I’m back, and nearly caught up on sleep. It was a great success, in my opinion. The format was basically workshops/lectures/masterclasses in the morning, concerts from 1;00 ’til… Your favorite, Heidi Lehwalder, was a delight in everything in which she participated. Alice Giles really shone in both her masterclass and Salzedo’s Concerto for Harp and Seven Winds. As I’m gathering my thoughts, I think I should be rewriting the lyrics to a Gilbert and Sullivan patter song – there are so many highlights to mention. There was a lot of repertoire either new, new to the US or rarely heard that thankfully shied away from the type of pieces that treat the harp so violently and unmusically. With one concert devoted to choir and harp and another to harp and dance, we had some unique and satisfying concert formats to enjoy.
A few more highlights auditioning for song lyrics: stagehands in kilts, Salzedo’s studio replica, Elizabeth Volpe Bligh remembering to tune her maracas before her scintillating performance of Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, the inclusion of silliness – from Deborah Henson-Conant’s “In the Wings” to the “Are We Having Fun Yet” performance, the impromptu Aficionados concert, Celso Duarte padre e hijo, concerto heaven, and of course a great community of harpists with whom to enjoy it all.