Bill Schilling with Carol Gaj

Updated October 12, 2001

Bill Schilling and Carol Caj are long-time friends and singing partners. Carol adds close harmonies to Bill's lead singing and takes the lead on some songs. Bill usually accompanies their singing with 6 or 12 string guitar or autoharp, but he may choose from about ten other instruments for particular sounds, while Carol plays autoharp, bowed psaltery, hammered dulcimer, and more. They draw from songs of the folk revival; those of contemporary singer-songwriters; gospels, hymns, and spirituals; and traditional sources. They include many recognizable songs or songs with great choruses welcoming the audience to sing along. They most enjoy performing for family audiences, but also have regularly developed specialized programs or workshops for children, seniors, and all ages in between.

Bill and Carol have known each other and sung together to enjoy their special sound since they met in 1970 in Kent, Ohio. Carol has lived in Northeast Ohio all of her life. After Bill moved from the area, he would stop for visits and songs whenever he was in the area from his travels and his homes all across the country. Once Bill moved back to Northeast Ohio, the two began to practice more regularly. Then they began to perform with other people and as a duo. As they practice, they often come up with new or unique arrangements for special songs. Bill and Carol share some of the warmth of their friendship in their performances.

Bill Schilling has been singing and playing various folk instruments for over 30 years. He has performed for audiences of all ages in many settings from coast to coast. His high-energy performances may include songs, slide programs, and/or stories selected specifically for each group. His performances often involve audience members with participation songs or activities.

Carol Ellis grew up singing early country harmonies with her family and later added the songs of the folk revival. She readily adds high or low harmonies as she sings with Bill, but she can also sing strong lead. Carol is featured on some of the songs in Bill Schilling's Slides, Songs, & Stories. Additionally, starting with the Valentine's Day program of 1998, Carol had a recurring role as the voice for Cypress Lafitte, a crocodile, who was quite a southern belle on Fox 8's TV program, Woodrow the Woodsman, sponsored by IGA, with the original Woodrow. The program was broadcast from Cleveland at 8 AM on Saturdays. Carol's first appearance was on February 14, 1998. The show is currently off the air.

Together, Bill and Carol have been featured performers and/or given workshops at Akron Libraries, Canfield Fair, Cleveland Metroparks Art in the Park at Chagrin Reservation, Dulci-More Festivals, Emerald City Folk Festival, Hale Farm's Music in the Valley, Kent State Folk Festivals, Little Mountain Folk Festival, McKinley Museum, Salem Historical Society, Salem Jubilee, Salem Music Study Club, and various other locations such as coffee houses, clubs, and lounges. Their live performances have been seen on WEWS Weekend Exchange and heard on WELO radio. They have also been part of an autoharp recording project for the Stephen Foster Museum in Pittsburgh and others.

Additional selected events where Bill, Bill Schilling and Folks, or Dulci-More have performed concerts and/or given workshops include: Algonquin Mill Craft Festival, Buckeye Dulcimer Festival, Central Ohio Dulcimer Festival, Central Ohio Folk Festival, Columbiana County Historical Society, Defeated Creek Dulcimer & Old Time Music Fest, Fort New Salem Dulcimer Weekend, Great Dulcimer Round-up, Harmony Harvest Campout, Lisbon Historical Society, Mill Creek Park and Morley Performing Arts Pavilion at Mill Creek Park, Mound Builders Folk Music Day, Music-nic, Roscoe Village Dulcimer Days, Salem Heritage Days, Spring Fever Folk Festival, West Virginia State Folk Festival, Winona Flax Scutching Festival, and Worley Gardner Memorial Festival. Bill led a week-long beginning autoharp workshop at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina from Sunday, March 28 - Saturday, April 3, 1999. Ask for their catalog directly at 1-800-FOLK-SCH.

Bill is the Founder and Leader of Dulci-More: Folk & Traditional Musicians to which Carol also belongs. Both are members of the Canton Folk Song Society. Additionally, Bill is a Charter Executive Board Member of FOLKNET and current vice-president, Program Chairperson of the Salem Music Study Club, Counselor for the Salem Junior Music Study Club, the instructor for a Continuing Education Course, Folk-Style Songs and Instruments, at the Kent/Salem University Branch, and a member of several other groups supporting this music. Bill has also directed or volunteered for many years with several coffee houses and actively served on committees for festivals including the Kent State Folk Festival.

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Bill Schilling

984 Homewood Avenue

Salem, Ohio 44460-3816