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North Georgia foothills Dulcimer Association


North Georgia foothills Dulcimer Association

Fall Festival Tuition Scholarship(s) Application Coming in August!

Thanks to proceeds from the 2016 Fall Festival dulcimer raffle, NGFDA is afforded the opportunity to offer 10 festival registration tuition scholarships to the 2017 NGFDA Fall Festival!  Application for scholarship will be open to NGFDA members of all ages.  Applicants must be responsible for their own transportation, lodging and meals, and must be able to attend the full Festival program.  The tuition scholarship application form will be published in the NGFDA newsletter website in August.  Satellites are encouraged to promote application by their members who need financial support in order to attend the festival.   

2017 Fall Festival registration begins friday, sept. 1ST. REVIEW ROOM RATEs, FACULTY and workshops ON THE EVENTS PAGE

Go to NGFDA Events tab to find out more!!

If you are already a member please go to the (Members Login Tab ABOVE) and use your User ID and password to register.  


Non-Members Registration process

If you want to register for the Fall Festival and you are not a member of the club you can do so by going to the NGFDAEvents Tab above and then go to the Fall Festival Event.  This year we are allowing non-members to attend by paying $140.00 which includes concert tickets and workshops for our 3 day event.   You can also purchase T-shirts etc.

Once you go to the Events page you will be able to register without a login/password.  This process will only accept credit cards  no manual registrations or checks accepted at this time due to timing of this event. This non-member registration will be active only until October 15th at which time will be closed to all.

Who we are...

Founded in 1988, North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association (NGFDA) with consistent membership in the hundreds, serves as the state’s largest non-profit 501(c)3 resource to promote Mountain Dulcimers and Hammered Dulcimers.

We have established geographic playing groups as a resource for sharing music, playing techniques, gaining confidence in performing, and other educational interests. The organization sponsors workshops, concerts, and festivals. We sponsor educational opportunities to increase the general awareness and appreciation in dulcimer- related activities.

NGFDA Fall Festival (aka NGFDA Turkeyfest?) News

Can't afford either in time or money to take a whole week off for a dulcimer festival? Want to take more classes from a fantastic instructor you had earlier this year or satisfy curiosity about one you’ve never experienced? Remember that the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association’s 29th Fall Festival will take place at Unicoi State Park Lodge in Helen, GA, on November 16-19, the weekend before Thanksgiving. (Perhaps we should call it Turkeyfest?) But hurry! Registration for NGFDA members ends October 15. Registration for non-members, if there is room after members have made their registrations, begins October 1. Registration for non-members also ends October 15. For more information, please go to We have a great lineup of instructors and classes for mountain, hammered and bowed dulcimer, as well as autoharp, ukelele, penny whistle, and even a couple fiddle classes. The registration price is a bargain compared to many other festivals.

Don’t forget your registration also includes admission to, not one, not two, but three evening concerts!

In addition to great workshops, jamming for all levels of playing will be greatly encouraged. Several of the instructors are wonderful jam leaders and have agreed to lead them. A “jam board” is planned to indicate free time and room spaces for impromptu, small and large jams for Thursday through Sunday. A white board marker will be available at the board to fill in the empty spaces left for jam times and rooms.

And don’t forget the many vendors that will be there to satisfy your dulcimer acquisition syndrome (and other instruments fever) as well as provide books, strings, picks, CDs, jewelry, knick-knacks, etc. Your support of them helps them to keep coming back, which also helps NGFDA to continue the Fall Festival.

Non-musicians will find plenty to do at Unicoi State Park and in the Helen area. The brave can try Unicoi’s zipline. The more cautious can shop in Helen and outlet shops, hike in the park, visit small museums, or go wine tasting at the local wineries.

Hope to see you at Unicoi!



We help connect good people to great opportunities


We help connect good people to great opportunities

What We Do

• Sponsor Festivals and Workshops

• Sponsor regional playing groups,    including new player support

• Promote community involvement with demonstrations by playing groups

• Produce Foothills Footnotes newsletter

• Maintain information-packed website

• Organization networking through    Facebook

• Promote friendship and fun 

• Carry the dulcimer heritage into future generations, preserving the tradition

why We Serve

Promoting educational activities for:

  • Instrument playing

  • Instrument building

  • Composing

  • Performing

  • Listening

Preserving and continuing the instruments’ heritage, history and traditions 

Perpetuating and exploring dulcimers advanced musical applications

Increasing public awareness and appreciation of the instruments

Help Connect

As an all-volunteer organization, there are worthwhile opportunities to learn music and for meaningful involvement to sustain these unique instruments: 

  • Board of Directors Leadership 

  • Committee Leadership 

  • Playing Satellite Leadership 

  • Special Event Leadership 

  • Special Event Volunteers 

  • Community Outreach Volunteers 

  • Marketing and Communications


The Dulcimer

Gain confidencein performingFind Your Local Group

The Dulcimer

Gain confidencein performingFind Your Local Group

The Mountain Dulcimer

The Mountain Dulcimer, or Appalachian/Lap Dulcimer, is a handcrafted folk music instrument holding historical significance and traditions unique to America. 

It originates from early 17th-century immigrant settlers traveling along the Wilderness Road into the mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, crafting instruments from native woods.

• Played by picking or strumming

• ‘Play by number’ with tablature

• Easy start with one-string playing

• Advances to beautiful chorded melodies

The Hammered Dulcimer

The Hammered Dulcimer is a large handcrafted trapezoid-shaped folk instrument with many strings stretched across a wooden platform. Its ancient Middle East roots are probably found in the Bible’s Old Testament. It is known in many countries, coming to America with immigrants, becoming popular as a ‘parlor instrument’ in the 1920/30’s.

• Played with small wooden ‘hammers’

• Played by reading music notes

• Lovely bell-like tones

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