February 26, 2014

Three ways to do good

We all play our harps for our own reasons – we love the feel, we love the creativity, we love to perform, etc.  But sometimes we need more.  Sometimes we need to give back, to help others, to do more.  You can use your harp in service - and the harp is an excellent way to do that.  Here are three ways you can give back with your harp.

Health and Healing - Many people are called to contribute by supporting healing. There are a number of programs available to become trained to provide music in health care delivery systems.  Find a program such as Music for Healing and Transition - accredited  with the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians to assure that you are learning the material you need to provide an environment conducive to the healing process.  Not interested in pursuing study?  You can still play in hospital waiting areas for the families anxious and waiting. 

Work with education – If you are interested in helping children, you could develop presentations to introduce them to the harp and its music.  Many schools would be delighted to have your contribution.  And remember how many people have never seen or heard the harp – you can get in there early!  You might even find some new harpers there.  Schools need enrichment content and all the pupils could benefit from your time.

Entertain the under-served – no matter where you live there are likely to be people who are not able to access quality entertainment so why not share with them?  Nursing homes, shut ins, group homes, and others would be delighted with any performance you would be willing to share. 

Service is an excellent way to overcome any reluctance you might have about performing - these audiences will be so grateful for your time and talent.  In addition, it helps us to learn that playing and performing is about sharing, it's not about us!

There are so many ways to share - if you have others, please add them in the comments below - I'd love to hear from you - 

February 19, 2014

Southern Maryland Celtic Festival Harp Competition 2014

April 26, 2014 marks the 36th year for the oldest Celtic celebration in Maryland!

The festival is scheduled on the last Saturday of April every year from 10 AM to 6 PM, rain or shine, on the 560-acre Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum.  With more than 50 clans and societies and three performing stages offering continuous music and dance, it will be a fun and full day.  There is a Celtic marketplace and after the closing ceremonies, stay for the evening ceilidh.

We are so excited to have Jo Morrison judging the Harp Competition this year.
Jo is nationally known for her evocative interpretation of Scottish and Irish music on the harp.  Having spent several months in 2005 teaching, writing music, and performing on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, Jo's knowledge and understanding of the Celtic genre puts her in great demand as performer, adjudicator, and teacher across the country.

When not performing, Jo spends her time teaching harp privately and in classes and workshops, and composing and arranging Celtic music for the Celtic harp. She also teaches harp at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, Maryland, and taught at the Ohio Scottish Arts School in 2002, the Somerset Harp Festival for several years, and at various workshops around the country. She taught on the Isle of Lewis in July of 2007. She is currently Vice-President for the Washington Area Folk Harp Society.  Jo is also trained as a Certified Music Practitioner with the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP).

Jo has five CDs - her debut album, The Three Musics (1998), as well as A Waulking Tour of Scotland (2000), Christmas Gifts (2003), is a collection of carols from around the world, By Request (2004) is Jo's musical reply to the oft-posed question, "When are you going to record that tune?" and  her 2008 CD of all original music. Flights of Fantasy.   In addition, she has published three popular collections of harp arrangements, "The Three Musics of the Celtic Harp", "The Morrison Scottish Repertoire Book", and "The Beginning Harper's Tunebook," which is rapidly becoming a standard for beginning folk harpers.

Keep an eye on the CSSM website for more information as it forms up (although there is a start time posted it might change to assure everyone has the best day possible) - but definitely plan to participate as a competitor, a volunteer, or as an observer - we need them all!

February 12, 2014

Clarity ... with time

Some of you let me know that you thought my post last week was exciting but hard to follow.  So, I wanted to take the time to be clear  - because I don't want you to miss out!

We have worked with the Cromarty Harp Village to bring you the chance to extend your visit to Scotland to participate in a tremendous workshop.  After spending the week with us seeing beautiful Scotland, you can add on an additional night of dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation, transportation (and more to see) to and from Cromarty, and the three days of the incredible Cromarty Harp Village events with four amazing tutors - Corrina Hewat, Patsy Seddon, Mary Macmaster, Heather Yule and Una Monaghan - all for just an additional $800.
Take part in the entire Cromarty Harp Village experience including a Friday night concert, Saturday and Sunday workshops for all ability levels, a fun, informal session on Saturday night and a final afternoon gathering on Sunday.  And don't forget that this year, there is the newly commissioned Homecoming piece by Corrina, Patsy and Mary that you will get to play and perform!

Both the Harp the Highlands and Islands Tour and the Harp Village have limited seating - and when we're full, that will be all for this year, so be sure to book soon.  
Leave the details to us and just enjoy visiting Scotland and then immersing yourself in an incredible weekend workshop.

February 5, 2014

UPDATE! Harp the Highlands and Islands Tour UPDATE!

This year, for the first time Cromarty Harp Village Opportunity!

We have wanted to meet up with Corrina Hewat and the amazing Cromarty Harp Village in previous years, but this year, everything worked and we are SO excited that we will be able to offer this add on to the 2014 Harp the Highlands and Islands Tour!

Why not extend your visit to Scotland and participate in this incredible opportunity?  The Cromarty Harp Village brings incomparable tutors and an incredible setting.  You cannot miss an opportunity to participate in a weekend workshop with Corrina Hewat, Patsy Seddon, Mary Macmaster, Heather Yule and Una Monaghan from Ireland.  I am breathless just thinking about it!

Adding on to your tour would be immeasurably better than flying over on Friday and coming right back Monday.  And of course, it would be so much easier to come with us than to plan your own visit. Leave the details with us!

For just $800 you can extend your tour an additional night, have an additional day of seeing more off the beaten path wonder while we go to Cromarty.  You will enjoy the entire Cromarty Harp Village experience including a Friday night concert with dazzling harp playing of Corrina Hewat, Una Monaghan, Patsy Seddon and Mary Macmaster and exquisite storytelling and harp from Heather Yule. Saturday and Sunday experience workshops for all ability levels.  In addition, enjoy a really friendly, fun and informal session on Saturday night and a final afternoon gathering on Sunday.  When you are full of great harping, we will return you to Edinburgh either to continue your visit or to return home.  

BUT WAIT!  There's more!
This year's Harp Village will feature a brand new commissioned piece of music written by Corrina, Patsy and Mary. This will be taught to all the harping students over the weekend and will be performed by all the participants on Sunday afternoon in a very special concert. The theme for the piece is Homecoming.

Harp Village has limited seating (as you might imagine with that lineup!) so be sure to book soon – don’t miss out!

As always, for more information go to: http://www.jeniuscreations.com/harp-tours-of-scotland/