Dona Benkert delights audiences of all ages as she brings back a touch of history by recreating the “true, old-time sound” of the past. She has a warm audience rapport, high energy and contagious enthusiasm that lead to fun and enjoyment for all. Dona specializes in dulcimers, both the hammered and mountain. Her concerts are a blend of delicate waltzes, traditional Irish music, lively fiddle tunes and high-spirited, toe-tapping old time favorites. Aside from being entertained by the music, audiences also learn about the history of the music and the instruments used in performance.
Dona is the owner of Folk-Lore Center music school in Naperville, and founder of the Warrenville Folk Music Society. She is an accomplished hammered and mountain dulcimer artist and winner of the 2003 Studs Terkel Humanities Award. She is on staff at the renowned Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, as well as DuPage Girl Scouts as a music and dance badge program facilitator. Dona has won numerous awards for her work with special needs children. Her arrangements are rooted in the traditions of the British Isles, New England Country dances, Australian bush dance music, Appalachian fiddle tunes, and the music Irish harpist Turloch O’Carolan. She enjoys sharing her love for traditional music, helping to preserve a bit of our musical heritage.