Brian and Maureen met in 1982 and married the following year. We are the proud parents of three lovely daughters. Maureen studied piano growing up and has always enjoyed singing. Brian played guitar in college and the ensuing years. But it was not until we discovered dulcimers- and the community that plays and enjoys them- that music brought a special meaning and togetherness into our lives. Our special musical interests are sacred, Irish, folk, and popular classical with some original compositions rounding things out. Playing in public we love to share our instruments with the curious and encourage others to pursue their dreams of learning an instrument.
We have been playing music professionally for years at music festivals and events in the Central Illinois area. Maureen became fascinated with the hammered dulcimer while watching another lady (now a friend of ours) playing a hammered dulcimer at a small town October fest celebration around 1997. Maureen saved up her money, bought a hammered dulcimer, took some lessons and has been enthralled with the instrument ever since.
Brian began playing music in college, learning to play guitar from some fellow students who lived down the hall from him in his dorm. He shortly began playing in local coffee houses and jamming with friends. After college, career, marriage and family soon took most of his time, although the guitar was always an arm's reach away. When Maureen started going to music festivals with her hammered dulcimer, Brian of course went along with his guitar. It was while at Kentucky Music Week Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky, in 2003 that Brian saw someone playing a mountain dulcimer. He liked the sound and decided to try the instrument. That has proven to be a good decision and Brian has become an outstanding player. Brian also has been learning to play the hammered dulcimer as well.
The magazine Dulcimer Players News (www.dpnews.com) published our article entitled "Community - Giving Back" in its July 2007 edition. The article is a "How - To" on volunteering to play at nursing homes and encouraging our fellow musicians to do more of the same.
We also have recorded several CDs. Our first CD, entitled "Irish At Heart", is a collection of lesser known old Irish tunes, as well as several hymns and contemporary tunes including one composition by Brian. Our second CD, entitled simply "Pearls", is a collection of hymns and patriotic music and is dedicated to our veterans of military service. As we say in the dedication, you are pearls to us, every one of you. The CD " Pearls" is now available through this website. We also are recording a third CD, with a working title of "Good Friends" and it is dedicated to the institution of marriage. We celebrated our 25th anniversary in June 2008. We believe that for couple to have a successful marriage, they have to be good friends first and foremost. We enjoy looking through the anniversary announcements in the paper and are thrilled to see the 50 and 60 year anniversaries listed. God bless them. The title tune "Good Friends" was written and recorded by Brian and is dedicated to Maureen. We also plan on recording a CD of Christmas music in the next few months.
Maureen has been teaching hammered dulcimer for several years and Brian has also recently begun teaching. Both are available for private lessons. For more information, go to the www.everythingdulcimer.com link, or contact us.
One of the side effects of being a musician is the tendency to collect instruments. We have 5 hammered dulcimers, 7 mountain dulcimers, two harps, 3 guitars, 4 tin whistles, a bowed psaltery, reverie harp and a piano. In the Gallery you will find pictures of many of these instruments being played. We also collect pets: we have a Labrador Retriever and a Dutch rabbit to fill our home with joy.