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Harpers' Escape at Somerset: New Format in 2022!

Celebrating its 30th Year

Back On-Site In-Person 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 with 3 of the Escape's long-time popular presenters ever since. This is a Somerset "extra" discounted to $100 that you'll add to your registration. NEW: Standalone option to attend JUST the Escape on Thursday and on our Somerset Saturday in September for $175.

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 we are back On-Site in 2022, this is a special chance to be in-person with our wonderful presenters and your harp buddies who enjoy this unique Escape enivronment. We have a new format this year, starting on Thursday rather than Sunday, and then continuing on in September for one of the Somerset Saturdays. The Escape this year will be held simultaneously on Zoom and also available later on Somerset Online for replay. All participants will be able to refer back to the video version of the workshop until October 31. There is a second session, get-together, on September 17 for a refresher and play-along session with tunes.


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 will get access to the Escape page on Somerset Online that will have all the advance sound files to listen to, PDFs of the handouts, and later, the links to the video replays of the Escape. Attendees on-site just show up to the designated workshop room Online-Only attendees use the Escape page to attend via Zoom link.

  • See below for the different level workshop schedules.
  • What to Wear: Dress comfortably and come ready to play.
  • The Itinerary for the Harpers' Escape

    We developed the schedule for this year based on a lot of input from past Escapees who regularly attend the Monday Harpers' Escape Play-Along, who felt that the all-day Sunday format we had been doing since 2017 left them pretty exhausted by the end of the day. We knew we just had to take advantage of finally being back in-person this year so there was a strong vote to hold the Escape on the first day of the festival and adding on more time later in the year (oh, the joys of being able to do Zoom) after folks had a chance to work on Thursday material for a while. So that's we we're doing this year!

    Thursday 1-2:30pm Session 1:. Everybody learns the same "Group" tune at whatever level they're at. You learn by doing and repetition!

    Thursday 3-4:30pm 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!)

    Saturday Night Harpers' Escape Play-Along evening activity. Optional. Get a chance to meet others from the Harpers Escape and some of those who attend the weekly Monday Harpers' Escape Play-Along online. Play-along if you can. We'll have a playlist in advance. Enjoy the ambience.

    Somerset Saturday, Sept. 17 1-2pm: Review sessions by group level

    Somerset Saturday, Sept. 17 2:30-3:30pm: 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!

    3:30-4:30pm Teacher's Concert: Relax and enjoy a concert with Debbie, Grainne & Billy and Kathy DeAngelo, up close and personal.


    Cost & Registration

    Harpers' Escape at Somerset: Add it to your full festival registration for just $100. You must sign-up in advance for this event. Standalone Escape for $175 gets you online access to our special Escape page with the tunes and access to the workshops. Please use the pulldown menu in the window to make your choice.

    Harpers' Escape
    Email on your account
    Group Level (Beg/Int/Adv)?

    Questions? Need more information?

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


    More from Harpers' Escape

    another ten years

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

    Learn about the Harpers' Escape Monday Play-Along

    Harpers' Escape Play-Along t-shirts & mug!