Denstone is a historic Victorian school building, with full residential facilities, modern classrooms, a beautiful dining hall and a theatre for concerts. It is set in rolling countryside between Cannock Chase and the Peak District. We offer both residential and non-residential choices for booking, and B&B and camping are available in the area for those who do not wish to stay at the College.
This year we are again extending our weekend to three days, with an option to attend for two days only.
We will have our Tutor Concert on Saturday afternoon, featuring our guest tutors.
On Saturday night, we will have our wonderful and varied Open-Stage Concert, which is open to all weekend participants. We encourage you to take part, and not necessarily on dulcimer - other instruments, readings, performances are always fun - please plan to keep your performance short (five minutes or less). There will also be time for regular and slow sessions with leaders, and for some informal dancing!
We will have a full programme of workshops for both Hammered Dulcimer and Mountain Dulcimer players of all levels. We have a wide range of guest tutors from the UK and the USA - Mick Doherty (USA) & Sue Harris (UK) will be teaching on Hammered Dulcimer, with Stephen Seifert (USA) featured on Mountain Dulcimer. A favourite tutor, Anne Lough (USA) will be returning to teach both Hammered and Mountain Dulcimer. Lisa Warburton (UK), Geoff Reeve-Black & Duncan Gibbs (UK) & John Shaw (UK) will lead other featured workshops, and we are pleased that Karen Buglass (USA) will be returning to teach the MD beginners.
We extend a warm welcome to hammered and mountain dulcimer players of all skill levels, and especially to newcomers. Once again, we will have a full three days of separate workshops offered for beginners on both HD and MD, with experienced and helpful tutors. Pieter Blondelle, Sue Harris & Lisa Warburton and Sally Whytehead will teach beginner HD workshops, with Karen Buglass on MD.
On Tuesday October 22nd, we will have an optional extra day, and will be offering One Day Workshops (see details below).
The overall schedule for the weekend is shown below. We will be updating this page with the detailed workshop schedule and workshop descriptions as they are available.
This year we are also offering further one day workshops on Tuesday 22nd October with Mick Doherty (HD), Anne Lough (HD) and Stephen Seifert (MD). Mick will be teaching a one day workshop called "The Joy of Klezmer & More" for HD, Anne will lead a workshop called "Heart and Soul - Playing with Expression & Musicality" for HD. For MD players, we will have "Another day (in the life) with Stephen Seifert".
Klezmer music is an old style of Jewish music, with medieval origins and Romany or Gypsy influences, and a distinctive sound. It is often very joyful dance music, though with beautiful haunting melodies. The modes used in Klezmer are primarily the harmonic minor, with some tunes in more unusual "gypsy minor" and other modes.
Mick will take us on a journey through some Klezmer and other Jewish music, and by re-tuning first one course, and then two courses, make this wonderful music easy to play on the Hammered Dulcimer. With re-tuning, the tunes can be learnt by ear, as well as with support from sheet music, and we will play around with the modes to explore some improvised sounds.
Release the muse within, and touch the heartstrings of all who hear you as we go beyond the technical and explore the beautiful, sensitive and expressive qualities of this lovely instrument.
Those who have heard Anne play know that her style is gentle and musical. She will share some of her favourite lyrical tunes, and explore how to play and add some simple embellishments to bring beauty to your playing. This will be a day to relax after the weekend and enjoy your playing.
Stephen Seifert is well known to some of our Nonsuch MD players from his visit to Halsway a couple of years ago, where his playing, teaching and all-around warm nature delighted everyone. Stephen is in high demand as a tutor and teaches at workshops and one-day programs throughout the year in the USA. We are so pleased to have him back in the UK again. He will be able to adapt this additional day's workshop to the needs and wants of the group, and will bring a wide variety of music, techniques, help and ideas for everyone.
If you wish to sign up for the Tuesday workshops, you must also choose either the Resident or Non-Resident option for the additional day.
Mick Doherty is a performing and recording studio musician on hammered dulcimer, guitar, string bass, percussion and various sound effects devices. Mick has performed in ensemble and as a solo artist from sidewalks to concert stages in Anglo and Latin America, Europe, Japan and North Korea (really!). He has performed with the Oregon Trail Band, the Portlanders, the Snakeskinners, the Cascadia Folk Quartet, and Mason Williams with the Oregon Symphony.
Mick is a co-founder of the award-winning Oregon Shadow Theatre, where he composes music, and performs as musician, storyteller, voice actor and sound effects specialist. He has composed music for film, theatre and video, has taught song writing and hammered dulcimer workshops, and is director of the Hammer Dulcimer Rendezvous, an annual teaching festival outside of Portland, Oregon.
Read more at Mick's website: nwdulcimer.com
Anne Lough began playing and singing folk music at the age of fourteen, and has continued to share her love of music through the years while raising four daughters and completing a Music Education Degree from Murray State University, Murray, Ky., and a Master of Music Education Degree from Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC. Anne now lives in the mountains of North Carolina and devotes her time to festivals, workshops, performances, Road Scholar classes and school residencies. Equally at home on the guitar, autoharp, mountain and hammered dulcimer, her educational programs and performances range from traditional music and folk songs to shaped note singing, classical and American popular music, folk dance traditions, storytelling, folklore and cultural history.
Anne is a frequent instructor in mountain and hammered dulcimer at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, and has taught at the Swannanoa Gathering, Western Carolina Dulcimer Week, Augusta Heritage Dulcimer Week, Kentucky Music Week and at numerous other festivals and workshops in the USA and Europe. Her artistic interpretation, sensitive playing style, versatility, creative arranging and skill as an instructor have earned her international acclaim. She has also published many collections of arrangements for the mountain and hammered dulcimer.
Read more at Anne's website: www.annelough.com
Stephen Seifert's teaching and playing have made him a favourite with mountain dulcimer players all over the USA and worldwide. Since 1991 he's been a featured performer at close to a thousand dulcimer festivals and other music events including Kentucky Music Week in Bardstown, KY, Dulcimerville in Black Mountain, NC, the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, and the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.
He was a tutor at Halsway Manor in 2017 and received wonderful reviews from everyone who attended; we are so pleased to have him return for the Nonsuch Annual weekend in 2019. Stephen has authored ten books, four CDs, and 16 instructional videos.
Most recently, he has been teaching hundreds of students around the world via learn.dulcimerschool.com. Stephen says: "I want to play all styles of music on the mountain dulcimer. I also want to help my fellow mountain dulcimer players pursue their musical desires, whatever they might be, with the least number of time-wasting detours."
Read more at Stephen's website: www.stephenseifert.com
Sue has played Hammered Dulcimer since her early twenties. She has become one of the foremost players in the country, concentrating mainly on English traditional music and her own original material. Sue has worked extensively in the theatre, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, and written music for several radio plays. Her last album "Pastorela" received wide acclaim, and was featured on BBC Radio 3. She writes and arranges music for her community band, Bandamania, and three community choirs around the Welsh Borders. Her ceilidh band - Polkaworks - is a vibrant outfit of instrumentalists playing rollicking English dance tunes and a good sprinkling of Sue's compositions. Sue also plays in the English Dulcimer Duo with Lisa Warburton, featuring a repertoire of mainly English tunes and jaunty 18th century melodies, arranged for two dulcimers.
More recently she has been working with poet and wildlife photographer Andrew Fusek Peters to produce a multi-media show using dulcimer to accompany his poems and slides. Sue has also been working recently on arrangements of madrigals for the dulcimer, and will be introducing those to us during the weekend.
Karen was a tutor during our Nonsuch 25th Anniversary Celebration in Great Malvern in 2017, and we're thrilled to have her back this year. Karen's love of the mountain dulcimer began more than a decade ago. Since then she's studied with several national champions at workshops in the USA. She plays regularly at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historic Site at Great Falls Tavern.
Karen also plays the autoharp and bowed psaltery. She performed as a soloist during the Shenandoah University Mountain Dulcimer Festival and as part of a trio during Dulcimer Week at Western Carolina University. In addition to offering private lessons, Karen holds regular workshops in and around Washington D.C.
Visit her website at www.sweetstrings.biz
Please complete the booking form and return it either with your cheque (made payable to Nonsuch Dulcimer Club) or by email if you wish to make a bank transfer, to Judith Van Dijkhuizen. Please note that your application must reach us by June 30th, 2019 in order for you to benefit from our Early Bird pricing.
If you wish to sign up for the Tuesday workshops, you will also choose either the Resident or Non-Resident option for the additional day.
If you travel from afar, and would like to stay overnight on Monday night, we are offering a Monday "B&B" option for dinner, an extra night and breakfast at the college. We are unfortunately unable to offer an option for a Tuesday night stay at the college, but there are many B&Bs in the area.
If you are unsure about your playing level, please refer to the Nonsuch Playing Guidelines.
The weekend will be held at Denstone College, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5HN. Please see the college website for more information about the location: www.denstonecollege.org.