Annual dulcimer festival returns 

Published 8:47 am Friday, July 21, 2017

For the fifth year, dulcimer players are gathering later this summer to learn more about playing their instrument and to honor Homer Ledford, Clark County’s most famous luthier.

Organizer Dana McCall said this year’s Homer Ledford Dulcimer Festival will be Labor Day weekend at Campbell Junior High School, 620 Boone Ave. 

The festival isn’t just for listening, she said.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s a festival, but it’s more of a school for dulcimers,” she said. “I thought what better way to honor (Ledford) than to have a festival in his honor.”

Ledford started making instruments as a teenager and eventually gave up his teaching career to make instruments full-time. When he died in 2006 at age 79, he was credited with making about 7,000 dulcimers, plus other instruments including banjos and guitars.

McCall said she owned 13 Ledford dulcimers, which will be on display at the festival.

There will be a variety of classes offered Saturday, Sept. 2, at the school including dulcimer and ukelele, pennywhistle and Native American flute, among others.

That evening, there will be a concert in the school auditorium to include a variety of musical styles using the instruments at the school, she said. 

“It’s a nice night for family to come,” she said. “They won’t be disappointed.”

The concert the first year lasted four hours.

“We got carried away,” she said.

Admission for the Saturday evening concert is $5 and children 13 and younger are free.

This year’s roster of teachers include Don Pedi, Dave Haas, John and Karen Keane, Sarah Morgan, Dana and Henk Gruber, Robert Tincher, and Joe Lamay and Sherri Reese. 

Vendor and participant registration and set up begins Friday evening at the school.

Pedi will also present “The Roots of the Mountain Dulcimer” at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum, she said. In addition to his program, McCall said Pedi will perform.

Registering for the festival and classes is $75 in advance or $80 at the door.

McCall said there will be several vendors, including one to repair instruments, in the school, which will be open to the public.

For more information, visit

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

email author More by Fred