Our presenters

Meet our in-person and online presenters, a veritable who’s who of the harp world.
We are so proud to host these incredible talents for Somerset Folk Harp Festival 2024

Debbie Brewin-Wilson

Bio

“My Muse, tho’ hamely in attire, May touch the heart.” said Robert Burns. There is nothing ‘hamely’ about Debbie Brewin-Wilson’s artistry as a musician and singer, and the combination of these skills with her passion for Robert Burns results in music that echoes ‘the wood note wild’ as Burns describes the natural and unpretentious singing he liked best. An experienced performer and teacher, Debbie’s repertoire also includes many traditional Scots ballads and Scottish jigs, reels, and strathspeys as well. She is also an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, her current congregation being in nearby Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. To date, she has three solo CDs, Dream of Caledonia, Roots and Wings, and Love Came Down at Christmas, a mix of original and traditional songs. Cofounder, with Kathy DeAngelo of the Harper’s Escape, she was on staff at the Escape for all of its 32 years and co-authored the Escape tunebooks, Ten Years of Tunes, Another Ten Years of Tunes and The Parting Glass). Debbie has also published three song and harp arrangement collections: Burns for Bairns and Wood Notes Wild and her newest Harp of My King, a compilation of Celtic Tunes New & Old for Christian Worship, which also includes a CD companion. She created our Basically Beginning program in 2009. Beginners will be particularly glad to have a chance to be in-person in her workshops this year. She will also be doing the Beginner group for the Harpers’ Escape at Somerset Sunday July 21. Check out an interview with Debbie on the HarpSong® Podcast Presenter Website: Debbie Brewin-Wilson

WORKSHOPS

Beginner’s Basics| Type: Hands-On | Level: Novice-Beg. | When: Live Zoom 07/18/24  1:00pm-2:30pm

New harpers or those who need a refresher should take this workshop so Debbie can guide you through the basics of hand position, placing, and playing. You’ll get lots of hands-on pointers and exercises to help you grow comfortable with your instrument and learn to play more fluidly.

Beginner’s Chord Basics| Type: Hands-On | Level: Novice-Beg. | When: Live Zoom 07/18/24  3:00pm-4:30pm

If you’re having trouble getting your hands to cooperate with forming chord shapes, Debbie will demystify chord structures and reinforce the harp fundamentals you’ll need to become more fluent in playing chords. She’ll show you how to play your favorite tunes using a “lead sheet” , which is just music that displays a chord letter rather than using the bass clef for the left hand.

Beginner’s Coordination Basics| Type: Hands-On | Level: Novice-Beg. | When: Live Zoom 07/19/24  3:00pm-4:30pm

Feeling that you can play one hand or the other but not both at the same time? This is common for beginning players. Debbie will review some of the basics to lay the groundwork, then focus on pointers, to help you get both hands working together. She’ll teach a tune to reinforce good playing technique with both hands, while reviewing chord structures at the same time.

Celtic Service| Type: Lecture | All | When: Live Zoom 07/21/24  8:00am-9:00am

Debbie is our official pastor in residence! Join her for her Sunday morning worship service and make “a joyful noise”.

Harpers’ Escape Add-On | Type: Hands-On | Level: Beg. | When: Live Zoom 7/21/24 9:30am-5:30pm

New format for this year’s Escape! In the first session, everybody learns the same “group” tune and adds accompaniment suited to their level. Then each group will learn additional tunes, learned by ear, and get left-hand tips and tricks for the accompaniment in the second session. This is an Add-on ticket with your festival ticket or can be purchased as a Stand-Alone ticket. People who are signed up for this will get access to download audio files to listen to in advance. Debbie will be leading the Beginner group.

Nicolas Carter

Bio

At home in two cultures, Nicolas Carter was raised in Asuncion, Paraguay, where he learned to play the Paraguayan harp and later in Minnesota. His principal teacher Isidro Caballero (Father to Paraguay’s harp genius Nicolasito) taught him in the traditional folk style of learning by ear, an “ideal way for me to learn, every note I have to hear and feel it.” Playing professionally since 1988 in a variety of settings, as accompanist to singer Lizza Bogado, to playing in a various trios and groups from “Son del Sur” (Song from the South, Latin-American folk music), and “Los Amigos” (traditional Mexican music) to ” Nube” (New World Fusion). As a solo harpist, Nicolas has had concerts in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Nicolas combines his passion for music with a deep interest in theatre, and indeed, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Direction from the University of Minnesota. His CDs, more than a dozen, reflect the several musical idioms from Latin to Fusion in which he is fluent. After living in Central America for a few years, Nicolas is now is based in White Plains NY and gigs all over the United States. Check out Nicolas’ interview on The HarpSong® Podcast. Presenter Website: Nicolas Carter

WORKSHOPS

Introduction to Paraguayan Music| Type: Hands-On | Level: Adv. | When: Live Zoom 07/18/24  3:00pm-4:30pm

We will explore the fascinating Paraguayan syncopated rhythm that combines 3⁄4 and 6/8. We will work on the melody pattern in relation to the various Paraguayan harp playing techniques. Music scores will be available, but we will learn in the traditional Paraguayan style, by observation, listening and hands on. This workshop is recommended for very advanced students.

 

Latin American Music for Celtic Harp| Type: Hands-On | Level: Int. | When: Live Zoom 07/19/24  3:00pm-4:30pm

Become immersed in the rhythms and various styles of music included in Nicolas’ and Sharon Thormahlen’s book of Latin Harp music, “Melodias del Arpa”. Join Nicolas as he guides you through different rhythmic exercises that will give you more confidence learning these Latin American songs.

 

Latin American Style Waltz: “Luna LLena” (Full Moon) | Type: Hands-On | Level: Int. | When: Live Zoom 07/20/24  3:00pm-4:30pm

In this fun workshop, learn about the distinct characteristics of waltzes in Latin American music and how specific Latin harp techniques will make you sound like an entire band. Nicolas will teach the music “by ear” and will have a music score available. He will introduce a beautiful waltz by Digno Garcia, one of Paraguay’s most influential harp composers.

 

Wedding Repertoire: “Entre Ramis” (In Between the Branches)| Type: Hands-On | Level: Beg.-Adv. | When: Live Zoom 07/19/24  9:30am-11:00am

Learn Nicolas’ beautiful composition, “Entre Ramas” (In Between the Branches). Perfect for an outdoor wedding or just to play in the park on a sunny day. Originally composed as a remembrance of Bernard Schrumpf in his older years picking the most delicious cherries in the backyard of his french countryside home, up on the tree with the smile of a child.

Sarah Deere-Jones

Bio

An outstanding performer of traditional & original music for harp and voice, Sarah has been a guest artist at the major harp festivals around the world. Often accompanied on guitar by husband Phil Williams, her music is an exciting blend of subtle & dazzling arrangements of traditional tunes and haunting singing of folk songs. She was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Music but has ever since, sought to break down the barriers between the two genres, and her research into the medieval harp in England has reclaimed the harp’s role as a wholly appropriate instrument for English traditional music. Born and brought up in Dorset, her material is mostly traditional from southern England, but with many of her own songs and tunes, and occassionally some Celtic jigs & reels. As well as performing traditional & medieval music, Sarah also gives lectures about the history of the harp around the world.

WORKSHOPS

Medieval Harp in England Lecture (Part 1) with Sarah Deere-Jones | Type: Lecture   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
In this illustrated talk Sarah Deere-Jones will walk you through her unique research into the iconography of the harp in Medieval England. Part 2 of this workshop is hands-on, “Medieval Harp Technique”, which will take place during the next workshop class period. To get the most out of these workshops Sarah recommends taking them together.

Medieval Harp Technique (Part 2) with Sarah Deere-Jones | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Play like a Medieval harpist! In this hands-on workshop you’ll learn some of the performance techniques seen in the iconography presented in Sarah’s, “Medieval Harp in England” Lecture. The two sessions are separate but part of the same subject so you are encouraged to attend both workshops.

Music for Harp from Cornwall UK – The 4th Celtic Nation with Sarah Deere-Jones | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.-Adv.   | When: 7/18/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Learn Sarah’s own arrangements of traditional tunes from Cornwall, UK.

Regency Music for Lever Harp with Sarah Deere-Jones | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Learn unique Regency repertoire that Sarah has discovered and published. The Regency Era is beloved for its writers like Jane Austen and Lord Byron and its composers Beethoven, Rossini, and Liszt to name a few. And it has certainly gained popularity in recent years with shows like, “Bridgerton”. Add these unique song discoveries to your repertoire.

Concert: Friday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 7:00pm
Christa Patton, Sarah Deere-Jones, Rachel Hair, Adriano Sangineto

anna dunwoodie

Bio

We are so thrilled Anna is joining us this year in-person. Traveling from her home in New Zealand where she performs, composes, teaches, and leads ensembles Anna is passionate about helping you get to know your instrument, so you can share the fun sooner! In 2023 she became the artistic director for Harp Fest NZ 2023, the first harp festival in New Zealand going strong since 2004. Anna holds a Bachelor of Music (in Harp Performance) at Auckland University School of Music, and went on to gain a Diploma of Teaching, majoring in Music and English, as well as a  Diploma of Children’s Literature. Anna believes that lessons should be informative, practical, varied and have an element of interest and fun. She has been involved in arranging harp ensembles, harp weekends and retreats since 2001.  As a teacher, she feels that it is her goal to help develop a lifelong love of music. She is a big believer that everyone should join an ensemble. “The fun really starts when you bring your love of music and share it with other musicians.” 

Anna believes that becoming successful as a harpist takes dedication, diligence  and perseverance – there ain’t no magic fairy dust here, honey!

Presenter Website: https://www.annadunwoodie.co.nz/

WORKSHOPS

A Round and A Round with Anna Dunwoodie | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-11am
You may have sung rounds like, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” at summer camp, but have you ever tried playing a round with other harps? Here’s your chance! Make a full and fun sound together. A great ice-breaker for harp circles, schools, and community harp gatherings. You will be given sheet music with your part and at certain points Anna will ask you to move your seat to your left and then count back in. If you are comfortable with others playing your harp you will have a chance to try out each other’s instruments. Otherwise you can stay seated and try different parts of the round.

I Hate Sight Reading with Anna Dunwoodie | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Anna will give you an overview of how to tackle your sight reading from the very first steps up to the level at which you want to be able to play. You will enjoy the freedom it gives you to open and play a new piece of music with a high degree of accuracy. Then you can consider if you like the sound of it (or not!) and whether to take the time to learn it. Enjoy the freedom sight reading can give you.

Kiwi Celt Tunes with Anna Dunwoodie | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Explore the unique sounds of ‘traditional’ and contemporary songs and tunes from New Zealand. NZ was a landing point for many people following the Celtic diaspora and the exploration of the far corners of the globe in the late 1700s. They brought with them the music of their homelands, and over time, while we still have a strong and keen Celtic backbone, that music has taken on a Kiwi flavour that stands out as different from the contemporary or traditional music of the Celts. And we are proud of it!

Start Memorizing with Anna Dunwoodie | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 9:30-11am
Build up to confident memorizing by starting with tunes that have great patterns throughout. Memorizing music can be a skill that some people think they were not given, but maybe, just maybe, it’s about having access to music that invites you to learn it. Anna will show you how to memorize music by using logical hand shapes, patterns, and tunes that stick in your head. You will look at several examples of music that have all the right components for being straightforward to memorize. This workshop is aimed at the early intermediate harpist but if you can get your fingers around 3 note chords and 4 note scales comfortably this workshop is for you.

Edie elkan

Bio

Sometimes a particular experience will connect with existing skills in such a way that a person will embark in an entirely new but inspired path. Such is the case for Edie Elkan, who with a strong background in music, experience as a teacher of piano, and an early grounding in playing the harp, found herself first, returning to the harp to assuage her own grief, and then discovering that the harp was being used in medical environments which in turn led her to found Bedside Harp in 2002, a New Jersey, hospital-based harp therapy program. In 2005 Elkan was recognized by the Society for the Arts in Health Care for her work at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s cancer center, where, in a research project, she discovered that patients who listened to live harp music while receiving chemotherapy were less anxious that those patients who did not. Edie has published Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (about Harp Therapy) and her master’s thesis: The Edie Elkan Method of Teaching Folk Harp as an Instrument of Healing. Also available is a 4-set CD Oodles of Noodles, a recording of a workshop on ‘noodling’ presented at Somerset. Listen to a panel discussion with Edie and other members of the Therapeutic Harp community on the Impact of Covid on Therapeutic Music Presenter Website: Edie Elkan

WORKSHOPS

Pachelbel Boot Camp with Edie Elkan | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Want beautiful hands? This hands-on workshop on technique will help you look and sound better as you play more safely and learn this well-loved progression.

Playing More with Less with Edie Elkan | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv   | When: 7/20/2024 3:00-4:30pm
What if…you had only 10 strings to play your tunes on? In this workshop we’ll free ourselves by learning to play tunes by ear, chord and even improvise using only a few strings. You’ll learn melodic and harmonic “secrets” which you will then be able to easily expand on to play on 23, 36 and even 48 strings!

Lunchtime Concert: Friday 2023 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 11:30am-12:15pm
Bedside Harp Harp Ensemble under the direction of Edie Elkan

Shelley Fairplay

Bio

From her first glimpse of the harp at age of three, Shelley Fairplay was itching to play. At nine, after time learning piano, her harp journey began. Soon she was playing in harp ensembles, regional and county orchestras, and providing music during theatre performances. From Cardiff, Shelley achieved her BMus and was invited to play a solo with the University Symphony. From the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Shelley received her Masters and soon after that her teaching diploma. Shelley is a fully qualified Primary School teacher with two years of classroom experience where she ran choirs, school orchestras, recorder groups and music workshops. She also has an on-line teaching program at StartHarp.com. where she is known as a thorough, fun and compassionate teacher. Shelley brings passion and energy to all things harp—and fun. This is her third year presenting at the festival and first time in-person at Somerset. Performer Website: Shelley Fairplay

WORKSHOPS

Chasing the Bunnies + Other Technique Glitch Fixes with Shelley Fairplay | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/27/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Need help with technique? Learn instantly usable hints and tips for your harp playing. Join Shelley as she looks at the most common technique pitfalls and explores how you can train your fingers to do as your brain is bidding. You’ll learn tips like: how to minimize buzzes, enhance your sound, take care of your body, and find shapes with greater ease.

Lap Harp Olympics with Shelley Fairplay | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/28/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Unlock the full potential of your lap harp. Join Shelley as she helps you explore the endless possibilities of your harp. Get more comfortable with your harp as you discover: techniques to enhance your playing, tips on arranging for a smaller harp, creating mesmerizing soundscapes for improvisation and storytelling, and igniting your imagination with a wide range of chord ideas for delightful accompaniments.

Shaping Melody and Making Your Harp Sing with Shelley Fairplay | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/27/2024 10:00-11:30am
Make your harp sing. Shelley has always been taken by the fact that the direct translation of the Welsh term “Canu’r Delyn” is “Sing your Harp” rather than to ‘Play your Harp’. Let this phrase inspire you to look at ways to play with beautiful shapes and phrasing in your melodies. You will learn some beautiful Welsh melodies so you truly can “Sing the Harp”!

Stories with Harp for Young Children with Shelley Fairplay | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/28/2024 10:00-11:30am
Lean Shelley’s favorite tried and tested tricks she has used over the years when working with young children and telling stories at the harp in schools and at community events. You will be given musical examples for ‘The Fairy Harp’ and ‘The Billy Goats Gruff’ along with experimenting and exploring ideas for other traditional folk tales. These examples can be used to create group participation in many situations. Many of the ideas covered will be transferable to other composition and arrangement work on your harp.

hannah flowers

Bio

As a performer, singer, and educator, Minnesota-based harpist and singer Hannah Flowers seeks to imbue her music-making and teaching with effortless grace and fluidity. Known for her sensitive and lyrical accompaniment of songs as well as her syncopated and rhythmic accompaniment of dance tunes, Hannah enjoys exploring the full depth of traditional Irish music and song. Apart from being an active performer at festivals and events around the country, Hannah is a sought-after harp and song teacher both privately and at the Center for Irish Music in St. Paul, a non-profit community music school dedicated to handing down the tradition. Hannah holds a B.A. in music and a first class Honours M.A. in Irish Traditional Music Performance from Maynooth University in Ireland. Performer Website: Hannah Flowers

WORKSHOPS

Elegant Contemporary Irish Tunes with Hannah Flowers | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/27/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Learn some modern tunes to expand your repertoire! The tradition offers a wealth of newly composed tunes that are beautiful on the harp. In this workshop, Hannah will teach several modern Irish tunes that are not dance tunes but suit the harp perfectly. There will be a waltz, a slower tune, and a tune or two out of the ordinary.

Harpist’s Guide to Fearlessly Learning by Ear with Hannah Flowers | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
Ghost your music stand! Do you feel intimidated by the idea of learning a tune by ear? Or have you ever wanted to learn a certain tune but then discovered there was no sheet music available for it? Join Hannah Flowers, a convert to the art of learning aurally, for a workshop that will empower you to begin your journey toward learning fearlessly by ear.

Irish Songs and Dance Tunes: Exploring their Intertwined World with Hannah Flowers | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/27/2024 10:00-11:30am
Which came first, the tune or the song? Delve into the fascinating connections between Irish dance tunes and songs in this workshop. Hannah will guide you through several tunes that share melodies with Irish songs, teaching the melodies and sharing their corresponding songs. Come prepared to enjoy some Irish songs and learn their corresponding melodies on the harp.

Sing and Play with Hannah Flowers | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Int.   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
Do you love to sing? And you do you also play the harp? Learn how to sing and play at the same time, or improve your harp accompaniment skills. Hannah will offer specific ideas for accompaniment patterns to get you started, and then you will explore improvisational techniques and strategies together in a supportive and encouraging environment.

martha gallagher

Bio

Martha’s harp journeys have been filled with joy, wonderment and delight. Her diverse music background of being lead singer in a rock band and a blues/jazz band, a classical flautist with a symphony, a guitar-playing folk singer/songwriter beginning at age 12, and love of Celtic music infuses Martha’s harp playing with a wide variety of genres, sounds, and energies. She has appeared with such luminaries as The Chieftains, as well being featured on BBC-TV, public radio stations across the US and at festivals all over North America.  Martha finds joy in life through music and storytelling, sharing it through performances, recordings and inspiring workshops.

Performer website: adkharper.com

WORKSHOPS

Beginner’s Blues with Martha Gallagher | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Beg.-Int.   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-11:00am
In Zen Buddhism, the term “beginner’s mind” refers to one having an attitude of openness, being enthusiastic and lacking preconceptions when learning. This workshop uses the beginner’s mind philosophy to introduce you to the wide, wild world of playing the Blues on the lever harp. Have fun exploring the structure of the music and improvisational elements and learn how to create a groove, using rhythmic and percussive elements. Discover how to work those lovely levers with ease. All this and more – with attitude! You’ll learn a Blues tune, with sheet music to take home, as well as loads of tools and techniques that you can continue to explore long after the workshop is over. Be sure to bring a harp that has at least F and B levers. Beg. Intermediate Level Players with little or no Blues experience

Create Rhythm & Harmony with the Seasons with Martha Gallagher | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Journey through the seasons and explore the natural rhythms and music that is in harmony with them. If you love having a season-inspired piece or two to play in your repertoire, this workshop will delight and inspire you, whether you are a performer, a therapeutic musician, or the casual harper who plays for their own enjoyment. Martha will give you a special sampler of tasty tidbits from her virtual harp retreat Seasons of the Harp™️. Any Level

Invite Delight with Martha Gallagher | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Join Martha and welcome joy into every aspect of your music and playing. Don’t lose touch with why you fell in love with the harp in the first place and get caught up in “thumbs up”, counting and getting the notes right (whatever the heck that means – lol!). Make beautiful music and love doing it. In this workshop Martha will help you explore and find fruitful ways to let go of those excuses that hold you back. Embrace playing with joy, freedom, and delight! Any Level.

Mindfulness and the Art of Improvisation with Martha Gallagher | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Being able to improvise easily and comfortably is a vital and wonderful skill to have. The great news is that improvisation doesn’t have to be complicated. Martha will show you a variety of simple, creative “tools” for improvising, using melody, harmony, tempo, and rhythm. You’ll take home skills, tools and ideas to help you become comfortable taking your music off the page and into the moment. Any Level

Concert: Sunday Afternoon 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/21/2024 12:00pm
Cindy Shelhart, Martha Gallagher

eileen gannon

Bio

Eileen Gannon is an acclaimed Irish harper based in St. Louis, MO. Eileen has one solo album, The Glory Days are Over, and appears on albums with Tommy Martin, Eimear Arkins, Bernadette NicGabhann, and Robert Ryan. With a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from St. Louis University, and a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from University of Limerick, Eileen is the director of St. Louis Irish Arts, the largest Irish music school in the US. She has toured and performed all over the world and is a regular tutor at international festivals. Eileen’s is known for her unique accompaniment style and clear tone. Her teaching style focuses heavily on technique and allows people at any point in their musical journey to learn something valuable. Performer Website: Eileen Gannon

WORKSHOPS

Dancing the Tune with Eileen Gannon | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Learn a slip jig and a simple dance step to go with it! No prior dance experience necessary. Wear comfortable shoes!

Harp in Traditional Irish Sessions with Eileen Gannon | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
How to make the harp an asset to your local session by learning to navigate the musical and social scenarios that may present themselves.

Hop Jig with Eileen Gannon | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-11:00am
Learn about the unique rhythm of hop jigs, and how to build an appropriate left hand or two handed accompaniment for them. We’ll learn a tune called “Sick and Very Bad”

Turlough O’Carolan with Eileen Gannon | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/18/2024 1:00-2:30pm
We’ll learn a lesser known composition of Turlough O’Carolan’s and discuss what music and life was like when was living and composing, and how that informed his work.

Concert: Thursday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 7:00pm
Eileen Gannon, Robbin Gordon-Cartier performs and receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Kim Robertson, Angel & Luis Tolosa

maeve gilchrist

Bio

As a harper, composer, and producer Maeve Gilchrist thrives on innovation and improvisation – what she fondly calls “my musical patchwork quilt.” Steeped from an early age in both classical and traditional music, Edinburgh-born Maeve Gilchrist discovered jazz in her late teens which she pursued at Berklee School of Music in Boston subsequently becamming Berklee’s first lever harp instructor. Maeve has stretched the traditional boundaries of the harp taking the Celtic (lever) harp to new levels of performance and visibility. She tours internationally as a band leader and composer as well as belonging to a number of innovative collaborations including the prestigious Silkroad Ensemble, Arooj Aftab’s Vulture Prince Ensemble, progressive folk-quartet DuoDuo (featuring percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, cellist Natalie Haas and Yann Falquet of Quebecois super-group Genticorum) and a more electronics based project with Nashville—based bassist Viktor Krauss. She has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the historic opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, Esperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka, Ambrose Akinmusire, Darol Anger and Kathy Mattea. Listen to an interview with Maeve on the HarpSong® Podcast. Performer Website: Maeve Gilchrist

WORKSHOPS

Chord Variation with Maeve Gilchrist | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int./Adv.   | When: 6/30/2024 1:00-2:30pm
In this workshop Maeve will use a series of simple chord progressions to demonstrate inversions, variations and interpretation. The ‘voicing’ of a chord (the order in which we place our chord tones) can make a phenomenal difference in coloring an arrangement and making an elegant harmonic line. Learn some exercises to become more fluid in your understand of inversions and then have some fun as Maeve guides you through different ways to interpret these chords. Block chords, arpeggiated chords, inverted arpeggios, divided-hands playing! There are so many ways to re-imagine a simple chord that will give life and movement to your arranging!

Effortless technique I with Maeve Gilchrist | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Beg.   | When: 7/7/2024 10:00-11:30am
Maeve will guide you through a series of exercises and practice suggestions honing in on the three facets of a well-rounded technique: linear work (scales), shape work (chords and arpeggios) and independent hand and finger exercises. Deconstructing as need be, she’ll present an accessible approach to technique with the idea that you will garner an understanding of how to develop these ideas in your own practice in a way that’s tailored to each unique musical vision. Kickstart your practice regime with a bucketload of practice tips and concepts that will keep you going for years to come!

Effortless technique II with Maeve Gilchrist | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int./Adv.   | When: 7/7/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Maeve will guide you through a series of exercises and practice suggestions honing in on the three facets of a well-rounded technique: linear work (scales), shape work (chords and arpeggios) and independent hand and finger exercises. Deconstructing as need be, she’ll present an accessible approach to technique with the idea that you will garner an understanding of how to develop these ideas in your own practice in a way that’s tailored to each unique musical vision. Kickstart your practice regime with a bucketload of practice tips and concepts that will keep you going for years to come!

Jig-Time! with Maeve Gilchrist | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int./Adv.   | When: 6/30/2024 10:00-11:30am
In this workshop Maeve will use snippets of her composition Catriona’s Jig to explore 6/8 and 9/8 groove, how to achieve the ‘groove’ of jig-playing and ways to manifest lightness in the melody and support in the accompaniment. This is a great workshop if you want to specifically work on this piece of repertoire or simply want some tips that you can apply to all compound time signature pieces!

robbin gordon-cartier

Bio

We are proud to be honoring Robbin this year with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Joyful, centered, and a consummate musician are words that describe the presence and playing of Robbin Gordon-Cartier. Dedicated early to the study of the harp, Gordon-Cartier spent long summers as a young harpist in Ireland studying at the Royal Irish Academy. Since then she has appeared nationally and internationally everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the National Symphony of Santo Domingo, at events honoring Lord Guinness, Cicely Tyson and Sir James Galway. She plays frequently at churches and gospel events. Robbin teaches an extensive and very successful harp program in the East Orange School District’s Cicely Tyson’s School of the Performing Arts where she works to bring the harp to the attention of a wide variety of young people, busting stereotypes. Her Cicely Tyson harp ensemble will be playing in our Friday lunchtime concert. Robbin led our Youth Harp Program in 2014 and 2015 and led the Teacher’s Symposium for 2 years. She has joined the faculty of Kean University in Union, NJ as Concert Artist/Adjunct Harp Faculty. Robbin has a CD out, Just As I Am. Check out Maureen’s interview with Robbin on The HarpSong® Podcast. Presenter Website: Robbin Gordon-Cartier

WORKSHOPS

Classical Favorites on the Lever Harp with Robbin Gordon-Cartier | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.-Adv.   | When: 7/18/2024 1:00-2:30pm
It is always fun to play music that people recognize and enjoy! Robbin will focus on some classical pieces by the Masters (Beethoven, Bach and Mozart) to help expand your repertoire including pieces normally played on pedal harps. You will work through quick tips to using piano scores and making the parts lever harp friendly.

Get Your Best Sound: Improve Your Tone with Robbin Gordon-Cartier | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-11:00am
Harpists sometimes take pictures where they are looking through the strings on their harps. The pictures are cute but what about the sound of the instrument. Harps will give you a beautiful, rounded and full sound if you are willing to work to produce it. In this class we will focus on how to get the best sound through the strings. We will work through exercises to improve your tone, finger placements and facility to playing your music as smooth and clear as possible.

Lever It Up with Robbin Gordon-Cartier | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.-Adv.   | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
Are you limiting your playing to one key, no accidentals and certainly no lever slides? Come learn how to get the most out of your levers. This is a hands on workshop designed to get you playing in many keys, modulating and even jazzing it up!!

Performance Ready with Robbin Gordon-Cartier | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Make sure that your repertoire is ready to be performed at anytime. Sign up for this group masterclass to perform your piece and receive helpful tips to put the finishing touches on it! Let’s work through playing in front of an audience and experimenting with ways to make your performance better in real time!!

Concert: Thursday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 7:00pm
Eileen Gannon, Robbin Gordon-Cartier performs and receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Kim Robertson, Angel & Luis Tolosa

Lunchtime Concert: Friday 2023 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 11:30am-12:15pm
Youth Harp Program Under the Direction of Dominique Dodge and The Cicely Tyson School of the Arts Under the Direction of Robbin Gordon-Cartier

Rachel Hair

Bio

As well as being an acclaimed harper and dynamic teacher, and with five cd’s and four books of music, Rachel has contributed energetically during this difficult time to promote harp music events and classes on-line. Her youtube harp workshop series HARP at HOME, won her a second nomination as Tutor of the Year in the BBC Alba Scots Trad awards. In early April 2020 Hair coordinated the move of the Edinburgh International Harp Festival online, giving harpists around the world another way to engage in concerts and workshops, earning the Festival a further nomination as Event of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad awards. Hair, who grew up in the Highlands, normally divides her time between Glasgow and the bewitching Isle of Man where she is exploring the music particular to the island. In the words of an Irish Music Today review of her newest album, SPARKS (with guitarist Ron Jappy) “Rachel helped to establish a modern harp sound with her trio line-up, but on her fifth album she’s gone back to her roots, back to basics, back to the music she most loves to play. Together with guitarist Ron Jappy, Rachel presents traditional tunes from Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man, that mysterious land of mermaids, Manx cats and millionaires.” We’re catching her ‘live’ on-site this year thanks to her US touring schedule. Check out the HarpSong® Podcast interview with Rachel. Presenter Website: Rachel Hair

WORKSHOPS

Scottish Sessions for the Scared with Rachel Hair | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Ever fancied joining in a scottish music session with your harp but you’ve had the eek factor? Well fear not, Rachel is here to help introduce you to the curiosities of the Scottish session. She’ll explore session repertoire, accompaniment ideas and what to do when you don’t know the tune or the key! No previous session experience is required to take part and hand-outs will be provided in advance.

The Scottish Bard: melodies of Robert Burn’s with Rachel Hair | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/19/2024 9:30-11:00am
Robert Burns is Scotland’s most famed bard, with his poems and songs known worldwide. But did you know that most of his songs were composed using traditional melodies? In this workshop Rachel will take you beyond the hits and teach you some of the melodies behind some of his lesser known gems, whilst giving you insight into the songs that Burns wrote using them. Tunes will be taught by ear, but music provided in advance.

SuperManx with Rachel Hair | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/18/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Curious about this tiny Celtic Nation and it’s music? With it’s music stuck (like it’s position in the Irish Sea) stuck somewhere in the middle of the Irish and Scottish traditions, the claasagh (Manx Gaelic for harp) has become one of the most popular Celtic instruments to learn on “the rock”. Rachel give you insight into the island and it’s super Manx culture whilst teaching you some of her current favorite tunes, both old and new. Tunes will be taught by ear, but music provided in advance.

Wistful Waltzes with Rachel Hair | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Int.   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-11:00am
With her nack of picking the most satisfying, feel-good tunes for her workshops, Rachel will soon have your fingers swirling round yet more wistful waltzes. She’ll be choosing them from a variety of traditions and we’re sure they’ll be a wonderful addition to your repertoire – just perfect to play when your session needs a breather from it’s fast-paced jigs and reels. Tunes will be taught by ear, but music provided in advance.

Scottish Ceilidh Dance and italian Traditional Dancing with Rachel Hair and Adriano Sangineto with Event | Type: Dance   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 9:00-11:00pm
Leave your harp well out of the way for this workshop as Rachel and Adriano teach you some of the most popular Scottish Ceilidh dances and Italian Traditional dances. Dress for moderate level exercise and wear comfortable shoes!

Concert: Friday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 7:00pm
Christa Patton, Sarah Deere-Jones, Rachel Hair, Adriano Sangineto

Grainne Hambly

Bio

From her expressive renderings of airs to dynamic dance tunes, Grainne Hambly demonstrates ‘absolute mastery of the Irish harp’. Her accompaniments while firmly traditional, incorporate and celebrate contemporary rhythms with dexterity and flawless taste. Popular worldwide, Grainne has three solo CDs, two music books and a collaborative CD with William Jackson. Gráinne has developed a popular online programme of workshops as well as participating in many online performances. With a master’s degree from Queens University in Belfast and years of workshop experience, her teaching skills match her playing; she is patient, clear, and sharp-eyed. She teaches at most of the major summer schools in Ireland and is in much demand here when she’s on tour. She was also on staff at You Gotta Have Harp’s Harpers’ Escape Weekend. She will be teaching at Somerset’s Sunday Harper’s Escape program. For the advancing student, eager to take on challenges, (warning: she makes it look easy!) Gráinne is a great choice. We’re glad to be able to host Gráinne on-site this year and see her in-person! Listen to an interview with Gráinne on The HarpSong® Podcast. Presenter Website: Gráinne Hambly

WORKSHOPS

Irish Slow Airs with Gráinne Hambly | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.-Adv.   | When: 7/20/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Anyone who has ever heard Gráinne play an Irish slow air, knows that these beautiful pieces defy written music transcription. Gráinne will take you through the fine art of interpreting and learning an Irish slow air and getting the nuances that make these pieces among the most challenging in the Irish tradition to get just right. This workshop is taught by ear and no written music will be provided. Recording devices will be your off-line memory.

Slides & Polkas & More Irish Dance Tunes with Gráinne Hambly | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.-Adv.   | When: 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Broaden your repertoire of Irish dance tunes, with some slides, polkas, barndances and other less widely played tunes. Grainne will teach some of these easy melodies, along with some tips on appropriate ornamentation and how to add lift and rhythm through interesting accompaniment and syncopation. This workshop is ideal for both intermediate and advanced players, as the melodies are not difficult to learn but playing them up to speed can be a fun challenge! Music taught by ear, no sight-reading necessary.

Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies with Gráinne Hambly | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
Between 1808 and 1834 poet and song-writer Thomas Moore (1779-1852) published 124 ‘Irish Melodies’ – songs with original lyrics set to existing airs, many of which came from the collections of Edward Bunting. His songs, arranged for piano and voice, were hugely popular internationally at the time and are still well-known today. In this workshop we will learn a little about Thomas Moore himself and his connections with the harp (through his adaptation of harp tunes in his compositions and his own performances of the songs with harp accompaniment), as well as learning to play a couple of these beautiful melodies (instrumental versions, but lyrics will also be provided). 

Concert: Saturday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 7:00pm
Sue Richards, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson, Deborah Henson-Conant

Harpers’ Escape Play-Along with Event | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any  | When: 7/20/2024 9:00-11:00pm
Join Kathy DeAngelo, Grainne Hambly, William Jackson, and Debbie Brewin-Wilson as they lead the Harpers’ Escape Play-Along. Various selections from the nearly 30 years of Harpers’ Escape tunes will be played. Join the circle or just sit and relax and enjoy.

Harpers’ Escape Sunday Add-On (Advanced) with Gráinne Hambly | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Adv.   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-5:30pm

Deborah henson-conant

WORKSHOPS

Thursday Add-On: Create a Performance that CONNECTS with Deborah Henson-Conant | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2021 1:00-5:30pm
A Hands-On Workshop in Musicality and Audience Connection with Grammy Nominated Harp Performer Deborah “DHC” Henson-Conant! Presence, Musicality, Audience Connection – these are what make a performance truly memorable – and they have nothing to do with the notes. Join Deborah Henson-Conant for an inspiring, empowering hands-on workshop to kickstart your Somerset weekend.

CALIFYPSO! A Musical Game for 1 – 100 players with Deborah Henson-Conant | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 9:30-11:00am
Learn the basics of Ensemble Improv in a musical game you can play with anyone – musicians and non-musicians alike. You’ll learn the basics of the game, and how to lead it with players of varying abilities.

Dominant Chords: Unleash The Fancy Factor! with Deborah Henson-Conant | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 1:30-3:00pm
Get ready to level up your musical game! Join us in this workshop and unlock the secret to turning the dominant chord into a superstar! First you’ll learn how to spot the dominant chord in any song – then discover some cool tricks and embellishments you can use to make it sound juicier and richer! And hey, ever wonder what chords like G7(b9) or Gsus mean? We’ve got you covered! This class is a blast for anyone who wants to add some fun and flair to their chords. You’ll learn how to jazz it up, make it fancy, and add some serious pizzazz.

Powerful Harmonic Progressions: with Deborah Henson-Conant | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/20/2024 1:30-3:00pm
Knowing a few great harmonic progressions lets you improvise on a moment’s notice, whether it’s to extend a tune, bridge between tunes or have a foundation to create a new song. In this class you’ll learn three powerful harmonic progressions you can use to open the door to a moment of improv.

Sing & Play Harp: Basic Accompaniment Patterns & Fills with Deborah Henson-Conant | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
Every guitarist who sings learns to use picking patterns and fills to support the music. These patterns are both predictable and creative. In this class, you’ll learn the basics of picking patterns, how to learn to sing with them, where to put fills (and what to put IN your fills) and what to do when you have repeating choruses.

Concert: Saturday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 7:00pm
Sue Richards, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson, Deborah Henson-Conant

Bio

As our 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, It’s always great to have Deborah Henson-Conant on our faculty to challenge you to boldly go where no harper has gone before. Since one reviewer called her the ‘wild woman of the harp,’ Deborah describes herself as being “cross-genre: jazz-pop-comedy-blues-flamenco-celtic.” During her impressive career which includes a CD that was nominated for a Grammy, Deborah has brought the harp out of the demure background and into the electric limelight! Mixing music and theatre Deborah performs solo or with a symphony with equal ease. When orchestrating her own music, she often engages symphonic musicians in unexpected ways. Writes another reviewer “her life, her shows, her instrument, her workshops, and her music are all about transformation.” Listen to an interview with DHC on The HarpSong® Podcast.

Presenter Website: https://www.hipharp.com/

ann heymann

Bio

Ann Heymann is harpist, historian, teacher and one of the leading figures in the modern international revival of the early Irish harp. A 2021 Somerset Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ann is a pioneer in the wire-strung harp revival. Even after her 50+ year career she is still finding new and exciting avenues of discovery and even rediscovering works that she has previously recorded. Ann is extremely generous with her research and music. She is a firm believer that the center of research for the Early Irish Harp needed to be in Ireland so she inspired Siobhan Armstrong to start The Historical Harp Society of Ireland.

Presenter Website: https://www.annheymann.com/biography.htm

WORKSHOPS

David Kortier: An appreciation with Ann Heymann | Type: Lecture   | Level: Any   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
Some 50 years ago, our 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Ann Heymann, “got the bug” to play the wire-strung harp. [See her Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony HERE]. After working with harpmaker Jay Witcher (another Somerset Lifetime Achievement Award recipient) Ann began to envision approaches to harp and music making and had a long-term working collaboration with harpmaker David Kortier. Ann’s presentation details their exciting projects that were in progress when David unexpectedly passed away last year. Enjoy this video with music examples and overview of their unfinished projects.

Early Gaelic & Welsh Harp Music with Ann Heymann | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/27/2024 3:00-4:30pm
The Early Gaelic and Welsh harp music traditions are unified by the orientation of playing the harp on the left shoulder, though its significance is frequently ignored. Both traditions also utilized sophisticated fingernail & damping techniques, but with the divergent characteristics of monofilament wire vs. horsehair/gut strings, the two traditions are unique to themselves. From this vantage point, it is crucial that high-priority manuscripts be interpreted idiomatically, whilst consciously avoiding keyboard influences.

For the Love of Tuning with Ann Heymann | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
Through the ages, the triangular frame harp has been revered for its perfection of musical intervals and harmony. In this workshop, stories will provide inspiration, and practical methods and techniques for tuning into your daily practice—so you won’t need to rely on the inaccuracies of a digital tuner’s lights or gauge. Did you know that the piano’s only pure interval is the octave? Train your ear to hear your harp sing perfect fifths, and with harmonics vibrating, the harp comes to life as if by magic! The meme of David tuning the harp is a metaphor for the Harmony of the Spheres and God’s tuning of the universe—yet this theme can be found circa 2500 BC! The cycle of fifths tuning is important for any diatonic harp and crucial for healing harp practitioners; I can attest that my own deep tuning serves as a meditation that relieves symptoms of my multiple PTSD.

Historical interpretations of Carolan with Ann Heymann | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/28/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Find out how key historical accounts support the fact that Carolan played no bass and how this might define how you can achieve an authentic performance of his music. Ann will present how this concept can stand up to scrutiny within the framework of the larger historical picture. You’ll have a chance to try out her ideas on your own harp (any harp will do for this workshop. Powerpoint & downloadable music worksheets.

emily hopkins

Bio

Emily began playing harp in 2001 under the instruction of the late Jeanne Fintz-Goldstein, who was a member of The Angelaires and student of Carlos Salzedo. Emily was a part of The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of NY, performing in Carnegie Hall in 2009, and is a 2012 member of MTA MUSIC (Music Under New York). She attended CUNY Hunter College and studied harp under the instruction of Alyssa Reit and graduated from the Muse Scholar Program with two Bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance and Media Studies. Emily is now a professional electroacoustic harpist, composer, and YouTuber who mixes the harp with emerging music technology, including pedal effects, modular synth, and other forms of sound manipulation. Her most recent notable work includes being a featured performer in the DreamWorks feature film Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (2023), and the composer for the soundtrack to Heavenly Vessel from The Line animation studio. ​ Emily works on all projects with her partner Russ, who is a professional audio engineer, and they are currently composing and recording for films, video games, and art installations together from their studio in Long Island, New York.

Presenter Website: https://www.emilyharpist.com/

WORKSHOPS

Improvisation, Composition, and Motif Toolkit with Emily Hopkins | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Being comfortable with improvisation is something that many of us struggle with. We’ll discuss helpful tips and tricks and practice creating a ‘motif toolbox’ for when you feel stuck in your compositions.

Pedalboards, Effect Pedals, & Amplification with Emily Hopkins | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 9:30-11:00am
Whether you’re new to the world of effect pedals or are already using effects pedals, we will cover everything from patch cables to pedalboards. We’ll discuss the different kinds of effect pedals that are available and how to use them to enhance your performances, and there will be many different kinds of effect pedals to test out in person.

Recording and Refining the Harp Digitally with Emily Hopkins | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Recording the harp can be tricky, whether you have a pickup built into your harp or not. We’ll cover the basics of recording using both microphones and interfaces, and we’ll discuss techniques and the equipment needed to make your recordings sound professional.

Sharing the Harp: Streaming, Video Production, and Social Media with Emily Hopkins | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2020 3:00-4:30pm
The world of social media can be intimidating, but we’ll discuss ways to share your harp content with the world in fun and engaging ways!

william jackson

Bio

Simply listing William Jackson’s achievements, as musician, performer and composer can’t come close to capturing the brilliant spirit, musical intelligence, dry wit, and sympathy that he brings to every instrument he plays, piece he composes and class he teaches. Although the harp is his primary instrument, Billy’s knowledge and experience allows him to move comfortably from the bouzouki to the tin whistle. In 1976 he was a founding member of Ossian, a breakthrough Scottish band. His richly woven and bold compositions, The Wellpark Suite, St. Mungo, Inchcolm, and A Scottish Island, reveal him as a master of orchestration with a sensitivity to contemporary tastes and the traditional idiom. His most recent composition (2020) is an as yet untitled suite celebrating the connections between Ireland and Scotland over the years. Now living in Ireland, Jackson and Gráinne Hambly have been hosting concerts from their home in County Mayo. His CD with Gráinne Hambly debuted at Somerset in 2009. Besides many CDs he also has one book, Scottish Traditional Music, complementary to the CD The Ancient Harp of Scotland. He is leading our Harpers’ Escape Add-On at Somerset on Sunday. In 2016 Jackson was recognized with Somerset’s Lifetime Achievement Award. We’re happy to have Billy on-site in-person this year. Podcast interview with Billy can be found here on HarpSong®. Presenter Website: William Jackson

WORKSHOPS

Ancient Harp of Scotland with William Jackson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
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. Explore the music attributed to the 17th century blind harpers Rory Dall Morrison of Scotland and Rory Dall O’Catháin of Ireland.

Composing in a Traditional Style with William Jackson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
What makes a new composition sound traditional? Looking at the structure of traditional music, the modes and rhythms used from Gaelic song, strathspeys to jigs and reels. How to use a simple chord progression as the basis for developing melodic ideas. And how to expand these melodic ideas into a larger work.

Using the Harp in Music Therapy with William Jackson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 3:00-4:30pm
William is a trained Music Therapist and has worked in this field for 30 years, using the harp as well as other instruments. He will give an overview of Music Therapy in general and also talk about using the small harp in various settings.

Harpers’ Escape Play-Along with Event | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 9:00-11:00pm
Join Kathy DeAngelo, Grainne Hambly, William Jackson, and Debbie Brewin-Wilson as they lead the Harpers’ Escape Play-Along. Various selections from the nearly 30 years of Harpers’ Escape tunes will be played. Join the circle or just sit and relax and enjoy

Concert: Saturday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 7:00pm
Sue Richards, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson, Deborah Henson-Conant

Harpers’ Escape Sunday Add-On (Intermediate) with William Jackson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-5:30pm

Liza Jensen

Bio

Liza Jensen has studied harp maintenance and mechanics privately under the tutelage of master harp builders Pat Dougal and John Pratt. She has worked out in California with Triplett Harps and is a warranty repair service for their company. She is the only American woman to be invited by Jakez Francois, president of Camac Harps, the most innovative harp manufacturer in the world, to become a warranty repair service for their company. When she’s not working in her studio in New York City, Liza is globetrotting on her harp maintenance missions and has been all over the world. Since we’ll have her on-site and in-person (yay!) you’ll have the option to bring your harp to her for regulation and minor repairs. To schedule your harp regulation/repair with Liza on-site, click here to sign-up. To hear more about Liza’s harp journey, check out her interview on The HarpSong® Podcast. Presenter Website: Liza Jensen

HARP REGULATION & WORKSHOPS

Harp Regulation: Liza will be doing harp regulation at Somerset. Book your appointment with Liza at Harp Central.

DIY Knot Tying with Liza Jensen | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 11:30-12:30pm
Learn to Do It Yourself. You are, inevitably, going to break a string. You should know how to change it. Take this workshop and get a lesson in knot-tying and replacing strings. If you’re a beginner or have never changed your own string, you must take this workshop!

DIY 2: Tuning with Liza Jensen | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 11:30-12:30pm
Learn to Do It Yourself. Liza focuses on properly using your tuner and tuning your harp. Essential! Is there a difference between tuning with levers up or levers down? What about the difference between tuning loud or soft. Then what do you do when your lever buzzes when engaged? You gotta know this stuff.

erika lieberman

Bio

Erika Lieberman fell in love with the harp as she was walking around a renaissance festival in California 25 years ago. Enchanted by the instrument, she moved to NY a few months later and the first thing she did was find a teacher. The rest is history… literally! Now Erika and her harps can be seen performing at renaissance festivals all over the East Coast, including Robin Hood’s Medieval Faire (CT), the Sparta Renaissance Faire (NJ), the Maine Renaissance Festival, the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, and more. Erika’s experience as a solo harpist, a member of various ensembles and folk bands, and her graduate studies in Film Scoring and Music Technology at New York University give her a diverse and rich musical background. When she’s not time traveling to the 16th century, Erika plays at weddings, nursing homes, theatrical events, and teaches beginner harp students at a music school in Portchester, NY. Presenter Website: https://www.erikatheharpist.com/

WORKSHOPS

Gigging Harpist: A Walk on the Business Side with Erika Lieberman | Type: Lecture   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Some harpists are lucky enough to have a support team – someone to do their booking, someone to do their marketing and publicity, someone who is in charge of their social media and website content, someone who keeps their books, does their taxes, etc. Most of us are not that lucky! If you are a working harpist or strive to become one, you also have to be somewhat of an overnight expert in all these areas. This workshop will be a practical, honest, deep-dive into some vital aspects of being your own business manager, the tools available to you, and how to juggle it all while staying on top of practice and performances. We will take a look at some outside-the-box methods of getting gigs, as well as marketing techniques, websites, EPK’s, finance/bookkeeping tools, Customer Relationship Management software (CRM’s) and more.

Performing at Dickens Festivals! with Erika Lieberman | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Beg-Int.   | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Holiday season is a busy time for harpists! Many working harpists play at church services, holiday parties, and more, but an often-overlooked opportunity this wonderful time of year is Dickens Festivals! These Victorian Christmas celebrations are growing in popularity all over the U.S. The first half of this workshop will explore how to find these festivals, the practical aspects such as contract negotiation, costuming, and what to expect. We’ll also look at ideas for accompanying Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, which is often a piece of the Dickens Festival puzzle. In the second half we’ll learn a couple of simple Victorian Christmas Carols that you can keep in your Dickensian repertoire!

Renaissance Faire Tunes for Small or Big Harps with Erika Lieberman | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Beg-Int   | When: 7/18/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Learn some simple, staple tunes that are favorites at the Renaissance Faire! Bring your lap harp – these tunes are designed to be playable on any harp 22-strings and up! We’ll explore left-hand options for both small and large harps.

RenFaire Harpist: How to Get the Job with Erika Lieberman | Type: Lecture   | Level: Any   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-11:00am
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to play at a renaissance faire? This discussion will offer an insider’s perspective of being a renaissance faire harpist. Topics will include renfaire “culture,” how to find the gigs, what renfaire entertainment directors are looking for in a harpist, how to present yourself in an Electronic Press Kit (EPK), how to negotiate your contract, making the most out of networking, what to expect once you have the job, and more.

jen narkevicius

Bio

Dr. Jen Narkevicius teaches and performs in the Washington DC area. Her innovative teaching mixes techniques based on her experience educating gifted and talented students, along with her full career in human factors and ergonomics. For nearly 15 years she has worked with various musicians to help them prevent injuries and to play efficiently and effectively. Jen is a founding member and Secretary of the National Standards Board for Music Ergonomics, is Co-Director of Harp Quest, and is an instructor at the Ohio Scottish Arts School as well as the Competition Committee Chair and SHSA judge. Check out Jen’s weekly blogs on topics ranging from traveling with a harp to ongoing training and self-care.

Presenter Website: https://www.jeniuscreations.com/

WORKSHOPS

Preventing and avoiding injuries: Ergonomics for Therapeutic (and other) settings with Jen Narkevicius | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 11:30am-12:30pm
Many musicians will develop some kind of discomfort or injury related to playing, but most can be avoided. You deserve to play in comfort and to be pain-free. Ergonomics incorporates the places we play and the situations we find ourselves in each day. A principal element of Ergonomics is preventing and avoiding injury. Playing a large instrument can lead to more situations where injury is more likely. In this workshop we will look at common causes of injury from technique to cartage and you will learn concrete strategies for preventing and avoiding these problems.

Repertoire for Every Patient! with Jen Narkevicius | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When: 7/19/2024 11:30am-12:30pm
As a therapeutic musician, you must prepare yourself for whoever you find on the other side of the door. But you can only carry so much repertoire! In this workshop we will explore ways to modify and expand the repertoire you already have. This class will enhance your arranging, improvisation, and creativity skills in order to make your repertoire more flexible and enduring without making your head explode or having to generate an entirely new set list. Play confidently for each patient knowing that you will have just the right music in your bag of tricks.

alfredo Rolando ortiz

Bio

Cuban born Alfredo Rolando Ortiz is one the leading performers of the Paraguayan harp and has a multi-cultural repertoire which covers the folk, classical and popular music of many countries, in addition to his own compositions. He began playing the Venezuelan folk harp at 15, four years after his family emigrated there, a few months later began playing the Paraguayan harp and he eventually used music to support his medical studies. Dr. Ortiz also has a background in music therapy and sensory motor integration, which he draws on in his body/harp workshops. His compositions and publications are used in many schools and by many harp ensembles around the world. In 2008, he was commissioned by the Tenth World Harp Congress to compose a piece, which was then performed by 232 harpists at the Congress. When not performing with symphonies and orchestras, doing concerts or recording, Dr. Ortiz is traveling and doing lectures and master classes. In 2011, in honor of his 50 years of contributions to the harp community, Alfredo was awarded the very first Lifetime Achievement Award by the Somerset Folk Harp Festival. Presenter Website: Alfredo Rolando Ortiz

WORKSHOPS

Learning with the Composer: Habanera Gris, Danza De Luzma, Cumbia Deliciosa and more! with Alfredo Ortiz | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Have FUN and enrich your repertoire learning music beloved by teachers and students and performed by harpists and harp ensembles around the world: Habanera Gris, Danza De Luzma, Cumbia Deliciosa and more! Search Youtube.com with any of the titles and scroll down to enjoy many videos of harpist of all ages performing them. Visit and subscribe to his channel: Youtube.com/AlfredoRolandoOrtiz and visit his website, AlfredoHarp.com for extensive information about his career as a harpist, recording artist, educator and composer.

Prevention of Injury with Alfredo Ortiz | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Dr. Ortiz will help you focus on the right aspects of your technique and learn good habits. Prevention is the key and breaking bad habits may seem difficult but learning how your body works and responds to your playing technique is essential. Take this workshop if you’ve ever gotten up from the harp with sore hands, arms or shoulders! This workshop is not meant to diagnose each participant’s individual issues but feel free to ask questions! Alfredo will ask for volunteers who would like him to assess any performance related injuries.

Prevention of Injury with Alfredo Ortiz | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Dr. Ortiz will help you focus on the right aspects of your technique and learn good habits. Prevention is the key and breaking bad habits may seem difficult but learning how your body works and responds to your playing technique is essential. Take this workshop if you’ve ever gotten up from the harp with sore hands, arms or shoulders! This workshop is not meant to diagnose each participant’s individual issues but feel free to ask questions! Alfredo will ask for volunteers who would like him to assess any performance related injuries.

The Expressive Harp with Alfredo Ortiz | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-11:00am
Learn about why “EXPRESSION” is the most important factor for the success of your playing. Learn about how even the way you move before, during and after your performance and the correct use of “music silence,” affects how your audience perceives your performance, no matter if it is for your family, friends, teachers, at school, theater or in any setting. This will be a FUN and INTERACTIVE experience for ALL LEVELS: BEGINNER TO ADVANCED.

Concert: Saturday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 7:00pm
Sue Richards, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson, Deborah Henson-Conant

christa patton

Bio

Christa Patton, originally a classically trained oboist, was always drawn to the ancient sound of double reeds. While her brother was collecting recordings of classic rock, Christa was searching for LPs of crumhorns and shawms. A late bloomer as a harpist, Christa was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study the Baroque harp with Mara Galassi in Milan, Italy just as she was turning 40. She is a noted historical harpist and early wind specialist who has performed with many of today’s premier early music ensembles including Piffaro the Renaissance Band, Early Music New York, Boston Camerata, The King’s Noyse, Folger Consort, Newberry Consort, Apollo’s Fire, Parthenia, ARTEK and Chatham Baroque. Since one of her specialties is 17th century opera on Baroque harps, Christa has performed with New York City Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Atelier and the Opera Theater of Saint Louis. She is musical director of the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, focusing on the works of early 17th century composers. Christa has been on the faculty of Rutgers University as well as the Madison Early Music Festival, Amherst Early Music Festival and Pinewoods Early Music Week, among others. She is a past president of the Historical Harp Society. She has toured throughout the Americas, Europe, and Japan. 

Presenter Website: Christa Patton

WORKSHOPS

Basso Continuo for Lever Harp with Christa Patton | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/18/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Learn how to create an accompaniment from a simple bassline using the principles of voice leading composers have used from the time of Palestrina.

Las Folías de España with Christa Patton | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.  | When: 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Learn the fetchingly sumptuous chord progression of Las Folías de España, one of the most famous ground basses of the 17th c. You will also learn some of the charming variations that have been composed for it by some of Europe’s most noted composers.

Medieval Melodies with Christa Patton | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any  | When: 7/19/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Enjoy learning some stunning yet simple melodies from medieval Europe and the British Isles by Guillaume de Machaut, Francesco Landini and others. All harps and levels welcome.

More Spanish Dances! with Christa Patton | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.  | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
When have you ever said to yourself “That’s enough Spanish dances..”? Come on and learn a few more simple, yet gorgeous pieces from the Spanish 17th century.

Concert: Friday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 7:00pm
Christa Patton, Sarah Deere-Jones, Rachel Hair, Adriano Sangineto

Nia Pierce

nia pierce

Bio

Nia Pierce is back at Somerset leading the Youth Harp Program!

Nia’s Somerset journey began nine years ago when she performed with the inaugural Somerset youth ensemble as a high school student, under the direction of her harp teacher, Mrs. Robbin Gordon-Cartier. She recently graduated from The College of New Jersey, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education with a focus on the harp. During her time in college, Nia received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Governor’s Award in Arts and Education, the NAACP Freedom Fund Award for Arts Education and Activism, and Spectacular Magazine’s Emerging Leader of the Year.

Nia is passionate about sharing her love of music with others and has worked as a music teacher in the East Orange School District for two years. During that time, she directed the elementary music and harp program at Ecole Toussaint L’ouverture. Nia also mentors young harpists and musicians at her old high school and in other programs, and takes pride in being able to give back to the community that helped shape her into the person she is today.

Currently, Nia works at Princeton University where she advises and mentors undergraduate students. In the fall, she will pursue a Master of Arts in Education Policy at Columbia University’s Teachers College. With her degree, Nia hopes to combine her passion for education, advocacy, and music to help inspire the next generation of leaders.

WORKSHOPS

Youth Harp Program with Nia Pierce | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When : In-Person | 7/18/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Day 1 in-person, on-site only

Youth Harp Program with Nia Pierce | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When : In-Person | 7/19/2024 9:30-11:00am
Day 2 in-person, on-site only

Youth Harp Program with Nia Pierce | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When : In-Person | 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Day 2 in-person, on-site only

Youth Harp Program with Nia Pierce | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When : In-Person | 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
Day 3 in-person, on-site only

Youth Harp Program with Nia Pierce | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When: 7/20/2024 11:30am-12:15pm
Lunchtime Concert

Youth Harp Program with Nia Pierce | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When : In-Person | 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Day 3 in-person, on-site only

Youth Harp Program with Nia Pierce | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Beg.-Adv.   | When : In-Person | 7/21/2024 9:30-11:00am
Day 4 in-person, on-site only

sue richards

Bio

Sue Richards is a traditional Celtic harper; she studied classical harp as a teen at Oberlin College and then Ohio State University. When she discovered Celtic harps, she immediately ignored the pedal harp and turned to the Irish and Scottish music of her heritage, winning the American National Scottish Harp Championship four times. She developed and taught the harp program at the Ohio Scottish Arts School. Sue performs and composes with Ensemble Galilei in multi-media concerts sponsored by the National Geographic Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has three solo recordings, three books of arrangements of Celtic music for harp, and has published a book of her own compositions, “Morning to Midnight.” Recently Sue has teamed with guitarist Robin Bullock and they have released their CD, ” Highland Ramble.” Currently Sue teaches in Asheville, NC.

 

Presenter Website: http://www.suerichards.net, http://www.egmusic.com

WORKSHOPS

Dexterity Exercises for Intermediates with Sue Richards | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
At a certain point, you need to assess your progress and work on your weaknesses. That tune that has you stumped might flow if you turn the tricky bits into exercises.

Morning to Midnight – Original Tunes for All Occasions with Sue Richards | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
Sue will teach you a couple of her favorite compositions and will guide you on how best to practice them. She will also give you tips on how to write your own compositions.

My Favorite Beautiful Tunes with Sue Richards | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Many of my students and friends just want to play gorgeous tunes, I agree! Here are a few of the best.

Playing With A Friend with Sue Richards | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Just that. How to listen while playing your part, how to decorate someone else’s tune, and we’ll share a duet or two.

Concert: Saturday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 7:00pm
Sue Richards, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson, Deborah Henson-Conant

Ailie Robertson

Bio

Ailie Robertson is a multi-award winning composer, and harpist from Scotland. She is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s leading traditional musicians and Celtic harpists. A five-time National Mod Gold Medalist and a BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist, Ailie also won first prize at the inaugural London Harp Competition, was judged best overall musician at the Edinburgh Competition Festival and won the St Albans New Roots award. Her debut solo album ‘First things first’ won the ‘Live Ireland’ award for ‘Best Instrumental Cut of the Year’. She has performed and taught all over the world, released 3 solo Celtic Harp CDs and published 7 volumes of harp sheet music.

Presenter Website: https://www.ailierobertson.com

WORKSHOPS

Cape Breton Tunes with Ailie Robertson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
In this workshop we’ll focus on tunes from Cape Breton Island on the East Coast of Canada. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn the rhythms, swing, and tunes used to make people want to stay on the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning.

Lost Songs of St Kilda with Ailie Robertson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
The islands of St Kilda lie more than 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides off Scotland’s north-west coast. Nearly a century ago, the last 36 residents were evacuated, leaving the islands abandoned, and the music was nearly forgotten. Thankfully, a few songs were rediscovered and we will explore some of these beautiful melodies in this workshop.

Over the Sea to Skye – tunes from the Misty Isle with Ailie Robertson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
The Isle of Skye, on the west coast of Scotland is not only one of Scotland’s most beautiful places, but is also a treasure trove of traditional tunes. Come and learn some haunting airs and fun dance tunes from the Misty Isle!

Tunes from the Eliza Ross Collection with Ailie Robertson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
The Eliza Ross Collection features Highland tunes and songs, collected by Elizabeth (Eliza) Jane Ross in Scotland in ~1812. The manuscript was rediscovered in Raasay House in the early 1950s and was published for the first time in 2022. Come and discover some of the traditional gems in this collection, in new arrangements by Ailie Robertson.

kim robertson

Bio

As one of the pioneers of the American folk harp, Kim Robertson’s style and approach to the instrument is uniquely personal and original. Trained classically on piano and orchestral harp, she brings a contemporary touch to both her original compositions and her arrangements of Celtic music. Her skill and stage presence as a performer has brought her a loyal following and she is an experienced and sensitive teacher as well. She has many CDs, among them Highland Heart, Shady Grove and Shall We Gather as well as numerous volumes of harp arrangements and several instructional videos. Though she makes her home in Wisconsin, she spends a good deal of the year touring both as a solo artist and with other performers. Kim has presented and performed at nearly every Somerset festival, and with good reason! She’s got a clear style and can get everybody, seemingly effortlessly, working together and learning with humor and grace. No matter what the topic, her workshops are packed (this year we’ll have to spread out!). Kim received our Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. She’ll be here in-person in Parsippany. Welcome back, Kim. Presenter Website: Kim Robertson

WORKSHOPS

Celtic Christmas with Kim Robertson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/19/2024 9:30-11:00am
Get ready for the next holiday season with some traditional Celtic carols to expand your repertoire. Kim will share some of her arranging tools, including how to create festive medleys and “mash-ups,” combining traditional carols with jigs, reels and O’Carolan pieces. Learn to make appealing, more personalized arrangements for your holiday performances. Hands on, intermediate players with two-hand skills but all levels welcome. Tunes will be on lead sheets.

Extremely Slow Airs with Kim Robertson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Slow airs are the heart of Celtic music, typically played more freely and expressively. Kim will share some of her favorite slow tempo tunes that exemplify the soulful beauty of this style of traditional music.. She’ll also demonstrate some simple accompaniment patterns to maintain a calming, rhythmic pulse, along with tips on playing faster tunes at a slower pace to allow more resonance of the harp to come through. All levels welcome. Sample tunes will be on lead sheets.

Lap harp workshop: It’s Not a Toy with Kim Robertson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Harpists often purchase lap harps for travel or for fun but then let it gather dust because their regular repertoire doesn’t fit. But the small harp is an instrument unto itself that calls for a different style of playing . Kim will share ideas on how to make the most out of a small harp, including tools for adding more dynamics, rhythmic patterns and pizzazz to your arrangements, along with some tips for adapting pieces to a smaller range. Intermediate, but all levels welcome.

Technique Tune up for the Lazy Harpist with Kim Robertson | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
Learn some fun, simple exercises designed for lever harp that will not only warm up your hands but can lead to improved tone, increased velocity and more confidence and relaxation in your performances. Exercises will include shortcuts for strengthening weaker fingers, creating a more even tone and unlocking more dynamic range from your harp. Hands-on. All levels welcome. Pace will be slow but the exercises can be sped up later for more advanced players.

Concert: Thursday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 7:00pm
Eileen Gannon, Robbin Gordon-Cartier performs and receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Kim Robertson, Angel & Luis Tolosa

amelia romano

Bio

A concertizing lever harpist programming classical re-imaginations alongside original works, Amelia, received her master’s in music at San Francisco State University under the tutelage of Karen Gottlieb, retired second harpist of the San Francisco Symphony. Her latest album, “Levers Engaged: Classical Works Re-imaged for Harp” and sheet music collection “Classical Re-imaginations,” present the lever harp as a valid voice in classical music. A composer and arranger, she is equally at home writing Latin America inspired works for solo harp as she is adapting classical pieces for chamber collaborations. Amelia offers virtual workshops and seminars on best lever-shifting practices, and tools for adapting and performing chromatic works on the instrument. Presenter Website: Amelia Romano

WORKSHOPS

Classical Re-imaginations with Amelia Romano | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
Present tools for tackling a work from my intermediate classical sheet music collection, “Classical Re-imaginations,” classical gems for lever harp.

Exploring Timbres with Amelia Romano | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
Discover new sounds on the lever harp using (paper/tuning keys) among other items, to explore the instruments sonic possibilities.

Navigating Lever Shifting Repertoire with Amelia Romano | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Beg.   | When: 7/27/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Taking two beginner classical works from Barbara Brundage’s “Classics on Request,” workshop introduces tips for creating lever-shifting roadmaps and practice approaches for executing shifts in performance.

Play Odd Meter Music with Confidence with Amelia Romano | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/28/2024 10:00-11:30am
Play odd meter music with confidence! No need to fear odd meter music when it crosses your path. Open yourself up to a whole new world of repertoire. Amelia will help you learn to count and execute odd meter music from 7/8 to 15/8.

adriANo sangineto

Bio

We are thrilled to welcome back Adriano Sangineto. An Italian musician, composer and arranger specializing in Celtic Harp whose energy is infectious. He graduated from the Milan Conservatoire where he studied clarinet and experimental composition. Adriano spent his youth in his father Michele Sangineto’s luthiery where he met and was inspired by numerous musicians, such as Nicanor Zabaleta, Alan Stivell, Derek Bell, Carlos Nunez and more. In 2002 he started playing the Celtic harp. As a self-taught harpist he embarked on the path of free experimentation in the most diverse musical fields: from ancient to modern music, passing through classical music, new age, pop, and re-evaluating Italian and European popular music with original arrangements. Adriano also composes for soundtracks, theater, and advertising and has released 13 albums (as a soloist and with his bands) and numerous collaborations with artists from the Italian and European scene. Presenter Website: Adriano Sangineto Band Website: Ensemble Sangineto

WORKSHOPS

Composing and Telling a Story with the harp with Adriano Sangineto | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.-Adv.   | When: 7/19/2024 9:30-11:00am
During the course, participants will learn original tunes by Adriano Sangineto. Each tune provides several musical features (rhythmical and melodic) that invite pupils to deepen their own technique. It will be shown how to compose a music tune (with or without electronic effects), describing a story or a feeling, following the rules of ancient and modern composition and the popular musical clichés. Scores will be provided in order to learn tunes more quickly even if the aim of the course is to give priority to the interpretation and the soul of each musician.

Italian Traditional Songs with Adriano Sangineto | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Learn traditional songs from Italy, lyrics included, with a focus on the arrangement to make it original and unique. This workshop is aimed to give some tips about how to arrange a tune considering harmony, melodic variations, rhythmic variations, structure of the tune itself.

Learning “Metropolis” by Adriano Sangineto with Adriano Sangineto | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/20/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Learn Adriano’s composition, “Metropolis” and a left hand accompaniment that will make your harp sound like a full band, complete with drum and bass. Adriano will focus on this composition’s rhythmic aspects and the joy of this piece.

Let’s Have a Dance with the Harp with Adriano Sangineto | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
Dance with Adriano as he teaches you the basic steps of French and Italian dances belonging to the world of “balfolk”. These dances will help you create rhythmic suggestions on your harp (the groove) as you learn one of Adriano’s compositions based on these dances. Teaching will be by ear and you will get the sheet music at the end of class.

Scottish Ceilidh Dancing and italian Traditional Dancing with Rachel Hair and Adriano Sangineto with Event | Type: Dance   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 9:00-11:00pm
Leave your harp well out of the way for this workshop as Rachel and Adriano teach you some of the most popular Scottish Ceilidh dances and Italian Traditional dances. Dress for moderate level exercise and wear comfortable shoes!

Concert: Friday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 7:00pm
Christa Patton, Sarah Deere-Jones, Rachel Hair, Adriano Sangineto

cindy shelhart

Bio

Double-strung harp expert Cindy Shelhart is a performing artist, composer, and creator of The Technique Triangle™️. Cindy created the system for the growing number of double-strung harp (DSH) players who bring this cool harp home, but then hit the “now what?” wall. They want unique DSH tips and effects, but don’t know how to add them to the music they already play, or how to create their own arrangements. Shelhart’s streamlined Technique Triangle™️ takes players from “stuck” to “sounds like a double” with double-strung excellence at every level. Cindy is the author of the method book Make Mine a Double and The Double Dozen Series of repertoire collections. She has performed and presented for many national harp organizations and music festivals. Her solo albums Limberlost Angel and That Night in Bethlehem have been featured on public radio and podcasts, and she is the first DSH player to win the US National Scottish Harp Championship™. Presenter Website: Cindy Shelhart

WORKSHOPS

Adapting Classical Music for Double-Strung Harp with Cindy Shelhart | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 9:30-11:00am
Classical music: It’s not just for pianos anymore! Just like other harp players have done for centuries, double-strung harp players can adapt and play music composed for other instruments, voices, and ensembles. We’ll discover how to grow your DSH repertoire with classical arrangements and transcriptions, and how to use classical themes and motifs that your audience will instantly recognize (and love). The workshop music includes a brand-new, Somerset-exclusive arrangement! Bring your own double-strung harp, music stand, and pencil (with eraser) for this workshop. For intermediate/advanced double-strung harp players; beginner-friendly DSH lead sheets also provided. All DSH levels welcome!

On the Other Hand: Lead Sheet Arranging for Harp. with Cindy Shelhart | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Harp players love lead sheets and fake books. But what do you do with your left hand? We’ll answer that question—and more—as we take a roadtrip through lead sheet arranging with accompaniment patterns, and learn how to turn a tune into an arrangement “on the go.” Bring your own harp, music stand, and pencil (with eraser) for this workshop. ALL harps and levels welcome!

Pop! Goes the Double: Modern Music for Double-Strung Harp with Cindy Shelhart | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/21/2024 9:30-11:00am
What’s playing on your smart speaker? Does your favorites mix include music like jazz, classic rock, or Broadway show tunes? Double-strung harps are one of the newest instruments in music history, so let’s add some modern sounds to our historical and traditional roots. Get ready for your next event or request as we explore and play “harpable” hooks, rhythms, and harmonies that you can add to any arrangement. The workshop music includes a brand-new, Somerset-exclusive arrangement! Bring your own double-strung harp, music stand, and pencil (with eraser) for this workshop. For intermediate/advanced double-strung harp players; beginner-friendly DSH lead sheets also provided. All DSH levels welcome!

The Double Effect: Arranging for Double-Strung Harp with Cindy Shelhart | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Got a library full of double-strung harp arrangements by other people? Now, it’s time to create your own! With Cindy’s practical tips and tricks, you’ll learn simple ways to make your DSH “sound like a double” as we create an arrangement together. Bring your own double-strung harp, music stand, and pencil (with eraser) for this workshop. For intermediate/advanced double-strung harp players; beginner-friendly DSH lead sheets also provided. All DSH levels welcome!

Concert: Sunday Afternoon 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/21/2024 12:00pm
Cindy Shelhart, Martha Gallagher

sunita staneslow

Bio

Originally from Minnesota, Sunita spent the past two decades living in Israel, teaching and performing with local musicians. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and a passionate instructor, Sunita is a frequent presenter at folk harp festivals and retreats across North America. She has been teaching at the Somerset Folk Harp Festival for the past twenty years! Her love of travel and adventure has inspired her to become a versatile performer and arranger. Working as a therapeutic harpist in a children’s hospital in Tel Aviv enhanced her lyrical and improvisational style. Sunita’s books of harp arrangements are played by harpists around the world and published by Afghan Press, Harp Column Music, Mel Bay, Seraphim Music and Sylvia Woods. You can find Sunita on YouTube, Spotify, walking her dog by the sea in Shetland, learning to knit or helping her husband restore an old stone house on the most northerly isle in Shetland. She leads boutique harp tours in Scotland and Italy. 

Presenter Website: Sunita Staneslow

WORKSHOPS

Beauty from the Beginning with Sunita Staneslow | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/27/2024 10:00am-11:30am
Learn some basic melodies by seeking good tone and phrases that breathe. It is so easy to go for the notes and coordination and only start creating music after we have grown tired of teaching our fingers where to play. Try starting your pieces with a focus on creating beauty and allowing the technique and rhythm to fit into place. For those of you who are drawn to the harp to create beauty. Let’s put beauty first! Beginners and anyone wanting a fresh start.

Glistening Glissandos with Sunita Staneslow | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Any   | When: 7/27/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Expand your glissando variations. Learn to play glissandos to inspire improvisation and empower your playing. Learn to play glistening glissandos in your right hand as you create melodies in the bass. Glissandos can do much more than just bring you from one note to the next. Create swirling, magical glissandos that introduce a piece or create instant beauty. Play rhythmic or dreamy glissandos with the technique that gives you tone and control. Let’s have fun being creative and expressive. Beginning and anyone who wants to expand their world of glissandos.

My Favorite Arrangements with Sunita Staneslow | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/28/2024 10:00-11:30am
Sunita will guide you through several of her most popular arrangements. Learn how she makes harmonic and rhythmic patterns that fit the hand. Decipher the chords and special effects so you can master the phrasing and dynamics. Learn the tunes from the perspective and vision of the arranger. The tunes will be from several different genres: In the Bleak Midwinter, Cape Clear and La rosa enflorece.

The Art of a Beautiful Tone with Sunita Staneslow | Type: Hands-on   | Level: Beg.-Int.   | When: 7/28/2024 1:00-2:30pm
Learn the techniques to create a wide spectrum of tonal colors. We will start with creating a warm and rich tone and learn how to create variations of timbre by mastering playing close to the sounding board. Learn to mute the strings and muffle to create contrast between legato and staccato. Discover the secret to making the strings sound like they glisten and sparkle. Controlling the dynamic contrast of your music is key to creating musical phrases. Playing with a beautiful tone requires technical skills and your imagination. Expand the art of playing the harp with a beautiful tone.

tomoko sugawara

Bio

Tomoko Sugawara studied the harp at Tokyo University of the Arts and cultural history at Seijo University, Tokyo. She has been playing the kugo since 1991, and has conducted research and activities in New York, funded by Asian Cultural Council grants in 2007–8, 2014, and 2018–19. She has also received awards from the Dunhuang Foundation (2019 and 2020), and NYC Arts and Cultural Affairs (2020). In 2013 Tomoko founded the Eurasia Consort, which performs music from the Chinese Tang Court (seventh – ninth century), using transcriptions made by musicologists for instruments Tang Court musicians played. In 2018 and 2019, she was a visiting researcher at Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she researched Tang Dynasty music and taught the kugo. Tomoko enjoys playing harps from East & West, such as the kugo, the Renaissance harp and the Baroque triple harp. Presenter Website: Tomoko Sugawara

WORKSHOPS

East Kugo and West Chang with Tomoko Sugawara | Type:   | Level:   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
In 2008 I went to the Metropolitan Library and looked at a Spanish picture book, Book of Game. It was collected by King Alphonso the Xth. I found several harp pictures, but one of them looked like the kugo harp that I am playing. Alphonso also collected music books, The Cantiga de Santa Maria. After that, I started to play cantigas on my kugo. I would like to introduce some cantiga songs.

Japanese Songs, Still in my Heart with Tomoko Sugawara | Type:   | Level:   | When: 7/27/2024 10:00-11:30am
I grew up in Japan. In my childhood I sang with my grandmother at various occasions, with my friends at school. Old songs used different scales from Western melodies. Some are well known as the pentatonic and had no harmonies. (Later songs are a bit similar to Irish melodies. So, we love Irish songs, and famous Japanese poets adopted Japanese lyrics to them. I would like to introduce a few of those songs.

Kugo Harp: Beyond Time and Space with Tomoko Sugawara | Type:   | Level:   | On Video starting 7/1/2024
There is an Emperor’s treasure house, the Shosoin, in Japan. It was built in the 8 th century. It includes beautiful musical instruments, and one of them was a harp called てkugo. My dream started from here. We would like to explore it together. The Kugo harp journey shows Chinese court music, Persian tunes, and even Andalusian music through the Silk Road. Let’s have a harp journey together.

Old and New Heterophonic Arrangements with Tomoko Sugawara | Type:   | Level:   | When: 7/27/2024 1:00-2:30pm
I started making heterophonic arrangements for my ancient Asian harp, the kugo. It has no harmony and is a type of texture characterized by the simultaneous variation of a single melodic line. It is used for ancient especially Asian music, and jazz and contemporary music arrangements. It can be applied to old and new arrangements.

angel tolosa

Bio

Somerset is thrilled to welcome back Angel Tolosa. Angel was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and was drawn to popular and traditional Venezuelan music from an early age. Although he began playing the ‘cuatro’ (a smaller South American version of the guitar), he switched to the harp at 14. Angel is considered one of the best harpists of his generation, his versatility lends itself to various styles with great technical and rhythmic skill. At 18, with his brother José Luis Tolosa, who will be presenting alongside Angel at Somerset, founded the A Contratiempo Ensemble, which provided a framework where musicians could explore different Venezuelan musical genres exclusively for the harp. Angel is currently a professor and member of the Official Association of Culture of the Táchira State Educational Zone; a Venezuelan representative in the First Mexican Folkloric Harp School in Durango, Mexico; as well as a teacher in various institutions. Angel and his brother have taught and performed around the world where they have been a part of some of the most important harp festivals in the world.

WORKSHOPS

Ancient Romantic music from Venezuela with Angel Tolosa | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/20/2024 9:30-11:00am
Genre: Polo, Galeron, Fulias, Malagueñas. Time signature: 3/4, 6/8 Do you love Spanish music and want to understand how to play with others? but want a better grasp of how the singing, harp work together? Angel & Luis Tolosa offer this workshop for musicians wanting to deepen their knowledge of Spanish music accompaniment. During colonial time in Venezuela many cultural roots from Spain stayed on natives’ hearts. This smooth musical genre has an extensive catalog of music standards with a deeply romantic poetry.

Venezuelan Caribbean Rhythms: Joropo with Angel Tolosa | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.   | When: 7/18/2024 1:00-2:30pm
(time signature 3/4) Joropo is a Latin American musical genre, which originated in the Caribbean Coast of Venezuela. The word itself means fiesta or party. “, but now it has come to mean a type of music, singing, dance, and theatre, the manufacturing of musical instruments, attire, and gastronomy that identifies Venezuelans. The feel is like a waltz, in 3/4 time, but more syncopated and polyrhythmic. Typically, played on a Venezuelan harp, Angel & Luis Tolosa will teach the bass lines and chord progressions and get both your hands working together. You don’t need a Venezuelan Harp to take this workshop! Any harp will do.

Venezuelan Merengue with Angel Tolosa | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.  | When: 7/19/2024 9:30-11:00am
(time signature 5/8) Venezuelan Merengue or “Cañonera music”, a musical genre born in Caracas in the early twentieth century, this genre includes rhythms such as the waltz, joropo and the pasodoble. The correct pronunciation of “cañonera” is something like “cagnonera” like the french sound in “cognac”. One of the main features of merengue (and other Venezuelan musical forms) is the combination of binary and ternary time. It is a stunning rhythm that invites us to create and improvise. Both hands will get a heavy-duty workout and you’ll leave this workshop feeling energized and accomplished!

Venezuelan Orquídea with Angel Tolosa | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Int.  | When: 7/19/2024 1:00-2:30pm
(time signature 4/4) Orquidea is Orchid in English. Don’t get judged for rushing! If you speed or drag, you must fix it! Get ready for a rhythm workout! Orquid, with its roots in Afrovenezuelan communities is an explosion of beautiful Venezuelan Caribbean music, This amazing workshop focus on Venezuelan percussion instruments such as the Quitiplas, Maracas and then you can explore on your harp diverse percussion techniques and bass lines to apply on your performances. In this fun workshop Angel & Luis Tolosa will give you solid methods for building independence, yet cooperation, between your hands to play these great rhythmic syncopations.

Concert: Thursday Night 2024 with Event | Type: Concert   | Level: Any   | When: 7/18/2024 7:00pm
Eileen Gannon, Robbin Gordon-Cartier performs and receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Kim Robertson, Angel & Luis Tolosa

simcha tzuf

Bio

Simcha is a multi-instrumentalist, but it is the harp that calls most to him. Join Simcha on a musical journey with songs from ancient Turkey, spiritual Jewish Melodies, and his favorite American Folk Songs. Simcha lives In the heart of the Galilee mountains of northern Israel with his family who perform as the Tzuf Family Band. Simcha on the Celtic Harp, his wife Rachel on the Turkish Saz, Kamancheh, and guitar, their son Nachman on Flute, their daughter Orah on the Miriam Frame Drum with the two youngest Nehorai and Daryah on the recorder, flute, and small harp. 

Experience the meditative ‘harp in the wind’ song in the healing pentatonic scale, and relax to the sound of ocean waves from the ocean wave drum. ‘Music has always been an important part of our lives, through it we find connection, healing, and joy’.

Presenter Website: https://tzufartandsoul.com/

WORKSHOPS

Harp for Meditation with Simcha Tzuf | Type: Hands-On   | Level:   | On Video starting July 1
Using the acoustic electric harps, Harps pickups, different plug-ins, and using effects to get the magical harp in the wind sound.

Therapeutic Scales in Old Mystical Jewish Music with Simcha Tzuf | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/28/2024 3:00-4:30pm
Explore the therapeutic and healing aspects of the Dorian mode and the Pentatonic scale. You will learn the old mystical Jewish song, “Amim Zemirot”.

Turkish Scales and Song with Simcha Tzuf | Type: Hands-On   | Level: Any   | When: 7/28/2024 10:00-11:30am
Learn a traditional Turkish song by ear. Simcha will guide you by using the traditional Turkish method of learning music via solfeigh.

Tzuf Family Concert with Simcha Tzuf | Type: Concert   | Level:   | On Video starting July 1
Join Simcha and his family as they perform and share their music influences and traditions with you.

Dennis Waring with various instruments from around the world

dennis waring

Bio

Dr. Dennis Waring is passionate about all kinds of music and ethnic cultures, from all over the world. Armed with a PhD from Wesleyan University, he’s an educator, ethnomusicologist, author, instrument maker, collector, performer, and arts consultant. His World Music Teacher Institutes often take him from coast to coast and he has taken two four-month journeys around the world as shipboard ethnomusicologist with the University of Virginia’s Semester At Sea program. His multi-instrumental proclivities gives him a musical range that includes classical, folk, jazz, and ethnic idioms. That wide-ranging musical passion led him to create Waring Music to provide access to a broad spectrum of musical and multicultural resources to the general public as well as educational institutions. We welcome Dennis back as a presenter with his ever-popular Build-a-Harp workshop, in which he assists interested participants in building their own harps right at the festival.

Presenter Website: Dennis Waring

WORKSHOPS

Build a Harp | Type: Demo | Level: Any | When: Live 07/20/24 9:30am-3:00pm On-Site Only

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Dennis Waring of Waring Harps will guide you through the construction of their 19-string, corrugated cardboard and wood harp, built from their unique kit. In the first part you’ll build the harp and in the second part you’ll string it and tune it. Purchase the kits before the festival for the discounted price of $165 for the 19-string  This workshop is on-site and will not be zoomed.

Contact Dennis to purchase kits before the festival waringinstruments@waringmusic.com

NOTE: If you can’t make it to the festival, Dennis can send kits to participants who can build harps from online instructions that are located on his website at www.waringmusic.com.

Dennis is offering the festival discount on harp kits. Contact Dennis to purchase kits before the festival waringinstruments@waringmusic.com