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Originally from Lancaster Co. PA, Tom Fellenbaum came to North Carolina in 1971 to attend school at Warren Wilson College. Under the guidance of David Holt, at the time the director of the Appalachian Studies Program, he was introduced to the traditional music of this area, and learned to play the mountain dulcimer and clawhammer banjo. He also developed an interest in fretted instrument construction and completed independent studies of the subject while at WWC. That interest turned into a full-time occupation when he graduated, with the opening, in 1979, of his first shop in Black Mountain.
Over the years Tom has built a vast number of mountain dulcimers, as well as guitars, octave mandolins, mandolins, and bouzoukis, while establishing his reputation as a Celtic musician, playing guitar and bouzouki in local sessions and regional ensembles. In July of 2000, Tom and his wife Stephanie Wilds opened their new retail/workspace in Black Mountain. "Acoustic Corner" serves as Tom’s showroom, and is also a full-line acoustic music shop, carrying guitars, banjos, fiddles, mandolins, books and accessories, while also providing instrument repair and instruction. Tom now builds almost totally to order. Visit his website at www.celticmandolins.com. Tom had already been a long time listener and fan of both WNCW and Celtic Winds when in 1998, he got the opportunity to join Richard Beard as Celtic Winds co-host.