Somerset Folk Harp Festival
Somerset Folk Harp Festival

Event Dates July 16-18

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Ready, Set, Record: Aryeh Frankfurter
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 4
Whether it's to share your music on the Internet or just to listen and learn about your own playing or needing a demo to promote yourself or wanting a final packaged CD to sell, this workshop will touch on all the basics of recording you and your harp. Aryeh will go over the basic essentials of creating a good recording for the harp as well as the stages of recording. Learn about tracking, mixing, mastering, and producing a final packaged CD, as well as options for selling digital downloads. Come with your questions and get answers.
Rhythm and Groove Workout: Mairi Chaimbeul
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Sun. 9-10:30am   Where: Room 7
Rhythm and groove drive what makes music sing, and makes us feel good, and makes other musicians extra fun to play with. Màiri will show you exercises and tools for focusing on rhythm and groove in your playing. You’ll learn about syncopation, poly-rhythms, odd meters, using your metronome creatively and ways to split grooves between the hands.
Rhythm Workout: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 5
maeve gilchistRhythm 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
Type: Level: When: Sat. 5:30-7pm   Where: Room Morris Room
A sumptuous meal and a chance to have a relaxed conversation with friends and listen to live harp music. Must purchase tickets in advance. $50 (tax & tip included)
Saturday Night Concert: Event
Type: Concert Level: Any When: Sat. 7:30-9:30pm   Where: Salon 2/3
Performers to be announced
Scotland's West Highlands: Mairi Chaimbeul
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 9
Old melodies from the West Highlands and Islands are inextricably linked to the sound of the bagpipes, fiddle and Gaelic mouth music. In this workshop, Màiri will teach one or two of these beautiful, unusual tunes by ear and work through different ways of enhancing your expression of these simple melodies. Learn how to add nuance with your phrasing, articulation and touch, some ornamentation that imitates the fiddle and pipes, and techniques for emphasising the melodic phrasing with your left hand accompaniment.
Scottish Session: Friday: Event
Type: session Level: Any When: Fri. 10pm   Where: Room 11
An "after hours" activity hosted by the Scottish Harp Society of America
Scottish Traditional Ornamentation: Mairi Chaimbeul
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 11
Ornamentation is at the heart of the sound, feel, and character of traditional Scottish music, and how we play dance tunes on the harp evolved from listening primarily to the way that these are played on the pipes and fiddle. Fiddle ornamentation is driven by bow and left-hand finger position, and pipe ornamentation through the constant stream of air being pushed through the chanter. On the harp too, there are possibilities and limitations dictated by the quirks of our instrument. Learn to mimic and play these ornaments and bring vitality and authenticity of your sound. In this workshop, you’ll learn by ear, learning a melody in which to incorporate some of the key ornaments, and exploring different contexts to gain confidence in adding this vital character to your playing.
Secrets to Effective Practicing: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 5
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.
Shetland to Scandinavia Connections: Ailie Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 11
The Shetland Islands, located between Scotland and Norway, have a rich Celtic and Scandinavian heritage. Come with Ailie and explore Shetland's rich music traditions and find out what makes for its distinctive sounds and techniques. Ailie will teach traditional and contemporary music from Shetland and explain what makes this area unique.
Simplify Your Music: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   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: Sat. 3:30-5pm   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!
Size Doesn't Matter: Kim Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Thurs. 3-4:30pm   Where: Room 11
Got a small harp and are stuck for what can be done creatively with it? Kim has got just the tips and tricks you'll want to make appealing, performable arrangements with rhythmic left hand patterns, strategic chord voicings and cross-hand techniques that showcase the full potential of a smaller harp. You'll get sample tunes on lead sheets, so reading ability is not essential. Bringing small harps is encouraged (bigger harps will be asked to stay in the back).
Small Harp, Big Impact: Edie Elkan
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Thurs. 1-2:30pm   Where: Room 11
No matter what level of player you are, and what size small harp you have, come to this workshop to understand how making beautiful healing music has such a big impact in various therapeutic situations. Besides giving you an overview of the therapeutic harp field, Edie will have you making the most of your strings with an introduction both to noodling (improvising but far less scary) and playing by ear. Best if harps are tuned in C. Participants for the whole workshop will receive a discount coupon for Edie's Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About, compendium of over 100 healthcare-tested tunes and music theory.
Snappy Strathspeys: Rachel Hair
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Thurs. 1-2:30pm   Where: Salon 1
Nothing says Scottish more than a sprightly, snappy strathspey! Come and join Rachel as she takes you through the unique rhythms of these traditional tunes from her home land of the West Highlands of Scotland. Rachel will also give you some 'tips of the trade' in how to develop patterns for effective left-hand accompaniment for them.
Somerset's Got Talent: Event
Type: Concert Level: Any When: Fri. 10pm   Where: Room Fest. 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!
Spanish Dances of the 17th century: Christa Patton
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sun. 9-10:30am   Where: Room 8
Dance music was learned in Spain in the 17th century as a way of becoming familiar with the harp, guitar or keyboard. Pieces could be played simply at first, each being only a few measures long, but could also be expanded into compositions with infinite variations. Christa will teach some basic dance pieces and their chord accompaniment and then lead you through making up a few variations of your own. Reading ability required.
Storytelling with Your Harp: Nicolas Carter
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 10
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, others to be announced
Sunrise Yoga 1: Shyamali Hauth
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Fri. 8-8:45am   Where: Room 5
60 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
60 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 3: Shyamali Hauth
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Sun. 8-8:45am   Where: Room 5
60 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 Music: 101: Aryeh Frankfurter
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 4
Traditional Swedish folk music offers a refreshing addition to expand your repertoire. It is at once familiar and accessible while also somewhat exotic with some challenging harmonic and rhythmic structures. Aryeh will introduce a variety of Swedish tunes which introduce the beauty and peculiarity of the genre such as Brudmarsch (Bride March), Långdans (Long Dance) and Gånglåt (Walking Tunes). Tunes will be taught by ear with music given out. Like it? A second workshop in more Swedish music follows on Saturday.
Swedish Polskas: Aryeh Frankfurter
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 3
Get deeper into Nordic music with this workshop focusing on Sweden's peculiar and most popular folk dance called the polska (not to be confused with a polka!). Learn 2 beautiful polskas by ear and get familiar with their triple meter time signature. Written music will also be provided and you'll learn musically appropriate chords and left hand arrangements as well.
Swing into Merengue: Eduardo Betancourt
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 8
Merengue is a musical form extended through all the Caribbean. As a dance craze, merengue acquired popularity in Caracas during the 1920s. It is rhythmically different, though, from Dominican merengue. Find out how! Learn the swing of Venezuelan merengue in 5/8. This lively music with its syncopated rhythms will get both hands working together. Learn a popular merengue tune with Eduardo.
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Updated 02/02/20
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