Thanks for starting this discussion; this subject is of great interest to me as a resident of southeastern Pennsylvania! I had contemplated attending the Ridgeway workshop yesterday in Glenolden, but passed it up because (a) I had a chance to do a daytime gig; and (b) I discerned from the workshop description that the material Brett would be covering was stuff I was already pretty familiar with. I opted instead to take Brett up on his offer, posted elsewhere on this forum, of a private lesson. I will be meeting him tomorrow morning in Glenolden for my lesson, and I hope to get some insights into some of the subjects you mentioned in your post. Sorry I couldn't be there yesterday because I missed a chance to meet you and some other local HD players, but under the circumstances I think the private lesson will be a better use of my limited funds! (You may want to consider contacting Brett to arrange for a lesson, too; he is offering them while he is still in the Philadelphia, PA area over the next few days. Just call the phone number that's on his website.)
Anyway, I want to express my enthusiastic interest in the sort of workshop you are suggesting. I'd love to see a big fest weekend for hammered dulcimer players here in the "PennJerDel" area (southeastern PA, southwestern NJ, and northern Delaware). Considering that Philly is the 5th largest city in the US (and that doesn't even include the population in the surrounding counties), and considering that the Philadelphia Folk Song Society puts on the biggest and oldest continuously-running folk music festival in the US (celebrating its 50th year, this weekend!), you'd think more attention would be focused on this area by organizers of festivals that concentrate on traditional instruments such as the HD... but noooOOOOOooooo.
Dan mentioned some events that are in the eastern US: the Upper Potomac Dulcimer Fest in Shepherdstown, WV; events at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, MD; the Augusta Heritage Festival in Elkins, WV; the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival in Milford, CT; Ken Kolodner's event in Sandbridge Beach, Virginia; and the National Dulcimer Symposium... I'm not sure where that is, but the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium is in Blue Mountain Lake, NY and is advertised as a "New England" event. None of these is local to the Delaware Valley area.
The events I know of that are around here -- as in "not more than a 2-hour or 3-hour drive one-way" -- sometimes include some classes for HD players up to the intermediate level, but little or nothing for the advanced player. The closest event that's coming up (Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering in Huntingdon, PA, in September) offers no HD classes whatsoever.
Yet the HD players are here in the "greater Philadelphia" area and up into the Lehigh Valley area (Bethlehem, Allentown, etc.), and also farther north into the Pocono region... and in NJ and DE... and we are active in our local dulcimer-society type clubs. There used to be a listing, here at the ED site, of dulcimer clubs and teachers -- I hope it comes back as the site-maintenance project advances -- but just off the top of my head I can think of three clubs near me: QUADAS (QUakertown Area Dulcimer & Autoharp Society); Indian Valley Dulcimer Society in Collegeville; and Welsh Mountain Dulcimer Club in Pottstown. There are lots more in PA. Then there's the Brandywine Dulcimer Fellowship in Wilmington, DE, and another in Dover, DE, and one in Medford, NJ... the list goes on.
A bit farther afield from me, but still what I would consider to be "in the area", is the Pocono Dulcimer Club in Stroudburg which, to its credit, is offering an HD Master Class with Heidi Cerrigione as part of its Winter Dulcimer Fest in January 2012... and if there's no snowstorm that weekend, I might go! But it sure would be nice to have a hammered-dulcimer event during more temperate weather, and closer to the population center of this area so that hammerers in NJ and Delaware would find it convenient to their homes also.
What say you, hammered dulcimer instructors/gurus (and MD gurus too)? If such an event were to be planned here, I'm sure that the many area dulcimer societies as well as the local folk music societies (Philadelphia, Bucks County, Lehigh Valley, Princeton, Brandywine, Delaware Friends of Folk, etc.) would be happy to promote it! Come on over!!!