Ted, a first-timer to Winfield and the Festival placed first in this 2010 Championship. A 38-year old husband and father of six “awesome” children (that’s what he calls them) came out on top. Ted Yoder of North Webster, IN is a musician, teacher and performer. Ted said his wife suckered” him into going to Kentucky Music Weekend in July and as a result of his winning the Kentucky State Hammered Dulcimer Championship there, he came to Winfield. Ted says he would love to come back, “because it [the Festival] was just more fun than he’d imagined.” Ted also plays the piano, guitar and percussion. Ted opted for a Custom Engraved Master Works Russell Cook Edition 16/16c Hammer Dulcimer by Master Works of Bennington, OK as his prize instrument.
Ted Yoder plays hammered dulcimer.
You've heard people play hammered dulcimer before – the guy at the Maple Syrup Festival last spring; that Christmas CD you picked up in that gift shop in Tennessee.
That's not Ted.
Life-long Indiana native Ted grew up in a musically inclined family, like a lot of musicians. His whole life has been filled with writing, performing, recording, experimenting with new instruments... But it wasn't until Ted received his first hammered dulcimer as a wedding gift that Ted knew he'd found his niche. Ted decided that the hammered dulcimer had gotten a bad rap, being narrowly categorized as a mountain bluegrass instrument. Ted knew there was great potential here as he began mastering and experimenting with this eclectic and maligned instrument.
Drawing on his gospel and rock and roll roots, Ted was able to create something never heard before: a dulcimer that doesn't sound like a dulcimer “should.” With master skill, Ted plays his dulcimer almost like a piano, unafraid to tackle complex rhythms and unusual harmonics. The result is a sound that makes the trained listener say, “How many hands does this guy have?”
Ted's musicianship, creativity and ability to put a fresh face on dulcimer music led him to the title of 2010 National Hammer Dulcimer Champion – only the third performer to be crowned Champion on his first appearance at the Walnut Valley Festival.
Capturing the Championship title, Ted decided it was time to go professional. Since then, he has released two CD's: - “Songs From Walnut Valley,” a compendium of original songs (plus one Bach number) that he played in competition to earn his title. This album really shows off Ted's ability as a songwriter. “Storm” and “Moon Over the Water,” in particular reveal Ted's rock and roll roots. - “Comfort and Joy,” a Christmas album featuring Ted's unique interpretations of traditional Christmas numbers. Despite Ted being an untried artist, this album gained international airplay.
Ted has played at the Blue Gate Theater, Gaither Fall Festival, Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival, Charley Creek Arts Festival, Kentucky Winter Dulcimer Weekend and the National Bible Bee, as well as performing for CCM veterans Bill and Gloria Gaither.
Hymns released July 17, 2009
Songs From Walnut Valley September 2010
Comfort and Joy December 2010