EnglishCardiff Camac harp Weekend
Telynau Vining Harps logo Cardiff Camac Harp Weekend
Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th February 2015
an exciting weekend of harp activities at the
Conferencing and Hospitality Suite
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Western Avenue, Cardiff, CF5 2YB
Camac Logo
 
This is a review of the weekend, written by Helen Leitner and posted on the Camac Harps Blog on 18 February 2015
 

Telynau Vining Harp Weekend, Cardiff

We’ve just returned from an action-packed weekend organized by our UK partners, Telynau Vining. The harp days we and/or our partners sponsor usually aim to provide a broad spectrum of artistic and commercial opportunity. There will be concerts, probably across different musical genres. There will be masterclasses and workshops, plus Camac sales & service, with an exhibition and regulation opportunities.

Exhibition of harps
Our exhibition in Cardiff

We also always try and strike an intelligent balance between input from international visiting artists, and local talent. Music is a universal language, but equally every country we visit has its own musical life to support and celebrate.

 

Cardiff was no exception: Telynau Vining surpassed themselves with an ambitious programme for children, professionals and amateurs alike. From “Become a Harpist for a Day” for complete beginners, to masterclasses by Elinor Bennett, Eira Lynn Jones, and Val Aldrich-Smith, to a fascinating lecture from Meinir Heulyn about concert dress,  and a grand finale with Deborah Henson-Conant live on video link from the US, the wide range of events had something for everyone – and this, not only.

 

It can be very enlightening when a programme offers things you can see are for you, but also explores what hasn’t been on your radar. Once you are there, curiosity entices you through the doors of classes you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of.  It is, for example, an education to watch a masterful pedagogue like Elinor Bennett teaching grades 1-4. Teaching beginners well is far from self-evident, particularly when you have just left music college, and grades 1-4 are a long time past in you own experience. It is similarly thought-provoking to see Eira Lynn Jones expertly handle a mixed ability masterclass. In such a group, how do you ensure that everyone has a constructive experience, whether they are playing or watching? How do you coax the less confident into performing, while showing the more advanced players in the group why this is also relevant to them? How do you be rigorous, so everyone leaves having learnt something, while simultaneously managing to inspire, not discourage? It was equally impressive to watch Shelley Fairplay work with her large ensembles of complete beginners (“Become a Harpist for a Day”, complete with T-shirts), and her own students, the aptly-named Dynamic Harps. Teachers like these are passionate, committed and they know that music is for everyone.

 

Everyone who wishes to explore music deserves to be taken seriously, regardless of their age and stage. Many an adult amateur will approach us apologetically at an exhibition, saying they are not “serious”. But, define serious - an amateur who practices, attends events, is curious and enthusiastic and who loves music, is IMO more serious than a conservatoire student – or teacher - who does not look about them, does not measure their own level against everyone else in their field, and who does not perceive that whatever your musical direction, fulfilling musical careers are built by being open-minded and flexible, as well as dedicated to high standards.

 

Ben Creighton Griffiths, for example, is still known to many as a classical wunderkind. Now grown-up, he plays as much, if not more, jazz as he does classical music. In Cardiff, he gave an impressive concert on the Blue Harp, creating an entire sound world through the creative use of looper and effect pedals, and mixing standards with original compositions. Shelley Fairplay, as well as teaching the large ensemble classes, also presented her “Three Strands” concert, a full-length evening programme developed with her mentor, Deborah Henson-Conant. This also spanned many different types of music, indeed different types of harp. It was all about music that was personally meaningful to Shelley, that she felt defined her as a musician, and it was immaculately prepared and presented. It also featured a lot of Shelley's recent work with the DHC Blue Light - the super light electroharp we created with Deborah - and looper and special effects pedals.

Shelley Fairplay
Shelley Fairplay

Having heard Shelley on Saturday night, harpists had the chance to work with Deborah the following day, live on video link from the USA, in a class about how to arrange music to suit your taste and purpose.

Video link with Deborah Henson-Conant
Live video link with Deborah Henson-Conant

Congratulations to Telynau Vining! We, Camac France, brought extra harps for the special exhibition and Enric for regulations, but it was Vining who conceived and put the festival together. Their excellent organization ensured that everyone could make the most of the opportunities available, undistracted by logistical irritations, and their programme superbly reflected values we hold dear. 

Helen Leitner

 
End of Camac Harps Blog - view below for further information about the weekend

The Camac DHC Lever Harp
The Camac DHC Lever Harp A welcome message from Deborah Henson-Conant
   
Event Flyer cover A world first! Deborah Henson-Conant teaches live
via video link up at the Camac Harp Weekend 2015!
Click here for PDF Brochure
Deborah Henson Conant in conversation with Shelley Fairplay
timetable: Saturday 7th february 2015
Time Event Tutor/Performer/Provider
08.30 - 09.00 Registration click names for biographies

09.00 - 19.00 Exhibition of Camac Harps
An opportunity to view & try our range of harps
Telynau Vining
Camac Harps

09.00 - 19.00
Free harp servicing by Camac Harp Technician *
This is a very special opportunity for you to have your Camac harp serviced free of charge by a Camac technician. These services would normally cost £60.00 for a lever harp or £140.00 for a pedal harp but on this occasion Camac is generously sending one of their technicians over to attend to your servicing needs free of charge.
Please note that any strings or levers replaced will be charged for.
* Booking using the form is essential for harp servicing
Camac Harp Technician

09.15 - 11.15
Technique Grades 1-4
Exercises to warm and strengthen fingers with emphasis on developing technique to produce a strong sonority: sitting well, good hand position, playing finger exercises in a group. The technical exercises will be simple - and some will be written down by Elinor Bennett and others by ear. Discussion about how to practise and learn a new piece most effectively.
Elinor Bennett

09.15 - 12.15
Masterclass
All levels. Bring a solo and work with Eira on improving it for an exam/competition. Observers welcome as tips will be given on mindful practice and how to achieve success in performance.
Eira Lynn Jones

11.30 - 12.30
Be a Harpist for a Day *** Harps will be provided ***
Please see our separate page for this amazing experience for people who have never played the harp before - no experience of music reading or performing is required.
You can book a place for this event online from our sheet music store Rowlands Music
Shelley Fairplay

13.30    
Be a Harpist for a Day open rehearsal  *** Harps will be provided ***
Shelley Fairplay

13.30 - 15.30
Jazz Workshop
No previous experience of jazz or improvisation is required for Ben’s introduction to the world of jazz improvisation. Students will look at two jazz styles - Bossa Nova and Swing. The workshop hand book, with specially written study tunes, also includes sections on further studies and recommended listening.
Ben Creighton Griffiths

14.00 - 16.00
Technique Grades 5-8
Class will start by reminding participants of the main points of technique; there will be group exercises with emphasis on strengthening technique and improving sonority. Help will be provided to solve technical problems when learning a new piece and how to compose exercises to solve these technical problems; suggest ways of practising to learn more quickly and accurately.
Elinor Bennett

16.00 - 16.30
Harp Care
An informative talk on harp care and an introduction to the Camac range of harps
Telynau Vining
Camac Harps

16.30 - 17.30
What shall I wear?
Meinir Heulyn invites you to an amusing and informative power point presentation, giving an insight into six decades of fashion for harpists, with special reference to the story of her life as a professional harpist.
Meinir Heulyn

19.00 - 21.00

The Three Strands Concert
Throughout generations tales have been told of three musical strands. The details differ in each story, but they’re always played by a harpist and they always encompass the human experience. This is a tradition that’s not about ‘traditional music’, but a tradition of expression. Exploring this through the harp, every musician can create a completely unique style.

Come and hear Shelley entwine The Three Strands. You can expect a wide diversity of guests at this musical gathering: we meet with our Celtic forefathers, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Flamenco Dancers; even Axl Rose, Darth Vader and Dr Who will make an appearance!

The concert features the Dynamic Harps ensembles and introduces the Be a Harpist for a Day players.

Shelley Fairplay
timetable: Sunday 8th february 2015
Time Event Tutor/Performer/Provider
08.30 - 09.00 Registration click names for biographies

09.00 - 17.00 Exhibition of Camac Harps
An opportunity to view & try our range of harps
Telynau Vining
Camac Harps

09.00 - 17.00
Free harp servicing by Camac Harp Technician *
This is a very special opportunity for you to have your Camac harp serviced free of charge by a Camac technician. These services would normally cost £60.00 for a lever harp or £140.00 for a pedal harp but on this occasion Camac is generously sending one of their technicians over to attend to your servicing needs free of charge.
Please note that any strings or levers replaced will be charged for.
* Booking using the form is essential for harp servicing
Camac Harp Technician

09.00 - 12.00 Workshop for all levels
With Eira's unique way of teaching, find out new ways of playing. Learn a fantastic new tune and be part of a harp ensemble project. Imagination and fun required!
Eira Lynn Jones

09.30 - 10.30 Hands-on-Harp *** Harps will be provided ***
Always wanted to play the harp but never had the opportunity? Book a place on our Sunday Hands-on-Harp session and you can have a go at playing a simple piece in a group. Learn the basics of how to play the harp and get a real feel for the instrument before you decide if it’s something you would like to continue with.
Ben Creighton Griffiths

09.30 - 11.30
Orchestral Matters
This session will cover everything a student harpist should know about playing in the orchestra .... Cadenzas, repertoire and how to survive!
Valerie Aldrich-Smith

10.00 - 11.30
Just Loopy!
A looper pedal enables performers to record their playing live on stage and then perform over their recorded ostinato tracks. Learn the joys of using ostinato patterns in your own playing and discover some basics on how a looper pedal can be used with harp in performance.
Shelley Fairplay

12.00 - 13.15

Baroque Flamenco Workshop
This fiery, intriguing and passionate piece of music is an incredible addition to any harpist’s repertoire, whatever your level! Come along to this workshop to learn the structure, mood and style of music and perform the piece in an ensemble setting.

Shelley Fairplay

13.15 - 14.00

UKHA - UK Harp Association LogoLunchtime Jazz Concert
Sponsored by the UKHA

Not to be missed. A chance to hear electro-acoustic jazz harpist Ben Creighton Griffiths perform a jazz set on his Camac Big Blue Electro Pedal Harp with all manner of effect pedals showing just what this wonderful harp is capable of.

Ben Creighton Griffiths

14.15 - 16.15

Arrange Yourself
(via live video link from the USA)
Wish you could just sit down with a melody and chords - and create a whole arrangement on the spot? You can! In this exclusive livestream event you’ll learn the top secrets of DHC's 7-week arrangement course - and put them into practice immediately.

You’ll learn a basic 5-part arrangement form you can use over and over, the 3 musical roles (and how to play them with only 2 hands!), DHC's favourite Left-Hand pattern, her favourite trick for enhancing melodies and more. And best of all, you’ll be playing your own arrangement by the end of the class. Early Intermediate to Advanced.

Deborah Henson-Conant
be a harpist for a day
         
 
Always wanted to learn to play the harp - but want to see what it is like first?
Why not check out our
"Be a Harpist for a Day" event
on 7 February 2015
please click here
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