Still on the Hill

Still on the Hill

Northwest Region
[email protected]

Still on the Hill now offers two different programs:


Preservation & participation…that’s what Kelly & Donna of Still on the Hill convey in their exciting program Instrument Makers of the Ozarks (designed for 3rd-6th but can be adaptable for ALL ages.)

Paying homage to the old while making a new contribution to Ozark culture, they demonstrate the living, ongoing process of folk music. Rousing renditions of timeless old mountain songs are combined with their own original music that brings to life the stories of these Ozark’s instrument makers.

Over the last 2 decades the duo has acquired a fabulous collection of handmade folk instruments made by these Ozark builders. To name a few; there’s a fiddle carved with a pocket knife and adorned with an image of the Liberty Bell on the back made by Denton Boze of Russellville. A fascinating replica of a Yellow Cat Banjo made by Jim Lee in honor of Jesse Jones of Cass, AR is a story kids love (no cats were harmed in the making of this unusual instrument). A unique 8-string Hardanger fiddle with a carved lion’s head and a banjo made from the brake drum of a 1946 DeSoto automobile by Elliot Smith of Jasper, Ar. is a highlight but the star of the show is an amazing fiddle and guitar by Ed Stilley of Hogscald Holler.

This show is loaded with Ozark history and lessons about resourcefulness. Lots of fun interaction peppered throughout and opportunities for Q & A. The duo teases about their ‘low tech’ power point production, which is a series of image quilts depicting each of the makers. Each quilt is shown before the song and then hung on a backdrop during the piece.

The show ends with a reminder about the importance of our roots and caring for them and paying attention. The Ozarks are part of their ‘root system’ and a rich one at that!

STILL A RIVER- Story Songs about the Buffalo National River

The STILL A RIVER SHOW will enchant with story-songs about the people and history of the BUFFALO RIVER while it poignantly reminds us of what we cherish about our nation’s first historic national river. It invites us, as the river’s stewards, to protect the sights and sounds that nourish us. This show can be adapted for 3rd-12th grade and adult audiences as well.

Donna and Kelly Mulhollan, recipients of the Governor’s Folk Life Award, are modern-day bards, carrying on the ancient tradition of storytelling in song. They are multi-instrumentalists and in this show they will be playing a plethora of amazing instruments. They will be using their popular ‘low tech power point’- a collection of handmade quilts with images depicting the people and places they are singing about.

This program teaches Arkansas history, about Rivers, Reservoirs and Dams, about conservation and nature. Lots of information & learning in an entertaining package!

Check out the video about canoeing on the Buffalo River - "From Ponca to Pruitt":


Still on the Hill is a national and international touring group from Arkansas that has been described as “Ambassadors of the Ozarks” for the work they do to preserve a rich culture that is quickly disappearing.
Kelly & Donna of Still on the Hill are award winning ‘story telling-song writers’. Different than most singer-songwriters, this dynamic duo embellishes their songs with a host of unique instruments from the hills they call home. Many of these were hand-made by old-timers and have amazing stories that go with them.

KELLY MULHOLLAN is a fifth generation native Arkansan who is a classically trained guitarist. At six years old he cut his teeth, playing ukulele and listening to Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. As a teen he embraced the progressive rock bands like Genesis and Yes and perfected that complex style of music. Now when he plays the guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, ukulele or upright bass…you can hear all those influences- along with his strong Ozark roots- coming through to create a sound that is unique to Still on the Hill. Kelly’s masterful songwriting dips into the deep well of history, and his love for the Ozarks is alive in every word and note that he plays.

DONNA MULHOLLAN learned the fiddle in the kitchen with her dad, who played the guitar and sang old Hank Williams and Bob Wills songs. For 35 years she toured the country playing with various country-western bands and even did a stint with a large Las Vegas show. At 18 she had met an old fiddle maker named Denton Boze who lived in a tarpaper shack in the Arkansas backwoods. His story haunted her for years and in her late 30’s she wrote her first song about him, opening a floodgate of songs, many about people and places in the Ozarks. Her instrumental palette includes; several one of a kind Ozark-made fiddles, mandolin, musical saw, scrub-board, ukelin, guitar, mule-jawbone and Ozark pickin’ bow.

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: Elementary; Middle/Junior High; Senior High; Adult
Geographic Availability: statewide
Time Availability: Open
Special Needs: None