First Annual Scottish & Welsh+ HARP DAY A Success

Harp strings rang and sang out all day at a new cultural and educational Celtic event held in Fredericksburg on May 6th with harpers/harpists coming from as far away as Baltimore, MD, Goochland, VA, Richmond Area, VA along with locals from Port Royal and Spotsylvania. HARP DAY was coordinated by Marilyn G. Newman/President, Scottish & Welsh+ HARP DAY, Inc./ 501(c)(3), assisted by Board members Christy Meehan/Secretary, Nina Brunell/Treasurer and a team of volunteers: Ben Hicks, Rick Gwynallen, Mary Ryan, Jean Griffith, Cherry & Woody Everett, and Sylvia & John Sellers.

Two events filled the day: 1. “Scottish & Welsh+ HARP COMPETITION” sanctioned by Scottish Harp Society of America (SHSA) and judged by experienced SHSA sanctioned Judge, Sue Richards, from Asheville, NC. Harpers/harpists played music from Scotland and Wales first, then from other Celtic cultures; 2. “Scottish & Welsh+ HARP CIRCLE” with Sue Richards.

Sponsors were: JumpStart! Fredericksburg/EDA, Roberson’s Music, Scottish & Welsh+ HARP DAY, Inc., Scottish Society of Fredericksburg, Welsh Society of Fredericksburg, Historic Port Royal, Inc., Wiley & Carrie Griffith Memorial Scholarship to Somerset Folk Harp Festival, Somerset Folk Harp Festival, Virginia Harp Center, The Harp Gathering (Ohio) and individual donors. Jeannette Episcopo, Storyteller and President, Welsh Society of Fredericksburg, told stories and jokes between harpist entries to keep us laughing, alert and in awe of her magical ‘red baby dragon scales shawl’.

Scottish & Welsh+ HARP COMPETITION Winners:

HARPIST OF THE DAY: Janet Winslow, Richmond, VA, received engraved crystal harp tuning wrench/pen holder award from HARP DAY, Wiley & Carrie Griffith Memorial Scholarship to the Somerset Folk Harp Festival in July, and invitation to perform at sponsor events such as the Historic Port Royal Independence Day Celebration on July 4th.

OPEN HARPIST OF DAY: Jennifer Greig, Midlothian, VA, received large engraved crystal cube paper weight award from HARP DAY and $50.00 Gift Certificate from The Virginia Harp Center, Midlothian, VA.

YOUTH HARPIST OF DAY: Molly Grace Gerk, Mechanicsville, VA, received large engraved crystal cube paper weight award from HARP DAY and $25.00 Gift Certificate from Roberson’s Music, Fredericksburg, VA.

PLACINGS in each Competition Category:
SOLO CATEGORIES:

BEGINNER “OPEN SOLO”:
1st Place Medal to Jennifer Greig, Midlothian, VA.

INTERMEDIATE “YOUTH & OPEN SOLO”:
1st Place Medal to Janet Winslow, Richmond, VA
2nd Place Medal to Molly Grace Gerk, Mechanicsville, VA
3rd Place Medal to Jan Darr, Manakin Sabot, VA
3rd Place Medal to Maraji Gwynallen, Baltimore, MD

ADVANCED “OPEN SOLO”:
1st Place Medal to Amy M. Meyer, Port Royal, VA
2nd Place Medal to Gita Massey, Richmond, VA

SPECIAL CATEGORIES:
SINGING WITH THE HARP: 1st Place Medal to Janet Winslow, Richmond, VA

Next year’s Scottish & Welsh+ HARP DAY is scheduled for Saturday, MAY 5, 2018. We expect more high quality “Solo” competitors like this year and hope for all to return and bring harp friends too. Had a very nice number of open “Solo” entries, especially for a first-time event. Next year we’d love more Youth “Solo” entries and more Youth and Open “Special” Entries: Theme & Variation, Singing with the Harp, Medieval Style Harp with Period Repertoire, and Harp in Ensemble (all harps). See you May 5, 2018 for more singing harp strings! www.swharpday.org