is a folk life artist and educator who travels the country creating programs that remind us of our past and encouraging audiences to honor their own stories, songs and games.
She is the author of a children's picture book, The Day Mom Stopped the Bus, a musician extraordinaire on the hammered dulcimer, a folk dancer specializing in historic games and marches, and a storyteller.
Ellen Ford is an Ohio State University alumna with a degree in Music Education, Masters in Adult Education and post-graduate courses in drama, dance and children's literature. A rich background in counseling and special education makes Ellen particularly sensitive to her audience.
While performing with the Boston Symphony as a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Ellen also studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music. She taught vocal and instrumental music for several years in Ohio, Boston and Germany. In her leisure she began to collect the music, dances and stories that enhance her program.
Ellen is a member of the Ohio Village Singers, a 19th century repertory company specializing in the music, dance and theater of the Civil War. She and Priscilla Hewston, another member of the company, perform as a hammered dulcimer - violin/fiddle duo around Central Ohio.
In 2005, Ellen was accepted as an Ohio/Kennedy Center Artist as Educator, a program that extends professional development and other Kennedy Center resources through a state-based distribution system.
Recent Feedback From Schools
Ellen Ford shared a wealth of knowledge about folk music. She is a
wonderful storyteller, very kind and patient with the students and a
talented musician as well. We spent two days with her and performed a
program for our parents. Many compliments have been received from the
adults and all who attended enjoyed a wonderful evening with audience
participation. Not only are the students talking about their experience
but are continuing to sing the songs that they learned. We made great
connections to Ohio history, religion class, and our music/art
curriculum. An added bonus was that students needed to work together to
make the dances go smoothly. The students were engaged in the activities
and the time passed by quickly due to a well balanced and organized
I highly recommend Ellen Ford as a folk music artist. Her presentations
contain a variety of information and experiences for the students. She
comes well prepared and genuinely enjoys sharing her stories and songs."