Aaron O’Rourke

began teaching and performing on mountain dulcimer at the age of 16. In a short period of time, Aaron became one of the headlining names at many dulcimer camps across the country.

In 2010, Aaron won the National Mountain Dulcimer Competition held at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS. Aaron is also a past winner in the Florida Old-time music competition held in Dade City, FL and the Southeastern Regional Dulcimer Contest in Mountain View, AR.

Aaron has authored over twenty instructional books for mountain dulcimer covering a diverse range of technique and repertoire. In addition to teaching at camps and festivals, Aaron is a regular contributor of video lessons to dulcimerschool.com.



is the owner and publisher of DickinsonDulcimer.com.  Jess has an undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi.  He practiced law in Gulfport for 22 years and, in 2002, was elected to serve as a justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court, from which he is retired in September 2017.  Jess was then appointed by the Governor of Mississippi as Commissioner of Child Protection Services.

Jess is an accomplished musician and has played and taught guitar and hammered dulcimer for twenty-five years.  His popular regional bluegrass band — The Bluegrass Appeal — has played numerous concert, radio, and festival venues.  In 2011, The Bluegrass Appeal released their first CD – “From Dublin to the Delta” – a pleasant mix of Irish, Delta Blues, and gospel music.  The CD is available on Amazon, CD Baby, and can be ordered on the home page of this website.

Creator and originator of the “Deep South Dulcimer Championship” in its 7th year.

Links:  DickinsonDulcimer.com.


                                                                    Jan Carroll

is an award winning Mountain Dulcimer Player.  She was the 2014 TX State Champion, 2017 Deep South Dulcimer Champion, 2017 Louisiana State Champion, and the 2017 Southern Region Champion. 

Jan is a retired Professor of Computing Science and also VP of Computing.  Teaching others and sharing knowledge has been her life long passion.  She teaches private music lesson and also teaches at festivals.



William Craig Mann

known as “Dr. Bill”  is a former Assistant Curator for Living History Programs and resident music historian for Old Alabama Town history village in Montgomery Alabama.  He has performed on multiple instruments, but focuses primarily on dulcimer, guitar, old-time and minstrel banjo, and piano.  An ordained minister, he holds master’s and doctoral degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  Dr Bill took up the Appalachian dulcimer in 1991, and still owns his first instrument.  He has taught dulcimer for the last 20 years, and currently heads up the Mountain Melodies dulcimer band based in Cullman and Blount counties in north Alabama.

Richard Switzer

is retired from Mississippi State University and USDA-ARS.  He loves music and loves to  learn to play as many new instruments as possible.  Richard is an accomplished Mountain Dulcimer player as well as a Psaltery player.  At our Festival, Richard will conduct several workshops on the Psaltery and will be available help with any problems you may have with the upkeep of your instrument while at the Festival.    Richard has been playing Dulcimer for over 10 years and the Psaltery for over 6 years.   He also plays Auto-harp, & Ukelele.  Richard is a member of several groups in Mississippi including, Columbus: Friendly City Strummers, Philadelphia: Wayfaring Strings, Starkville: Dulcimers & is a member of Southern Strings Dulcimers as well.


DR. JOHNNY CARROLL                                                                was at one time, a professional drummer who played for University bands, university stage bands, dance bands, churches, and 0ther local groups.  He is a retired Professor of Computing Science who has become intrigued with folk music.  Johnny is a life long educator and enjoys sharing his knowledge of percussion with others.



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