I would really like to hear some reports on the AHS conference. Who went, and what did
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.
Christa played a great set on the 4th.
Saul- no lights, no orchestra in the pit; instead, the winds were in the balcony. For added drama, the platform built for the harpists was a bit too tiny for most performers and Sivan Magen solved this by pushing the harp forward so the front feet were off the platform and held the harp back until the very end. As for the piece – it had some fine moments, but perhaps didn’t quite hold together compositionally throughout.
Thanks for the plug, Diane! I also loved pretty much everything about the Conference, including playing! One of the highlights for me was HarpCore4, and Julia Jamieson in particular. She writes all their arrangements, which are excellent, and has huge stage presence. Heidi Lehwalder’s lecture on stage presence was very informative and funny. All the concerto soloists shone, in spite of that tiny platform that kept them penned up behind the harp. Pat Wooster’s skit on harpist Gina Lollapalooza was hysterically funny. The Duarte’s were amazing, I loved the harp and handbells in the Celtic concert, Janet Whitman’s rendition of “Moondance”, Ruth Mar’s Ibert Trio, Maria Luisa Rayan’s tangos, Christa Grix’s magical “I Gave My Love a Cherry”…I could go on and on. I’m all inspired. I can’t wait for the World Harp Congress next year in Vancouver!
…. well said. Every single performance was outstanding…
Of course, I love music that makes you want to sing and dance. HarpCore4, Louise Trotter, Christa Grix, the cocktail hour harpists, and Celso Duarte 1 & 2, plus others enlightened my life…
Even if the composition is not to my taste, I was amazed at the wonderful performers / technicians. I found myself jumping out of my seat to applaud Alice Giles, even though each time I hear Salzedo’s compositions I dislike them more…
Applause to all…….
Ooh, I love hearing about the AHS conference. Hubby and I were all signed and paid up to go and then couldn’t make it so I have been waiting to hear all about it. Please post more if anyone can. I LOVE going to harp conferences! I followed every day on the schedule trying to imagine being there with everybody. Please everyone, please, please, post on this thread!
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