Of course, everybody who works at the festival thinks it's the best harp event going, but you don't have to take our word for it! Here are just a handful of testimonials from real attendees as well as presenters and vendors.
“This is the best harp festival
— Jakez Francois,
head of Camac Harps
“Congratulations on an incredible PIVOT into the virtual world – everyone I talked to was thrilled and sorry it was over. I LOVE THIS!!!!! You built something GREAT, you created a community, you built a fabulous team, a strong infrastructure – and then you made the pivot – you’re creating a HUGE international service and now the international community can finally connect with it!!! THIS IS SOOOO BEAUTIFUL!!!
— Deborah Henson-Conant
Golden Cage Music, Inc. & HipHarp.com
“Somerset online this past summer (and continuing still; I have some workshops to go; and some to listen to again; and then report to MHTP for CEU credit) is being one of the very BEST harp experiences ever! Close-ups of teachers and fingering while teaching; front row seat at concerts; time to interact with teachers and each other on zoom. I don’t know how you did (do) it! Incredible. Because of our summer situation, I’ve never been able to travel to NJ, and didn’t see how I would ever be able to attend Somerset. Now I am looking forward to 2021.
— Carolyn Ancell
“I am so tremendously impressed with the fantastic job you do in assembling, preparing, gathering, writing and so on to get this festival together that wanted to write and tell you of my admiration for the work you do with such such talent and precision. I attended festivals in previous years and always enjoyed them. However, old age (90) has laid claim to me and I won't be able to attend the festival in person but my daughter and her husband will be there this year and I can enjoy the festivities vicariously. However, most important is that I wanted to tell you how your impressive skills in doing the work makes this an outstanding festival. You deserve a medal!
— Dorothy Carey
Author: “Robbin - The Girl Who Didn't Want to Practice”
“Dear Kathy: A much belated note--but I wanted to thank you for all the work you put into the Somerset Festival earlier this year. I can't imagine the hours you pulled to make it all come together--but golly, was it worth it! The whole event felt so vibrant & full of heart. Your heart!
Thanks for having me along. — Maeve Gilchrist
“First of all, you and your team did an outstanding job, pulling it all together in such a short period of time, and yet managing to maintain the high standards of excellence in presenters and presentations that regular attendees have come to expect. I loved the diversity of presenters and the fact that I could experience all of their presentations, either in real time or by watching the video later.
— Claudia Holmes
Lakewood Ranch, FL
“I know you know all these things already, and have heard them from others, but I just needed to share my thoughts and tell you how wonderful it was this year to be able to have so much more access to all that Somerset has to offer ........... did I miss seeing people in person? Sure ..... but I still feel like I "saw" them, even if only virtually on Zoom, and we still got to connect...... it was great! And I'm SOOOO happy to read that you'll be making this "online format" available again next year - yay! It's always easier second-time-around, right?
— Tricia Hotchkiss
North Falmouth, MA
“Thank you all so much. I loved the online sessions. We could just listen or play along without feeling intimidated. Now I can go back and do my thing with the different presenters and see all the workshops. I was so happy about all the history and cultural experience we had. It was wonderful.
I would do this online next year. I cannot get around and schlep my harp 😏 since I am 80 yrs old.
— Diana Streeper
“My hat is off to you! Somerset was tremendous this past weekend! What an accomplishment! To take such a big event and to turn it entirely online with such success! It really went extremely well! I look forward to going through workshops I did not attend, and to go through certain workshops more closely and in greater detail. What an opportunity! You and your staff really accomplished a lot. There is no doubt that Somerset is the premier harp festival in the world!
— Rich Menges
Oak Park, IL
“Wanted to take a minute to tell you how much I appreciate all the imagination and WORK you’ve put into bringing the Festival online. It has been a very fun time for me and while not the full-senses blast of being there in person (still have to feed my dogs here at home etc), I have connected with some very interesting people and taken some amazing classes I probably wouldn’t have chosen if I were in NJ.
I feel less pressure to “pick the right class” for each time slot knowing I can listen later. Thank you for that. I plan to set up a schedule for myself to hear it ALL! I can’t imagine how much coordination this has required but you have done something amazing here. Thanks so very much!
— Jeanne Lowe
Camp Hill, PA
“I wanted to send you a note to thank you for all of the incredible effort you expended in making the Somerset festival come alive as a virtual event this year, and to let you know how much this event has meant to me personally as it continues to inspire me through some very trying medical circumstances…
I had blocked off time from work this year to finally enjoy the event in its entirety (albeit virtually). The Sunday before the festival, however, I sustained a severely fractured left shoulder in a horrible fall and ended up having replacement surgery a week and a half later. Watching the videos from the festival has been so therapeutic for me and such a wonderful distraction during what has so far been a pretty painful convalescence, and I have enjoyed seeking out delightful new pieces to work on when my left arm is functional again while practicing them with my right in the meantime to keep both my meager sight-reading skills and my spirits up.
I just wanted to let you know what a gift these presentations have been for me as I have practiced my own form of harp self-therapy during these long and stressful weeks of recuperation. Again, thank you so much for your dedication to making the 2020 festival such a success!!
— Kathy Krantz