Welcome to our announcements section!  Here you will find short announcements about local harpers, harp events, performance opportunities, and new product releases. If you have an announcement that would be of interest to Pacific Northwest harp players, please contact  info@pugetsoundfolkharpsociety. org  for submission guidelines.

PSFHS Picnic. Early last spring, before "all this", the Puget Sound Folk Harp Society reserved its usual picnic spot in Ravenna Park for the annual picnic. Even after the quarantines, we hoped that by fall King County would enter phase three and we could host a group up to 25, outdoors, distanced, BYO lunch and masks. The recent upswing in COVID cases has caused the State to issue new guidelines, and currently King County gatherings are limited to just 5 people. But, we will continue to be hopeful until next month's update... we'll let you know on September 1 if the picnic is on or off for this year.

Web Site Crash. In July reigningharps.com suffered a serious web crash that appeared to originate at the host server. We were able to get pages back fairly quickly but lost navigation buttons and many links. We think most everything is restored now, but would appreciate your help... if you visit the web site and come across any dead end pages or links that take you nowhere, could you please report them? Thanks so much!

Two Free Video Lessons.  The Harp Gathering harp festival is sharing some of this year's virtual workshops with everyone on YouTube. You can view Denise Grupp-Verbon teaching Finger Puzzles and Shapes at the Harp at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2hok3Cjb_Y. And you can view Nicholas Carter teaching La Paloma at https://youtu.be/BRIWom7LQnU. Learn more about the Harp Gathering and their plans for next year at www.harpgathering.com.

New Lever Harp Book.  Josh Layne has just finished a new book!  "Transcriptions for Lever Harp" consists of music by Bach ('Toccata' from the Toccata and Fugue, 'Aria' from the Goldberg Variations, 'Prelude No. 1'), Handel (an obscure but beautiful 'Chaconne'), Naderman (the first two of his 7 Progressive Sonatas), and Godefroid (his take on 'The Last Rose of Summer'). The PDF is available on his website at https://www.joshlayne.com/store/?product=transcriptions-for-lever-harp-volume-1-downloadable-sheet-music-pdf. He has also recorded a short video talking about the book and playing through a small section of each of the seven pieces: https://youtu.be/uNyShG1uSq4.

Verlene Schermer Workshops.  Verlene will be offering 7 workshops in August; you can read all about them at her website  https://verlene.com/calendar.html#Aug.

New Harp Composing Book.  Yolanda Kondonassis has released a new book "The Composer's Guide to Writing Well for the Modern Harp". The book features 22 detailed chapters on a full spectrum of topics, including technical logistics, chromaticism, notation, context, resonance management, special effects, and more. You can see details and ordering info on her website at https://www.yolandaharp.com/for-composers. [Editor's Note: If you look at the third heading down on the above web page, you'll see "Special Effects" and a detailed note about my husband Bob Zawalich and his work. Other than being very proud of him for his cooperation with Ms. Kondonassis, I want to assure you that neither of us, nor Reigning Harps, derive any profit from the sale of her book.]

Andreas Vollenweider.  The innovative harpist and multi-instrumentalist shares a message of hope and gratitude in these confusing times, and also shares some improvisational music in a mini-concert from his home studio in Switzerland. See https://youtu.be/XzZm0OhWrOQ.

Magical Strings on Bandcamp.  Magical Strings (Phil and Pam Boulding) now have a Bandcamp site where you can listen to and purchase many of their albums, including some which have never before been released as digital downloads. Check it out at https://magicalstrings.bandcamp.com/.

Interesting Musical Combination.  We received a lovely note from Hilary de Vries of Black Isle, Scotland, about her new recording. She says "it is called ‘Cherry Blossom After Rain’ and is a collection of music I composed in response to a series of poems by poet Robert MacLean. The music draws on the Japanese setting of the poems and my own Scottish background and is played on wire-strung harp." You can find more information on her  website at www.hilarydevries.com.

 7/2020

Harpers Keep Doing It For Themselves!  Another wonderful video compilation by Harps Northwest (which sounds like it should be from around our way, but is actually in northwest England!) who put together a video of 109 harp players doing Sylvia Woods' arrangement of Pachelbel's Canon. Even if you think of this as "an old chestnut" it is inspiring to see so many players of so many differing abilities coming together like this! See https://harpsnorthwest.org.uk/harps-for-harmony.html.

And For the Rest of Us Too!  Harps for Hope is an Irish organization that has put together a wonderful series of videos of Irish harpers playing Irish traditional tunes to comfort all during the pandemic. It culminates in a compilation of 200 student players (mostly children but not all) doing a cheerful rendition of Fanny Power, a tune we all think of as a happy one. You could spend a long time at this web site! See  https://www.harpireland.ie/showevent/harps-for-hope/.

Update on Playing "Together" on Zoom, Skype, etc.  It seems that, due to sound latency, the one thing that works for harp circles, bluegrass jams, Irish sessions, or other group playing, is for everyone to be muted except for a lead player (this lead position can rotate, of course). Each player  follows along with the lead, basically playing a duet. No one but the lead can be heard by the other  players. A few people have reported some success using the program JamKazam with the video turned off, sound only, IF the other players live  nearby. But for now, for harps at a distance, the only choice seems to be the one leader at a time model. (PS - the compiled pieces, like the Pachelbel and Fanny Power above, are recorded separately to a "click track" then edited together to make a video/audio presentation.)

Lovely Video by Josh Layne.  Josh says "Two weeks ago I spent the weekend recording and editing a video of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Farewell to Stromness. Written for solo piano as part of the 'Yellow Cake Revue' (a set of songs plus two piano interludes that Davies wrote to protest a proposed uranium mine on the Orkney islands in 1980) it's a beautiful piece that I think sounds wonderful on the harp. Since I, too, live on an island I thought it was fitting to pair it with footage I've filmed over the past few years of the beautiful Vancouver Island shorelines and the birds and animals that live here. Very happy with how it turned out!" See  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK_5aewygVI&feature=youtu.be.

Dusty Strings Open By Appointment.  Dusty Strings Music Shop is now open by appointment for instrument purchases and rentals and will continue to offer curbside pickup for pre-paid items. To schedule an appointment, email music@dustystrings.com and include your name and phone number. They will then contact you to schedule a 30-minute appointment or a  pickup time.

Brand New CD for Lisa and Aryeh. While in lockdown at home in Oregon, Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter have completed a new recording called Harmony House. For sound samples and ordering info, see https://lisalynne1.bandcamp.com/album/harmony-house

6/2020

Somerset Class.  Laurie Riley writes to say she "will be offering a virtual "Play Pain Free for a Lifetime" workshop for the Virtual Somerset Harp Festival. It's wonderful that Somerset has gone on line this year, enabling attendance at the workshops and concerts, without having to travel! Laurie will also have a virtual vendor booth, with a short video introducing the Smart Stand for small harps. Many vendors will be doing these virtual booth tours. This is going to be fun! Sign up at http://www.somersetharpfest.com."

Balcony Concerts.  Seumas Gagne wrote to tell us that he is doing live harp and song  sunset concerts from his balcony most evenings and sharing live on Facebook. If you visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/seumasgaelicmusic you'll see instructions to connect and some previous concerts too.

Edinburgh Harp Festival.  The very first harp event that went on-line and also made itself FREE still has workshop and concert videos available to see and hear at https://www.harpfestival.co.uk/the-videos. They also have a very polite "ask" for donations, if you can, to support both the artists and the festival itself. These are some very useful classes and lovely performances; so enjoy them while they are still on-line.

Looking for a Challenge?  Some of you may remember Luke Brechtelsbauer who lived in Seattle for a time and used to busk with his harp at the Pike Place Market. He's been centered in New Orleans for a while now and is a frequent instructor at the New Orleans Pop & Jazz Harp Festival. This year they put one of his lever harp workshops on YouTube, and the good thing is you can repeat it over and over! If you'd like to learn Luke's lever harp arrangement of the "Muskrat Ramble", please see https://tinyurl.com/lukebmuskrat. (To hear the slow version of the whole tune first, go to about 8:05 in the video, then go back to the beginning to learn step by step.)

New YouTube Channel and New Harp Model for Magical Strings.  Phil and Pam Boulding have started a new channel to share the music they've been creating during stay-home time. You can see it at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoypSPgpjYGe7gBribby0yw. You'll notice their hour-long Mothers' Day concert is one of the selections; during that concert Phil featured a new harp model, which is a more compact version of the Concert Oladian.

Harps in Ashland OR?  We've had inquiries from some folks looking for harp activities in the Ashland area. They've had no reply from the Rogue Valley Harp Circle listed in our Harp Circles section. Does anyone out there know of any good harp contacts or groups currently active in or near Ashland? Please reply to mdianem@seanet.com and I'll get it to those who have asked. Thanks!

Inspiring Video!  Now here's something that a lot of us probably wish we had done, especially on those days when we feel we just never get any better at playing our harps. This YouTube video documents a brand new harper's progress, with a quick clip every week for a year! It's enough to motivate a person to go practice!  See https://youtu.be/Oq37YOlSVhc.

On-line Lessons.  Tracey Rose Brown, who usually teaches at Artichoke Music in Portland OR, is accepting harp students for online tutoring at this time. She is comfortable teaching various genres and has toured as a full-time feature harp player for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Contact her at tbharpsong@gmail.com or 503-439-6237.

Harp Seattle 2020.  Dusty Strings has decided to cancel the in-person event and instead offer a "virtual" Harp Seattle this October! They are working out the details and technical aspects of delivering the same quality of experience online, and this year's scheduled presenters will still be taking part, including Kim Robertson, Harper Tasche, Nicolas Carter, Rachel Hair, Monica Schley, Jessica Gallo, Cathy Madden, and more! Details about the registration process for this virtual event will be forthcoming soon.

5/2020

Harp Circle Changes.  Due to canceled meeting sites, etc., there are changes to the usual monthly harp circles in our area:
-  Eastside harp circle meets the second Wednesday of the month. They are currently experimenting with a Zoom meeting; please see the Calendar.
-  Pacific Northwest Wire Harp Circle will be on hiatus until at least October. For updates on the schedule, please contact Nan at nan@twelfthmonth.org.
-  Olympia area harp circle usually meets from 2-4:30 on Second Saturdays at the Tumwater Timberland Library. Please contact Jean at jeanmstewart@comcast.net for updates on the status of the meetings.
-  Third Sunday Harp Circle usually meets at the Mountlake Terrace Library, 2-4:30 pm. The library will be closed through the summer. For details, contact Diane at mdianem@seanet.com.
-  Vancouver/Portland area Harp Circle usually meets the fourth Friday of every month, from 10 am to noon, at the Cascade Park Community Library, 600 NE 136th Ave, Vancouver WA 98684. Please contact Donita Andrews at donita_andrews@yahoo.com  (note underscore: donita_andrews) or call 360-689-5607 for updates on the status of the meetings.

Stepping Out. A member of the internet's harplist posted this quick and fun piece he composed during the quarantine... he performs from his driveway at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tguW7UYeecY&feature=youtu.be.

Dusty Strings Helps With PPE.  The Dusty Blog has a wonderful story of how they helped organize the creation of critical face shields for local medical workers. See  https://manufacturing.dustystrings.com/blog/making-protective-face-shields-hospital-workers.

Making Virtual Music Together.  Dusty Strings also organized an on-line play-along of The Water Is Wide, a lovely tune which expresses the sadness of separation, and the creativity needed to get together! Beautiful to listen to, and fun to watch for the familiar faces. See https://manufacturing.dustystrings.com/blog/quarantune-final-project.

Dusty Strings Music School.  The music school and retail shop remains closed but some teachers (Molly Bauckham, Tudy McLain, and Monica Schley) are offering on-line harp lessons. You can schedule weekly, bi-weekly, or occasional "one-off" lessons. Rates range from $40 for thirty minutes to $80 for one hour depending on the teacher. Please email music@dustystrings.com with your phone number and the name of the teacher with whom you'd like to begin lessons, and they will contact you as soon as possible to answer any questions and enroll you.

Learn a Tune by Ear.  For his 184th (!) episode of Harp Tuesday, Josh Layne experiments with teaching a tune by ear. If you'd like to learn Down By The Salley Gardens with Josh, please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WgCbshpFUQ.

4/2020

Dusty Strings Closed. Dusty Strings Retail Shop and Music School sent out a note saying they were closed until further notice due to the stay-at-home order. All concerts, workshops, lessons, etc., canceled or postponed.

Long Distance Lessons.  In this time of "social distancing" more people are turning to Skype and other platforms for music lessons. Josh Layne of Victoria BC has been teaching via Skype for 10 years and has shared some of his experience in a YouTube video to help others who might want to begin teaching this way; see the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcJakZTWdqc&feature=youtu.be. Another resource discussing the same topic is presented by Noa Kageyama (the "Bullet Proof Musician") and Tim Topham in a talk about how to optimize your on-line lessons; see https://bulletproofmusician.com/tim-topham-on-how-to-maximize-your-effectiveness-when-teaching-lessons-online/.

And Long Distance Festival.  We were so disappointed to hear that the Edinburgh Harp Festival had been canceled, but then came this great announcement! "THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL HARP FESTIVAL IS GOING ONLINE! We are thrilled to announce that we WILL have a harp festival from the 3rd-8th April - the VIRTUAL Edinburgh International Harp Festival! Whilst we cannot all be together this year in Edinburgh, the EIHF still wants to give you the chance to experience some happy harping. From the evening of Friday the 3rd of April until the evening of Wednesday the 8th of April, we will be uploading daily videos. You will be able to learn some tunes/skills with our 1 pm harp tutor videos AND every evening at 7.30 pm you will be able to enjoy some fantastic harp music videos. No registration is needed, the videos are free, and will be available to view after they are premiered meaning that they will be accessible in all time zones. Videos will be viewable on our: website at https://www.harpfestival.co.uk/, YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/edinharpfest, or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/EdinburghInternationalHarpFestival/." What a wonderful and generous thing to do!

And Long Distance Harp Music.  Beth Stockdell, editor of the Folk Harp Journal, sent out a message from the ISFHC promoting World Harp Healing Hour. Play some harp music every Friday evening at 6 pm ET (or in your own time zone) until further notice to send some positive intent into the world, and to foster a sense of unity during this time when we can't get together to play.

And Long Distance Harp Ensembles.  Italy's Celtic Harp Orchestra posted an inspiring video of them playing, in living rooms, back yards, and balconies. Yet edited together, it is a touching ensemble piece, especially given the frightening situation in Italy.  As they posted "We are locked down because of the coronavirus quarantine, yet we won't stop playing together!" You can see this video at
https://youtu.be/lHwq2sAluSI?fbclid=IwAR0KZJ2XUNzL-HEXc2PG64_ctRv-IxQ50QxlVbSyJRuX4hhovABsjIeNwkM.

Interview with Lynne Aspnes.  Noa Kageyama does an interesting session with harpist Lynne Aspnes on the particular value of gesture and breathing for harp players and the application to other instruments. See  https://bulletproofmusician.com/lynne-aspnes-on-singing-breathing-and-the-value-of-cultivating-a-diverse-range-of-musical-influences/.

3/2020

PSFHS Winter Folk Harp Festival.  42 harpers had a delightful weekend at the 34th annual Winter Folk Harp Festival at the beautiful Seabeck Conference Center in early February. We enjoyed two fun all-plays from our Harpers’ Songbook with Anna Jenkins; learned more technique and the history of a Polish mazurka and a lullaby from our two new group tunes with Harper Tasche; gained confidence and learned new strategies to calm down the jitters from performance anxiety with Kathy Wilmering; explored how and when to add a little beauty and sparkle to our favorite Celtic tunes using ornamentation with Judith Cummings; and discovered ways to get more out of our practice time by starting off with easy-at-first warm-up exercises with Harper Tasche’s ‘Finger Warmers’. One companion joined us for our meals and for the very fun céilidh Saturday night. Hope to see everyone at the Summer Retreat in June on Whidbey Island! To see a group shot of the happy harpers and a gallery of nice photos from the weekend, see www.pugetsoundfolkharpsociety.org.

Job Opening at Dusty Strings.  Earlier this month, Dusty Strings announced an opening at their main office in Interbay (near the Ballard Bridge in Seattle). The job consists of  purchasing, coordinating repairs, and customer service. Please see the full job description and the application process at https://manufacturing.dustystrings.com/about-us/employmentcontact.

Harp Classes in Olalla WA.  The School of Magical Strings is currently offering beginning and intermediate classes in Celtic Harp in Olalla. The five-week term begain February 25 but perhaps an interested student could arrange joining late by contacting the instructor, Philip Boulding. Classes are held Tuesdays at the “Magic Hill” Studio on the Kitsap Peninsula (10 minutes from the Southworth ferry dock). The beginning class meets from 6:00 – 7:30 pm, with the intermediate class scheduled for 7:30 – 9:00 pm. The method of instruction is based upon a very practical ‘hands-on’ approach to learning by ear. The class fee for the five-week term is $150 plus a $10 registration fee. Harps are available for rent or purchase. For more information please write to info@magicalstrings.com.

Aryeh Frankfurter and Lisa Lynne Workshops.  Aryeh and Lisa teach beginners' workshops where they provide harps. These are often held in libraries; some are free to attend. Here is the list of workshops, plus a few concerts, in March. Please e-mail Lisa at lisa@lisalynne.com for complete information if you are interested in one of these events:  Mar 05 - Lincoln City Cultural Center; Mar 06 - Manzanita; Mar 07 - Lake Oswego at Mary's Woods; Mar 08 - Corvallis Folklore Society Concert & Workshop; Mar 11 - Lake Oswego; Mar 12 - McMinnville house concert; Mar 13 - Maupin Library; Mar 14  - Dalles Library; Mar 26 - Tillamook Library; Mar 27 - Tillamook Library; Mar 28 - Seaside Library; Mar 29 - Newport Library.

Nicolas Carter Next October.  Nicolas Carter, South American Harpist, is planning on being in the Seattle area October 8 and 11, 2020. He would be available to perform at a house concert, present a workshop, etc. Born in Minnesota and raised in Paraguay where he learned to play the Paraguayan harp, he creates unique performances blending his musicianship with his skills as a theatre artist and storyteller. If you think you might be interested in hosting such an event, you can find more info and see videos at www.nicolascarter.com.

Perfect Example of Harp Scam.  One of our alert readers forwarded this message she got in reply to her "harp for sale" ad. Those selling harps should beware of and ignore anything that sounds like this!

"From: CaseyJ Lunsford
Subject: Re: harp

I am sincerely happy you still have it available for sale, i have gone through all the information about it on the page it posted and am very pleased with it present condition, Please kindly keep it away from other buyers and consider it sold to me. I am a serious buyer and i just contacted the shipping company whom will come to your door step for the pickup, we reached an agreement which is okay with me, I will issue out a check in your name tomorrow and send it out to your address ,the check will cover your selling price and my shipper shipping charges, as soon as you receive the check please take it to your bank for clearance. The check is 100 % okay and will definitely clear fine for the full amount issued on it, Please i need you to get it ready for shipment as soon as you have the check, as soon as i read from you the check is cleared in your bank i will inform the shipper to come for the pickup, i will be very glad if you prepare the bill of sales and every document ready, when my shipper arrived for the pickup they will pickup the documents for me. Finally as soon as you have the full fund in your account please deduct your selling price and have the balance transfer to the shipper on the information i will forward you when is time... the shipping charges should be transfer to the shipper without no delay and all transfer charges is to be deducted from my money. More so, I will need the requested below details for pickup and payment arrangement: Full Name; Full Address; City; State; Zip Code; Country; Mobile Number; Agreed price."

2/2020

Welcome to the Board!  The Puget Sound Folk Harp Society is delighted to announce that Anna Jenkins, of Shoreline WA (formerly of Kirkland) has accepted our invitation to join the Board of Directors. Anna will be taking the vacant position created when founding director Harper Tasche stepped down last May. Anna is very active in the area's harp community; currently she is the long -time leader of the Eastside Harp Circle, she teaches lever harp, composes and arranges for harp (just finished 3rd book of harp duets with Sharon Thormahlen called "Beautiful Dreams for Twin Harps"), arranges for and performs with folk/pop trio Nasty Woman, performs with The Band of Poets (a group that combines music with spoken word), and performs in Resonance Harp Duo with harpist Mona Terry. And after all this, she reports enjoying playing tunes with friends and family whenever the opportunity arises! Welcome, Anna!

Interested in Hosting a House Concert?  Nancy Thym, historical harps, and her partner Thilo Viehrig , historical violins, may be in the Seattle area at the end of February, and if so would be open to doing a house concert. If you would be interested in hosting this duo, you can see an (older) poster at http://www.tapaconline.org/shows/14mar2012/thyme-viehrig that gives a good explanation of their program. If you'd like to speak to Nancy about details, contact her at harfe@gotisches-haus.com

Christina Tourin in Vancouver/Portland.  Christina Tourin, Founder and Director of the International Harp Therapy Program, Rainbow of Sound, Emerald Harp, and so much more, will be in the Vancouver WA/Portland OR area from March 11th-14th. You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity with Christina as she offers:
- March 11th Vancouver WA - private lessons ALSO, an afternoon demonstration at a local Senior Facility using Celtic tunes suitable for Retirement Homes, Assisted Living, Hospice, etc. For more information and reservations contact donita_andrews@yahoo.com or 360-689-5607.
- March 12th Lake Oswego OR - private lessons, workshop, and an evening concert. For more information and reservations contact www.houseconcertslo.com or mariannedecher@comcast.net.
- March 13th and 14th Vancouver WA - March 13 evening concert with Celtic Muse and March 14 morning workshop. For more information and reservations contact: Good Health Naturally at 360-693-7781.
(Addresses for all lessons, workshops, demonstrations, and concerts will be provided upon registration.)
Christina brings years of experience and expertise to the harp community. If you are pursuing, already enrolled, need a reboot, or just have questions about therapeutic harp,  this is the experience for you. Hope to see you in March!

Harp Workshop in BC.  Registration is now open for the 21st Annual Spring Celtic Harp Workshop is April 17 & 18 in West Kelowna BC , this year with with Sharlene Wallace. The inimitable Sharlene Wallace from Toronto will guide the workshop on the theme of LIGHT! Begins on Friday April 17, with a full day's activities, including a evening concert with Sharlene, Caroline Mackay, and Aaron Ord. For a registration brochure, contact Caroline Mackay at caroline@highspiritsmusic.com.

New Irish Harp Curriculum.  For the first time ever, Ceol Cascadia Irish Music Summer Camp (July 19th thru 25th this year), at Evergreen State College in Olympia, will have Irish Harp classes. Eimear Coughlan from Ireland will be on hand this year to teach Intermediate and Advanced harp all week. More information regarding the camp and registration can be found at http://www.cascadiairish.org/classes/harp.

Harp Accompaniment Example.  This video is an interesting example of how very simple harp accompaniment (only two chords) can back up more complicated melody, in this case, a bluesy jazzy song. Multi-instrumentalist and music teacher Edem Garro, of Omaha, Nebraska, composed the song “What Drives You” for a contest (now over) sponsored by Lincoln automobiles. Edem did not win the competition, but finishing in the top four of 1600 entries is a victory in itself! See the performance at https://youtu.be/FOZF_JjVvZY.

New Album from Spookytree.  Debra Knodel & Jane Valencia have released their first album in a very long time! WINTERGIFT is a celebration of the beauty, magic, and mystery of winter. This album is a compilation of beloved winter season tracks from across their albums, plus five brand new never-before-heard tracks. Featured are nylon-strung and wire-strung harps. You can listen to the album entirely for free at: https://janevalencia.bandcamp.com/album/wintergift.

Harp Ad Scammer.  The latest scam approaches on the "Harps For Sale" ads was by someone called Paul Vintner. Beware!

Forest Halls Radio.  Episode 42 of Jane Valencia's streaming radio show features the mystery and magic of the Bear in Celtic folklore. The second hour is a re-airing of Episode 21, "New," which focuses on music sent to Jane from the artists themselves. The harp appears in the music of Maire Ni Chathasaigh with Chris Newman and with the Casey Sisters, OMNIA, Spookytree, Kris & Lark, Diana Stork and Portia Diwa, and a bardic poem composed and spoken by Kevan Manwaring. The show streams Sundays from noon to 2 pm at http://voiceofvashon.org/forest-halls-celtic.  You can  listen to a program there "On Demand" for the following  two weeks.

Summer Festivals Gearing Up.  It's already time to think about summer harp festivals! The Harp Gathering in Ohio in May has its 2020 website up at www.harpgathering.com. And July's Somerset Festival in New Jersey has their 2020 site up at www.somersetharpfest.com. Enjoy browsing!

Planning Way Ahead.  Golden Bough is planning another Celtic Music Cruise to Alaska, June 12 - June 19, 2021. The Celtic Music Cruise to Alaska is a private group excursion, sailing on the Holland America Cruise Line out of Seattle on June 12 and returning on June 19. While at sea, there will be workshops, concerts, dances, events. While in port you will be free to explore Alaska and all its beauty. Featuring, along with Golden Bough, Magical Strings (harp and hammered dulcimer); Jim Hinton (folklorist, traditional singer, composer); Cheryl Hinton (museum anthropologist and lecturer); Sam Keator (group dancing). The above artists will be teaching workshops on Celtic harp, Celtic fiddle, penny-whistle, hammered dulcimer, guitar, mandolin, bodhran, singing, and dancing. For more info, see http://goldenboughmusic.com/AlaskaCelticCruise2021.htm.

1/2020

Harp Tech Appointments.  Steve Moss will be performing harp regulations in Seattle from February 5th-10th. Contact Susi Hussong for more information and an appointment by phone at  206-783-9493 or email at harp4u@comcast.net.

High Spirits Music Camp in April.  Caroline MacKay writes to say "save the dates" as  her annual Spring Retreat (with the inimitable Canadian Harp goddess Sharlene Wallace teaching) will be held in West Kelowna BC on Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18th, 2020. The workshop will include a concert on the Friday night. All details will follow in due course.

UNESCO Recognizes Irish Harping.  Peter Berry writes to share some uplifting news: Irish harping has been recognised by UNESCO as an important symbol of Ireland’s living heritage. The musical instrument has been added to the organisation’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In a statement, UNESCO said: “Irish harping is at the heart of the identity of the people of the island of Ireland. The harp is Ireland’s national symbol and has been played for more than 1,000 years; its bell-like sounds and music captivate all those who hear it and are celebrated in Irish mythology, folklore and literature.”

New Cycle of MHTP Training Begins.  A new cycle of CMP Modules starts on March 13, 2020. The Onsite Partner will be Saint Francis Hospital in Federal Way, Washington.Please visit www.mhtp.org site for important instructions and details about everything to do with registering for these Modules. All registrations are handled directly through the MHTP website.

Job Opening at Dusty Strings. Dusty Strings Music Store and School has an opening for a sale associate specializing in harps. The right person for this position will have excellent communication skills, enjoy working with the public, and complement our current team of friendly and knowledgeable staff. A general knowledge of string instruments combined with a specialized background in harps, a drive to learn, and an ability to easily engage with customers is a must. Apply in person Mon.-Sat. 10:30 to 6:00, or Sun. 12:00 to 5:00, at Dusty Strings Music, 3406 Fremont N., Seattle, 98103.

PSFHS Festival Waiting List.  The 2020 Winter Folk Harp Festival at the Seabeck Conference Center is full with a short wait list. If you would like to be on the wait list, please complete a registration form (get one at www.pugetsoundfolkharpsociety.org ) and send it, along with a check, to the address on the form. Your check will not be deposited unless you are guaranteed a spot on the participant’s list. Please contact Sally at highlandharps@cnw.com if you have any questions.

This page was last updated on August 02, 2020

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