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Patty Fest Teachers Bios

JEFF FEDAN-Hammered Dulcimer-Spoons
Jeff lives in Masontown, WV, just outside of Morgantown, WV, and learned to play the hammered dulcimer from his teacher and mentor, Patty Looman, who gave him the gift of music.  He has been playing for nearly fifteen years, loving every minute of it.  He is especially interested in the old time repertoire of northern West Virginia, the music of Worley Gardner, Russell Fluharty, and Patty Looman, and in preserving these tunes and the old-time traditions of the area.  Jeff is founder of PattyFest, an old-time music festival that has been honoring Patty Looman for thirteen years, and also assists with the Gardner Winter Music Festival, which has gone on forever.  He has conducted hammered dulcimer and spoons workshops at Dulci-More, the Gardner Winter Music Festival and PattyFest, and has several hammered dulcimer students.”

RICK SNIDER-Pennywhistle-Beginners
Earlier in life Rick played guitar and vocals for 8 years in local rock and country bands touring throughout WV.  He now plays in local jam sessions and in church.  He's a multi-instrumentalist with a primary focus on fiddle, penny whistle, Irish flute, button accordion, guitar, harmonica and hammered dulcimer.  He concentrates on Gospel, Celtic and Old-time Appalachian music.

JAMES ROBBINS- Banjo-Novice/Beginner
Jimmy has been playing banjo for 13 years and the clawhammer style for the last three years. He learned clawhammer style banjo using Wayne Erbsen's instruction book "Clawhammer Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus.”  He likes going to jams and music festivals and thinks you learn a lot when playing music with others. In addition, he plays around North Central West Virginia with "Almost A Song"

LUANNA MOORE-Lap Dulcimer-Intermediate
Luanna began playing the Mountain Dulcimer in the late 1960’s when her father built her first instrument.  Her early influence came from Jeanne Ritchie whom she saw in concerts and workshops at Berea College.  She played folk music of the time, as she carried the dulcimer with her to 4-H and Youth Opportunity Camps around the state.  In the mid 1980’s, she took a class at Augusta and began playing in local jams.  With a borrowed hammered dulcimer, she took a 5 week class from Patty Looman which got her hooked on it.  Since that time, she has taken classes at Augusta, Kentucky Music Week, Ohio Valley Gathering and Heartland Music Festivals.  She is a regular at Pickin’ in the Park in Elkins and the local Fiddle Support Group. She entertains at nursing homes, at senior center events, and for many local groups.  She teaches classes at the Randolph County Senior Center and at the Community Arts Center on both instruments.  She does school presentations, where she has gotten students from Pre K thru 12th grade playing the dulcimer.  She also teaches at Pattyfest and teaches new tunes for the Mountaineer Dulcimer Club.

PATRICK BROOK- Intermediate Guitar and Banjo
Pat is a professional instructor for beginners to advanced players and has 38 years teaching experience on the banjo and guitar.  He also gives private lessons/group clinics.  If you would like to take lessons from him you can reach him by email

GENE THORN - Bodhran Instructor
Gene is the Bodhran player and singer for the Irish band "Emerald Hills" from Buckhannon, WV. His first instruction on Bodhran came from Barbara Tresider Ryan who plays Bodhran for "Iona", a DC based Celtic Band, and Davey Morrison, from Airdrie Scotland, who played Bodhran for the Scottish Band "Albannach". Gene has studied extensively through advanced Bodhran under Màirtìn De Cogain, a master at Bodhran playing and ballad singing, and 2 time Irish National Stoytelling Champion, from Carrigaline Ireland. Gene has also studied under Eoin McQuinn a master Bodhran instructor and performer from Ireland, who has a Masters in Musicology and Ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick. Gene has studied Irish song and songwriting under Robbie O'Connell, nephew of the Clancy Brothers and performer with the same. Gene also studied Irish singing under Shay Black of Ireland's Black Family, brother of Mary Black, and a great performer in his own right. Gene toured Ireland for 8 days with Maìrtìn in 2013, playing Bodhran each evening with some on Ireland's finest musicians, including Mairead Hickey, 6 time Irish National Fiddle champion. Gene has a longtime teaching background and enjoys sharing his knowledge with students.

MARY ZUERCHER -Bowed Psaltery-Beginner
Mary was introduced to the bowed psaltery six years ago by a friend. She has attend the Psaltery Symphony at Tamarack twice and has played with forty or so other players.  It was a four day workshop and she plays in the concert on the last day.  She belongs to a group called the Motown Psaltery Players and have performed on stage at the Gardner Winter Music Fest, PattyFest and Traditional Music Day at Prickett’s Fort.

SUSIE JONES-Autoharp-Beginning/Intermediate
Susie was invited 12 years ago by Dr. Mike Schroering to join him and his wife Joni for a group sing that met on Thursday evenings. Things were put on hold due to an illness Susie had.  Several months later when Susie was able to return to the group, Joni loaned Susie her autoharp and said she thought Susie would enjoy singing AND playing the autoharp.  Susie took lessons from Jan Woodward and attend Augusta Heritage Festival 5 or 6 times to learn the autoharp. Things has changed over the years and Susie now belongs with a group called the Kennedy Barn Band which meets at the Folklife building at Fairmont State College on Thursday nights. She has played at various events throughout the area including square dances, receptions, reunion, and church events.  She has played and sang at nursing homes with a friend from her church.

Ken first heard the hammered dulcimer in late 1980 in Oklahoma. He moved to Elkins WV around 2000 where he was heavily exposed to the HD at Augusta and somehow became friends with Patty. He came to like stopping by her spot at Glenville and play some tunes with her and her acolytes. Guy George was his first hammered dulcimer teacher. Ken has played for Weddings, banquets, private parties, the American Mountain Theater, for Davis & Elkins College Functions and for Mountain Hospice.

ROCK GARTON-Beginning Fiddle
Rock has always had an interest in music, and in his third year of college at Morgantown (1972) he met Dwight Diller when he was a graduate student.  He was just starting an old time string band with anyone that wanted to join. No prior music knowledge required. Dwight taught music by ear, and he still can’t play with sheet music. He can learn slowly from sheet music, but can’t play it. Since then he has played fiddle mostly for square dances in Buckhannon, Stonewall Jackson Jubilee square dance, the Irish Spring Festival Square Dance in Lewis County, and the Lewis County Senior Square Dance ever since they started using live music.
There have been three young students that have gotten their fiddling start in his office basement. From them he has learned that all you have to do is want to do it and work at it. Rock believes God didn’t give him much talent, but He did give him determination. And that’s the most important thing in learning to do anything well.
This past November he was honored to perform at the Old Time Fiddlers Reunion in Elkins with help from Bob Snyder, and Mark Crabtree.  The greatest honor would be to have you join our fiddle workshop at Pattyfest.

BILL SCHILLING: Songs With A Good Chorus
Bilhas been singing and playing various folk instruments (at least 20 with variations of several) for over 46 years. He has performed for audiences of all ages in many settings from coast to coast. His high-energy performances may include songs, slide programs, and/or stories selected specifically for your group. His performances often involve members of your group with audience participation songs or activities. Bill often performs with others including Linda Sigismondi with whom he has recorded “Songs from Canal Days”. Since Bill believes that his music should be inclusive, he is involved in many groups which share music. A few of them are: Dulci-More: Folk & Traditional Musicians (Bill is the founder and leader of this group); the annual Dulci-More Festival (Bill is the director); the Canton Folk Song Society (Bill is one of the original members); the Dulcimer Society of Trumbull County (Bill has reorganized and leads this group); Folknet (Bill is a charter Executive Committee Member, past President, and current Treasurer); and Folk Music at Weatherbury Farm (Bill is one of the originators of this program and a workshop leader). His “Dulci-More Public Domain Songbooks” (in several variations) are used by clubs and individuals around the country. 
JAMIE GREENE-Mandolin-Beginning
Jamie has been playing the mandolin for several years and his influence has come from Tom Carter, Willie P. Bennett and Mike Marshall. He has played in an alt-country band for a few years but nowadays, most of his playing is focused on fiddle tunes. Whenever he has a Thursday night free, he plays with the Kennedy Barn String Band.

MARY ANN SPEARS- Beginning Hammered Dulcimer Level I and Level II
Mary Ann began taking lessons in Hammered Dulcimer from the great Patty Looman in 1995. In a few years, her life took her to other states, but thanks to Patty’s great foundation in music, she was able to continue playing with dulcimer players in various cities. Mary Ann has played with hammered dulcimer groups in Winston Salem and Greensboro, NC.  Ultimately, she joined the Hammer Heads, a Hammered Dulcimer Society in Southeastern Virginia, and enjoyed appearing in public with them in the Virginia Beach area. Her return to the Mountain State led to a reunion with Patty, and brought her opportunities to play with Wha-ke-we-nn?, and later with The Acme Tune Company. Mary Ann currently joins Amy Kaiser in Strike Accord, a Hammered Dulcimer Duo, and enjoys playing for various historical and community events in the area.

BOB JORDAN & BILL KRUPER- Guitar-Beginners
Bob, age 65 started playing musical instruments around the age of 6.  His whole family played instruments.  Bob enjoys playing country, bluegrass, 60’s old rock and doo-wop.  He also plays a 5 string-banjo, mandolin, and keyboard and loves making music.  Bob and Bill met by playing music at an oldies dinner/dance hosted by Larry & Chris Gipes.

Bill started playing guitar around his senior year in high school with some instruction lessons, purchasing chord books and playing along with soundtracks on his Silvertone guitar. His favorite period of music is a lot like Bob’s, the 60’s era but also enjoys the 50’s and the early to mid-70.  Along with this style of music Bill enjoys playing bluegrass, Hymns, instrumentals and patriotic songs. Through the years, Bill has used music as a therapy to relax.  For those of you beginning to play instruments Bill sends his words of encouragement to never give up or stay discouraged.  Keep practicing, it will be well worth it.  Have fun and enjoy playing music and keep strumming.

HERB BROADBENT-Fiddle-Intermediate
Herb came of age during the great folk scare of the sixties.  Playing hooky one day he was cruising the bookstores in Boston when he came across a blind street singer on Washington St.  It was almost as if he could SEE the notes coming off the guitar, and he realized on the epiphanous day that music doesn’t come from radios, it comes from people.   Nothing would serve after that but to buy a guitar and learn to play. Adding the banjo, flute, concertina and fiddle, he has stayed active playing in recent years with Sweet Loretta’s Snake Oil Jug Band (Ragtime and jug band music). The Jolly Rogues (colonial ere music and sea songs), As the Crow Flies (Irish, Folk, Country), and Paul Harty’s Irish Ramblers/Country Ramblers/Backwoods Ramblers (Paul could play everything, depending on who hired him).
It took a while to find musical compatriots after moving to West Virginia a dozen or so years ago, but between Vandalia, Clifftop, The Fiddlers’ Reunion at Elkins, PattyFest and Jackson’s Mill, Herb has hooked up with Jim Tucker to play (and sing) the old songs, the ones you’ve known your whole life.  Most recently he played a couple of Irish sets on St. Patrick’s Day at the Pub Crawl in Charleston as the Blarney Pilgrim.  Herb is happiest singing harmonies and playing backup and “second fiddle” and loving music for what it is.  It doesn’t come from radios, it comes from people.

JIM TUCKER-Mandolin-Intermediate
Jim is a native of Gassaway, WV and has been playing the mandolin for 5o years.  After learning the G chord that a guy in a blue grass band taught him years ago, Jim became very eager to learn the mandolin by watching other people, playing by ear and self-teachings.  Old-time music has been his greatest love and he has developed his own style of playing the mandolin. In 1988 he met Dave Trowbridge and started a duo called “Jim & Dave”.  They have played at Hale Farm & Village in Bath, Ohio for 15 years, Chicago Folk Festival, Kent State Folk Festival and private parties.  Along with his accomplishments they have recorded 5 CD’S which will be for sale in the lobby at PattyFest.  Jim and 3 other guys had played in a group called the Variety Pack in Flatwoods, WV for 10 years.

JUDY WERNER-Lap Dulcimers-Beginners
Judy began taking lessons on the lap dulcimer from Patty Looman and she feels that this relationship with Patty has changed her life (definitely for the better).  Judy is a member
of the DAA Strummers in Morgantown and Mountain William Strings in Fairmont.  She teaches a lap dulcimer class an tin whistle class at the Morgantown OLLI.  She has recently joined the Mon River New Horizons Band in which she plays the flute.  She enjoys attending old time music concerts and festivals, not only Gardner Winter Music Festival and PattyFest, but also Dulci - More, Fort New Salem Dulcimer Festival and Coshocton’s Dulcimer Days.  Judy enjoys playing the lap dulcimer, the bowed psaltery, the flute and the tin whistle.

EBONY MCGILL- Upright Bass
Ebony grew up around music.  She is a multi-instrumentalist beginning on the piano at a very young age for which she attended the Governor’s School for the Arts.  She was inspired when Ginny Hawker made an appearance at her school to learn the autoharp and later picked up guitar in high school.  For three years now, she has been playing 12-String with the Anna Jarvis House Stage Band in Grafton where she resides.  She has also been playing bass for about six years having first played with Almost a Song and currently is the bassist for Sound of the Mountains.  She believes the best way to learn is to join a jam and play with others.

LYNETTE SWIGER-Hammered Dulcimer-Intermediate
Lynette began playing the hammered dulcimer in 1974 and patterned her playing from two local hammered dulcimer players, Russell Fluharty and Worley Gardner.  In 1985 she met Patty Looman, and in 1992 she began an apprenticeship with Patty which lasted 20 years.  In 2011, she was given Looman’s collection of music for the hammered dulcimer with the mission of preserving and passing on the heritage music of West Virginia.  Lynette plays and teaches in the unique WV style of dulcimer playing which she learned from Patty.    It is a style that is unique to Appalachia and partners well with the rhythm and syncopation of old-time musicians and square dancers.  Lynette currently serves an adjunct professor at the Gabor Folklife Center at Fairmont State University where she is the folk music specialist and teaches a class in Appalachian root music.  Lynette lives with her husband, Brad, on a family farm in Marion County which they share with their black lab, three cats, numerous beef cattle, and 200,000 bees.  She is the proud grandmother of four granddaughters.

Beth is a piano and voice teacher from Lost Creek, WV.  She majored in music education at Otterbein University in Westerville, OH.  She has been in education both professionally and privately in OH, PA, and WV.  She has done extensive volunteer teaching in WV schools as well.  Beth has been playing the hammered and lap dulcimers for over 30 years.    She became interested in playing the folk harp around 20 years ago while attending a workshop in Ireland, WV.  The harp soon became one of her favorite instruments, next to the hammered dulcimer.    She loves to share her instrumental knowledge with other people and especially with the children in the schools and church setting.  Beth has studied her instruments in many workshops in WV and still enjoys attending and learning new ideas from them.  She has attended Allegheny Echos, Fort New Salem, Worley Gardner and PattyFest workshops for several years.  She has enjoyed learning from Sally Hawley at Jacksons Mill.  You can always find Beth at the Jacksons Mill Jubilee in the Old Mill playing and sharing her knowledge of the stringed instruments of the Appalachians.



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