2020 SCDH Festival Bios

Meet Our Visiting Artists!
Bios Of All Artists & Performers Will Be In Printed Program


Tina Bergman

Hammered Dulcimer


Tina Bergmann has been performing concerts, and teaching workshops and private lessons from an early age. A fourth-generation musician, she began playing music at age eight, learning the mountain dulcimer from her mother in the aural tradition and learning the hammered dulcimer at the knee of West Virginia-native builder and performer Loy Swiger. Demonstrating gifts for both performance and teaching, she has been a featured performer across the United States, performing solo; as a duo with her husband, bassist Bryan Thomas; with her stringband Hu$hmoney; and as a member of “Apollo’s Fire,” Cleveland’s world renowned Baroque Orchestra.

Since 1994, Tina has been a cornerstone in the Apollo's Fire crossover programs.  She was first engaged to play with the orchestra in a concert series celebrating Ohio's history and since then she has been an integral part of Scottish, Irish, early American, Sephardic, and Mediterranean programs with Apollo's Fire. Tina has recorded seven CDs with Apollo's Fire, among which 5 have debuted in the Billboard Classical Top 10.  Tina's Discography with Apollo's Fire includes Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain, Sephardic Journey, Sugarloaf Mountain, Sacrum Mysterium, Come to the River, Scarborough Fayre (out of print).

Tina has toured throughout the United States with Apollo's Fire, and toured England and Ireland in August 2018 with the Sugarloaf Mountain Program.  Selected performances include the National Museum of Art, Washington DC, The 58th Annual Ojai Music Festival, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, The Soka Performing Arts Center in CA, The National Concert Hall, Dublin IR, Snape Maltings, UK.

Tina and husband Bryan Thomas, play American Old Time, Celtic and South American music on hammered dulcimer and bass for concerts, weddings, corporate events, school programs and private parties.  Their string band, Hu$hmoney, includes David Rice on fiddle and guitar and plays at dances and a wide variety of events.


Tina has taught privately since age 12 and has a BA in Music Education from Kent State University.  She is well experienced at teaching all levels and using many techniques to get students to play with skill and joy.


Hailed by Pete Seeger as “the best hammered dulcimer player I’ve heard in my life,” Tina's expressive musicality and driving rhythm bring the American old time, Celtic, Classical, and world music she plays to life. 


Tina’s website:  https://allroadsleadhome.com


Neal Hellman
Festival Workshops, Evening Concert & Focus Workshop
Fretted/Mountain Dulcimer


Neal Hellman has been arranging and performing on the mountain dulcimer for the past four decades.

His books of arrangements include Mountain Dulcimer Arrangements from Both Sides of the Atlantic, Celtic Songs & Slow Airs for Mountain Dulcimer, The Dulcimer Chord Book, The Hal Leonard Dulcimer Method, and Music of the World for Mountain Dulcimer.

Neal’s latest recording, Emma’s Waltz, is a colorful dance through traditional and contemporary acoustic music styles. Neal's other recordings include: Autumn in the Valley, Dream of the Manatee (with Joe Weed) and Oktober County, all on the Gourd Music label.

An original composition, written by Neal and performed by Jay Unger and Molly Mason, is featured on the Ken Burns production Not for Ourselves Alone. Neal has placed a number of other tracks on the films of Ken Burns including Horatio's Drive, National Parks: America's Best Idea and The Dust Bowl (2012).

As founder, director and one of the primary artists of the Gourd Music record label, Neal has produced over fifty recordings, including Simple Gifts, The Fairie Round, Tender Shepherd, The World Turned Upside Down and Jefferson’s Fiddle, creating a uniquely distinctive sound, featuring a variety of acoustic instrumental ensembles, rich in texture and tonal color.

He was music director for a production of The Grapes of Wrath, which played at The Crocker Theater at Cabrillo College in 2009 and in 2013 produced a show for Santa Cruz Reads titled A Musical Celebration of the Life and Times of John Steinbeck.

Neal's Website: https://www.gourd.com/hellmann.html