Workshops By Day
Below are the 2019 schedules
 Workshop Listings By Title:
These are the 2019 workshops. 2020 Workshops are released January 1  
 Workshop Focus Areas
     Topic Areas for 2020 not yet available
     Harpers' Escape (Sun.)
     Historical Harp
     Lectures Etc.
     Skills & Technique
     Therapeutic Harp
     Youth Harp Program
 Schedule Downloads
These are the 2019 Schedules. 2020 will be available on January 1
     Excel file
 More Great Stuff
     After-Hours Events
     Harp Parking
     Harp Regulation & Repair
     Harp Tastings
     Loaner Harp Program
     Private Lessons
     Saturday Banquet




Workshops: R-S (These are from 2019)

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Regency Harp Music: Nancy Hurrell
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 4
Harp playing was the main evening entertainment in London drawing rooms and Ireland’s great houses in the Regency era of Jane Austen, Expanding on last year’s class, you'll learn deliciously sweet harp pieces from early 1800s music books of amateur aristocratic harpists, as well as explore the manuals of conduct for ladies from the period, with advice on assuming a “polished turn of a hand and arm” in harp playing to attract an eligible suitor! Advanced beginners and intermediate level; sight-reading is necessary.
Re-imagining Harp in the Great Hall: Ann Heymann
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 6
It is thought that the pipes inherited repertoire from court harpers. Harpers in the Great Halls of yore didn't have stacks of sheet music so how do we know what and how they played. This is a hands-on exploration of strategies to recreate harp music that wasn't written down. Basic "dots" will be provided, but proficiency in sight-reading is not required. For advanced beginners and above, on any harp.
Renaissance Harp Ensemble: Nancy Hurrell
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat.9:30-11am Where: Room 6
Nancy teaches a Renaissance harp class at a Brandeis University and you get to join her Somerset harp consort and ensemble. Experience the hauntingly beautiful harmonies and catchy rhythms in Renaissance music with her accessible multi-level ensemble arrangements. This is a low-stress, fun, group playing experience. Sight-reading is necessary in this workshop.
Rhythm Workout: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 11
Rhythm brings vitality and drive to music and can make the difference between an amateur and a professional. Maeve will focus on rhythm and how to incorporate it into warm-up and practice routines to strengthen all aspects of your playing. Learn about hand independence, poly-rhythms, syncopation, ostinato's and more!
Saturday Night Banquet: Event
When: Sat. 5:30-7pm Where: Morris Room
A sumptuous meal and a chance to have a relaxed conversation with friends and listen to live harp music. Open to companions. Must purchase tickets in advance. $50 (tax & tip included). See details.
Saturday Night Concert: Event
Type: Concert Level: Any When: Sat. 7:30-9:30pm Where: Salon 2/3
Tristan LeGovic, Grainne Hambly & William Jackson, Sarah Deere-Jones & Phil Williams, Janet Harbison
Saturday Night Folk Dance: Event
Type: Dance Level: Any When: Sat. 10pm Where: Salon 4
An "after hours" activity hosted by Erik Ask-Upmark. All dances will be taught. No experience necessary. Wear comfy shoes.
Scottish Pipe Marches: Corrina Hewat
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Thurs. 3-4:30pm Where: Salon 4
Learn some cracking Scottish pipe marches in 2/4 and 6/8 that are loved in Scotland but are possibly not as well known in the harp scene. The marches taught will fit comfortably under the harper’s fingers, making them a joy to learn and play as well as listen to. Corinna will teach, by ear, noting the ornaments but not dwelling on them too much in the interest of learning as many as possible. Learning these tunes by ear helps with the ‘feel’ of the music, learning the phrasing and the shape of the lines, which will inform the style of the tune. For more on ornamenting, take Corinna's workshop on Saturday. Music handed out at the end.
Scottish pipe ornamentations made easy: Corrina Hewat
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 7
Playing pipe tunes will never sound true unless the harper incorporates some decoration into their playing. The decorations used and in what context can greatly enhance the tune. Pipe ornamentation is adapted specifically because they cannot repeat the same note without moving off it and back on due to the constant stream of air and sound. We harpers have a multitude of ringing strings, extreme dynamic range and notes that fade away quickly. You’ll learn by ear and work with two hands in mimicking the sound of the pipes ornamentation while also holding a bass line and working through a tune.
Scottish Session: Friday: Event
Type: session Level: When: Fri. 10pm Where: Room 11
An "after hours" activity hosted by Donna Bennett and Jen Narkevicius
Secrets to Effective Practicing: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 11
In this workshop, Maeve will walk you through a well rounded practice session focusing on the warm up and how to incorporate metronome use right from the beginning. Combining rhythm, hand independence and finger exercises for a thorough and effective warmup, you'll realize that the most effective routine is one that YOU can create to fit your own level and challenge yourself. She'll then give examples of how to isolate problem parts of pieces or tunes and tackle them, using time in an effective way and saving the most enjoyable parts of playing to the very end of the practice session as a reward! Questions and group participation will be highly encouraged in this workshop in order for participants to get the most out of it that they possibly can. This will be a fun and highly useful workshop for any level of harpist.
Simplify Your Music: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: Salon 4
Many harpists play music that is too difficult for them to play well. They play it at home when they are comfortable but then it falls apart in public because it just isn't solid enough. Discover how to keep your music simple and still add real depth to your playing. Add subtlety and passion to your playing by expanding and controlling your tone and letting the music breathe. Work on articulation, angle of the fingertip, where and how you pluck the strings in this workshop with a master of tone and timing.
Sing & Play: Deborah Henson-Conant
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Salon 1
Learning to sing and play the harp at the same time is more than the mechanical aspect of what to do with your hands while your voice does its thing. Use the harp to unleash that path to your heart's voice. Accompaniment doesn't have to be complicated to support your singing. DHC will give you her favorite use-anywhere left-hand patterns and show you how you can adapt them to achieve a solid accompaniment roadmap to get your song where it's going!
Sing in Scots Gaelic 101: Carol Kappus
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 6
Song is a great intro to a language with rhythm and melody aiding the learning process. The songs of Gaelic Scotland are beautiful and full of emotion and history. Carol will teach you a simple song in Gaelic as well as the chord structures that are most effective in Scottish music. First comes the lyrics and then the simple harp accompaniment. Add this nice touch to your repertoire!
Singing Robert Burns: Corrina Hewat
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 7
Robert Burns, the most famous of Scottish Bard, would write in Scots, Lallans and English and use whatever was needed to make his lines scan and rhyme. He frequently used Scottish fiddle tunes and knew how to entertain all levels of society. Corinna will lead you through some of these songs, working through accompaniment ideas, with bass lines, rhythms, some chordal work. Words of the songs, and their meanings plus the tunes will be handed out at the beginning of the workshop to help Bring a recording device to aid memory on the accompaniment ideas.
Singing with the Harp & Self-Accompaniment: Sarah Deere-Jones
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: Room 3
Many people struggle with accompanying themselves singing. There are common traps you can fall into when trying to work out an accompaniment while singing. Learn to avoid them! Sarah will show you a simple set of procedures you can use to create an accompaniment to your favourite song that you will enjoy yourself and delight audiences with!
Soft Angelic Whispers: History of Medieval English Harp: Sarah Deere-Jones
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sun. 2-3pm Where: Room 11
From the 10th to the 16th centuries 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 play harp detectives and recreate Medieval English harp technique with a little guesswork on some pieces from the period. For complete conference itinerary and details, including registration sign-up, click here.
Somerset's Got Talent: Event
Type: Concert Level: When: Fri. 10pm Where: Festival Lobby
An "after hours" activity. Open to all. It's an open-mike. Sign-up to perform at the festival desk prior to this event. Listeners & supporters are welcome too!
Sounding Scottish: Jen Narkevicius
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 1
Love Scottish music? Wondering how to make your tunes sound more Scottish? Scotland has captivated people for hundreds of years and inspired composers, artists, and authors. In this workshop you will learn specific elements and techniques to ensure your tunes sound Scottish. Jen will teach tunes to apply and practice those techniques and use images, video, language, sounds, geography, myths and legends of Scotland as muses to provide inspiration for your own take on the music.
Storyharping: Martha Gallagher
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Room 7
Telling stories with the harp must be about as old as the harp itself. Whether you love telling legends and lore, tales that delight wee ones or sharing the stories of life, you can use the harp and voice together with great effect. Discover the many different ways to tell a great story and how to use the harp effectively. Martha will show you how to infuse what you choose to do with your own flavor and flair. If you’ve got a story or idea you’re working on, bring it along to share and work with Martha on your specific ideas.
Storytelling with Your Harp: Nicolas Carter
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 9
Here's another creative approach to harp accompaniment--it's just that this is using your harp as background for telling a story, which can be anything from talking to an audience to introduce a piece to providing special effects for your talks in school programs or as an integral part of special story. Tap into Nicolas' vast theater experience and find out how to best share your stories with others. Don't think you're creative? Take this workshop and learn to draw out that talent.
Sunday morning concert: Event
Type: Concert Level: Any When: Sun. 11am-12pm Where: Salon 2/3
Somerset Youth Harp Ensemble, Dominique Dodge, Nicolas Carter
Sunrise Yoga 1: Shyamali Hauth
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Fri. 8-8:45am Where: Room 5
45 minutes. Start your day with yoga! Breathe and Relax! Get your body ready for a day at the harp with gentle stretches, breath work and invigorating Sun Salutations. We will finish our Yoga session with a wonderful End Relaxation that is not to be missed. Bring your mat (or even a large towel). This class is for every body—modifications and chairs provided!
Sunrise Yoga 2: Shyamali Hauth
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Sat. 8-8:45am Where: Room 5
45 minutes. Start your day with yoga! Breathe and Relax! Get your body ready for a day at the harp with gentle stretches, breath work and invigorating Sun Salutations. We will finish our Yoga session with a wonderful End Relaxation that is not to be missed. Bring your mat (or even a large towel). This class is for every body—modifications and chairs provided!
Swedish & Nordic Music 101: Erik Ask-Upmark
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 3
There exists distinct folk harp traditions in Sweden and Norway, quickly gaining in popularity as more and more people discover the richness of this repertoire. The focus in this workshop will be on Swedish folk music, but Erik will teach you some of the differences in style between all the Nordic countries. Erik will focus on mostly dance music with an emphasis on the polska and slängpolska and you'll learn what makes Swedish folk music unique with its scales, rhythmic grooves, accompaniment, ornamentation and more.
Swedish Repertoire Builder: Erik Ask-Upmark
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: Room 2
This workshop is meant to expand the repertoire for fans of Nordic/Scandinavian music or those who would like to add to the 101 workshop. Tunes will be taught by ear (sheet music will follow) and Erik will focus on different types of polskas and other types of Swedish tunes, looking especially at how to achieve a truly danceable rhythm. Lots of work with left-hand accompaniment and techniques will help make your melodies lively and danceable.
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If you find a mistake in any of these schedules pages please let me know!


Updated 9/18/19
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.