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The 2016 International Harp Festival will be held at the beautiful San Damiano Retreat Center in Northern California. We will bring together many of the harp community’s best clinicians and performers. Our mission is to educate and inspire you and to connect you to harpists from around the globe.

The festival will include One Day Intensive workshops as well as numerous 1 - 2 hour workshops. Topics include healing harp, Celtic and world music, liturgical harp, improvisation, and much more.

You will have time throughout the day to shop for harps, music, and accessories, and meet and mingle with other participants, the performers, and facilitators.

Every evening you will enjoy concerts featuring harpists performing The Blues, Straight Ahead Jazz, World Music, Folk and Classical repertoire.

Please visit our website for full event information, schedule, and FAQs.

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Performance Track [clear filter]
Thursday, May 26
 

9:30am

Playing the Harp Effortlessly
Limited Capacity seats available

"An Instructional Course in Developing an Effortless Approach to Playing the Harp"

Dancing is everything behind the grace and beauty of being a harpist.

Introduction: Outline main ideas about harp playing. My technical and musical approach. Main differences from others. Relationship with Carlos Salzedo and other influential teachers.

Discussion-Outline: Playing the harp is complex and involves paradoxes. How position evolves as student advances. Distinction between a standard and technical approach and the individual. Isolating the many different technical elements.

Visual and Aesthetics: "A harpists' hands are like a dancers' toes" (Vaslav Nijinsky). Articulation, alignment, dynamic control, ("The full beauty of the harp grows out of many varying tonal effects of which it is capable"), breathing, body language. Gestures must have meaning. Effortless approach to playing the instrument.

Repertoire Discussion: Bring repertoire to demonstrate. Discuss ways of learning. Memorization and developing a photographic memory. Discuss repertoire which presents more challenges to teach: Excerpts/examples from solo, chamber, orchestral, ballet, opera, etc.

Wrap Up: Revisiting subjects with questions and suggestions from our previous sessions.

We all listen with our eyes and this is why it is so important to play the harp with a visual approach to match your musical concepts.

Presenters
avatar for Heidi Lehwalder

Heidi Lehwalder

“The main thing to tell you about Heidi is that she is simply a genius.” | – Leonard Bernstein, Nov. 1963 | | Heidi Lehwalder, harpist, has performed as guest artist with more than 65 orchestras throughout the United States and Canada, including the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as well as... Read More →


Thursday May 26, 2016 9:30am - 5:00pm
St. Francis
  • Level All
  • Harp Required? No
 
Friday, May 27
 

9:15am

Beginning Irish Tunes
Limited Capacity seats available

Learn simple Irish tunes with simple left hand accompaniments that are fun to play.

Presenters
avatar for Joanna Mell

Joanna Mell

Joanna Mell has been playing Celtic music for over 40 years. She played guitar, mandolin and keyboards and sang in a Celtic band on the East Coast during the 1980s and 90s. Since 1989, she has made the Celtic harp her focus and performs nationally at conferences, festivals and other venues. She also teaches locally and by Skype. She has recorded five CDs of Celtic music. She is also a therapeutic harpist.


Friday May 27, 2016 9:15am - 10:30am
St. Francis
  • Level All
  • Harp Required? Yes

1:30pm

What's That Sound?
Limited Capacity seats available

Have you ever wondered how many different ways you can play a glissando? Or do you wish to get more variety out of your music? Come explore the often-unheard sounds of the contemporary harp. Learn about extended harp techniques, how to "prepare" your harp, and how to play the harp with auxiliary tools. Check out how many of these sounds were developed and implemented by celebrated harpists and composers and how you can use them too, to give new life to your own arrangements, improvisations, and compositions.

Presenters
avatar for Stephan Haluska

Stephan Haluska

A passionate musician, harpist, composer, music nerd, and avid concert goer based in Oakland CA who is constantly searching for new sounds and music. Stephan is dedicated to providing opportunities for musicians through the music and media production industries.


Friday May 27, 2016 1:30pm - 3:30pm
St. Francis
  • Level All
  • Harp Required? Yes

3:45pm

Touch & Tone Technique
This workshop will introduce the basics of Cheryl Ann Fulton’s Touch & Tone Technique™.  Her approach treats the harp as primarily a melodic, not percussive instrument, with an emphasis on putting breath in the fingertips and playing from one’s center.  It gives the player the ability to truly play legato phrasing on a plucked string instrument.  It also enables the harpist to play with a full, rich tone and extensive dynamic range with no tension, stress or blockage.  She will teach several of her Touch & Tone exercises, including the “Scoop” and  “Wave” how they are connected to breath, explain her concept of horizontal gravity and how to use it for playing the harp, and demonstrate the biomechanics involved in keeping the finger, wrist, elbow and shoulder joints completely open and relaxed while playing. Many of the exercises are like "yoga for the hands."  We will look at specific musical examples to experience how this technique aids in deeper connection to music and expanded expressive capability.

The Touch & Tone Technique™ helps eliminate tension, develop healthier ways of playing, and deepens individual expressive capabilities and connection to the harp.  It also harmonizes the physical work on technique with the aesthetic goals of creating expressive music on the harp.   The result is the delight in finding how to bring the best tone out of any harp with a more relaxed approach to playing using the least possible effort for the greatest possible result.  Harpists at all levels will find value in this workshop.

Presenters
avatar for Cheryl Ann Fulton

Cheryl Ann Fulton

Recognized worldwide as a leading pioneer in the field of historical harps, Cheryl Ann Fulton has had internationally successful performing, recording, teaching and scholarly research career since 1986. She is America’s premier performer of historical harps, and one of the few harpists in the world to play triple harp, medieval harp and contemporary lever harps. Her solo performance for the 2002 World Harp Congress in Geneva... Read More →


Friday May 27, 2016 3:45pm - 5:45pm
Fireside Lounge
  • Level All
  • Harp Required? Yes
 
Saturday, May 28
 

9:15am

Celtic Music for Lever Harp
Limited Capacity seats available

Ireland, Scotland, and Cape Breton claim credit for producing wonderful Celtic music. We'll discuss the importance of tradition, learn several beautiful tunes, and explore techniques for ornamenting and accompanying those melodies. We'll also discuss the difference between playing for dancers and playing for listeners.

Presenters
avatar for Beth Kollé

Beth Kollé

Beth Kollé performs and presents workshops on harp, flute and pennywhistle, and sings in Norwegian, Swedish and Gaelic. She also teaches Scandinavian folkdance and song at festivals and retreats around the United States. She organized the three HARPA tours to Scandinavian to perform and promote harp-playing in 2006, 2008, and 2013. A fourth HARPA tour, run by Jen Narkevicius, traveled to Scotland in May 2015. Beth has been... Read More →


Saturday May 28, 2016 9:15am - 10:30am
Fireside Lounge
  • Level Intermediate
  • Harp Required? Yes

9:15am

Invite Your Muse on a Date
Limited Capacity seats available

Do you believe that compositions spring forth fully fledged via The Muse? Do you feel that improvisation is just for people who have a special knack? Not so on either count--there are many ways to commune with your Muse! Classical musician-turned-original music maker Dr. Diana Rowan shares her most successful techniques for getting started on your own compositions and improvisations. Together we demystify subjects like modes, form, and variations so that you come away with a full basket of gorgeous and useful ideas to develop. Hands-on so that you experience and internalize these fun devices on the spot. Recording is encouraged for follow-up at home.

Presenters
avatar for Diana Rowan

Diana Rowan

An award-winning musical artist currently performing worldwide and recording both solo and in collaboration, Diana Rowan’s playing and compositions have unusual power and beauty derived from her ability to integrate the musical traditions of the many countries in which she has lived and traveled. Her forthcoming album As Above, So Below reflects recent travels throughout Asia, plus Diana’s PhD research in harp composition from... Read More →


Saturday May 28, 2016 9:15am - 10:30am
Chapel
  • Level All
  • Harp Required? Yes