May 4, 2011

Southern Maryland Celtic Festival Harp Competition Results

We couldn’t have had a better day in Southern Maryland for the Celtic Festival Harp Competition – it was mild and bright and beautiful! We held a Scottish Harp Society of America Sanctioned competition modified for a Celtic field (music from any of the Celtic nations).

Our judge was Sharon Knowles who is a great comment writer. Comments are the real meat of any competition – and Sharon is particularly good at providing excellent feedback for improvement while also pointing out the very best of each performance.

And we had some fantastic performances by the competitors – Sharon remarked on the enhanced standard of play – and she is right. We had a very accomplished field. Remember that the SHSA rules establish a competition against a standard rather than against the other competitors which includes the possibility of no one winning. But that wasn’t possible here – the play was just too good! And the scores were very close indeed. The results:

     Beginner          First Place: Jennifer Plunk
     Novice             First Place: Mary Abbott
                            Second Place: Donna Bennett
     Apprentice       First Place: Barbara Costello
     Journeyman     First Place: Mike Connors
                            Second Place: Saori Nystrom
     Master             First Place: Caroline Kemper

Congratulations to all the winners!

Throughout the day, after the competition, we had many other harp activities. Sharon taught a workshop before she performed on two separate stages. In addition we had an impromptu jam session as well as joining other musicians for a session for the country dancers before the ceilidh.

I’d like to thank Sharon for her wonderful judging. I’d also like to thank the volunteers who helped make the day run so smoothly – Sue Richards – steward, Linda Rice-Johnson – photography, and David Narkevicius – harp schlep, handyman, and gopher as well as John Knowles, wrangler and Donna Bennett, movie extra.

We had a lovely time and I hope you’ll come out to compete next year.

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