17 September 2015

Autoharp news - belated

The BIB apologises to autoharpists here for giving no advance news of the UK Autoharps Autoharp Weekend in Suffolk, England - three days of tuition and jamming in Woodbridge, Suffolk, on last weekend, Friday 11-Sunday 13 September. Saturday was tuition day, with workshops for every level of autoharp player starting with total beginners to advanced, plus song workshops. Loaner harps were available for anyone who wanted to try out the instrument.

And we now learn - too late for anyone here to join in - that the 44th Annual Walnut Valley Festival has begun at Winfield, KS. Held every year on the third weekend in September, the Festival is the home of many national and international instrument championships, including an international championship for autoharp.

The autoharp championship was held this morning (17 Sept.) at 11.30 a.m., and the first-place winner is George Haig of Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, who is shown above between Cindy Harris (2nd) of Pennsylvania and Marti Knauer (3rd) of Missouri. All three win instruments as prizes, with George receiving a d'Aigle Cascade SP G-D diatonic autoharp (photo right).

Update 21 Sept.: Winners of the championships for fingerstyle and flat-pick guitar, mountain and hammer dulcimers, mandolin, bluegrass banjo, and old-time fiddle have now been announced and can be seen on the Walnut Valley Festival newspage.
Scotland has a further presence in the US this autumn - the Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival will have a booth in the Trade Show at the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, at the end of this month, just after this year's MMBF takes place.

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