Erik Ask-Upmark
  Rhett Barnwell
  Debbie Brewin-Wilson
  Nikolaz Cadoret
  Dominique Dodge
  Madeleine Doherty
  David Eisner
  Edie Elkan
  Patrice Fisher
  Laurence Furr
  Maeve Gilchrist
  Robbin Gordon-Cartier
  Dennis Gormley
  Rachel Hair
  Gráinne Hambly
  Shyamali Hauth
  Nancy Hurrell
  William Jackson
  Liza Jensen
  Kathy Kasley
  Joanna Mell
  Sam Milligan
  Maire niChathasaigh
  Jocelyn Obermeyer
  Alfredo Rolando Ortiz
  Karen Peterson
  Kim Robertson
  Sunita Staneslow
  Tomoko Sugawara
  Anne Sullivan
  Carol Thompson
  Dennis Waring
  Janet Witman

2018 Presenters    Mell > Robertson

Joanna Mell

joanna mellJoanna Mell's musical journey spans early training in classical harp, to Celtic harp, to singing in the Irish sean nos style (where she was a finalist in the All Ireland competition), to story-telling and harp therapy. Her dedication to the harp as a therapeutic instrument has led her to found the Heart of God Foundation whose mission is to bring music to those need, both physically and spiritually. She trains and certifies therapeutic harpists, and is now back to the Philadelphia area where she has a busy teaching studio offering both in-person and on-line lessons one-on-one or classes. She has six CDs of harp music and songs and 14 books of arrangements of Celtic tunes and classical music, as well as original compositions (Peaceful Pieces, Modal Musings, Ginger's Little Harp Book). When she's doing presenting, you'll find her at the Deep Peace Music table in the Exhibit Hall

Presenter website: Deep Peace Music

Accompaniment & Arranging Ideas & Technique
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   More Info   

Classical Gems for Therapeutic Harpists
Level: Int-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 9-10:30am   More Info   

Clinical Harp & Impromptu Composing
Level: Beg-Adv Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   More Info   

Create Hymn Arrangements from Lead Sheets (The Heavenly Harp Sunday add-on)
Level: Int. Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 3:45-4:45pm   More Info   

Marvelous Modes
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 9:30-11am   More Info   

Sam Milligan

sam milliganDescribing himself as a "harp addict, Sam Milligan is convinced that "no home should be without one." Since retiring as a harp technician, Sam has pursued his love of Spanish Renaissance, Baroque and New World harp music , traveling, playing and writing music and articles. Sam has been a member of the American Harp Society since its inception, was the first editor of the American Harp Journal, and is the AHS liaison to the Historical Harp Society. Growing up in Missouri in a musical family that especially loved to sing, Sam’s first harp was a Clark. He began musical studies on the harp at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi and finished at North Texas State (now U. of Texas) where he received his BA in harp performance. After moving to NYC, Sam worked for Lyon & Healy and along the way discovered and promoted the lever harp, for which he developed the first (and famous!) method books for the instrument. He says the harp has made his life beautiful. Since being awarded our Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, Metroharp in New York City has created the annual Sam Milligan Youth Harp Festival.

Presenter website: Sam Milligan

Early Sacred Music (The Heavenly Harp Sunday add-on)
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 10:45am-12pm   More Info   

Small harp repertoire
Level: Beg-Int Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   More Info   

Maire niChathasaigh

maire niChathasaighYou can't overstate the impact that Maire niChathasaigh had in the revival of the Irish harp in her native Ireland. Coming from a very musical Cork family, Maire was well-steeped in traditional music and played numerous instruments before taking up the harp at 11. From that sensibility she re-invented the harp and forged a new stylistic approach to playing the vibrant and authentic renditions of traditional music. Her ground-breaking recording "The New-Strung Harp" in 1985 had (and still has) a profound influence on generations of harpers who followed in her wake. A complete list of her significant accomplishments can't be contained in one paragraph! She is busy touring most of the year and performs and teaches all over the world. She has been performing with her guitarist husband Chris Newman since 1986, racking up 7 critically acclaimed albums. She also tours with her sister/ fiddler Nollaig Casey, Arty McGlynn and Chris. She is the only harper recognized with Gradam Ceoil TG4's Irish Traditional Musician of the Year (2001), Irish music's most prestigious award! This is Maire's first, and long overdue, appearance at Somerset.

Presenter website: Maire niChathasaigh

Authentic Carolan
Level: Int. Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 9:30-11am   More Info   

Irish Dance Music Nuances
Level: Int. Type: Hands-on When: Thurs. 3-4:30pm   More Info   

Irish harp music of the 17th & 18th centuries
Level: Int. Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   More Info   

Fingering Tips & Techniques
Level: Beg-Int Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   More Info   

Jocelyn Obermeyer

jocelyn obermeyerLike many in the therapeutic harp field, Jocelyn Obermeyer came to the harp after a personal experience where she saw first-hand its therapeutic effects. She is now Program Director for the Therapeutic Harp Foundation (THF) and president of the Phoenix Chapter, American Harp Society. She began playing music at six and was the church organist by age 12. She attended Northern Illinois University on a full scholarship as a classical clarinetist and got her degree in music. She toured nationally and internationally as the baritone saxophonist for Mode Show, headed by Ron Modell. When she took up the harp, Jocelyn studied with Suzanne Balderston, Lisa Lynne Franco, Dr. Heidi Hernandez and Diana Rowan, among others. She has served as a therapeutic harp practitioner for the past 10 years. She has since gone on to serve in a wide variety of health care settings in the Phoenix area. Jocelyn serves on the National Standards Board of Therapeutic Musicians and sits on the Board of the International Harp Therapy Training Program. Jocelyn gives meditation concerts with pianist Lynne Haessler and has a duo “Soul Sounds” with Jenn Steeger on Native American Flute. Jocelyn has performed at the MIM (Music Instrument Museum) several times and can frequently be seen at the Scottsdale Artwalks.

Presenter website: Therapeutic Harp Foundation

Expand Your Playing Field
Level: Any Type: Lecture When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   More Info   

Therapeutic Music Research Update
Level: Any Type: Lecture When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   More Info   

Alfredo Rolando Ortiz

OrtizCuban born Alfredo Ortiz is one the leading Paraguayan harpists and has a multi-cultural repertoire which covers the folk, classical and popular music of many countries, in addition to his own compositions. He began playing the Venezuelan folk harp at 15, four years after his family emigrated there, and he eventually used music to support his medical studies. Dr. Ortiz also has a background in music therapy and sensory motor integration, which he draws on in his body/harp workshops. His compositions and publications are used in many schools and by many harp ensembles around the world. In 2008, he was commissioned by the Tenth World Harp Congress to compose a piece, which was then performed by 232 harpists at the Congress, breaking a record in the Guinness Book of World Records. When not performing with symphonies and orchestras, doing concerts or recording, Dr. Ortiz is traveling and doing lectures and master classes. In 2011, in honor of his 50 years of contributions to the harp community, Alfredo was awarded the very first Lifetime Achievement Award by the Somerset Folk Harp Festival.

Presenter website: Alfredo Rolando Ortiz

Cuban Rhythms & Spice
Level: Int. Type: Hands-on When: Sun. 9-10:30am   More Info   

Latin music techniques & fun effects
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 9:30-11am   More Info   

Prevent Injury & Play Better and Faster
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   More Info   

Storytelling & Performance
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 9:30-11am   More Info   

Karen Peterson

karen petersonKaren Peterson discovered the double-strung harp at Somerset over ten years ago. Her harp journey began in high school on the pedal harp, but Somerset turned her into a lever lover. After transitioning from pedal to a large, single-course lever harp, Karen was looking for something more portable for hospital work. She wandered into a double-strung harp workshop at the festival, and the rest, as they say, is harp history. Today, Karen uses her nine-pound, 48-string double-strung to play for patients at the bedside at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. She has worked for seven years as a Certified Music Practitioner and has served on the Board of Directors for the Music for Healing and Transition Program since 2012. Karen’s goal is to help adult learners take pride in their achievements and have more fun at the harp. We're proud to have been the catalyst for Karen's career on the harp and welcome her to her first stint as a presenter at the festival.

Presenter website: Enjoy the Harp

Double-strung In Depth: Repertoire and Arranging
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   More Info   

Double-strung Strong Points: The Basics
Level: Beg. Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   More Info   

I Always Wanted to Play the Harp
Level: Beg. Type: Demo When: Fri. 10-11am   More Info   

Kim Robertson

Kim RobertsonAs one of the pioneers of the American folk harp, Kim Robertson’s style and approach to the instrument is uniquely personal and original. Trained classically on piano and orchestral harp, she brings a contemporary touch to both her original compositions and her arrangements of Celtic music. Her skill and stage presence as a performer has brought her a loyal following and she is an experienced and sensitive teacher as well. She has many CD’s, among them Highland Heart, Shady Grove and Shall We Gather as well as numerous volumes of harp arrangements and several instructional videos. Though she makes her home in Wisconsin, she spends a good deal of the year touring both as a solo artist and with other performers. Kim has presented and performed at nearly every Somerset festival, and with good reason! She's got a clear style and can get everybody, seemingly effortlessly, working together and learning with humor and grace. No matter what the topic, her workshops are packed.

Presenter website: Kim Robertson

Accompaniment & Backup
Level: Int. Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   More Info   

Christmas Carol Creativity
Level: Int. Type: Hands-on When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   More Info   

Modal Improvisation
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   More Info   

Slow Airs Sampler
Level: Any Type: Hands-on When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   More Info   

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