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Workshops: D-H

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Dexterity & Speed: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: TBD
This is a workshop for the slightly more advanced player who is interested on working on building up their dexterity, style and comfort in more up tempo music. Maeve makes it look easy but there's a process she's worked for years that makes it look that way. What's the secret? You don't get from 0 to 60 in 10 seconds. Find out how to do it.
DIY harp maintenance 1: Knot Tying with Liza Jensen
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 11:30am-12:15pm Where: TBD
liza jensenLearn to Do It Yourself. You are, inevitably, going to break a string. You should know how to change it. Take this workshop and get a lesson in knot-tying and replacing strings. If you're a beginner or have never changed your own string, you must take this workshop!
DIY harp maintenance 2: Tuning with Liza Jensen
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 11:30am-12:15pm Where: TBD
Learn to Do It Yourself. This mini-workshop focuses on properly using your tuner and tuning your harp. Essential! Is there a difference between tuning with levers up or levers down? What about the difference between tuning loud or soft. Then what do you do when your lever buzzes when engaged? You gotta know this stuff.
Double Exposure: Adapting Music: Karen Peterson
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
karen petersonHaving a double-strung harp doesn't mean you have to buy all new music. Karen shows you how to change songs you played on the single-course harp to work beautifully on the double-strung. We'll also review how to use lead sheets to the best advantage. Questions on specific tunes are welcome. No prior arranging or lead sheet experience necessary. All levels. Sight-reading not required. If you're considering double-strung harp, come to this workshop to try one out.
Double Your Repertoire: Karen Peterson
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
What type of music works best on a double-strung harp? Any kind! Play familiar tunes from the 1930s, 1960s, and 1980s arranged by Karen for the double-strung harp. Karen will show you how these arrangements highlight the capabilities of the double-strung harp so that you can make similar decisions in your own music. All levels. Sight-reading helpful but not required.
Early Music: Erik Ask-Upmark
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: TBD
You don't have to have a historical harp to play in this workshop! Erik will take you through European music from the 13th to 16th centuries and show you how to adapt it to the harp. Sources will include medieval song collections, Renaissance dance tunes and maybe even an ancient piece or two from the Nordic countries.
Egan Irish Harps: New-Strung Harp Tales: Nancy Hurrell
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
nancy hurrellNancy Hurrell reveals the hidden stories behind her new book "The Egan Irish Harps: Tradition, patrons and players". Research trips to discover rare historical harps took her to Irish castles, museum storerooms, splendid private estates, and the President of Ireland’s House. Surprising findings–from reading 200-year-old newspapers, to a mysterious lock of hair in an Oxford University archive, to a curious hand-written letter in Princess Augusta’s harp book–were all part of her journey to uncover the remarkable history of Egan Irish harps and the harpists who played them.
Electric Harp 101: Carol Kappus
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
carol kappusIf you're intrigued by all the new electric harps and want to take one for a "test" drive, this is the workshop for you! If you've already bought one and would like some help figuring out how to manage the beast, bring it to this workshop and Carol will give you the complete rundown in this electric harp introduction. It's not an acoustic harp and you'll see how to make the most out of its characteristics. She'll have the amps and plenty of gadgets and show you how all the gear connects up to make the most of this instrument.
English Medieval Harp Technique: Sarah Deere-Jones
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
You've probably seen lots of the iconography from the 10th to the 16th centuries where the 'National Instrument of England' was played by Kings, travelling harpers and court musicians and revered in the literature of the time. After a brief history and using her fascinating illustrations, you, Sarah and the class will recreate and try out some of the Medieval English harp technique with some simple pieces from the period.
English Regency Repertoire for harp: Sarah Deere-Jones
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: TBD
In her research on the repertoire of the Regency harp in England, Sarah has uncovered previously unpublished repertoire for pedal harp which she has transcribed for Lever harp, creating a whole new world of short pretty pieces from this period that add to the lever-harp repertoire. Sarah will also do a short talk on the fascinating ‘Royal Portable’ Dital harp re-production she recently commissioned and how it’s unique Dital (lever) mechanism works. This harp is a copy of Egan’s Royal Portable harp in the Royal Academy of Music museum and was made for her by harp-maker Tim Hampson.
Feather Fingers: Kim Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: TBD
Learn how to make your playing sound more fluid and less “clunky" with these practical tips on dynamic nuance and phrasing. With exercises for volume and tone, discover how bring out the individual voice of each finger and add inner harmonies to a melody. Using sample tunes, learn how to “float a melody” and create more articulate phrasing to become a more expressive player.
Food for Thought: Mindful Eating: Edie Elkan
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: TBD
Whether you’re running to and from a gig or flying through your daily “to do” list, most often, the last person given kind attention to, especially for meals and/or snacks...is you. Mindfulness Meditation teacher Edie Elkan will teach you to begin to transform your relationship with food by using mindfulness tools. Meditations will include a drinking (water) meditation and an eating (orange) meditation. Participants for the whole workshop will receive a discount coupon for Edie’s online mindfulness courses.
Friday Night Concert: Event
Type: Concert Level: Any When: Fri. 7:30-9:30pm Where: TBD
Performers to be announced
Fun with Scales and Modes: Erik Ask-Upmark
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: TBD
Yes, yes, I know-- playing scales sounds about as inviting as root canal work. But it doesn't have to be! Erik will show you how to easily set your harp in a specific scale, or "key", or "mode". What's the difference between these terms? Come to this workshop and find out! You'll also find out how to instantly get that "Nordic" sound in your playing! You’ll learn different modes from different regions and what separates them and experience the totally different flavors they each create. We will also try out some improvisation in the Nordic style!
Go Paperless: Digital Sheet Music: Robbin Gordon-Cartier
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
Explore the world of digital sheet music and how to make the switch from paper to tablet. Come to this workshop with your questions, experiences and ideas! Robbin will go over the basic starter pack and give tips and favorite shortcuts and enhancements to make going digital easy and helpful. Find out how liberating it is not dragging a case of music to a gig and having access to music that is not even in your paper library yet. You'll get all the pointers in getting started, including how to convert music you already have, organizing tips, best practices for using the tablet in practice and at gigs and so much more.
Harp Regulation & Maintenance: Liza Jensen
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
liza jensenThe mysteries of harp regulation will be completely resolved in this one workshop with our expert harp technician! Liza will answer your questions about what it means to have your harp regulated and all its associated concerns such as what happens to your harp as it ages and why the harp shifts. See what that looks like. Bring your harp to this workshop and see it for yourself. How old is too old for your strings to be on your harp? What are the top 5 reasons your harp will buzz? There are all sorts of things to be learned about your harp--no matter how long you've been playing you'll learn all kinds of useful info in this workshop.
Harp Tasting: Large: Event
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Sat. 12-1pm Where: TBD
A blind testing that allows the audience to hear and compare the sounds of several harps without knowing their brand. The listeners sit with their backs to the stage, where the same piece is played on each harp by 2 diffferent players. Audience members are given evaluation sheets which they can use strictly for their own purposes. There are "no winners" at a harp tasting since every musician has different criteria by which they judge and everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Large harps are more than 29 strings.
Harp Tasting: Small: Event
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Fri. 12-1pm Where: TBD
A blind testing that allows the audience to hear and compare the sounds of several harps without knowing their brand. The listeners sit with their backs to the stage, where the same piece is played on each harp by 2 diffferent players. Audience members are given evaluation sheets which they can use strictly for their own purposes. There are "no winners" at a harp tasting since every musician has different criteria by which they judge and everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Small harps are 29 strings and less.
Harpers' Escape at Somerset (intermediate): William Jackson (Sunday add-on)
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sun. 9am-9pm Where: TBD
It's the Harper's Escape at Somerset! Everybody learns the same "group" tune and adds accompaniment suited to their level. Then each group will learn additional tunes, learned by ear, and get left-hand tips and tricks for the accompaniment. A group session will finish the day after dinner with all the levels playing together. People who are signed up for this will get access to download audio files to listen to in advance (as is the way for the Harpers' Escape). William will be leading the intermediate group. This is a Sunday add-on. Please register in advance. See details & Itinerary.
Harpers' Escape at Somerset (advanced): Grainne Hambly (Sunday add-on)
Type: Hands-on Level: Adv. When: Sun. 9am-9pm Where: TBD
It's the Harper's Escape at Somerset! Everybody learns the same "group" tune and adds accompaniment suited to their level. Then each group will learn additional tunes, learned by ear, and get left-hand tips and tricks for the accompaniment. A group session will finish the day after dinner with all the levels playing together. People who are signed up for this will get access to download audio files to listen to in advance (as is the way for the Harpers' Escape). Grainne will be leading the advanced-level group. This is a Sunday add-on. Please register in advance. See details & Itinerary.
Harpers' Escape at Somerset (beginner group): Debbie Brewin-Wilson (Sunday add-on)
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Sun. 9am-9pm Where: TBD
It's the Harper's Escape at Somerset! In the first session, everybody learns the same "group" tune and adds accompaniment suited to their level. Then each group will learn additional tunes, learned by ear, and get left-hand tips and tricks for the accompaniment in the second session. A group session will finish the day after dinner with all the levels playing together. People who are signed up for this will get access to download audio files to listen to in advance (as is the way for the Harpers' Escape). Debbie will be leading the beginner-level group. This is a Sunday add-on. Please register in advance. See details & Itinerary.
Historical Harp Society Conference:
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sun. 9am-9pm Where: TBD
The Historical Harp Society will have its annual conference at Somerset. Presenters include Ron Cook, Sarah Deere-Jones, Ann Heymann, Nancy Hurrel, Paul Knoke. For complete conference itinerary and details, including registration sign-up, click here.
History of the Early Irish Harp: Gaelic Harps from the Mists of Time: Ann Heymann
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sun. 9-9:50am Where: TBD
Ann Heymann lectures in collaboration with Nancy Hurrell on the History of the Irish Harp for the Historical Harp Society conference on Sunday. In her segment, Ann talks about the musical traditions, surviving instruments and iconography help to form a fresh interpretation of the early cláirseach and its development. For complete conference itinerary and details, including registration sign-up, click here.
History of the Early Irish Harp: Tradition and Harp Innovation in the 19th century: Nancy Hurrell
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sun. 10-10:50am Where: TBD
Nancy Hurrell lectures in collaboration with Ann Heymann on the History of the Irish Harp for the Historical Harp Society conference on Sunday. In her segment, Nancy talks about John Egan revival wire-strung harps and the notable players from the Dublin and Belfast Society schools which coincided with a new iconic gut-strung Irish harp that shaped the future. For complete conference itinerary and details, including registration sign-up, click here.
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If you find a mistake in any of these schedules pages please let me know!


 

Updated 12/31/18
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.