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It's Back! The Harpers' Escape at Somerset!
Add-on to your festival weekend

harpers escapeJoin Grainne Hambly, William Jackson & Debbie Brewin-Wilson for an All-Day Sunday experience done a la Harpers' Escape!

For 24 magical Octobers, Kathy DeAngelo and You Gotta Have Harp organized the Harpers' Escape Weekend and brought together harpers from all over the country who wanted to share music in an intimate setting and learn and play traditional Irish and Scottish music by ear. The 2016 Escape was the last Fall retreat and sold out quickly but by popular request of its alumni and all those who didn't get in, You Gotta Have Harp and Somerset will present a 1-day Harpers' Escape on Sunday with 3 of the Escape's long-time popular presenters! This is a Somerset "extra" that you'll need to sign-up for in advance and add to your registration.

improv expansionBuild Your Repertoire:
Learn It & Play It By Ear

In-Depth, Reinforced Learning

What distinguishes the Harpers' Escape approach from your usual workshop format? The goal is to really learn the piece before you leave! How? Guidance. Modeling. Repetition. You will have the music so well embedded in your ears and in your hands by the time you're done. Sure, you'll get the sheet music afterwards, but that's essentially an off-line memory jog, just in case. You will have a firm grasp on what you're being taught. You'll also feel more comfortable playing it with others.

Find Out Why the Escape Motto is
"Harp Till You Drop!"

How We'll Do It at Somerset

3 Different Workshops in the Morning with
3 Different Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Afternoon Workshops with your "group"
Evening Teachers Concert
The "Use it or Lose It" Evening session

--Each registrant will get advance access to a Download page with the tunes that will be taught. Just listen to the tunes in preparation for learning the tunes!
--Each registrant will get a commemorative t-shirt!

Workshop Groups:
Advanced Level with Grainne Hambly
Intermediate Level with William Jackson
Beginner Level with Debbie Brewin-Wilson

Workshop 1: 9-10:45am

--Everybody learns the same "Group" tune at whatever level they're at. You learn by doing and repetition!

11am-noon: Somerset Morning Concert

Noon-1pm: Lunch

Workshop 2: 1-2:30pm

--Each instructor picks different tunes for the second workshop with their group, adapting arranging and accompaniment to suit their class. Everyone will get access to the download page so they can download and listen to the tunes in advance of the weekend.
--The Beginners tune will be a popular "group" tune from a previous Harper's Escape and will be selected from one of the 3 Harpers' Escape music books (though no need to prepare anything in advance!).

Workshop 3: 2:45-4pm

--Grainne and Billy will teach different tunes for the third workshop with their group, adapting arranging and accompaniment to suit their class.
--The Beginners with Debbie will continue to work on the "group" tune as well as their second tune while they are building on the Basics.


--All the groups will gather in one space for a Meet & Greet, Photo Op and hopefully a play-through of the Group Tune! Then Everyone will break for dinner.

Dinner Break: 5pm

Shall we order pizza & sandwiches or go out to the Pizzaria down the street?

Teachers Concert: 7pm
Relax and enjoy a concert with Debbie, Grainne & Billy and Kathy DeAngelo, up close and personal.

escape circleUse It or Lose It: 8pm till ?

All the groups join up in this fun session for one big harpers' circle and play through all the tunes they learned! Beginners get to experience the "safety in numbers" comfort of playing the Group tune with everybody else. Focus on just the melody or on left-hand accompaniment or do both. It's up to you. Each group will play their "new" tune. The Harpers' Circle continues with other each participant sharing a tune. Play it if you know it.

See Costs & Registration

What to Wear: Please dress comfortably and come ready to move and to play.
What to Bring: Recording device if you want to but no music stand!

Costs & Registration

Harpers' Escape at Somerset: Only $100 if you add it to your full festival registration during our Early-Bird discount period, which ends May 1. If you just come for the single day it's $150 and includes the Somerset Sunday concert. You must sign-up in advance for this event. If you signed-up during our Cyber Monday promotion, you can add this and other add-ons by using this form.

Location & Hotel

The event takes place at the Sheraton Parsippany, 199 Smith Rd., Parsippany NJ. Attendees can take advantage of the Somerset discount hotel rate of $119.99/night. For more details on the location, maps, and transportation options see the Location page.

Questions? Need more information?

Call or email Kathy DeAngelo at 856-795-7637.

See photos of Past Harpers' Escapes

another ten yearsCheck out Harpers' Escape Books & CDs



Updated 3/5/18
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.