Welcome to The Harp Gathering, Folk Harp Festival
at the Sauder Village - Heritage Inn, Archbold Ohio!

Workshops

Patrice Fisher:

Latin Dance Rhythms
This class will explore different Latin Dance Rhythms, like Cumbia, Cha cha cha, Bossa Nova and Danzon. We will show how to accompany a melody with these rhythms. You can add new rhythmical life to your harp ensemble or other musical group. Patrice Fisher has been playing Latin music and jazz since the 1980’s with groups in Guatemala, Cuba and Brazil. She plays her own compositions with her Latin Jazz group, Arpa. Intermediate level, but all are welcome.

Improvising in a Therapeutic Music Setting
Therapeutic Music is a quickly growing field of opportunity for harpists. We are mobile and acoustically don’t need much equipment to play for patients and can easily travel to different parts of a health care facility. We will explore some concepts for memorizing a tune and stretching it out by improvisation, playing it at different speeds and taking the essentials of the harmony, rhythm and melody to create a healing environment. Intermediate level, but all are welcome.

Improvising on a Gospel Tune
This uniquely American genre draws its roots from the African American church choir. We can make these songs our own by adding a few colorful touches, using blue notes, exotic scales, rhythmic accents, counter melodies and answering melodic lines. Patrice Fisher has been playing with the St Augustine Soulful Voices Gospel Choir since 2011. St. Augustine Church is the oldest African American Church in the U.S. Historians write that this church was instrumental in inspiring the birth of Jazz in New Orleans. Intermediate level, but all are welcome.

 

Christa Grix:

Mastering Music through Engaging Practice
Mastering music involves more than just hours sitting in the practice room – HOW you practice is equally important as how many hours you practice. In this workshop we will talk about practice techniques, developing the connection between the brain and the fingers, and becoming your own best music teacher through engaged, active learning. Advanced Beginners and Beyond. Bring your harp.

Mastering Music through Mighty Memorization
Do you freeze when it comes to memorizing through fear of memory slips? We will continue to discuss methods and techniques that develop engaged, active learning of music so that you can play freely and without fear of losing your place in the music. Advanced Beginners and Beyond. Bring your harp.

Mastering Music and Beyond through the Creative Process
Expressing yourself through music takes artistry, creativity and courage. This workshop, based on Julia Cameron’s “The Artists Way,” will focus on ways to explore and discover your own unique style of self-expression and creativity. Advanced Beginners and Beyond. No harps needed.


Kim Robertson:

Really Slow Airs
Relax and escape the hectic pace of life with a sampling of some of Kim’s favorite slow airs from around the globe. Some simple left hand patterns will be included that create a soothing but steady pulse. Ideal for beginners or therapeutic musicians. All levels welcome, sample tunes will be on lead sheets.

Creative Carols
Known for her numerous holiday recordings, Kim will share some of her trade secrets for arranging Christmas music. Using both classic & Celtic carols, learn practical tips for choosing intros & chords patterns, substitute harmonies, creating medleys and other innovations that will breathe new life into standard carols. Sample tunes will be on lead sheets. Intermediate but all levels welcome

Size Doesn’t Matter
Lap harps are not just a travel instrument or a toy. Learn how to create and adapt arrangements to show off the full range and charm of a smaller harp. Using rhythmic left hand patterns, strategic chord voicings and cross-hand techniques, discover the full potential of your little harp.. Bringing small harps is encouraged (bigger harps will be asked to stay in the back)


TAPESTRY (Denise & Michael Grupp-Verbon):

Play Time! (Thursday Special Workshop with Denise Grupp-Verbon)
Pulse, Tempo, Rhythm. What is this all about? How can you make good use of that wonderful tool, the elusive metronome? Musicians have a love/hate relationship with this 200+ year old time-keeper, yet even professional recording artists often use a click track (a fancy term for metronome)! If you have a smart phone, download the ProMetronome App and bring it with you. Open to all, see you there!

The Lone Arranger
Would you like to start creating your own arrangements but have no idea of how or where to begin? Join us for some simple and easy ideas of how to begin. We will also learn some basics about reading and using chord symbols. Designed for Beginners, but certainly open to all levels.

Your Musical Cupboard
What tools do you have in your cupboard? Are you read to add glissandos to your arrangements? How about harmonics, Pres de la table or rolled chords? Join us for this very fun session about special harp sounds. Designed for Beginners but all who want to learn more about special effects are most welcome.


Frank Voltz:

From Hymnal to Harp
If you think jazz harp in church is beyond the boundaries of religion - think again! We're going to wake everyone up in the pews! We will take several hymns and create jazzy arrangements. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore many musical possibilities with jazz styles and techniques. Most hymns are simple 16-bar tunes that make them easy to arrange. You can take everything you experience in this class and apply it to pop tunes as well. INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED LEVELS

Cascading Arpeggios
What does the harp do best? Arpeggios and glissandos. When you see and hear a harpist play ascending and descending arpeggios up and down the harp non-stop, it takes your breath away. Why? Because you wish you could do THAT (and because it is just simply gorgeous)! In this workshop, we will break them down into small bites, understand how to intertwine them, practice them, and polish them. Voila, you just added a new arsenal to your harp toolbar. We will start with “three fingers per hand” arpeggios and continue with “four fingers per hand” arpeggios. Think about it—if you’re going to play the harp the rest of your life, how many arpeggios will you play between now and then? A lot! Learn to play them NOW so that you can enjoy playing them the rest of your life! INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED LEVELS

Cool Chords (You Can Use)
Yes, you! Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced harpist, you can learn to play chords that will ring in your listeners’ ears and that you will enjoy hearing yourself. Triads are baby steps; let’s mambo! Without any knowledge of theory, we will explore how to create chords that will give our music more life, more flair, more sophistication, and more excitement. First, we will learn how to build the chords, and then we will learn how to use them and apply them to a piece of music. This workshop is very interactive, completely hands-on, and totally fun. As time permits, attendees will pick their favorite songs and together, we will apply these cool chords and experience the new sounds we’ve created from small nuances to amazing musical colors. Let’s take the music you play, the music you create, and kick it up a notch! ALL LEVELS


Janet Witman:

The Music of Thomas Moore, Ireland's National Poet
Can you name some of your favorite Thomas Moore songs? How about "The Minstrel Boy", The Last Rose of Summer or The Harp that Once Thru Tara's Halls? Janet will present light lecture reflecting the life, times, poetry, legacy of this remarkable 19th century personality! Janet has arranged a medley of the fore mentioned songs as a duet, and will share some lesser known musical treasures with her class. It's fun and a quiz with prizes will be given at the end of the class. Bring harps, if you like to sightread; otherwise, just relax, listen and take the music home to enjoy! (Lecture/performance)

The Finger Labyrinth Experience
If you have enjoyed walking a labyrinth in a garden or church yard, then you'll enjoy listening to harp music while journeying thru a labyrinth on paper right in front of you. Janet explores the history and purpose of this ancient ritual and offers up musical selections that you can use for meditation, therapy or self care. (All levels)

Healthy and Balanced Harp Hands
Playing the harp is a balancing act! Our arms need to support our hands, so our fingers can move freely and cleanly between vibrating strings. Janet has exercises to develop legato playing that is the sign of a seasoned player. (Intermediate)


Joy Slavens:

There’s No “I” in Team
Getting along with others can be challenging, especially when they are playing a different part next to you. In this class we will learn how to do just that - playing beside another harpist without getting lost, focusing on counting and dynamics, and listening to others around us. We will look at all areas of ensemble playing, including etiquette and proper attire. Prepare for an inspiring and enjoyable time, and you’ll take a duet home with you. All levels; harps required.

Alone to Known
We’ve all been there! Where do we start? How do we become known? Is record keeping important? Do we need a contract? How do you market yourself, your business, and your music? If you want to grow professionally, this class is for you! All levels, no harp required.


Beth Stockdell:

Techno Talk for the Harp Geek—Intro
You’ve heard everyone rave about putting down their 20 lb gig book and going digital but what does that mean? And how do you get there? In this class we will discuss the minimum and necessary equipment, the basic steps to get started, what options you need to consider now, and what you might need to think about as you develop your electronic musical library. As well as an overview of all the electronic accessories that are available to make your life easier or at least help lighten up the gig bag. All Levels.

The Harp Geek in Techno Land
You’ve got your iPad, your blue-tooth foot pedal, and your electronic tuner app. You’re set. But are you missing a few details that might help make your life even easier? Possibly. We will review the forScore app for some hidden tricks and review some organizational ideas the you might not know. Plus we will talk about real world situations with your electronics that you need to prepare for before your next gig. All Levels.


Wayne Anthony:

Music and the Musician
The French concept of music as a living, breathing entity, art as it were, is very different from the rather cold American concept of music as an academic discipline. They have a saying that "it is possible for a performer to play every note on the page correctly and never play a single note of music." This workshop explores the underpinnings which make music a vibrant, interactive force of moving art. The session will explore the use of energy, line, and communication--moving from the performer to other performers, through the music, and outward to the listener. The hands-on session will include energy facilitating exercises within and between the performers, the transfer of that energy to instrument and music, and then the communication outward to the audience. No prior experience is necessary, just a love of music, a basic ability to play, and the willingness and openness to communicate with others at a level beyond mere words. Bring your harp and perhaps a piece of music you have been working on.

 

Alex Marini:

Harp Care and Maintenance
Please join master harp builder, Alex Marini as he covers issues such as cautions about temperature extremes, cleaning your harp, pointers on tuning, replacing strings, regulating, and issues like dealing with loose pins, cracked eyelets, and eliminating buzzes, plus a little time for questions and answers. All are welcome, bring your harp!

 

Kim Adamson:

Help, I’m just a beginner!
Just because you are a beginner doesn’t mean you can’t make beautiful music or join in all of the fun at the Harp Gathering. Come and learn how to enjoy the music you make now and how you can build on it as you progress in your playing. Playing the harp is a journey to enjoy and you can play the songs that you like. We will go over different ways we learn and how to make the most of them. We will also cover how to get the most out of workshops – even if they may be over your head at this point in your journey. Beginner level.