April 17-20, 2023
Menucha's Mountain Dulcimer Festival is a 4-day workshop for players of the lap dulcimer. Participants arrive on Monday afternoon, get settled in and the music-making begins! Tuesday and Wednesday bring morning and afternoon classes taught by the 2 faculty instructors, followed by evening gatherings where the faculty perform. We weave in some 'open-mic' time as well as some time to just sit and talk or play with new and long-time friends. Thursday after breakfast we sing and play a bit together before beginning the journey home.
Menucha is 102 acres in the beautiful and amazing Columbia River Gorge. We are about 30 minutes east of Portland, Oregon. We welcome participants to stay in our housing at Menucha and enjoy the community and fellowship of other dulcimer players. If you live close by, you can choose to be a Commuter who sleeps at home but enjoys lunch, dinner and all the classes here at Menucha. Scroll down the page to see some pictures from festivals past.
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Cost to Attend
The Dulcimer Festival will be housed in Creevey Commons and Boyd Hall. Classes will be in Creevey and The Greenhouse - two gorgeous spaces with lots of sunlight and good space!
Cost is per-person and all inclusive of classes, meals and housing (or a site-use fee for commuters). Cost is based on the number of roommates you're willing to have. All rooms in Creevey have 1 queen bed and 2 single beds and an en-suite bathroom. Single occupancy rooms will be in Boyd Hall which has 4 bedrooms and 2 shared bathrooms.
Triple Occupancy $504
Double Occupancy $550
Single Occupancy $650
Commuter $440 (this option includes dinner and evening gathering)
NEW OPTION: Classes & Lunch Only Commuter $375 (enjoy classes & lunch, then leave for the day before dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday)
Non-participating spouse/partner $300 Would your spouse/partner like to join you but not come to the classes? They can! Choose Double occupancy for yourself, then choose "add another registrant" as you are registering and register them as "Non-participating Spouse/Partner." They'll get to attend the evening gatherings, all meals and enjoy Menucha while you are in class!
Lance Frodsham has been a teacher, author, and performer for over four decades. Lance is local to Menucha as he makes his home in Vancouver Washington. In fact, Lance was at the very first Menucha Dulcimer Festival! Lance is delighted to be back in person.
In 1983, Lance released his first recording on the Kicking Mule Label. It was produced by Irish fiddler Kevin Burke who had recently moved to the Pacific Northwest. Since then, Lance has recorded CD projects for Wizmak, Mel Bay Publications as well as independent self-published recordings.
Lance has written two books for Mel Bay Publications The English Dulcimer (Country, Morris and Sword Dances for Fretted Dulcimer) and English Songs and Ballads for Appalachian Dulcimer. Lance is currently working on a third book for Mel Bay which will be published later this year.
Lance has taught and played at various festivals such as The Northeast Dulcimer Symposium in the Adirondacks, Boone North Carolina, Wisconsin, several different festivals throughout California and the West Coast. This past summer, Lance taught and performed at Kentucky Music Week
Lance has a Master’s Degree in Education and is a retired Alternative School Counselor.
Lance plays many different styles of music on the Mountain Dulcimer including Celtic, English trad, American Roots, French and other World music. He also plays guitar and brings that knowledge to the Mountain Dulcimer.
Learn more about Lance: http://lancefrodsham.com and on Facebook: Lance Frodsham Music
Joe Collins fell in love with the mountain dulcimer back in 1978. At the time he was doing occasional coffeehouses as a college student in eastern North Carolina, and a good friend thought that he might be interested in tackling another instrument besides the guitar. He took her little instrument home, and she did not get it back for three years! Today, he plays a lot less guitar and lot more dulcimer than in those early days.
After competing in a number of competitions and winning several regional competitions over a ten-year period, he won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2007 in Winfield, KS. Over the past twenty years, he has had the opportunity to teach and play in festivals from California to the east coast, from Florida to Vermont, and a lot of places in between.
A folk musician and mountain dulcimer player since the late 70s, Joe combines mountain dulcimer wizardry with good, solid vocals. He is a songwriter and vocalist, inspired by artists like Simon & Garfunkle, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, and Kris Kristofferson. But as he grows older and pudgier, he realizes that perhaps the most profound influence on his musical bent was the old Burle Ives records he listened to over and over again as a kid. His performances are sprinkled with a lot of humor and some excellent mountain dulcimer playing - sure to bring a smile to audiences of all ages.
Joe graduated from East Carolina University with Bachelor and Masters degrees in English, from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity with Religious Education, and from NC State University with a Doctorate in Adult Education. He has worked in Religious Education for most of his professional career and is professor emeritus of religion at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. Now that he is retired, he has more time for dulcimer, writing music, and traveling to work with clubs and in festivals.
Lance Frodsham's Workshops
ONE HOUR WORKSHOP
PLAYING WELL WITH OTHERS Level: all
This will be a one-hour workshop about playing with other musicians at sessions, church or any other time. Using some simple techniques, players will learn how to tune a dulcimer so they can fit into any situation and play along. We will learn friendly ways of tuning and the difference between keys and modes. This will be for both beginners and intermediate students. Reading music and understanding music theory is not necessary.
90 MINUTE WORKSHOPS
ENGLISH COUNTRY DANCE TUNES
English Morris Tunes and English Country Dance Tunes are fun to play. Unlike many types of fiddle tunes, generally the tunes are not played at breakneck speed. This makes them fun to play for the Intermediate Player. We will focus on fingering, ensemble playing and developing repertoire. Lance is the author of The English Dulcimer, Mel Bay publications. The tunes that are in this workshop will be new arrangements.
SONG ACCOMPANIMENT FOR MOUNTAIN DULCIMER
This class will be a mixture of songs that work well with the mountain dulcimer. We will learn some children’s songs and American roots music. This class is for Beginning to Intermediate dulcimer students who would like to expand their repertoire. There will be more songs than we can get to so that you will have plenty to take home and work on.
VILLAGE CAROLS FOR DULCIMER
This is a preview of Lance’s new book for Mel Bay. We will be learning seasonal songs that are sung in village pubs. A hint of Christmas in April! We will start the workshop in DAD. Intermediate level but all levels are welcome.
Joe Collins' Workshops
ONE HOUR WORKSHOP (Intermediate-Advanced)
IT TAKES TWO TO WALTZ – Vol. 3 A repertoire of beautiful waltzes arranged for two parts. Waltzes include “Sleeping Beauty Waltz” (by Tchaikovsky) and “Life in the Finn Woods” (aka “Mockingbird Hill).
Slow Celtic Tunes – Volume 4 (Advanced Beginner-Intermediate)
All Celtic tunes are not “fast and furious.” This is a repertoire workshop that proves the point with songs like “Mo Ghile Mear,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” “The House Carpenter,” and others. These tunes are nice additions for anybody’s Celtic repertoire.
Traditional American Folk Hymns – (Advanced Beginner-Intermediate)
This is a repertoire workshop of hymns that have been set to traditional American tunes, including "On Jordan's Stormy Banks," "How Firm a Foundation," "What Wondrous Love Is This," and others.
Combining Your Picking & Strumming (Intermediate-Advanced).
This workshop will focus on picking out the melody in between and in combination with the strums that give body to arrangements. We’ll use exercises to develop effective strum/flatpicking technique and two tunes to incorporate the technique, an original waltz and a challenging O’Carolan piece entitled “Lord Inchiquin.”
Dulcimer Player Descriptions
For our festival, we are employing the following descriptors for workshops:
You should be familiar with:
• Tuning your dulcimer
• Reading and playing from tablature
• Basic right and left hand techniques for strumming and fretting
• Strumming basic rhythms
• Playing notes on the melody string
• Simple two finger chords
You should be comfortable with all of the above plus:
• Fingering more complex three finger chords
• Basic fingerpicking technique
• Basic flatpicking technique
• Playing more intricate rhythm patterns
• More complex timing, use of dotted quarter and eighth notes, etc.
• Use of embellishments (hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides)
You should be comfortable with all of the above plus:
• Playing in different keys
• Using alternate tunings such as DGD, DAC, etc.
• Adding melodic variations to simple melodies
• Playing 5 or more tunes from memory
• Performance skills and musicality
• Basic chord theory and its application