Richard Ash
  Rhett Barnwell
  Angi Bemiss
  Bonnie Berk
  Debbie Brewin-Wilson
  Edmar Castañeda
  Jaque Davison
  Sarah Deere-Jones
  Candyce Dunham
  Edie Elkan
  Jakez François
  Melinda Gardiner
  Robbin Gordon-Cartier
  Dennis Gormley
  Gráinne Hambly
  Shyamali Hauth
  Deborah Henson-Conant
  Trista Hill
  William Jackson
  Liza Jensen
  Kathy Kasley
  Lynda Kuckenbrod
  Lynne Lapidus
  Tristan LeGovic
  Marianne McShane
  Joanna Mell
  Áine Minogue
  Alfredo Rolando Ortiz
  Kim Robertson
  Gerry Serviente
  Sunita Staneslow
  Carol Thompson
  Sharon Thormahlen
  Zoe Vandermeer
  Frank Voltz
  Dennis Waring
  Sarajane Williams
  Sylvia Woods


  Can't make it to Somerset?
You Gotta Have Harp invites you to the
Harpers' Escape Weekend
October 2-4, 2015


Presenters       Ash > Dunham

Richard Ash

Richard Ash is the owner of Folkcraft Instruments, which has a booth in our Exhibit Hall for the second time. Folkcraft makes a variety of stringed and fretted instruments, including Appalachian dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, bowed psaltery, kantele, dulcilele, and ukulele. Armed with a music education degree from The Ohio State University, Richard was a school band director, so he really knows how to teach a group workshop! He's been teaching dulcimer, ukulele, harmonica and tin whistle instructor and is frequently "on the road" taking Folkcraft to festivals all across the country and performing and presenting. Richard is also the organizer of multiple music festivals. You'll find him in our Exhibit Hall most of the weekend, except when he's teaching our first dulcimer workshop offering.

Presenter website: Folkcraft Instruments

Appalachian Dulcimer for Anybody:
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 3:30pm.   More Info

Rhett Barnwell

Musical fluency characterizes Rhett Barnwell, who is at ease playing organ, cello, piano and French horn as well as classical and lever harp. His musical focus, no matter what instrument he is playing, composing or conducting, is on music for sacred, healing and meditative purposes. Within that primary focus he has made a special study of Gregorian chant. Rhett has toured with solo sopranos Victoria Lawson and Claire Teuber, has performed and taught at a wide variety of festivals, including Spoleto, and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Historical Harp Society and CD review editor for the Folk Harp Journal. He has many CDs and books available as well as his entrepreneurial venture (with Julianne Ford and Coralie Olszta) Harp Couture – a division of Seraphim Music that offers a line of fashions and accessories for the harp. Somerset is happy to collaborate with Rhett this year to bring his Liturgical Harp Conference to the festival, consoliidating dates and logistics to broaden the horizons for both our loyal supporters and bringing these two worlds together for one dynamic weekend.

Presenter website: Seraphim Music

Liturgical Harp Forum:
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 9am-9:30pm  More Info

Angi Bemiss

angi bemiss Although she is a multi-instrumentalist and a musician with a long pedigree on other instruments, Angi Bemiss found that the harp gift from her husband in 1989 was transformative. Her distinguished lever harp career has been bringing music to people in need of healing and relief. Angi has been a practicing CMP since 1998 and we know her through her workshops and publications, which take a direct ‘soup-to nuts’ approach to the practical issues and challenges facing today’s harpist, including publishing, arranging, playing at weddings, and using music software. She is a prolific music arranger and has over 100 sheet music publications and 12 music books for a wide variety of musical genres from classical and contemplative to popular through her publishing company Simply the Harp. The hallmark of her sheet music arrangements is that they are all done in C or Eb tuning for ease of transition in going from one piece to another. She has recorded four CDs.

Presenter website:

Creating Harp Arrangements from Other Music
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 1:30pm   More Info

KISS Weddings– Keeping it Simple & Serene
Level: Any Type: Lecture When: Fri. 3:30pm   More Info

Lead Sheets, Fake Books & Cheat Sheets
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 1:30pm   More Info

Tech Tools for Music
Level: Any Type: Lecture When: Sat. 3:30pm   More Info

Liturgical Harp Forum:
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 9am-5pm   More Info

Bonnie Berk

bonnie berk Bonnie dabbled in clarinet, guitar and piano in high school and college, and after turning 50, she decided to learn how to play one instrument well. And as she says, “The harp chose me!” Bonnie is a Board Certified Holistic Nurse who graduated from the Harps for Healing Clinical Musician Certification Program in 2012 and is now a mentor for new students entering the program.. She currently offers therapeutic harp at bedside through Hospice of Central Pennsylvania. In addition to harping, Bonnie is a Certified Yoga and Qi Gong teacher and offers Reiki and Holistic Health Coaching in her private practice. Since 1980, Bonnie has been training fitness and yoga instructors and brings with her a wealth of knowledge in complementary therapies as well as mentoring others. Bonnie Berk has been attending Somerset steadily since 2009. She combines her passion for the harp with her passion for yoga and therapeutic harp. We love having her this year to share her expertise in our first-ever Therapeutic Harp Forum.

Presenter website: Bonnie Berk

Bringing a Healing Presence to Therapeutic Harping
Level: Any Type: Harp optional When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   More Info

Thursday Therapeutic Harp Forum
Level: Any Type: Lecture When: Thurs. 9am-5pm  More Info

Debbie Brewin-Wilson

“My Muse, tho' hamely in attire, May touch the heart." said Robert Burns. There is nothing ‘hamely’ about Debbie’s artistry as a musician and singer, and the combination of these skills with her passion for Robert Burns results in music that echoes ‘the wood note wild’ as Burns describes the natural and unpretentious singing he liked best. An experienced performer and teacher, Debbie’s repertoire also includes many traditional Scots ballads and Scottish jigs, reels, and strathspeys as well. She is also an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, her current congregation being in Maryland. To date, she has three solo CDs, Dream of Caledonia, Roots and Wings, and Love Came Down at Christmas, a mix of original and traditional songs. Cofounder, with Kathy DeAngelo of the Harper’s Escape (and co-author of the Escape tunebook, Ten Years of Tunes). Debbie has also published three song and harp arrangement collections: Burns for Bairns and Wood Notes Wild and her newest Harp of My King, a compilation of Celtic Tunes New & Old for Christian Worship, which also includes a CD companion.

Presenter website: Debbie Brewin-Wilson

Basically Beginning I, II, III
Level: Beg Type: Hands-on When: Fri., Sat. 9:30am, Sun. 9am  More Info

Celtic Morning Prayer Service
Level: Any Type: Lecture When: Sun. 8am   More Info

Singing Robert Burns
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 3:30pm-5pm  More Info

Edmar Castañeda

mike connorsAn emerging and impressive South American talent, new to Somerset, Edmar hails from Bogota, Colombia and is a long time US resident. He has electrified the jazz-fusion musical landscape with his dynamic, virtuoisic and charismatic playing of the South American harp. A reviewer writes: “Edmar’s body seemingly engulfs his Colombian harp as he crafts almost unbelievable feats of cross-rhythms, layered with chordal nuances." His first foray on stage was an act of tremendous courage: that of inviting himself on stage with his big, unusual instrument with acclaimed musicians who had not played with him before. But he was prepared and he wowed them all, musicians and audience alike and his career was launched. At the core of his improvisational preparation is connecting with a melody by playing it until the basic line is such a part of him he can move freely and naturally around it. In 2014 Camac Harps introduced its new Llanera model harp named Edmar Castañeda.

Presenter website: Edmar Castenada

Brazilian Beats: Bossa Nova and Samba
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   More Info

Latin Rhythms & Improvisation I
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 9:30-11am   More Info

Latin Rhythms & Improvisation II
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   More Info

Jaque Davison

jaque davisonJaque Davison is the owner of Davison Associates which builds virtual-reality worlds using ActiveWorlds software. Mr. Davison has thirty years experience in 3D construction and virtual worlds. He completed award-winning projects for the U.S. Army, Florida Central University and private businesses. He also creates virtual worlds for training and education. He is heavily involved in developing information management techniques strongly integrating content on the Web with 3-D environments. This is his third year presenting at Somerset on a virtual harp world that he has created as a resource for harpists. He is a harp student and, for the last seven years, studies with Nanette Gibbs in Alexandria Virginia.

Internet for Harp Players
Level: Any Type: Lecture When: Fri. 9:30-11am  More Info

Wide World of Harp on the Web
Level: Any Type: Lecture When: Fri. & Sat. 12:30-1:15pm  More Info

Sarah Deere-Jones

sarah deere-jonesSarah comfortably straddles both the classical and folk harp worlds. After leaving the Royal Academy of Music and doing stints with the Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Symphony, and Ulster Orchestra, among others, she began exploring medieval music in 1997 with her husband Phil, with whom she performs. They have both been involved with research into the medieval history of the harp and bagpipe in England. She is now director of the Cornwall Harp Centre on the spectacular coast of Cornwall. She has numerous books and CDs available through the Centre. Besides teaching, performing and publishing, Sarah is an ardent researcher on medieval music and has even restored antique harps. She discovered the forgotten harp-lute and the neglected Regency-era repertoire of the 19th century. Sarah loved her first year with us in 2014 and we just had to ask her back! She has brought her husband Phil, who will perform in concert with her..

Presenter website: Cornwall Harp Centre

Aeolian Harp: Creativity & Composing 
Level: Int.-Adv. Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   More Info

Cornwall's Celtic Connections
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 9-10:30am   More Info

Ensemble Playing for Everybody!
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 1:30-3pm  More Info

Medieval English Harp
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 9:30-11am  More Info

Meriç Dönük

stephanie curcioMs. Dönük has had to cancel her appearance this year. Look for her at our 2016 festival.

Ever expanding our international harp horizons, this year Somerset welcomes Meriç Dönük from Mersin, Turkey. While acclaimed for her achievements in the classical pedal harp tradition, Meriç has also pursued an innovative and lively exploration of jazz-folk fusion, deriving her inspiration from the music of her country. She plays this repertoire, ranging from traditional Turkish music to jazz standards with jazz ensembles in Istanbul, including Elişi (Handcraft). Ms Dönük is the secretary for The Association for the Art of the Harp in Turkey and has performed within the project titled “In Tune with the Harp!” run by the association through funds made possible by the İstanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency.

Presenter website: Meriç Dönük

Arranging Turkish Music cancelled
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 9-10:30am  More Info
Traditional Turkish Music 101 cancelled
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 9:30-11am  More Info
Traditional Turkish Music & Rhythms cancelled
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 3:30-5pm  More Info
Turkish Music Scales & Improvisation cancelled
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 3:30-5pm  More Info

Candyce Dunham

candycedunham Interwoven with Candyce Dunham’s lifelong engagement with the harp is her commitment to the Suzuki method which was at the core of her own musical training as a child when she was taught by her mother (among others) herself a respected Suzuki teacher. An early award-winner, Candyce won a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music for Harp Performance. Her journey has led her to learning more than the harp, for teaching purposes she has studied bagpipe and tenor drumming, and is certified in Suzuki Harp and Piano. She judges for the Scottish Harp Society, teaches at a variety of celtic workshops around the country, and has created several harp programs, including The Dunham Harps Ensemble. Not stopping with those accomplishments, Candyce and her husband Benjamin rolled up their sleeves and have been building their own harps since 2001. When she's not presenting her workshops, she'll be at the Dunham Harps booth in the Exhibit Hall.

Presenter website: Dunham Harps

Youth Harp Program: Meet & Greet Intro Session
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Thurs. 3:30pm   More Info

Youth Harp Program: Day 2
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 9:30am   More Info

Youth Harp Program: Day 3
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 9:30am   More Info

Youth Harp Program: Day 4
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 9am   More Info

Youth Harp Program: Youth Harp Ensemble I
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 1:30pm   More Info
Youth Harp Program: Youth Harp Ensemble II
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 1:30pm   More Info

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