Somerset Harp Festival Online
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escape online

Harpers' Escape Sunday Add-On

with Grainne Hambly, William Jackson & Debbie Brewin-Wilson

Build Your Repertoire: Learn It & Play It By Ear

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 Somerset has been hosting a 1-day Harpers' Escape on Sunday with 3 of the Escape's long-time popular presenters ever since. This is a Somerset "extra" that you'll need to sign-up for in advance and add to your registration.

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. Because The Escape is on Somerset Online, it is be taught "live" via Zoom and recorded so that after the Escape you'll be able to refer back to the video version of the workshop until October 31.


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

3 Tracks at 3 Different Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

escape online

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

  • Each registrant gets advance access to a Download page with the tunes that will be taught. Just by listening to the tunes a lot in advance of the Escape you'll actually be learning the tunes in your head!
  • You begin the day with your own specific group and teacher and stay with that group most of the day, learning at your speed and getting plenty of coaching to really get the pieces in-depth into your fingers.
  • What to Bring: Recording device if you want to but no music stand needed! These sessions will be recorded on video and available at a later date too for replay.
  • How do I Attend? Registrants get an email with Zoom meeting link that admits you to your group's room. Make sure you're in a comfortable, distraction-free space at home!

  • Our 10am start-time enables those on the West Coast to join us!
  • What to Wear: Doesn't matter. We're not doing this in a hotel! Please dress comfortably and come ready to play.
  • The Itinerary for the Harpers' Escape

    10-11:15am Session 1: with breaks. Everybody learns the same "Group" tune at whatever level they're at. You learn by doing and repetition!

    Noon: Somerset Concert & Lunch Break

    12-1pm Lunch Break: Go to the kitchen and grab your lunch. We're going to leave the Zoom Meeting open so that folks can come back to the meeting, have lunch together and chat. You also have time to drop into the Exhibit Hall and chat to vendors (a new feature on Somerset Online)

    1-2:30pm Session 2: 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!)

    3-4:15pm Session 3: 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.

    4:30-5:30pm Teacher's Concert: Relax and enjoy a concert with Debbie, Grainne & Billy and Kathy DeAngelo, up close and personal.

    6pm-7pm: Use It or Lose It session: All the groups are in the same "meeting room" and play along on all the tunes they learned! Being "live" on Zoom means that actually playing "together" with everybody being able to hear each other is just not possible. 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. Those more comfortable reading the sheet-music can of course be doing that! The Harpers' Circle continues with other each participant sharing or suggesting a tune if they want to. Play it if you know it. Since Grainne &Billy are in Ireland, this session will be lead by Debbie and Kathy.


    Cost & Registration

    Harpers' Escape at Somerset: Only $100 if you add it to your full festival registration before June 30. You must sign-up in advance for this event.

    Questions? Need more information?

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

    Sunday Add-ons
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    More from Harpers' Escape

    another ten years

    See photos of Past Harpers' Escapes
    To purchase Harpers' Escape Books & CDs