Several of us are away at the Somerset Folk Harp Festival, and we may not be able to respond to emails and phone calls as quickly as usual. Thank you for your patience!
The scents of spring are starting to waft through our damp Seattle air, and our thoughts are turning harp festivals! There are many wonderful harp-focused gatherings planned for this year, and we sadly cannot attend them all, so we're here to give you an update on where we'll be and when.
Friday, March 31st marks the start of the annual Edinburgh International Harp Festival, which runs through April 5th. As he has done for the past nine years, Ray is flying in to join our UK dealer, Ben Morley, and his team at Clive Morley Harps to help represent our harps across the pond. The festival has a long-standing tradition of promoting the lever harp through classes, concerts, dances, and, of course, the exhibition showcasing some of the finest lever harps made today. There will be a large selection of Dusty harps to try out, and Ray will be on hand throughout the festival for questions, service, and general bonding with our overseas customers. Come by and have a visit at the Morley Harps booth!
Following the Edinburgh Harp Festival, Ray flies on to the Netherlands to visit our long-time Dusty dealer, Jeanette VanNeuland, at her shop in Leerdam called De Zingende Snaar. Jeanette is hosting a "Dusty Strings Day" in her shop on Saturday, April 8th. Ray will be presenting a workshop on lever harp care and maintenance, and a slide show about the manufacturing of Dusty Strings harps and hammered dulcimers. A concert played on a variety of Dusty harps will cap off the day.
While Ray is gallivanting around overseas, Sue and Christy will be taking a few prototypes of the new mariachi harp to the Mariachi Northwest Festival in Wenatchee, WA on March 31st. The festival brings together students from all over Washington state for workshops, chances to perform, and a gala concert featuring Mariachi Sol de Mexico with Jose Hernandez. Our harps will be used in some of the workshops, and maybe even played on stage! We know some of you have been wondering, but we don't have an official release date yet for the mariachi harp. We're still testing and making adjustments based on the fabulous feedback we've been receiving, and we'd rather take our time to make sure we have a well-vetted harp than rush to meet a deadline. We'll keep you updated!
And finally, join us in New Jersey for the Somerset Folk Harp Festival, July 20th-23rd. Aside from the unbelievable array of classes and performance by world-class harp players, this is probably the best opportunity you'll have all year to shop for a harp. You won't find as big a collection of harp makers in one spot anywhere else in the U.S.! We're looking forward to catching up with our colleagues and old friends from around the country, meeting current and prospective Dusty harp players, answering questions about harp maintenance, and (hopefully) witnessing the sparks of love at first note. Don't forget that you can purchase a $15 day pass for the exhibit hall even if you're not registered for the conference.