2016 - This year’s winner placed second in 2015. Ilace Mears of Saddlebrooke, MO placed first in this competition. This was the third time for her to enter this contest. Today she considers herself a musician but is proud of her past occupation as an early childhood education specialist. In 2012 Ilace made the cut to five. She has been playing the hammer dulcimer for the past ten years and she also plays the violin and piano. She has a CD out on the market called “Peace Like A River” and she has one in progress called “Tidings of Peace, Comfort & Joy” Ilace does find the time to do some sewing crafts and she especially likes taking care of her 2-year old grandson. She won a check for $125, the 1st Place Trophy and a Master Works CBWXR7 Bantam Weight Chromatic Extended Range Hammer Dulcimer by Master Works of Bennington, OK.
2015 - This year’s second place winner was Ilace Mears of Saddlebrooke, MO. This was her second first trip to Winfield and the Festival. She was the Southern Regional HD Champion in 2012 and 2014 held in Mountain View AR. In 2012 Ilace made the top 5 here at Winfield. She has been playing the hammer dulcimer for the past nine years and also plays the violin. “Peace Like A River” is the name of her most recent CD which is available at her web site. When not playing her dulcimer, Ilace enjoys spoiling her grandbaby.
Ilace was awarded a check for $100, the 2nd Place Trophy and the Cloud Nine-Model 17/16/8 Hammer Dulcimer provided by Michael C. Allen Cloud Nine Musical Instruments of Ostrander, OH.