project and, together with DJ, has co-founded the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra He teaches guitar at www.jamplay.com and is co-owner of www.dulcimercrossing.com where he teaches people to play both mountain and hammered dulcimers. www.steveeulberg.com  


Deborah Hamouris/Executive Director
Deborah (DJ to her friends) is a performer, composer/songwriter, teacher, recording artist, choral director, community organizer, and producer of musical events. She teaches mountain dulcimer classes at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley; directs the choral groups Women & Song and the Unconditional Love Choir; leads Circlesinging workshops; and teaches private voice, dulcimer, and songwriting students. Musically versatile, Deborah performs as both a jazz vocalist and as a traditionally-influenced songsmith with her mountain dulcimer. Occasionally, she allows her classical music education to sneak in to her repertoire.

Deborah’s most recently released CDs are: “Snapshots” – 8 original songs & 2 unique covers, recorded with jazz guitarist, Mimi Fox; and “The Green Man” recorded by The DulciMates, a vocal & dulcimer duo with husband, Buffalo. Deborah is the founder and Executive Director of the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering held annually at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. In her spare time, and when the cat allows, she knits. DJHamouris.com

Updated 2015 info - February 25, 2015

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2015 Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering - February 7, 2015

SAVE THE DATE!

3rd Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering
May 29 & 30, 2015

 

Quality music education in the heart of Berkeley!

 
I'm delighted to announce that we will be celebrating our third year at the Freight & Salvage 
on Saturday, May 30th. Our faculty concert will be Friday, May 29th, including a performance
by the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra and our visiting teacher. Who is that? None other than
Butch Ross!
 
Butch Ross is one of the most forward-looking dulcimer teachers in the country. He first came 
to my notice with a youtube video of “Eleanor Rigby” on mountain dulcimer. Here's a more
recent performance of that tune:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFORgzLyL4U
 
He is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, live-looping expert, touring performer/teacher – 
performing it all with a rapier wit. Besides creating dulcimer tab books, including one on Beatles
songs, Butch performs classical music with other talented musicians. We're likely to experience
all this at the 3rd Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering.
 
I’m also pleased to announce that Steve Eulberg has agreed to be our Artistic Director, partnering 
with me as I take on the Executive Director job title. Steve has been instrumental (ha!) in my own
musical development and in helping to get the gathering off the ground so successfully.
 
Steve's national tour schedule makes him familiar with many of the talented dulcimer teachers 
in the country. His experience, musical skills, and dedication to quality music education will add
terrific depth and fun to our gatherings in Berkeley every year.
 
Here are the pertinent details:
3rd Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering
May 29 & 30, 2015
Friday, 7:30pm: Concert @Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists 
Featuring Butch Ross, Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra, & other faculty
Saturday, 9am-4pm: Workshops @Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
Faculty includes Butch Ross, Steve Eulberg, DJ Hamouris, Neal Hellman, Janet Herman
 
Registration opens mid-March. We hope you will join us this year for our 
Third Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering!

BDG 2014 Events - April 20, 2014

The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering has THREE events this year!

We are looking forward to our expanded gathering this year and welcoming both previous & new participants to our brand of music-making. 

Here are all the events with their respective links, so you can get more info. Of course, you may also just click on the calendar to the left & find the specific date you're interested.

Friday, 5/16, 8pm: Film showing of "Hearts of the Dulcimer"
@Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
with mini-set by The DulciMates
PLUS Q&A with filmmakers Patricia Delich & Wayne Jiang
Open to the public, so bring your friends! 

tickets & info: http://heartsofthedulcimer.bpt.me

Saturday, 5/17, 9am-4pm: Workshops
@Freight & Salvage
tickets & info: http://www.freightandsalvage.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering-dj-hamouris

Saturday, 5/17, 7:30pm: Faculty Concert
@Berkeley Fellowship
with Heidi Muller, Bob Webb, Steve Eulberg
A rare opportunity to hear & see mtn. dulcimers played by masters! All are welcome.
Tickets & info: http://facultyconcertbdg2014.bpt.me

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! - March 5, 2014

Here's the link:

http://www.freightandsalvage.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering-dj-hamouris

Within a few days after you've registered, you'll get an email from berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com to select you classes, order meals, a t-shirt, tickets to the film showing "Hearts of the Dulcimer", tickets to the faculty concert and more.

If you want to join the folks on the Facebook event page, go here and chime in. I'll answer questions there, too.

https://www.facebook.com/events/684741551545587/

So happy to be expanding this year's offerings to 2 days!

Classes Announced and Registration Near! - March 5, 2014

The Second Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering, May 16 & 17
Quality music education on the dulcimer in the Heart of Berkeley!

WE'RE ALMOST READY TO OPEN REGISTRATION -- ANNOUNCEMENT SOON!

The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering is for anyone interested in playing the mountain dulcimer. This American folk instrument is enjoyed by beginner and master alike, easily accessible to new players and adaptable to all genres of music. Young and old can play a tune right away!

At the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering you choose three out of ten classes taught by teachers with more than a century of experience combined. The day is planned for maximum time in community with up to 75 mountain dulcimer aficionados. Some dulcimers will be available for loaners and to purchase, too!

In its second year, the gathering is expanding! We’ll show “Hearts of the Dulcimer”, an indie film made by members of the northern California dulcimer community on Friday night, 5/16, to kick-off the gathering. A faculty concert will be on Saturday night, 5/17. Evening events are open to the public and will be held at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. For more information email bekeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com

HERE ARE THE CLASSES!

Class Period 1

Steve Eulberg: String-Side Up (Beginner)  Absolute Beginning workshop for getting started playing Mountain Dulcimer.

Heidi Muller: Singing with the Dulcimer (Intermediate)  Learn how to accompany your singing with chords and harmonies. We’ll also look at how melody can be used as an introduction, instrumental break and ending. Songs will include “Banks of the Sacramento,” “Farther Along” and more.
Deborah Hamouris: English Country Dances (Intermediate) These lively tunes are from the living tradition of country dancing as practiced in both Britain and “the colonies”. We’ll learn at least one simple and another more intricate tune in keys that are used by contemporary dance bands. Fun to play and even more fun with dancers!
Bob Webb: Weaving Melodies Into Your Arpeggiation (Advanced Beginner) Arpeggiation is a fancy word for ‘breaking up the chord into its individual notes.’ In this class, instructor Bob Webb will teach you how to use your flatpick to bring out the melody of a song as the chord progression goes rolling along. Once these techniques are learned, you will be able to choose a song and give it that lush arpeggiated feeling.

 

Class Period 2

Heidi Muller: Simple, Smooth & Steady (BeginnerPick up good habits, smooth out your playing and become a better strummer. We’ll practice on some good toe-tapping mountain tunes in DAD like Groundhog, Sandy Boys and more.
Bob Webb:  Chord Shapes and Capos (Intermediate) Learn the underlying principles that will free your left hand from being chained to the lower end of your fretboard. Instructor Bob Webb will demonstrate the four basic chord shapes as they progress up the fretboard. He will also show how chord positions relate to playing with a capo when it is placed on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th frets.  Learn how to play songs and chord progressions in the keys of E minor, G major, A major, and A minor. 
Steve Eulberg: Playing Bluegrass on Mountain Dulcimer (Intermediate)  (Chop chords, walking basslines, licks and high harmonies) One reason dulcimers are not always welcome in a jam is that we haven’t developed the necessary “chops” to support and play in the style that is called for.
Jam Room Open for All!

 

Class Period 3

Heidi Muller: West Virginia Fiddle Tunes and Songs (Intermediate)  Learn some toe-tapping, old-time music from West Virginia’s fiddle tradition. We’ll play tunes from the Hammons Family, Wilson Douglas and others, using traditional strumming and hammers, pulls and slides, and try out a song or two.
Steve Eulberg: Those Haunting Minor Modes (advanced beginner/intermediate)  Many lovely tunes belong to the Dorian (“mountain” minor) or Aeolian (“natural” or “pure” minor) modes, and! it turns out both are easily played on the dulcimer! (1-5-4 and 1-5-b7 tunings: DAG, DAC)
Bob Webb: The Zen of Rhythm (Beginner) Get in touch with your inner strummer – find the right strumming pattern for virtually any style of music as you learn to feel the beat of your own inner rhythms.  Instructor Bob Webb will teach strategies to help you strum chords and play melodies with greater confidence. He will bring pre-recorded audio percussion tracks to practice with, as well as tabbed songs in various styles. If you have ever had difficulty practicing with a metronome, this class will help you get around that problem, and make playing with a group more fun.
Jam Room Open for All!

 

Film Campaign Success! - February 13, 2014

Thanks to the wonderful and international community of mountain dulcimer lovers, the campaign to raise $700 to show Hearts of the Dulcimer was a success!

We will be showing the film on Friday night, 5/16, 8pm at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. The DulciMates (Buffalo & I) will do a short set, too. This film showing is open to the public and I'll be publicizing it widely.

To see more about Hearts of the Dulcimer, go to their website 

http://dulcimuse.com/

Also, a survey was sent out to last year's Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering attendees to help determine this year's class offerings. It was quite illuminating! 

Self-assesed level of playing: Beginner  26%; Advanced beginner  21%; Intermediate  37%; Advanced 16%

Folks are most interested in learning traditional tunes & technique (nearly 70%), followed closely by playing & singing, flatpicking/fingerpicking, and ensemble playing. That last is very important to 60% of the respondents.

These will help me to choose from the workshops offered by our faculty. And there's quite a smorgasbord, there!

My next post will have those choices, so stay tuned!

REGISTRATION OPENS MARCH 1ST!

Bring Hearts of the Dulcimer to BDG'14 - January 10, 2014

We need $700 to bring this indie film to the 2nd Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering -- just $700!

So I've created an Indiegogo crowd-sourcing campaign with perks for contributing. One way to think of it is that you're buying your ticket waaaaaay in advance to make sure the show goes on! 

There are also CDs contributed by the faculty of this year's workshops! 

Go to the link & watch the terrific trailer for this high quality documentary film on the west coast dulcimer connection from 40 years ago! http://igg.me/at/HeartsoftheDulcimer-BDG2014/x/314976

We've got till 2/8/14 to get 'er done. No problem, right? Share generously, please, even if you can't contribute yourself.

And watch this space for the opening of registration on March 1st.

2014 Faculty! - December 29, 2013

I'm delighted to announce our faculty for the 2014 Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering!

Heidi Muller

Steve Eulberg

Bob Webb

Deborah "DJ" Hamouris

with help from Ron Beardslee and Dusty/Daniel Thornburn

Watch this space for teacher bios and details on the gathering.

REGISTRATION OPENS MARCH 1ST!

Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Returns! - October 31, 2013

The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering will be continuing into a second year! Save the date:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Workshops@ Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley, CA

Evening events @Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.

I'm currently working on gathering the faculty for our second year, but here are some improvements based on your feedback of our first gathering:


1) Larger classrooms! We'll be using both the theater and the lobby as classrooms this year, so nobody has to cram into the smaller rooms.


2) Jam space! There will be a jam room during the day with a volunteer to help lead things.


3) Classes adjusted for more enjoyment! We'll have three 75-minute classes plus a 30-minute ensemble class for each playing level which culminates in everyone playing together for the grand finale!

I hope you'll put this date on your 2014 calendar and bring a friend in May, 2014.

Workshops & Concert in 3 days! - May 15, 2013

The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering has exceeded the number of registrants to make it a success, and now all we need to do is enjoy it together! Walk-ins are welcome on Saturday morning and you don't even need your own instrument -- we have loaners!

http://www.thefreight.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering-dj-hamouris

Besides the workshops at the Freight & Salvage starting at 9am, there's a public concert at the Garden Gate Creativity Center at 8pm. Steve Eulberg, Neal Hellman and The DulciMates (Deborah Hamouris & Buffalo) will play their most beloved tunes for everyone. And there will be lots of time to just hang out with other mountain dulcimer players, a precious commodity.

http://gardengatecreativitycenter.bandzoogle.com/calendar.cfm

Here's the schedule of activities for the day & evening:

SCHEDULE:

@ the Freight, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley

8:45-9:15 – Registration in the lobby (coffee/tea & pastries available)

9:15-9:45 – Orientation meeting in the lobby

9:45-11:15 – Class 1

11:30-1pm – Class 2

1pm-2pm – lunch

2:15-3:45 – Class 3

@Garden Gate 2911 Claremont Ave., Berkeley

4:30-6pm – Playing Circle with Buffalo

6-7pm – dinner

8-10:30pm – Evening Concert

Parking for workshops will be available at the lot right next door to the Freight & Salvage on Addison St. @$15.00/day. There are other lots in downtown Berkeley, too, but street parking is limited and metered. BART drops you off just a couple blocks away and AC Transit serves the area quite well, too.

Parking at the Garden Gate Creativity Center is a bit easier. GGCC is located near the intersection of Ashby Ave. on Claremont Ave. and there is a small parking lot next to it that is free after 4pm. You can also park on the street, just feed the meter until 6pm.

We are looking forward to a great day of music, education and fun! Please join us.

The Berkeley Two-Step - March 17, 2013

REGISTRATION FOR THE BERKELEY DULCIMER GATHERING HAS TWO STEPS!

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY & REGISTER FOR THE OPTIONS YOU CHOOSE.

STEP ONE: Register for workshops at the Freight & Salvage at

http://www.freightandsalvage.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering-dj-hamouris

Cost: $75, $85 after 5/10

There are several ways to pay for registration at the Freight: online (fee $6.88) or by phone (fee $2.00) with a credit or debit card; print & fill out a PDF registration form to send with a check; register in person at the box office (open every day, 12:30-7pm and during performances).

EARLY REGISTRATION IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. REGISTRATION IS LIMITED TO 65 PARTICIPANTS. WALK-UP REGISTRATION WILL ONLY BE ALLOWED IF WE HAVE NOT ALREADY EXCEEDED OUR MAXIMUM.

Registration includes 3 classes of your choice. You will be asked to choose 1 class per period based on your experience with the Mountain Dulcimer. See class list at the link above.

STEP TWO: After registering for workshops at the Freight & Salvage there are more options! Fill out the survey at the following link:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LHN2FCG

This survey leads you to:

~Order meals; 1)a box lunch to be delivered at the Freight (or brown bag it) 2) a buffet dinner at the Garden Gate Creativity Center, 3) or both;

~Order a Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering t-shirt in your size;

~Purchase tickets to the evening concert;

~Let us know if you need a loaner instrument;

~Donate seed money for a Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering in 2014;

~Gives you payment options for your choices (online or by check);

~Give us your contact info for correspondence regarding important details about the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering, as well as notification of dulcimer-related events in the area.

Don't hesitate to contact me with questions or clarification of our little two-step reg dance! berkeleydulcimergathering@djhamouris.com

Registration is now OPEN! - March 16, 2013

The Freight & Salvage has opened registration! Go here:

http://www.freightandsalvage.org/berkeley-dulcimer-gathering-dj-hamouris

And let the fun begin!

Teacher Bios - February 24, 2013

If you add up the cumulative experience the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering instructors have, playing and teaching, there would be more than a century's worth! We're excited to be the inaugural team and glad to be working with each other, even though we've known the others for years. Here are some details about the teaching team!

Steve Eulberg

5-time winner in the national mountain dulcimer contest, 3-time national hammered dulcimer finalist, Steve Eulberg weaves old-timey with blues and contemporary tunes adding original songs into a tapestry of “smile-inducing, toe-tapping folkgrass” that captivates and energizes audiences of all ages.

Steve's music has been featured on United Airlines’ Inflight Audio, PBS’s Roadtrip Nation and National Public Radio. An active touring musician, film and theater composer, he has had several songs in the Top 10 Independent Country Chart reported by The Music Review.

He has taught and performed at the Summer Solstice Festival of the CTMS and Southern California Dulcimer Heritage Dulcimer Day, as well as folk schools and festivals across the US. He is the host of the Colorado Dulcimer Festival and is active as the Western Regional Board Representative of Local 1000, the non-geographical local of the AFM, specifically created for traveling musicians. His elementary school programs are engaging, informative, uplifting and fun!

http://owlmountainmusic.com/

Neal Hellman

A nationally acclaimed performer and teacher of the mountain dulcimer, Neal has been active in performing, writing, teaching, and recording acoustic music for the past 30 years.

Neal’s latest recording, Emma’s Waltz, is a colorful dance through traditional and contemporary acoustic music styles. Featuring seventeen different musicians playing compositions from Ireland, Scotland, Finland, America and France.

Neal's other recordings include: Autumn In the Valley, Dream of the Manatee (with Joe Weed) and Oktober County, all on the Gourd Music label.

He is the author of many books on the Appalachian dulcimer, including Celtic Songs & Slow Airs for Mountain Dulcimer, The Dulcimer Chord Book, The Hal Leonard Dulcimer Method, and Music of the World for Mountain Dulcimer.      

As founder, director and one of the primary artists of the Gourd Music record label, Neal has produced over forty albums, including Simple Gifts, The Fairie Round, Tender Shepherd, The World Turned Upside Down and Jefferson’s Fiddle, creating a uniquely distinctive sound, featuring a variety of acoustic instrumental ensembles, rich in texture and tonal color.

http://www.gourd.com

 

Deborah “DJ” Hamouris

Deborah is a performer, teacher, recording artist, choral director, community organizer and producer of musical events. She teaches both singing and mountain dulcimer at music festivals, the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, on the road and privately at home. Deborah’s recordings date from 1986. In 2012, she produced two CDs. “Snapshots” includes original songs accompanied by the guitar artistry of Mimi Fox. “The Green Man”, recorded by The DulciMates with husband Buffalo, has both traditional and traditionally-inspired folk music with two dulcimers & vocal harmonies. Both Jazz & folk music sustain Deborah’s career as performer, director, songwriter and teacher. She lives in Oakland and loves to knit, when time and her cat allow. The Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering is her first foray into the world of dulcimer festival production.

Ron Beardslee

Ron's life offers a cautionary tale for those with an interest in the mountain dulcimer. Ron fell under the dulcimer's spell nearly 20 years ago, sparking a love affair that has played an essential role in his life ever since. Ron jumped into the dulcimer world feet first, organizing quarterly Redwood Dulcimer Group gatherings for seven years, leading workshops for beginner classes at Redwood Dulcimer Day and producing a book of dulcimer tablature for beginners. Ron resides in the North Bay where he gives mountain dulcimer lessons and continues to serve his obsession with the mountain dulcimer. As coordinator for Redwood Dulcimer Day, Ron is an enthusiastic guide for those beginning their dulcimer journey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkePVN6QvJM

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