Mary Dugan, shown here in period dress, holds her dulcimer hand made by her husband Mike. She is a consumate self taught dulcimer player. She specializes in pre-1900 music learning and playing all her compositions by ear. The strings of her dulcimer can be heard throughout the Massey driving tour.
A Western Pennsylvanian through and through, Mary attended Fawn Township Elementary School and Highlands High School. She was a member of the National Honor Society. She began her career as a dulcimer player when she found a dulcimer at a Civil War event. Having a deep love of history Mary began to research the dulcimer as well as play it.
Mary found in her research that the dulcimer is actually called, "the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer. It has been around for over 200 years and is considered to be the first instrument of our country (USA). It was only made and played by the remote Peoples of Appalachia. It is the easiest stringed instrument to play. I play the traditional way of using the noter ."
Known throughout the tri-state (Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia) area Mary performs at various festivals and historic events. By special invitation Mary performed at the History meets the Arts Weekend in Gettysburg and the Civil War Weekend Event at Soldier and Sailors Hall in the Oakland section of Pittburgh, PA. She has also appeared on the local TV station in Gettysburg.
In 2003 Mary decided to enter some competitions. She walked off with first place in the traditional catagory at Quaker City, OH. and the Hookstown Fair in Pennsylvania. Going further afield Mary entered the oldest continuous fidler's contest in North America at Fiddler's Grove, NC and took 2nd runner up in the dulcimer catagory.
Mary loves to share her music when performing. She always brings along an extra dulcimer and invites people to play with her. She'll even give a mini-lesson on the spot.