Autoharp Notes

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Autoharp Notes
Promoting the Autoharp
across the UK
Autoharp Notes
Spring 2014
President’s Perspectives
Hello Everyone,
Welcome to a new autoharping year wherever you are, although by
the time you read this we’ll be a good two months and more into 2014.
As usual there are plenty of events occurring this year – both those
organised by UKA, and those other regular dates, quite apart from
whatever else you may be doing locally and privately to continue your
autoharp journey.
I’m hoping to make every UKA event this year, as well as attending
Sore Fingers Easter Week. And for a very tasty starter we have Mike
and
Rachel Fenton’s Day in Tewkesbury on Saturday 22nd March
Page 1
to look forward to, where the tutors include Mike himself, Heather
Farrell-Roberts, Guy Padfield and our very own Mountain Laurel prize
winner, Bob Ebdon – a real A-team to keep us all on our toes! Next
on the agenda will be Sore Fingers Easter Week (14th – 19th April)
with the incomparable Karen Mueller and Heather as tutors, before
attention switches north to Yorkshire at the end of June and a repeat
of UKA’s Gargrave Autoharp Festival (27th to 29th) hosted by Patrick
O’Sullivan. This event, in the charming, picturesque and very friendly,
rural community, only a stone’s throw from the major conurbations
of Yorkshire and Lancashire, promises to be even better than the
successful launch in 2013, and will form part of the cultural lead-up to
the Tour De France which is starting locally at the beginning of July.
Then in August it’s back to the lovely and welcoming village of
Moniaive in Dumfries and Galloway for the 4th Scottish Autoharp
Weekend (8th -10th) run by Nadine Stah White and local autoharpers,
before the final UKA event of the year at East Sheen in SW London on
20th September, hosted by Guy Padfield. Then, of course, there will also
be the Sore Fingers October Weekend, with Mike Fenton as the main
tutor, at the end of the month.
As for UKA itself, there are definitely going to be some changes
this year! While I write this, the Committee, and in particular our
Inside this issue:
President’s Perspectives
by Neil Gillard1
Autoharp Notes
Editor’s Ramblings
by Judy Spindler2
An ‘Electric Harp’ Indeed
by Mike Fenton3
The Fable of the Autoharp...
by Patrick O’Sullivan4
Gargrave Autoharp Festival
by Patrick O’Sullivan6
A Heartfelt Thank You
by Drew Smith9
A Cybermama
by Nadine Stah White10
Learning Style...
by Cathy Britell10
An American Autoharper in Britain
by Heather Farrell-Roberts12
Children In Need Day
by Sue Edwards14
Music: Leaving Kingham
16
Memories of Joan McNally
Various members17
Music: The Dark Island
21
Autoharp Britannia Order Form 22
Suppliers, Performers & Sessions 24
Forthcoming Events & Contacts 25
WANT ED!
NEWS, ARTICLES, TIPS,
MUSIC & PHOTOS FOR
THE NEXT ISSUE –
COPY DATE 31st MAY
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 2
new webmaster, Joolz, are working on a brand new website which, as well as providing all that our
previous one has done, will also allow members to pay their future subscriptions, and to book events,
directly online using PayPal.
Less happily, Bob Ebdon has had to give up his role as our Events Organiser, which he has held
since March 2009, doing a superb job. He will be sadly missed (only, I hope, in that role), and I
would like to extend to him the sincere thanks of us all, and especially me, for a demanding, and
sometimes thankless, job very well done. Thank you, Bob.
Also sadly, later this year Terry Pearson, who has been our Membership Secretary and Treasurer
for 7 and 6 years respectively, will be standing down. So if you would like to take on a vital role to
help keep UKA developing strongly, please let me know – we might even be able to tailor a role to
suit your inclinations and skills because it is always essential to have fresh ideas if we are to continue
to thrive. As always, I’d love to hear from you about any aspect of our association, and you can find
my contact details in this publication, or on the website.
May your autoharp journey continue to be rewarding! See you at some of our events, I hope.
Hugs,
Neil
Editor’s Ramblings
After this dismal winter of unrelenting grey skies, record rainfall and
disastrous flooding, there are now plenty of optimistic signs. It’s Team GB’s
most successful Winter Olympics since 1924, Peggy Seeger’s performance of
Quite Early Morning wowed the audience at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
with her autoharp taking centre stage (surely the first time ever at the Royal
Albert Hall!) but best of all, the floods have now receded and Tirlebrook
Primary School and Tewkesbury town centre are fully open for business, so
you won’t even have to wear your wellies!
Some months ago, UKA joined FOAOTMAD (Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance)
– after all, they do have an autoharp in their logo! We have placed small adverts in their quarterly
magazine for both Tewkesbury and Gargrave, and are also providing publicity for autoharp events
to their blog which is sent out every few weeks to everyone on their extensive mailing list (see
foaotmad.org.uk/wordpress/news). It will be interesting to discover if we get any response, so if you
ever get chatting to an old-timer at any of our events, please do inform a member of the committee.
Of course the autoharp isn’t just an old-time or bluegrass instrument. As a newish member of the
autoharp Facebook group, I’m constantly amazed by the many different musical styles featured by
our members and by the events you attend with your ’harps. I’m always on the lookout for reports so
please keep them coming in to Autoharp Notes to share with non-facebook members. I would also
like to include CD reviews in future issues, so if you’ve discovered a really great album do let us all
know, even if the autoharp features only briefly. And if you haven’t yet bought your copy of Autoharp
Britannia, it will be on sale at Tewkesbury or available direct from Neil - see page 22.
Finally, a big thank you to all contributors to this issue. The copy date for the next issue is 31st
May. Until then, happy ’harping,
Judy Spindler
An ‘Electric Harp’ indeed!
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 3
by Mike Fenton
While undertaking some research last year at the Colindale Newspaper Library, I happened upon this cutting
from Disc Weekly, Disc Weekly, January 15th, 1966 – World Cup Year in England, 900th Anniversary of the
Battle of Hastings, the year Middlesbrough FC played in Division Three for the first time ever, and the year I
saw Jerry Lee Lewis ten times in a week at two plush Teesside night-spots!
I couldn’t resist sending this in to Autoharp Notes. Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours were a quintet from
Rugby whose disc Mirror, Mirror on the Decca label reached the Top Ten in the early weeks of the year.
They were very much ‘one-shot wonders’ in Hit Parade terms, but they were distinguished by their bright
stage apparel (not obvious on black & white TV) and their use of an autoharp, strummed in a very basic
way by Samuel Pinkerton
Kempe, seen holding
the instrument on the
photograph. The plastic
chord bar cover with the
twelve buttons gives it
away as a German ‘Chord
Harp’ from the Hopf
factory in Klingenthal,
Saxony.
I think John Sebastian
in the USA will have
beaten them in the
frantic race to electrify an
autoharp, but they may
well be the first to have
our instrument featured
on a Top Ten disc! Only
they didn’t appear to
know what it was properly
called if the cutting is to
be believed ! The group
still exist in the Rugby
area - I met up with two of
them there several years
ago, and there’s still an
autoharp in the line-up,
although the ‘electric harp’
in the photo was trashed
years ago!
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 4
The Fable of the Autoharp in the North
by Patrick O’Sullivan
The story so far…
An autoharper put his autoharp into its bag, slung the bag over his
shoulder and began to travel north. He came to a small and pretty village,
took out his autoharp – but he did not play it. He sat on a bench, and put
the autoharp on the bench beside him. So, they sat there, the man and
his autoharp, until a passerby passed by. I cannot tell you
much about this passer-by –
but I can tell you this: he had
a very big nose. The passerby paused, gave a nosy look,
and said, ‘That’s a strange
looking chili-dryer…’
The autoharper said not
a word, packed his autoharp
into its bag, slung the bag over his shoulder, and travelled on, north.
He can be criticised for this, I know. But I think that his behaviour is
understandable. In the circumstances.
And he came to a charming town, sat on a bench, took out his autoharp
– but he did not play it. He put the autoharp on the bench beside him.
And they sat there together, the man and his autoharp, ignoring each
other. Until a passer-by
passed by. I cannot tell you
much about this passer-by
– but I can tell you this: he
had one eye bigger than the
other. The passer-by paused,
aimed a beady eye, and said,
‘That’s a strange looking
pasta machine…’
And the autoharper
sighed, and packed up his autoharp, and travelled, north.
Then he came to another pretty town, and – as before – sat and waited,
with his autoharp beside him. And there was a bystander. I cannot tell
you much about this bystander – but I can tell you this: he needed a
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 5
shave. And the bystander
pointed a whiskery chin,
and said, ‘That’s a strange
looking cheese grater…’
And the autoharper
said not a word, not a
word. He packed up his
autoharp and travelled on,
still north.
And he came to a very
pretty village, with everything you would want, a pub, an old stone church,
an old stone bridge over a clear river, a
tea shop. And the autoharper took out
his autoharp, and put it on the bench
beside him. And he waited. And there
was a passer-by. I cannot tell you much
about this passer-by – but I can tell you
this: she had a very good ear. And she
said to the autoharper, ‘Are you going
to play that autoharp or not?’
And by this he knew that he had
finally reached Gargrave, where everyone knows what an autoharp looks like.
And they like to hear the autoharp played, in the pub, in the church and in the
tea shop. And, of course, in the Gargrave Village Hall.
And the autoharper picked up his autoharp, cuddled it to his chest, and
played and played and played. Until his fingers bled.
Which was not wise. But is understandable. In the circumstances.
© Patrick O’Sullivan 2014
Illustrations © Jo Ball and Alan Poxon
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 6
Gargrave Autoharp Festival
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 27, 28, 29, 2014
by Patrick O’Sullivan
Well, after ‘The Fable of the Autoharp’, need I say
more?
O, all right then…
The story continued…
Before the end of the Gargrave Autoharp Festival
2013, before our Grand Concert on the Saturday
evening had finished, before Mike Fenton had
reluctantly released his spellbound audience… Our
friends in Gargrave had asked us to return in 2014.
There were arguments for returning, and there
were arguments against – at the time I wrote a long
note for the UKA Committee spelling out the pros
and the cons. And I think that the arguments are
well known to us all – first that the UKA is not
strong in the north. But the big argument in favour
of returning to Gargrave was that, in 2014, we could
be part of the Cultural Festival of Grand Depart of
the Tour de France – which has now been rebranded
as the Yorkshire Festival, a massive cultural festival
in the weeks leading up to the start of the Tour de
France, 2014, in Leeds, in the first weekend of July.
So, amongst the first tasks, when we did decide to
return to Gargrave in 2014, was to establish what the
Yorkshire Festival organisers needed, and to make
sure that we gave it to them. We are now visible on
the Yorkshire Festival web site…
http://festival.yorkshire.com/events/gargraveautoharp-festival
And, actually, I am pleased with what they have
done with the material we supplied. I like the way
that the craggy Mike Fenton persona comes across.
But when, in 2014, should we have our Festival
in Gargrave? Many factors influence the choice of
weekend – what the Gargrave Village Hall could
offer us, there had to be no clash with other UKA
events, I was told to avoid the dates of the TT races
on the Isle of Man, meeting up with Mike Fenton’s
fan base amongst the caravanners… (The Camping
& Caravanning club holds regular meets on
Gargrave’s football pitch – the caravanners, it turns
out, are an important part of our target audience.)
And, of course, in order to be part of the Yorkshire
Festival, we had to have a date before the start of the
Tour de France in July.
Everything is now in place for the Gargrave
Autoharp Festival, the weekend of Friday, Saturday,
Sunday, June 27, 28, 29, 2014. The Grand Depart,
the actual start of the Tour de France, takes place the
following weekend – so, yes, it is a bit close, and yes,
I am worried.
Our autoharp tutors are booked…
Mike Fenton, with Rachel – Mike will conduct
one to one sessions in the morning and a whole
group workshop in the sfternoon.
Guy Padfield will lead the beginner groups.
Nadine White and Ian White will lead two
workshops.
Heather Farrell-Roberts will lead two advanced
workshops.
All the autoharp tutors will take part in our
Grand Concert in the evening.
The other vital member of the team is Alan
Morrison, the hairy harper, a member of UKA who
lives in Yorkshire. In 2013, when I realised that what
the Village Hall called a ‘sound system’ was not what
you or I would call a sound system, Alan stepped in
and provided a professional quality system for our
Grand Concert. And Alan will be there again, on
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 7
Saturday June 28, filling that gap.
UKA members who came to Gargrave in 2013
will remember what worked, and what did not work.
There was ecstatic feedback on the UKA Facebook
pages at the time. It is a lovely village, in a lovely part
of the country. I travelled down to the UKA AGM
in Sherborne, Dorset, in October 2013, to listen to
more considered thoughts, and to understand what
had not worked. The Gargrave Autoharp Festival,
as it has come together, is not one of our cosy UKA
events – though, no doubt, cosiness will occur.
We are embedded in a busy village centre, we are
shoehorned into a rolling programme of village
events, we are part of a massive cultural festival. Bob
Ebdon commented on Facebook that we have never
had so much publicity – we have certainly made the
autoharp and our autoharp professionals visible.
Some details might not be quite the way we like
them. For example – speaking as someone who
needs his tea – we do not have our own tea-making
facilities, and simply plug into the Village Hall
events. To balance this, everyone who signs up for
the autoharp classes gets a free ticket to the evening
Grand Concert. We are not charged for the use of
the Village Hall.
The Gargrave community wants to work with
us. The Gargrave dance school lent us the two little
ballerinas for the Gargrave Autoharp Festival poster
photo shoot. Andrew Milne, a local photographer
and graphic designer, worked for free. The Gargrave
art group discussed ‘The Fable of the Autoharp’
at a meeting and provided the illustrations. One
nice thing is that we have been lent a house in the
middle of Gargrave for that weekend – we can
put the autoharp tutors in there, and tuck them
up each night with a mug of cocoa. If you are like
me you are already adding up in your head the
hundreds of pounds worth of help we have already
received. Even as we speak, Gargrave volunteers are
distributing our Gargrave Autoharp Festival poster
around Yorkshire.
What are we short of, what do we need? Send
more autoharpers…
Patrick O’Sullivan
February 2014
PS Obsessive narratologists will recognise ‘The
Fable of the Autoharp’ as a version of the very old
story of the Sailor and the Oar – except that I have
turned it on its head.
In the story the Sailor who is tired of the Sea – or
is afraid of the Sea – puts an Oar on his shoulder,
and walks inland, until he meets a passer-by who
has never seen an Oar. The passer-by says, ‘Where
are you going with that threshing flail?’ Or some
such. And so the Sailor knows that he is finally safe
from the Sea. Obsessive narratologists who need
footnotes – are there any other kind? – should
contact me directly on [email protected]
A HEARTFELT THANK YOU
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 9
to all in my SORE FINGERS 2013 UK AUTOHARP CLASS !!!!
from Drew Smith
Thinking about my time in England and
October 2013 Sore Fingers ... and I’d like
you to know: that I feel you UK Autoharp
folks were all so awesome! I managed
to get through all of my 40+ pages of
material in the limited amount of time
available. You are most dedicated players,
and such enthusiasts. I hope my handouts
will serve you well... and now that you’ve
seen and heard examples of my songs,
formulas, exercises and techniques,
it’s time do your homework. I may ask
questions the next time I see you! Many, many thanks to Heather for
arranging to have me cross over the
pond, and for printing all the many sets
of handout sheets. While I know you have
had exemplary autoharp tutors from
America for past October SFOWs, I learn
that I’m the last American to come over
for the October issue of SFOW.
Should you want to hear more examples of the lesson
songs I’ve used, you should be able to Google for them.
BTW, I mention again a website you may find SO beneficial
for finding both song and tune examples: it is www.Ckuik.
com and once you master navigating within its website, I
think you’ll love it. Should you instead enter the name of
a performer, you can come up with a wide variety of the
material he/she has recorded. This is how I sometimes
button up a version of a number I’d like to play.
This was my absolute first time abroad ... my passport
was brand new! Coming to England was definitely on my
“bucket list.” Oh boy, did I love it!!! Only trouble is you
all drive on the wrong side of the road! But thanks to my
splendid hosts, Hazel Baxter, and Mike Fenton after SFOW, I
had no need to drive.
On Saturday stage, after Heather’s most beautiful
diatonic tune rendition on her autoharp, I followed with my
chromatic Southern Mountain version of a song called, “The
Cuckoo”. Heather mentioned that it was a good thing for the
autoharp program to demonstrate these two differing styles
of autoharps.
Let me say that Old-Time and Bluegrass musicianship
at Sore Fingers is top notch and as good as it gets!!! I was
fortunate to have jammed on Friday night with some mighty
fine tutor players, and I’m sure that was responsible for my
being able to be on stage with them and the other tutors
who each excel with their instruments. I was so happy we
did my Texas Swing song, “My Window Faces the South,”
made popular by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. I hope I
might be able to see a YouTube recorded version of it.
You have all treated me SO WELL at Sore Fingers, and
I am most appreciative for your cards and birthday cake,
CDs, and wonderful books on English countryside as well
as British motorcycles. As I churn over in my mind the
many things I have done in England, the views and sights,
Sore Fingers and all the old and new found friends that
I’ve spent time with and played music with, I feel like I’m
floating on air. It’s been one of my life’s top highlights!
THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH !!!
Hugs to ALL!
Drew Smith
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 10
A Cybermama
by Nadine Stah White
A number of UK Autoharpers have had the pleasure of meeting Cathy
Britell in person when she was the tutor at Sore Fingers Week a few
years ago or on transatlantic trips to US autoharp events. Many
players have benefited from the autoharp learning materials she has
generated, including the widely-used beginner’s handbook: ‘It’s an
Autoharp!’
Some of us who enjoy using computers to connect with other
autoharpers have also come to appreciate Cathy’s thoughtful
posts to the Cyberpluckers internet newsgroup. In fact she
is more than just a regular contributor to this group - she’s
been part of the Cyberpluckers for longer than anyone else
currently taking part. Sometimes referred to with affection
as ‘Cybermama’, Cathy was one of the four autoharpers who
were the founders of the Cyberpluckers autoharp newsgroup
in the early years of e-mail and recreational personal
computing.
The subject of learning music from the page vs. learning ‘by ear’
came up for discussion on the ‘Pluckers, and Cathy posted her ‘take’ on the role of musical
notation in learning music for the autoharp. When asked if she’d consider submitting her post to the UKA’s
‘Autoharp Notes’ newsletter, she agreed and then edited and expanded her original comments into the article
which follows.
Learning Style, Dots/Lines/Squiggles, and MUSIC
by Cathy Britell
I was first delighted and inspired by live music at the
age of nine, when the Minneapolis Symphony came
around to the little town where we lived and played
in the high school gym. I remember sitting down
on the floor as close to the violin section as possible,
and drinking in the music. Then and there, I decided
that I would play in an orchestra, and when the
opportunity came to learn to play the clarinet in the
school music program, I was thrilled.
Jump ahead 10 years and I was playing in a
professional symphony, majoring in music in college,
teaching music and contemplating making my living
by reading notes, savoring the joy of playing the great
symphonic masterpieces and clarinet concertos.
Jump ahead 20 more years, a different career
and a family, and I acquired an autoharp, long after
having given up on the idea of playing music for a
living. I remember going to my first traditional music
gathering, feeling paralyzed and wondering how in
the world they figured out which chord to play next
and how they played all that music without dots and
squiggles!
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 11
Jump ahead another 25 years, and
I’m now enjoying music with my
friends, playing autoharp and bass and
a few other instruments for concerts,
dances, recordings and fun, teaching
others to play, delighting in hearing new
songs and tunes, and translating the
music from my brain to my fingers.
Over all the years and changing
musical orientations, I’ve observed the
following as regards the relationship of humans to
dots and squiggle.
• If one is an aural learner, the dots make no
sense, and the music comes much easier.
• If one is a visual learner, as classically trained
musicians must be, the dots make a lot of sense.
HOWEVER, the visual learner is condemned
to depend on and be limited by the dots until
he/she teaches him/herself to become an aural
learner as well.
I’ve spent the last three evenings (and look
forward to a few more) preparing handouts for 7
hours of workshops at an upcoming festival. I always
include a CD of all the songs taught (after getting
permissions from everyone involved). There are
many visual learners in the AH community. That’s
why I bothered to get $500 worth of software, learn
how to use it, and tediously note out all those songs/
tunes with all the little squiggles that are called
autoharp tablature.
Interestingly, the beginners get a big booklet and
19-track CD, and during the workshops I suggest
that they don’t open the booklets unless
they feel an overwhelming need to do
so. But they really appreciate having the
materials to help them remember what
we did. So, people often learn aurally
whether they thought they could or not,
but appreciate visual reinforcement.
The more advanced students always
want written music, even though many
of them can do just fine without it. Also interestingly, the intermediate/advanced
classes I’m teaching are generally about hearing
interesting possibilities in your head and making
them happen on your autoharp. It’s impossible to
write that out, obviously, and if you’re encouraging
people to be original, you don’t want to give them a
recording and say, “This is how you do it”. However,
a lot of people (even advanced players) still need to
learn a tune or song on a visual rote basis before they
can branch out and make it their own. Over the years, I’ve learned to cover all the bases,
knowing that until you have the ability to hear a tune
in your head and play it that way on your instrument,
you will be making somebody else’s music. That’s
OK... that can be very nice and very rewarding too.
But once you start making the music your own, it
becomes more fun for you and for the people who are
listening.
Cathy Britell
January 2014
Website: http://www.larkpoint.com/
For information on Cyberpluckers, email: [email protected]
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 12
The following article appeared in the last issue of Autoharp Quarterly and is
re-printed here by kind permission of the magazine’s Editor/Publisher, Pete Daigle
An American Autoharper in Britain
Nadine Stah White, the driving force behind the UK Autoharp community
by Heather Farrell-Roberts
I met Nadine at the first Autoharp class
at Sore Fingers Summer School ( SFSS),
Easter 1998. This small American lady
was a bundle of energy, asked SO many
questions and had more enthusiasm than
I thought was possible in one person.
Little did I know that 15 years later she
would be such a good friend and a driving
force in UK Autoharps.
In September of 1998 Nadine hosted, and
everything else, the first Autoharp Day in the
village of Drayton Oxfordshire. This was so thrilling
as this was the first EVER! I remember the buzz
of excitement and finding that there were more
autoharp players than just the 8 of us at SFSS. But
let me allow Nadine to tell you about it.
“I had taken early retirement from teaching in
1998 (teaching had been only two days a week at
that point, combines with an Advisory Teacher Post
for the other three days). My plan at that point was
to do some supply (relief) teaching a week but also
use a ‘free’ day a week towards organising standalone autoharp activities.
“At the first SFSS Mike Fenton thought that it was
worth trying to see if folks would come together
for a Saturday event somewhere in the south of
England. I had some event-organising experience
and was prepared to tackle this challenge.
“So starting in September 1998 – the month
when I was first ‘free’ of classroom teaching
responsibilities – I organised one stand-alone
Autoharp Day a term for four terms. Each of these
stand-alone days paid for itself (they pretty much
had to, because we didn’t have any outside funding).
I organised both programme and venue and
did the advance mailing/publicity. We relied
on Mike Fenton (and then me and Heather
Farrell-Roberts) to run workshops.
“At that point we weren’t relying on
e-mail, and there was no UKA (UK
Autoharps) website. I remember doing huge
mailings of fliers (lots of stamp licking until
I managed to get some sheets of the very new self
-adhesive postage stamps). At first the mailing list
came from Mike’s extensive list of contacts through
his school work and autoharp sales.
“UK Autoharps as an organisation came into
existence in a meeting at Mike Fenton’s house in
December 1999, so the first official UKA Autoharp
Day was in February 2000.”
Nadine also started Autoharp Notes, the magazine
for UK autoharpers, [which] comes out three times
a year. Nadine wrote, edited and everything else for
this magazine, even got it photocopied for UKA
members, a huge undertaking but so good for the
rest of us to see what others were doing. Gradually
other people stared to write articles, send photos
etc and eventually Ian Lawrance took over as editor
[recently superceded by Judy Spindler].
UKA now has three Days a year scattered around
the UK, they are known for good workshops and
lots of fun and then some amazing open stages
at the end of each day. None of this would be
happening with Nadine.
Did Nadine stop there? NO!
After moving to Scotland she set up autoharp
classes in her area, very successful. She also started
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 13
the Scottish Autoharp Weekend, [number four will
be this August 2014]. Always fun, with great people
supporting Nadine.
Here are a couple of reports about Nadine as a
person, rather than a great organiser.
gentle but persistent encouragement. I did pluck
up the courage and made it to the final!!! I was
very proud to receive my finalist plaque. She is an
inspiration to many players and gets them out of
their comfort zone to find they can achieve more.”
First from Sue Edwards:
“I would like to pay particular tribute to Nadine
regarding my first experience at MLAG in 2006.
Heather and I went to stay with Carole and Fisk
Outwater, who were such welcoming hosts, we
travelled together up to MLAG and I was ready to
enjoy the experience of this great festival! However,
the thought of entering the contest...hmmm, that
was maybe too scary? A step too far!
“I had found that playing autoharps enabled me
to write tunes and as I now had my lovely d’Aigle I
was keen to share them, yet in a competition? Not
being able to speak?! No, no, no.
“Nadine came up with a reassuring plan. ‘Try
out Open Stage earlier in the week first, as you can
decide to enter the contest on the day. Don’t think
of it as a competition, but as a way of putting two
of your pretty tunes on a CD!’ She then added,
‘However, do have four tunes ready in case!’
“Nadine persuaded me to have a go with her
Now Maryann Vagg:
“Nadine lent me an autoharp after my first class
at SFSS in 1999 when Mike had none available, she
called it her black beauty and without it I would
probably have come home and never played again.
“When I went to SFSS in 2008, the year my sister
Sue Laughton died, Nadine was my roommate and
although dreading going, as it was the first year
there without Sue, she did her utmost to help me
through an incredibly emotional and difficult week
with such compassion but also left me space... I
could not have asked for better except of course, my
sister.”
Nadine, without you UKA would not exist and
many of us would still be playing this strange and
beautiful instrument in isolation. So THANK
YOU for everything you have done over the years
and are still doing.
Heather Farrell-Roberts
Autoharp Quarterly
The International Magazine dedicated to the Autoharp Enthusiast
Find songs, lessons, tips and a variety of information for improving your playing
and help you maintain your instrument.
Find stories about your favorite players and your favorite places to play, read up on the festivals.
The list of what you find here is long.
When you sign up with the Autoharp Quarterly, you become a member rather than a subscriber,
and a world of music is waiting for you.
The AQ is published four times a year, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.
To become a member and receive printed copies or an online version visit
www.autoharpquarterly.com
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 14
Children in Need Day
Friday 15th November 2013
by Sue Edwards
As I am rather keen on our ‘wee box ‘o
strings’, I have been known from time to time
to encourage people to have a go playing –
sometimes when giving talks to groups such
as the WI, or at fund raising events like Comic
Relief or Children in Need!
The first time I helped Pudsey was in a bank
– they did ask me to play there, as I had shown
my first luthier harp to the person who arranged
the money transfer for my D’Aigle! She was very
struck by the beautiful maple back, and as the
bank was going to do fundraising on the CiN
day, I went along to play and to see if anyone
would pay Pudsey to be able to try my harps!
The donations went in with the bank’s total.
The following few years I did the same at a
building society, but this year I decided to do
my own event in our local music store, Music
Dynamics. I was given some raffle prizes by
the shop, and added a copy of our CD Autoharp
Britannia and Bob’s Pick ‘n Mix CD! (plus some
Thorntons chocs called ‘smiles’) A friend made a
poster for me which was put up in various places,
the Town Council office, Cafes, some shops and
Tourist Information. I was able to get the event
publicised on BBC Radio Gloucestershire on Johnny
Coppin’s Saturday Folk show too, and announced by
Stroud FM in their ‘drive time’.
On the day I took 3 harps, Fladmark G/D,
Schreiber F/C and my D’aigle in A of course! Some
friends popped in during the day to support the
event, and I was sent some donations – thank you
Jan and Irene! Our local paper sent a photographer,
and I persuaded him to play, whilst I took a photo of
him! (the photo he took was not in the next weeks
paper, but I understand was in the following week,
but I did have some taken by a friend!!)
At one stage two brothers came in, one with his
guitar (looking for a new case) and they decided to
have a jamming session – the brother borrowed a
banjo from the shop! I had Pudsey paw prints put
on my nails, when getting acrylic ones for the day,
so I was ‘bear fingered’! When playing with a guitar
and a loud banjo, I needed the picks after all!
Although it was fairly quiet in the shop, people
did donate, bought raffle tickets and a few had a
quick taster session in playing! The total ended up
as £70, and I think in a bigger location with earlier
publicity next time, I will be able to raise more!
It was fun to do, and I have some ideas for next
year – watch this space!
Sue Edwards
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 15
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 16
If you would like to hear the tune, there are two links you can click on:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nk7dbhfklxxqkyw/Leaving%20Kingham%20in%20G.MP3
or a shortened link: http://goo.gl/Xybc36
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 17
The following pages contain members’ tributes to Joan McNally
who died so tragically and suddenly last December
FROM NADINE WHITE:
I feel so privileged to have
been there at the start of Joan’s
love affair with the autoharp.
I know that I must have
seen her at Sore Fingers over
the years, but I first came to
know Joan one year when I
was teaching the beginners’
autoharp class. Heather
Farrell-Roberts usually
teaches the beginners, but on
this occasion Heather was
finally getting a chance to
join Karen Mueller’s group,
while I took on the beginners’
class in her place. Although I
have taught a lot of autoharp
workshops over the years, this was the first occasion
when I would have a whole week to work with a
substantial group of beginning players (six in total).
I was keen but also a bit daunted by the prospect,
however everything was made better by a lot of
support from both Heather and Karen... and by the
class members themselves, who quickly bonded into
a mutually supportive group.
That year, the Sunday night jam at Kingham
Hill School where folks gather together at the start
of Sore Fingers Week seemed a bit quieter than is
sometimes the case. I stood in the bar, discreetly
casting my eyes over people’s name badges, hoping
to identify some of the group I’d be teaching the
following day. Sure enough, Joan came up to me,
smiling and flashing her name badge, very excited
that she was going to be doing the beginners’
autoharp class. Joan told me that she sang ‘a bit’ but
didn’t play an instrument. Well, that’s a good start, I
thought...but little could I know what was going to
develop.
Later that evening, I remember joining in with
my autoharp on a jam session, sat next to very fine,
adventurous and FAST guitar player, who I realised
was Joan’s husband, John. I remember him being
impressed when I’d managed to keep up and busk
along with the group as they switched from OldTime music to a fast Irish tune. I was very struck
by John’s musicianship that
evening, and I filed away
this important piece of
background information
about one of my students.
Joan McNally clearly was
being exposed to some very
fine home-made music in
her household. The questions
were, how much of what
she’d absorbed would she be
able to transfer into playing
the autoharp? And what
progress could she make in a
single week from a complete
standing start?
That Beginners’ Autoharp
class was a group of
individuals that I recall with great fondness. There
was a wide range of previous musical experience,
ranging from the sole man in the group who had
never played an instrument or sung before that
week, through a gal who was encouraged to leave
us and go down and join Karen Mueller’s class after
the second day, because she was already playing well
beyond the ‘beginner’s’ level.
A few others in the group had some previous
experience of starting to strum the autoharp. But
Joan had borrowed a loaner autoharp to use that
week, never having played the instrument before.
But it wasn’t long before things started to click for
her, and I remember her broad smile as the chord
sequences started to emerge from that ‘harp. Joan
knew the music she wanted to play, and she quickly
became confident that the autoharp was going to let
her do it!
Only two of our group had any significant prior
experience of old time music... and Joan was one
of them. This meant that there was a real gleam in
her eye every time we tackled an Old-Time classic
like ‘You Are My Sunshine’. And a smile that grew
broader and brighter all the while, as she realised
that she could make the autoharp work for her
behind so many of the songs that she loved. Her
songbook of bluegrass and old-time favourites
came out and into play quite quickly. I still have a
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 18
copy of her version of the chords for ‘Angel Band’
which the entire group tackled near the end of the
week at her suggestion. Joan had definitely ‘made
the connection’ with the autoharp by the end of the
week, and was ready to take it further.
I remember the sense of glee and delight in
Joan’s voice and face when she told me
she had been able to arrange to take a
loaner autoharp away with her after the
beginners’ week. Joan and John were
going to be travelling away on a long
holiday, and she was planned to PLAY
that ‘harp – thrilled to use this as an
opportunity to consolidate her learning
. And I remember John’s emotion on
that Friday evening at the end of the
week as he spoke of the way that the
autoharp was unlocking MUSIC for Joan.
Over the years, I’ve had a chance to see several
members of that very special beginners group go on
and make the autoharp their own, but none more
so than Joan. One of the qualities that she had in
abundance was a common-sense ‘can-do’ attitude.
This was clear to see in the beginners’ class, where
she made major contributions to the strong sense of
mutual support in the group. But Joan’s insights were
always helpful. Her clear eye for what was going on
for individuals, where they might be getting ‘stuck’
and what could help them move forward,
was invaluable – both in that first group
situation and many times afterwards at
Sore Fingers. Time and again, I saw her
make the kind of well-targeted intervention
which helps things start to moving forwards
again when someone has got ‘stuck’ in their
playing. And always there was that smile!
I can feel very sad when I think that
Joan will not have many more years
ahead to enjoy making music. But my
overwhelming memory will be of her beaming
smile, and the great delight that she took in her
autoharp. It was a privilege to have been there to
share part of her joy.
Nadine White
FROM NEIL GILLARD:
A few months ago I was at one of my regular sessions at the White Horse in Hinton St Mary. It was my turn
to perform, and because it was a very well attended evening, and I knew that the host - a very good folk
fiddler - enjoys playing along and taking breaks, I launched into Sam Hall. Spectacularly, several others
also joined in with the singing, and others played along, most notably a banjo player who was capable of
not drowning everyone else out! Half way through the second verse, in through the door came two people,
heading for the only free seats in the house. I did a double take - it was Joan and John never before spotted
in this neck of the woods except at a UKA Day in Sherborne. Fortunately, I managed to keep going to the
end, with Joan and John also joining in the singing. It later transpired that they had not long moved to
Warminster (about 20 miles away) and we’re looking for new sessions to attend - and had not expected to see
me either. Sadly, although John played brilliantly (as always), Joan was already having problems and did not
bring her autoharp. Even more sadly, despite having had a great evening, she was not able to return. But I will
never forget her happy smile that evening, and on every other occasion that I had the pleasure to meet her at many Autoharp and Sore Fingers events, and even at Sidmouth Folk Festival.
FROM MARGARET TAPPENDEN:
My personal memories of Joan are plentiful, they
began over 4 years ago when I first signed up for the
Easter SFSS. My first impressions of Joan was of a
quiet, gentle and sharing person, We were both in
the beginners Autoharp class, I was very nervous
and definitely lagging behind. Joan, bless her, looked
over to where I was sitting and whispered, “Don’t
worry, I’ve been lost for ages, just play air.” After that
first lesson we got together and she explained ‘air’
playing, if Joan had not encouraged me that day I
probably wouldn’t still be going to SFSS.
Last Easter at SFSS we spent lunch breaks sitting
around the music room, playing and singing, Joan’s
husband joined us with his guitar, it was an amazing
time. Looking back it was a real and beautiful gift
that I will always treasure.
In the evenings at SFSS one could always find
Joan jamming away with one group or another, she
seemed to have endless energy.
You will be much missed Joan but never
forgotten.
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 19
FROM SUE EDWARDS:
I have several memories of Joan and John McNally
at various UKA days and at Sorefingers Summer
School, but I would like to share the fun we had
when we were in the Singing Class in 2012! Yes,
folks, I deserted the autoharp class!! (shock, horror!)
but as Chris Stuart and Janet Beazley were taking the
singing class and I had missed the opportunity when
they were over in 2010, I decided to take part in this
very popular and crowded group! (35 of us plus 3
tutors, as Roland helped Chris and Janet!)
Joan had already been in one of their workshops
at Didmarton and I know John is a great singer, so
with many others from different instrument groups,
I was looking forward to a great week!
Breaking the ice was easy, as we were soon
prowling around the attic (above a guitar class!)
making the witches noise ‘eeeee-ee-eeee’ or wolf
howling ! - very different voice warm-ups to the ones
used in a choral society! Then we were learning the
3 close harmony parts of a song to sing to people
having lunch that day, and changing which key it
was in depending on our voice part and who sang
the lead! Actually, with John and a couple of other
really low bass singers, Roland soon added a 4th
section to the lead, tenor and baritone sections! I
did find it strange to think of singing high baritone
above other voices when there was a low lead, or
tenor above, when the chord was a second inversion!
Our first public performance was soon
approaching, amid the clatter of plates, and the
first day we sang ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’.
Unfortunately, due to some problems with the
catering staff, not many from the autoharp class
witnessed Joan, John and my efforts!! Later on in the
week, things improved, and one day, Jan Brodie was
able to record our group singing – with her Olympus
digital voice recorder, and I was so impressed with
the quality, even with clashing knives, forks etc, that
I eventually bought one myself!
The week soon flew by, some brave souls decided
to enter the Student concert – many were already
in other scratch bands as the singer, but Joan and
others took part in a rousing version of ‘Pick a Bale
of Cotton’, (if my memory is correct?) and there was
a youtube video of this!
In the meantime, one of the class re-wrote ‘Will
The Circle’ to sing to Chris and Janet on the last
afternoon, before presenting them with some gifts in
a couple of shoe boxes! (Chris frequently suggested
we buy their CDs so the kids could have new shoes!)
The timing of our ‘surprise’ version was perfect,
and the whole class witnessed Janet shrieking with
laughter whilst Chris somehow managed to keep
playing the guitar! The encore was so it could be
recorded!
We want to thank you, Chris and Janet from the
bottom of our hearts
For this great week you have given, teaching all the
harmony parts.
But we are worried, ‘bout your health Chris, tho’
Janet might seem very calm
But hey you must be, black and blue now, down the
side of your right arm!
So Janet can you, be more gentle, poor Chris is now
so bruised.
And that body you are mauling, needs a brand new
pair of shoes!’
It was a great week with lovely memories, and I
know Joan and John enjoyed the class as did I and
everyone else! John and Joan are on the left of the
happy group photo below.
http://youtu.be/pGuZwgqoUqY (Sore Fingers 2012)
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 20
FROM BARBARA
PARKINSON:
I was pleased to get to know
Joan at the autoharp days,
and in particular at Sore
Fingers. She had such a love
of music and was so keen
for us autoharpists to join
in the evening sessions in
the bar and refectory. Her
enthusiasm was catching
and I have many happy
memories of the fun shared,
playing into the wee small
hours with her and John.
We will miss you Joan.
Joan surrounded by her friends at Sore Fingers October Weekend 2011.
All photos supplied by Nadine White and Sue Edwards.
AND FINALLY, A TRIBUTE FROM MOIRA WIRTZ
For those who don’t know me I am Moira Wirtz
who, together with my partner John, run Sore
Fingers Summer Schools and, until recently,
Didmarton Bluegrass Festival.
It all started at Sore Fingers Week several years
ago when a petite blond lady thanked me for making
a lovely name badge for her, saying it was nearly
right but had John’s name on it instead of her own.
In what I now know was typical fashion, when I
insisted on replacing it, she urged me not to go to
the trouble. She understood that sometimes tasks
which seem simple often require much more skill
and resource than face value would suggest.
Sure enough the administrative pantomime
ensuing between the names of John & Joan McNally
on a badge could well be mistaken for the origins of
a well known Optician’s “Should have gone to” strap
line. I don’t think I ever did manage to get her badge
right!
Following on from that we bumped into John
and Joan at various gatherings and spent some jovial
times talking about running events.
We discovered Joan was a professional figure
in the administrative process of running the large
events held at Kemble Airfield where Didmarton
Bluegrass Festival is also held.
When I half jokingly asked her if she would run
my ticket office for me she very charmingly agreed
to be Head Cashier. My joy and relief were quite
indescribable because the ticket office had hitherto
been my worst headache. With no volunteers
wishing to take on such a responsibility, most of
my time was taken up with ticketing and cashiering
issues thereby causing me to miss virtually the whole
festival.
Joan picked up the procedures, added her own
recommendations and, over the years, bound
together a strong and reliable team of cashiers who
ran things with smooth competence.
Things ran so well under Joan’s calm and
methodical management I hardly had to think about
it during festivities. She had released me to enjoy
so much more of this event into which I invested so
much preparation.
Joan’s passing coincided with our decision to give
up running Didmarton. However, if we had decided
to continue I don’t know how I would have coped
without her. She was a highly capable lady who
could calmly take on anything presented to her and
make it work pleasurably.
Very much appreciated and sorely missed, I will
always remember Joan for her kind understanding,
intelligence and hugely valued support.
Moira Wirtz, SFSS & DBF
Joan’s favourite tune was The Dark Island and we have the publisher’s permission to reprint it on the next page.
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 21
THE DARK ISLAND
Writers: Iain MacLachlan & David Silver
© 1963 Westminster Music Limited
of Suite 2.07, Plaza 535 Kings Road, London SW10 0SZ
International Copyright Secured.
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
A(Am)way to the (Em)west ward I’m (C)longing to (G)be,
Where the beauties of (Em)heaven un(G)fold by the (D)sea
Where the (Am)sweet purple (Em)heather blooms (C)fragrant and (G)free
On a hilltop high a(D)bove - The Dark (C)Is(G)land
Chorus
Oh, (G)isle of my childhood, I’m (C)dreaming of (G)thee,
As the steamer leaves (Em)Oban and (G)passes Ti(D)ree
Soon I’ll (Am)capture the (Em)magic that (C)lingers for (G)me
When I’m back once more u(D)pon - The Dark (C)Is(G)land
So (Am)gentle the (Em)sea breeze that (C)ripples the (G)bay
Where the stream joins the (Em)ocean and (G)young children (D)play
On the (Am)strand of pure (Em)silver I’ll (C)welcome each (G)day
And I’ll roam forever (D)more - The Dark (C)Is(G)land
True (Am)gems of the (Em)Hebrides (C)bathed in the (G)light
Of the mid-summer (Em)dawning that (G) follows the (D)night
How I (Am)yearn for the (Em)cries of the (C)seagull in (G)flight
As they circle high a(D)bove - The Dark (C)Is(G)land
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 22
It’s almost here:
Have you ordered your copy yet?
UK Autoharp’s
FIRST CD
UK Autoharps
FIRST CD
● 21 tracks – contributed by 21 UKA
Members including Mike Fenton, Heather
Farrell-Roberts, Nadine Stah White,
George Haig, Bob Ebdon, and many more
● 6 original compositions, plus old
favourites - tunes, songs, old time,
bluegrass, folk and swing
● Tunes from Germany, Ireland, Norway,
Britain and America
Available NOW, also at Autoharp Days
Only £10 + p&p
See order form below or contact Neil Gillard
T: 01963 363816,
E: [email protected]
21 tracks – contributed
by 21 UKA Members
Please complete the order form below and send your payment to:
Neil Gillard,
7 Brimble
Cottages,
Stourton Caundle,
Sturminster
Mike Fenton,
Heather
Farrell
Roberts,
Nadine
Stah Newton, Dorset, DT10 2JS
White, George Haig, Bob Ebdon, plus many more
6 original compositions
Order Form For UK Autoharps CD – Autoharp Britannia
ORDER
Old favourites - tunes, songs, STRICTLY
old time,CASH
blueWITH
grass,
folk, swing Name: _____________________________________________
Tunes from Germany, Ireland, Norway, the UK
Please reserve ____ Autoharp Britannia CDs @ £10 each
total: £ ______
and the USA
* I will collect these at Tewkesbury on 22nd March.
* ____________________________ (name) will collect them for me at Tewkesbury.
th
Available on
and
after
Launch
Day
19
* Please post them to me at: _______________________________
October 2013(* delete
– at
the Sherborne
UKA Day.
as applicable)
_______________________________
Taking pre-orders now
_______________________________
– a steal_______________________________
at £10 + p&p
Post code: _______________________________
Package
and posting:
for 1 CD,
£3.65 for up to 6 CDs,
See order
form
or ring£1.50
01963
363816
- larger orders seek price firstth
(01795 472214 after 19 October)
TOTAL: cheque/cash (cheques payable to UK Autoharps please)
£ ______
£ ______
Do you want to promote
the autoharp in your area?
Why not have Mike Fenton, specialist
in ‘hands-on’ concerts and workshops
for schools, folk clubs, arts centres and
village halls, come and do a practical
afternoon session and concert evening
in your locality?
The cost may not be anywhere near
what you might expect, especially
if accommodation is on offer. Why
not contact Mike to talk about the
possibilities?
Also on offer:
Mike and Rachel Fenton
offer autoharp tuition,
one-on-one, in their
Herefordshire country
cottage, complete with
accommodation and
meals. Suggested visits
are over two days with
a one or two night stay.
Contact Mike for prices.
Mike and Rachel also feature mountain dulcimers in concert
E: [email protected] T: 01432 851192
www.harperscraft.com
MikeFentonA4ad.indd 1
10/02/2014 12:34
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 24
Suppliers of autoharps & autoharp
spares/sundries
Mike Fenton – Mike is based in Herefordshire but
travels to bookings around the UK. Contact Mike on
01432 851192 or email him at: [email protected]
net or visit his website www.harperscraft.com
Mike supplies autoharp recordings (including his own)
autoharp spares (strings, felt, springs, etc.) and
can supply new Oscar Schmidt autoharps and sometimes
secondhand autoharps.
Alec Anness – based near Ely, Cambridgeshire.
Contact Alec on 01353 863442 or email him at
[email protected] or visit his website
www.alecanness.co.uk
Alec manufactures new autoharps (chromatic or diatonic)
and supplies spares and a repairs/ restringing service.
UK-based performers who feature
the autoharp (available for booking)
Mike Fenton – (see suppliers of autoharps above).
Mike, a member of the ‘Autoharp Hall of Fame,’ tours the
UK with a programme of workshops and performances
in primary and secondary schools. He has various
recordings available and can be booked for autoharp
workshops and concerts. Contact Mike for details of
performances in your area or to arrange a booking.
Nadine Stah White – contact at 01988 501077 or
email at [email protected] Nadine performs and sings
with the autoharp, folk music from the British Isles and
old-time and traditional music from the USA. Nadine’s CD
Here and Now is available direct from her. She also hosts a
regular monthly meeting of autoharpers in her home near
Whithorn. Contact her for details of the next meeting date
and information about any upcoming autoharp events in
Scotland, as well as her one-on-one lessons.
Heather Farrell-Roberts – Contact at 01795
472214 or email [email protected] Heather’s
CD’s Purple Heather and A Knot of Ribbons are available
from her. Performance bookings by arrangement.
Bob Fish – T: 07463 639029, email [email protected]
Singer/songwriter and autoharpist, Bob has been in the
music business for most of his life and his claim to fame
is that he was lead singer in the hit band DARTS. These
days Bob is part of two duos, White Doves and Frankie
McGuire & Bob Fish. He has taught autoharp in the States
- CAG (California Autoharp Gathering, MLAG (Mount
Laurel Autoharp Gathering) in Pennsylvania, CGOTH
(Common Ground On The Hill) in Maryland and here in
Britain at UKA weekend workshops.
George Haig – email [email protected]
Winner of Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering
2005 and Winner of Winfield 2007. George offers his
unique style with a Scottish flavour. Contact George for
performance bookings.
‘Autoharp-Friendly’ Clubs/Sessions
Please help us to update and expand this list by letting us
have details of other sessions or clubs in your area. We hope
that this is only the start of a long and evolving list!
DORSET. The Baker Arms in Child Okeford (between
Sturminster Newton and Blandford), second Thursday
of the month. 8pm. Run by Charles and Sammy Upton.
Mainly folk.
DORSET. The Trooper, Stourton Caundle (between
Sherborne and Sturminster Newton), 2nd Sunday (mainly
songs) and 4th Sunday (mainly tunes). Both 8pm-ish.
John (songs) or Mandy (tunes) Waltham, 01963 362890.
Quite traditional English, but anything folkish goes.
DORSET. The Plough at Manston (between Sturminster
Newton and Blandford,), 4th Thursday. 8pm. Run by
Dave and Edna.
HERTS, Hemel Hempstead, on 1st Tuesday of the month
at 8pm. Chris’s Banjo Bash welcomes all old time and
bluegrass instruments including autoharps. Contact Chris
Lawrance for venue details on 01442 215826 or email him
at [email protected]
Kent, The Barge Pub, Gillingham. Open stage for a wide
range of performance on the first Wednesday of every
month – sound system with mic and the possibility to
plug in ’harps with electronic pickups, if desired. Contact
Heather Farrell-Roberts on 01795 472214.
London SW17. The Court Session operates on Friday
nights, except major holidays and mid-summer. At the
Function Suite, St Boniface Social Club, 185 Mitcham
Road, Tooting SW17. [email protected]
Shropshire/Mid-Wales border. The Breidden
Sessions, monthly on the last Wednesday. A very friendly
and diverse session - anything as long as it’s acoustic.
At the Breidden Hotel, Middletown on the A458
Shrewsbury/Welshpool road about a mile into Wales.
Details: Chris “Yorkie” Bartram 01938 570535 or email
[email protected] ‘Regulars include several wellknown folk musicians but there is a fine welcome for total
beginners. We meet for friendship not to show off.’
SOMERSET. The Half Moon at Horsington (near
Wincanton), 1st Wednesday of the month. 8.30pm.
Richard and Anna, [email protected] Folk or
anything goes.
SOMERSET. 3rd Thursday, at Templars Arms,
Templecombe, 8pm. Booked 10 to 15 minute slots. Peter
and Kate Abbott, 01963 32125. Anything acoustic goes.
West Yorkshire - Alan Morrison in West Yorkshire
is organising a regular get together in a local pub. For
details please email him: [email protected]
Autoharp Notes Spring 2014 Page 25
TEWKESBURY AUTOHARP DAY
Saturday 22nd March 2014, from 10.30am
Tirlebrook Primary School, Brensham Road, Tewkesbury GL20 8EW
(close to Junction 9, M5)
Hosted by Mike & Rachel Fenton
Workshops include:
Beginners Guy Padfield
Chromatic Mike Fenton
Diatonic Heather Farrell-Roberts
For further details contact Neil or see the website
[email protected]
FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Sore Fingers Summer School
13th-18th April 2014
Tutors: Karen Mueller &
Heather Farrell-Roberts
Mr Fix It: Greg Schreiber
Gargrave Autoharp Festival
27th-29th June 2014
Contact Patrick O’Sullivan
or Neil Gillard
Scottish Autoharp Weekend
8th-10th August 2014
Hosted by Nadine Stah White
East Sheen Autoharp Day
20th September 2014
Hosted by Guy Padfield
Sore Fingers October Weekend
End of October 2014
Tutor: Mike Fenton
www.ukautoharps.org.uk
Autoharp Notes Editor
All contributions for Autoharp Notes are welcome! Please
send your article/s to [email protected]
Alternatively you can send me hard copy, photographic
prints (which I can scan and return to you) or phone me
on 01494 721948.
Next issue copy date: 31st May.
UKA President
Neil Gillard, email [email protected]
T: 01963 363816
UKA General Enquiries
For information on the organisation UK Autoharps and
autoharp-related activity in the UK contact Sue Edwards
on 01453 750513 or email [email protected]
UKA Membership Secretary/Treasurer
For UKA membership information, and to join or renew
your membership contact Terry Pearson on 01329 318122
or email [email protected]
UKA Events Organiser
As this position is currently vacant, Neil is the
best person to contact for the time being:
email [email protected]
T: 01963 363816
UKA Website
www.ukautoharps.org.uk

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