The major theme at the Harp Gathering is sharing our enthusiasm for music.
Performers at the concerts demonstrate the wide range of music genres and playing techniques. A highlight was hearing Louise Trotter play. At 92, Louise has been an inspiration to many of the harp players here. She was a guest in their college harp classes when they were university students. She was a performer at other harp events they have attended.
She said she selected her outfit to remind the audience she was from Texas and removed her fringed red gloves and performed a range of songs — from the Chili Pepper Rag (one of her own compositions) to a selection of songs from a music book she bought on a family vacation to Jamaica.
I was able to introduce many people to the Native American-style flute and its ability to play with a wide range of instruments — from harp to ukulele to Appalachian dulcimer.
We shared favorite songs and playing techniques. During every break between workshops, the vendor hall was filled with playing, as people tried out harps, flutes and kanteles. They checked through sheet music to find the songs they had just played in workshops or heard at a concert.
Denise and Michael Grupp-Verbon are the organizers of the Harp Gathering and have designed a great mix of workshops, concerts, vendors and social activities. Director of Operations Kim Adamson provided behind-the-scenes support (and purchased one of my branch flutes that spoke to her).