Joe Collins


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 a 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!

Dr. Joe Collins has been a folk musician and mountain dulcimer player since the late 70s. He is a songwriter and vocalist, still aspiring to improve at both. His primary musical love is the mountain dulcimer. In 2007, he won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship held in Winfield, Kansas. Combining mountain dulcimer wizardry with good, solid vocals, he sprinkles his performances with a lot of humor - sure to bring a smile to audiences of all ages.

Joe was promoted to full professor this past year at Gardner-Webb University where he teaches Discipleship Studies full-time in the Department of Religious Studies. He is an active member of his church, singing in the choir and sharing his expertise in Religious Education. He considers himself blessed when he is invited to share his music in festivals all over the country, but he especially enjoys talking with new people who are entering the dulcimer world for the first time!