Somerset Folk Harp Festival
Somerset Folk Harp Festival
 

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Accompaniment Toolbox: Lisa Lynne
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 11
Get over the worry of how to accompany a singer, instrumentalist or ensemble. The harp can be used for rhythmic or harmonic support--learn how to step into a backing role and then step out for a solo. In this workshop, Lisa will help you create a toolbox of accompaniment options to keep at your disposal at anytime and feel ready to jump in and do your part. Besides creating chord charts and working from a lead sheet, you'll learn the secret of how to transpose and change key in an instant and how best to contribute to the whole. Guest artists will participate in this workshop. Sightreading not essential.
Along the Silk Road with the Kugo: Listening Room: Tomoko Sugawara
Type: Concert Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 9
The Angular Harp dominated in Asia since before 1900 BC and was played across the whole continent under various names. The Japanese called it “Kugo.” Tomoko Sugawara will play a kugo replica in this Listening Room experience. Her Chinese and Japanese repertoire hails from the 9th and the 11th centuries and her Ottoman pieces were written seven centuries later. She'll also include Spanish pieces from the 13th century. This is a coffeehouse-style informal concert. Bring your favorite beverage and sit, relax and enjoy the music, up close and personal. This listening room is approximately 60 minutes.
Ancient Harp of Scotland: William Jackson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 10-11:30am    Where: Zoom
Nowadays, Scottish harpers are just as likely to play jigs and reels as the fiddlers and pipers are, but in the "old" days this wasn't the case. Learn about the "old" harp repertoire and the harpers who played it. Take advantage of William Jackson's expertise in interpreting and arranging this music. The music will be taught by ear but sheet music is also provided as a downloadable PDF.
Arpeggio Diversity: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sun. 9-10:30am   Where: Room Salon 4
If you've never taken Sunita’s arpeggio workshop and want to get some new ideas for playing different types of arpeggios, this is the workout you're looking for! Sunita says she works with arpeggios like a sculptor. Learn cool things like how to take the same arpeggio and make it sound like a Spanish Guitar, or romantic or soothing. If you've taken her Arpeggios workshop before, you'll get even more out of this supercharged version. This workshop is targeted to players Intermediate level and beyond who want to learn how to creatively noodle! Learn how to sculpt beautiful phrases and play more musically. This is very hands-on.
Arpeggios 101: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room Salon 4
Beginners who have never taken Sunita’s arpeggio workshops and want to get some new ideas for playing different types of arpeggios will have fun in this class. This is a no-pressure experience to get beginners really comfortable in using both hands to create the quintessential harp sound. This is very hands on and liberating because there is lots of looking at your harp and not at the paper.
Arranging for Ensembles: John Metras
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 7
Would you like to make a cool arrangement for your harp circle? Perhaps you want to incorporate some other instruments. John will show you various ways of arranging ensemble pieces and troubleshooting the parts before they’re handed out to the group. Harps or other instruments are welcome but not required for the class. Participants are invited to bring in music that they might want arranged as an ensemble.
Arranging Traditional Music: Aryeh Frankfurter
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Sun. 9-10:30am   Where: Room 6
There are hundreds of tunes and song out there waiting for you to include in your repertoire. But how do you take a simple melody and arrange it yourself? Aryeh says you start by rethinking left hand technique to be more like a “rhythm guitarist” than a pianist and use left hand chordal patterns to create variety in phrasing. Get some useful tips for creating and developing interesting and evocative arrangements by composing intros, bridges, and “outros” which add a personal and original dimension to any traditional tune. Aryeh will share some useful ideas to create movement, lift, phrasing and dynamics by using a couple of very easy tunes everyone can play and applying these ideas to show how they work. Some notation is used but people do not have to “sight-read.” Reading music helps, but it is not essential to getting something out of the workshop.
Beginners Boost #1: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 1
If you've just started to play the harp, this special workshop builds on skills Debbie and Carol Thompson covered in the Beginners' Boot Camp on Thursday, though you can drop-in on this workshop without attending Thursday's workshop. Debbie will be reinforcing harp fundamentals and skills that you need to make progress in playing music, particularly if you don't have a teacher. Get comfortable with the instrument and yourself! Music-reading ability is not necessary.
Beginners Boost #2: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 1
If you've just started to play the harp, this special workshop builds on skills Debbie and Carol Thompson covered in the Beginners' Boot Camp on Thursday, though you can drop-in on this workshop without attending Thursday's workshop. Debbie will be reinforcing harp fundamentals and skills that you need to make progress in playing music, particularly if you don't have a teacher. Get comfortable with the instrument and yourself! Music-reading ability is not necessary.
Beginners Boot Camp: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Thurs. 10am-4:30pm   Where: Room 5
This all-day Thursday workshop is especially geared for absolutely new players. Carol and Debbie enjoy helping beginners get off to a good start so if you've just gotten your harp and want to start building a solid foundation for learning and playing it, sign-up for this experience. To help beginners get the most out of their Somerset experience, Carol Thompson and Debbie Brewin-Wilson will guide you through the basics of tuning, hand position, placing, playing, and forming chords while having fun and being introduced to a tune. Lots of hands-on! See our Beginners page for workshops we highly recommend for the rest of your Somerset weekend.
Beginners Boot Camp: Carol Thompson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Thurs. 10am-4:30pm   Where: Room 5
This all-day Thursday workshop is especially geared for absolutely new players. Carol and Debbie enjoy helping beginners get off to a good start so if you've just gotten your harp and want to start building a solid foundation for learning and playing it, sign-up for this experience. To help beginners get the most out of their Somerset experience, Carol Thompson and Debbie Brewin-Wilson will guide you through the basics of tuning, hand position, placing, playing, and forming chords while having fun and being introduced to a tune. Lots of hands-on! See our Beginners page for workshops we highly recommend for the rest of your Somerset weekend.
Build a Harp 1: Dennis Waring
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Salon 1
build a harpA 2-part workshop by Professor Dennis Waring of Waring Harps, who will guide you through the construction of their 19-string, corrugated cardboard and wood harp, built from their unique kit. Kits can be purchased at the workshop for the discounted price of $125. All tools and materials are provided. The 2nd session is in the afternoon.
Build a Harp 2: Dennis Waring
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   Where: Salon 1
2nd half of this workshop. In the first part you built the harp and in the 2nd part you have to add the strings! Professor Dennis Waring of Waring Harps will guide you through stringing your corrugated cardboard and wood harp, built from their unique kit. Strings are included in the kit. At the end of this session you'll have a completed harp!
Cantigas de Santa Maria: Tomoko Sugawara
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 9
There are more than 400 Cantigas de Santa Maria, poems and songs composed by Spain's King Alfonso X in the 13th century in the Galicia/Portugal area to teach his subjects morality. You won't get through the whole collection in this workshop but Tomoko will take you through some really lovely pieces. Sight reading is required to get the most out of this workshop. Anyone who wants to get the feel of medieval music on harp needs a few Cantigas in their repertoire.The Cantigas became one of the most important repertoire for the Japanese kugo too. Any type of harp is welcome in this workshop.
Cape Breton's Scottish Influences: Ailie Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Thurs. 3-4:30pm   Where: Salon 1
Cape Breton in Canada is a rich musical area and this traditional playing is highly accented and characterized by a strong downbeat pulse, driven by the players heel into the floor. Cape Breton music is strongly influenced by the Scots-Gaelic language, especially Puirt a Beul (mouth music) and strathspeys. The Great Highland bagpipe influences the ornaments (cuts aka. trebles, drones and doubling) too so lots of work for your right hand. The accompaniment style is particularly unique, so Ailie will have you exploring left hand patterns that highlight this music. Taught by ear with sheet music handed out at the end of the class.
Carolan Marathon: Event
Type: Fun Level: Any When: Sat. 10pm   Where: Room Fest. Lobby
o'carolanWe're celebrating O'Carolan's 350th birthday by doing an "after hour" marathon playing of some of his most popular tunes. Play by ear or bring your book of Carolan arrangements. Open to all. Non-harping companions with other suitable non-harp instruments are welcome to play.
Carolan's Life & Music: Grainne Hambly
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 3
We're still playing O'Carolan's music more than 350 years after he was born. These are simple, elegant melodies that are as popular today as then. Learn about Carolan and the other harper bards and the times the lived in in this hands-on workshop that will add a new piece to your repertoire. Taught by ear with written music distributed at the end of the workshop. The festival will be having a Carolan Marathon as its special event Saturday night after the concert to mark Carolan's 350th birthday.
Celestial Harmonies of Harps Long Ago: Christa Patton
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 9
Composers of the 16th and 17th centuries created music for harp using the psalmodic tones because they believed the harp affected one's senses. Come, experience this yourself, with Christa as she leads you through the exquisite music from the Medieval, Baroque and Renaissance periods. Sight-reading ability is required in this workshop to find the power of the Harmony of the Spheres.
Celtic Connections: Rachel Hair
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Salon 1
Take a trip in this workshop and find the many smaller countries that have a Celtic Connection with wonderfully vibrant music. Explore the music of lesser known Celtic nations like Cornwall, Galicia and Asturias. What gives their music their special flavor? Find out! There are other ample opportunities at the festival to explore the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland. Tunes will be taught by ear with music provided at the end of the workshop.
Celtic Service: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Level: Any When: Sun. 8-8:45am   Where: Room 6
Debbie is our official pastor in residence! Join her for her Sunday morning worship service and make "a joyful noise".
Chinese & Japanese Court Music Rediscovered : Tomoko Sugawara
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 10
Discover how the court music of the ancient Tang Dynasty (700-1000CE), which disappeared from China, survived in Japan as the Emperor’s court music, Gagaku. These manuscripts were taken to Japan, where they survived. Scholars have transcribed them into Western music notation and now some of these simple and beautiful pieces have been arranged for harp by Tomoko, who presented and performed them last year at Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Be part of the revival of this ancient music. Suitable workshop for beginners who can sight-read.
Chinese Music & Modes: Joy Hoffman
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg.-Int. When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 3
Students may use any type of harp for this class. See how much fun it is to play Chinese music. In this workshop, you'll learn the Pentatonic theory of Gong Diao ( 宫调), Shang Diao (商调), Jiao Diao (角调), Bian Zhi(变徵), Zhi Diao (徵调), Yui Diao (羽调), Bian Gong (变宫) and how to play the scales and chords of each mode. These five-note modes in Chinese music give this music its particular flavor and distinctive sound. There are no wrong notes in these modes! Joy will teach the class to play a canon together using these five-note modes.
Chinese Music 201: Joy Hoffman
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 3
Using the five-note modes from Joy's other Chinese music workshop (Gong Diao, Shang Diao, Jiao Diao, Bian Zhi, Zhi Diao, Yui Diao, Bian Gong), you'll learn more mode music theory in this workshop. Besides reinforcing the scales, Joy will teach the cadence of Chinese music using some basic exercises. Find out how to arrange a melody "to sound like Chinese music".
Christmas Carol Creativity: Kim Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Salon 4
Known for her soulful Christmas recordings, Kim will share some secrets for arranging Christmas music. She'll cover classic and lesser-known carols and give you solid tips on choosing intros & chords patterns, substitute harmonies, creating medleys and other innovations that will breathe new life into standard carols. Sample tunes will be on lead sheets.
Christmas Latin Style: Nicolas Carter
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 10
Here is an entertaining way to spice up your Christmas repertoire! Nicolas Carter has put a new twist on beloved North American traditional Christmas pieces so you can wake up your listeners with joyful rhythms and a delightful surprise to the ear. Nicolas makes all his workshops FUN, so he'll show you how to play "Joy to the World” as a Colombian Cumbia, a very popular Latin dance music style that will truly bring joy to the song. Feel free to bring a recording device.
Classical Music for Cross-Strung: John Metras
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 7
Find out how you can approach taking keyboard, lute or guitar pieces and adapt them to the cross-strung harp. The essential chromatic nature of the cross-strung harp make it for playing classical music. John will use music from the 15th to the 19th centuries as examples. Ability to read music is recommended and participant harps are welcome but not required. Participants are invited to bring in music to see how it could be adapted on the cross-strung harp.
Composing in a Traditional Style: William Jackson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 1
What makes a new composition sound traditional? This is a comprehensive look at the structure of traditional music and the modes and rhythms used from Gaelic song, strathspeys to jigs and reels. Learn how to use a simple chord progression as the basis for developing melodic ideas and then expand these melodic ideas into a larger work.
Contemporary Carolan: Kim Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room Salon 4
Almost everybody loves the music of 17th century Irish composer Turlough O'Carolan. Take a cue from Kim's inventive experience, and find out how o add a modern twist to some of those pieces. Using a few of his well known and lesser known pieces, discover how to create intros, interludes, rhythmic motifs and alternative harmonies for making contemporary arrangements of these timeless melodies. Lead sheets will be used. A basic knowledge of chord structure helpful.
Core Arpeggios: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 5
Fully explore the benefit of working with four note arpeggios as part of a comprehensive exercise and dexterity program. Delve deeply with Maeve and find how using them in different shapes will help stretch fingers and break muscle memory while increasing dexterity over the full range of your harp. By using unorthodox shapes and different inversions, arpeggios can be the most beneficial exercise that will help free up your hands and navigate your instrument more freely.
Creating Music for Therapeutic Settings: Lisa Lynne
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 4
Come to this workshop to learn some useful harp chords and progressions for therapeutic environments and how to create patterns for improvising in any key. Learn the how-tos of choosing or creating appropriate music for many situations in healthcare. We will share ideas and experiences in playing for hospitals or hospices, and look at the current climate and opportunities for training and tips for playing music in medical settings. This workshop leverages the 15+ years Lisa has in the Harps for Heart program she created which places harps in hospitals and medical facilities.
Cross-strung Harp 101: John Metras
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 7
Dive into the fascinating world of the chromatic cross-strung harp and learn about its history in its various forms. John will play musical examples showing how the instrument can play music of all styles with all the “juicy” chords that are often eliminated in lever harp playing. You will have the opportunity in class to try playing melodies, chords and scales on a cross-strung harp. Bring music stand and a cross-strung harp if you have one. Cross-strung harps will be provided if needed but please contact John in advance and let him know you're taking this workshop. All ability levels welcome.
Cuban Rhythms: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Thurs. 3-4:30pm   Where: Room 3
Add some famous Cuban rhythmic styles to your repertoire. From the "Cha-cha-cha" to the "conga," Cuban rhythms are beloved around the world. Bring your harp and wear comfortable shoes to learn some very easy pieces and even learn some basic dancing steps! Easy printed music will be provided. You will also learn about the famous romantic Cuban "bolero" music style for a contrasting touch!
Cut the Crap!: Deborah Henson-Conant
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 5
It's All in Your Head. Many of us have those inner voices in our heads which affect both our ability to play and even our ability to learn. You have to learn to deal with all the self-doubts so that when you sit down to practice you're not berating yourself. Do you find yourself in a creative ‘stutter’ where you stop yourself because you think you hear a wrong note? How about always comparing yourself to somebody else? Take the first step in cutting the crap that's in your head that's holding you back.
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Updated 04/07/20
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