Instructors

Meet This Year's Instructors:

Dr. Bill King

Dr. Bill King has served as director of Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association, in Opelika, Alabama, since 2007.  Since 2002 he has performed humor through stories and songs as Billy Bob Bohannon.  He is a singer songwriter who plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, and ukulele.  He is the author of five published books and has completed two more which should be released in 2017.  He writes a weekly column that appears in a dozen newspapers across Alabama.  He also writes occasionally for Mature Living magazine. 

Carol Stober

Carol Stober is a multi-instrumental musician, entertainer, teacher, and recording artist.  Her music covers a broad range of styles including bluegrass, country, folk, mountain music, traditional and gospel.

She has taught autoharp workshops, judged autoharp competitions at major festivals, performed at festivals, museums, churches, country music theaters, and theme parks.  She is an Alabama solo arts council artist, conducting residencies in public schools.  She was on the office staff, was a guitar instructor, and the songwriting coordinator at the The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois, from 1980 to 1983, before relocating to Alabama where she has continued teaching private students.

Carol graduated from the University of Maryland in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education.  She served on the advisory board of The Autoharpoholic Magazine and contributed articles for publication in it, as well as contributing to The Autoharp Quarterly and The Autoharp Clearing-house publications.

Carol has recorded three albums/CDs with autoharp, including: Patchwork, Country Sampler, and Rebekah, Down Home Family Band (children’s songs now available on CD titled “Cyber Kid). She is currently featured on the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Cyberpluckers 2013 Christmas CD titled Strike the Harp Again.

Her instructional titles include a book-CD Autoharp Instruction Set published by Workshop Records of Austin, Texas, and two autoharp instruction videos/DVDs Melodic Autoharp and Easy Autoharp for Beginners published by Texas Music and Video Company, Levelland, TX.

She has authored books Appalachian Autoharp with a companion cassette, Cowboy Songs for Autoharp, Love Songs for Autoharp , Latin American Autoharp, and co-authored Autoharping the Gospels with Steve Kaufman all Mel Bay Publications.  The books are available from Amazon.com, Mel Bay.com or can be ordered direct from Carol Stober.  Her web site is: http://Autoharp.webs.com.

Carol has been writing songs that have been published and recorded from the 1970’s to present and is currently a member of the Sylacauga,AL, Songwriters Chapter and the Nashville Songwriters Association International Chapter.

Jim Miller

Jim Miller has been playing and performing traditional music for the past 35 years. An accomplished instrument builder and teacher, he has taught workshops at numerous festivals as well as won many awards for his musicianship. For twenty years, Jim was the owner of the Hampton Music Shop, in Hampton, Tennessee, where he handcrafted over 750 hammered dulcimers. He has played with Celtic, Bluegrass, Swing, Blues and Old Time bands, and has done session work on many recordings. In addition to being an accomplished performer and workshop leader,

Jim also is an enthusiastic jam facilitator who likes to get everyone involved. He plays guitar, banjo, octave mandolin, bass, steel drum, percussion, autoharp, mandocello, hammered and mountain dulcimers as well as his own off-the-wall musical inventions, which are always entertaining. Jim holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and has completed the course work for certification in music education. He recently retired from teaching 4th grade at Cloudland Elementary School in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, where he still leads an after school traditional string band program. He teaches dulcimer, mandolin, ukulele, and autoharp in the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program at East Tennessee State University and plays mandocello in the ETSU mandolin orchestra.

Danny Shepherd

I was born and raised in Hopkinsville, KY.  After high school I attended Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN, until being drafted into the U.S. Army.  My first assignment was with the 101st Airborne Band as a Percussionist.  My next assignment was the Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, VA as a Percussion Instructor, where I gave private and group instruction and performed
in faculty ensembles.  After four years of teaching, I was assigned as a Solo Instrumentalist with the United States Continental Army Band at Ft. Monroe, VA. 

My final Army tour was with the 79th Army Band in the Republic of Panama where I served as the Enlisted Band Leader (1st Sergeant). My military years were filled with wonderful travel and performance opportunities across the United States, Central and South America.  

After my Army retirement I returned to my Kentucky “roots” and completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. I've taught K-5 Elementary Music for the past eleven years.

About six years ago I purchased a cardboard mountain dulcimer kit in Fredericksburg, TX. About four years later I finally got around to putting it together. The first time I played it I was “hooked”! It wasn’t long before I began using  the instrument in my 3rd-5th grade music classes.

As a Music Educator, I have the opportunity to pass on the heritage and traditions of American music.  One of my goals is to teach children about American folk music and the instruments used to perform it.

Joe Collins

Joe fell in love with the mountain dulcimer back in 1978.  At the time he was doing occasional coffeehouses as a college student in eastern North Carolina, and a good friend thought that he might be interested in tackling another instrument besides the guitar.  He took her little instrument home, and she did not get it back for three years!  Today, he plays a lot less guitar and lot more dulcimer than in those early days.
 After competing in a number of competitions and winning several regional competitions over a ten-year period, he won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2007 in Winfield, KS.  Over the past twenty years, he has had the opportunity to teach and play in festivals from California to the east coast, from Florida to Vermont, and a lot of places in between.
 A folk musician and mountain dulcimer player since the late 70s, Joe combines mountain dulcimer wizardry with good, solid vocals. He is a songwriter and vocalist, inspired by artists like Simon & Garfunkle, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, and Kris Kristofferson.  But as he grows older and pudgier, he realizes that perhaps the most profound influence on his musical bent was the old Burle Ives records he listened to over and over again as a kid.  His performances are sprinkled with a lot of humor and some excellent mountain dulcimer playing - sure to bring a smile to audiences of all ages.
 Joe graduated from East Carolina University with Bachelor and Masters degrees in English, from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity with Religious Education, and from NC State University with a Doctorate in Adult Education. He has worked in Religious Education for most of his professional career and is an associate professor of religion at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC.  And, of course, he continues to write songs and accept as many opportunities to teach and perform as he can!

Amber Rogers

Amber Rogers is a talented multi-instrumentalist and band leader for Scenic Roots. She has been immersed in bluegrass and old-time American music since she was a little girl, beginning her music training with fiddle and piano at age four. By high school, she had learned to play most stringed instruments, and even tried her hand at bagpipes for a few weeks. She now commonly performs on fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, and hammered dulcimer; but can be found playing bass, guitar, or mandolin at bluegrass jams across the country. In addition to her instrumental mastery, Amber’s voice is a driving force in Scenic Roots’ sound, with a rawness reminiscent of the old Appalachian hills. Indeed, her voice has an innocence and purity that makes it instantly accessible and likeable.

In 2010, Amber graduated from South Plains College’s renowned bluegrass music program with an Associates of Applied Arts in Commercial Music, plus a Certificate of Music Business. There she honed her skills as a bluegrass fiddler, studied traditional Irish music, and learned about music business. She played in many ensembles, including the bluegrass audition-performance ensemble known as “Pickin’ on the Plains.” She was awarded Female Vocalist of the Year and Bluegrass Instrumentalist of the year during her time there. She has also placed in the Top 5 in the prestigious Walnut Valley Fiddle Contest (2010, 2011) and took 1st Place in the Kansas State Fiddle Contest (2011).

Since 2010, Amber has toured extensively with Scenic Roots. She has taught art camps and private lessons, as well as managed the booking and record-keeping for Scenic Roots Music LLC. She even found time to nanny for a family of five and compete in a triathlon. She says her life mission is to “inspire others and conquer the world like a true Kansas girl.” Amber is one of the most passionate women you will ever meet, and that passion is directed toward making a positive difference in our world through music. Every note Amber plays and sings has soul, tradition, and authenticity, coming straight from the heart.

Bob Taunton

Bob grew up in rural Alabama, part of a large extended family that knew and loved the music of the day.  Exposed to all-day singings, gospel quartets, the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night radio, black field hands singing while they toiled in the fields, music was always present in his life.
Grandfathers on both sides of the family were singing school teachers and Bob watched and listened as they would chart out the shaped notes on the blackboard, and sing the “pitch” to their classes. 

When he taught himself to play his grandmother’s pump organ at the age of twelve, his devoted parents purchased a piano and financed a few lessons.  This lead to his playing hymns in church for Sunday night services.     
His epiphany came about when a teen-ager he heard the Kingston Trio playing “Tom Dooley” on the radio and the banjo part enthralled him.  After that the banjo was his passion.

Nowadays he builds musical instruments, and along with his wife, Rose, performs in two musical groups and teaches and vends at music festivals.   

Tom Spicer

Tom is the owner of Spicer’s Music in Auburn, Alabama. The family-owned business describes itself as “not your average music store,” and it boasts a large collection of music, gear and instruments. The business is a full retail store with an emphasis on an in-depth lesson program.
The Spicer family is more than familiar with the music scene. Tom Spicer has played more than 30 years around the Auburn community. His sons, Tim and Corey Spicer, play everything from guitar and mandolin to banjo and drums.
For the past six years, the Spicer family directed a children’s summer music camp in which they taught songwriting, how to cover songs on the radio and other facets of the music world.
Tom teaches the bass fiddle at his store. He is teaching harmonic for the Lee County Gathering.

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