Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Magic of the Night

Last night's concert was simply magical. Leading off the celebration was Tapestry, comprised of harpist Denise Grupp-Verbon and guitarist Michael Grupp-Verbon. Denise is charming and funny on stage, and a skilled master of the harp. Michael shined out as the only non-harp performer of the evening with his jazzy guitar licks. As a duo, they are fun to watch and hear.

Following Tapestry was Kim Robertson. Always a favorite, Kim made us laugh with her wit, and awed us with her skill. Watching the way she brought out the three strains of Celtic harp music during her performance (joy, sorrow and sleep) really brought home what I learned in her workshop that morning.

Lastly was another crowd favorite, Frank Voltz. Frank's infectious smile and energy were only outshined by his mastery of the harp. His arrangements were so full and rich, that it would have taken an entire orchestra to accompany him - although it would have been redundant!

After the concert was a reception in the Vendor Hall. When I walked in I immediately thought I was seeing double when I looked at Bill Webster's corner. There were two McFall's! Carol had brought in her harp in and he had set it right next to mine.

It was great to talk with the other harp builders. I tried out Jeff Lewis's newest harp, the HG (as in Harp Gathering) which was making it's first appearance. It's a great harp with a beautiful sound. Denise played one during the concert and her skill really made it shine.

Dave Woodworth of Heartland Harps brought a prototype of a new carbon fiber harp that is in the development stage. This will be the only one without the curved soundbox. I can't wait to see the finished product next year!

I also tried out the "prize harp" from Timothy Harps. The Nimah is an
incredibly rich and full sounding harp for it's size. There will be a lot of people holding their breath (including me) when the drawing takes place on Sunday!

So now that Saturday is here there will be more workshops and another concert. It's time to jump in the shower and get ready for another full day. I'll be back to post throughout the day - so stay tuned!

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