Luthier: Building Hammered & Mountain Dulcimers
Event Master of Ceremonies/Moderator/Spokesperson
Rod Driscoll - Bio
Rod performs on the hammered and lap dulcimers, guitar (6 & 12 string), banjo, bouzouki and bodhran. He sings a widely varied repertoire of songs. Rod has been active as a performer and promoter of folk music in the Adirondacks of New York for the last 40 years. His lively performances feature his off-beat humor, audience participation, incredible vocals and instrumental prowess.
Rod has performed with the Too Tall, Old Mountain and Friends Union String Bands as well as many solo appearances over the years. He has appeared at venues such as: The Lake Placid Goodwill Games, The Adirondack Folk Festival, Watertown Goes Green, The Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, the Battle of Plattsburgh Festival, Saranac Lake First Night, Bristol First Night and the Palmer Street Coffeehouse. Over the last ten years Rod has played at many nursing home and adult living facilities, performing popular music of the early to mid 20th century.
As a promoter of music in the North Country, he helped start the Plattsburgh Concerts in the Park series, started and ran the Peru Coffeehouse series, and has organized, and performed for many benefit concerts over the years, such as the concert to aid victims of the great North Country ice storm of 1998. Over the last two years, Rod has hosted a Celtic and Old Time music session at his home in Peru, The group will now be playing in contra dances as Adirondack 2 Step with Jeremy Clifford as caller.
Rod builds the dulcimers he plays. His workshop, “O’Driscoll Folk Instruments”, is located at his home in Peru, NY. Rod has built over 300 mountain dulcimers and 41 hammered dulcimers since launching his business in 1976. His instruments can be found all over the world and have been featured at exhibitions, most recently at the Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) gallery collection of instruments built by Adirondack/North Country luthiers. He recently designed a new hammered dulcimer that is small and lightweight which is perfect for travelling. On his Spring trip to Ireland Rod played the "Tinkerbell" dulcimer in pub sessions with local musicians.
Rod recently retired from his position as elementary school principal for the Whiting Sudbury Learning Academy in Central Vermont. He previously retired from AuSable Valley High School in 2016, after 32 years of teaching U.S. History, U.S. government, economics, personal finance and psychology, regularly using music in his classroom to enhance his student's learning. He is the former president of the AuSable Valley Teachers Association and is the retired, long time president of the Peru Central School Board of Education. Rod is currently the Vice President for legislative action for the Retired Educators of New York (RENY).
Rod's numerous op eds on education, politics and economics have appeared in the The Burlington Free Press, Plattsburgh Press Republican, the NY Times and the Albany Times Union. He's also working on a book focused on teaching financial literacy to teenagers and a memoir of his career as an educator.