HANDS of Illinois


The Gebhard Woods Dulcimer & Traditional Music Festival is sponsored by HANDS of Illinois.

HANDS stands for Hammers and Noters Dulcimer Society of Illinois, Inc. It refers to the Board of Directors and Festival Committee, who are responsible for planning and running the festival. Founded in 1988, HANDS is dedicated to preserving and promoting dulcimer music. It is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization registered with the State of Illinois.

"Hammers" refers to the mallets (hammers) used by hammered dulcimer players for striking the strings, thus setting sound waves in motion. The "noter" is a small dowel or rounded, sometimes decoratively turned on a lathe, piece of wood, 5 or 6 inches in length, moved up and down the fret board of a mountain dulcimer to change the pitch of the melody strings. This is the origin of it all. It remains a relevant reference and a description of the instruments played by most members of the Board and Festival Committee, and built by some members.

The Board of Directors includes:

Donna Tufano, President
Stephen Van Houten, Vice President
Marsha Jakobi, Treasurer
Jim Bond-Harris, Secretary

Debi Duggins, Director
Diane Ippel, Director
Steve Karlovsky, Director


The Festival Committee includes
the Board Members plus:

Diane Bruske
Dave De Pasqua
Peggy Peryam
Bonnie Senesac
Marilea Zajec

The 25th Festival Committee, June 8, 2014