22-24 July – the Scottish Autoharp Weekend Returns to Moniaive Festival Village for its Sixth Year – Bigger and Better than Ever!

In just over a week’s time, people from around the UK, Ireland and places further abroad will be descending on the Festival Village of Moniaive for a feast of musical events – all centring around an unusual but engaging musical instrument: the autoharp.

The weekend will feature workshops, demonstrations, an evening concert with world-class performers, a Sunday Autoharp-led Gospel service in the Kirk, and of course pub sessions (on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon).

Full details of this event-packed weekend (including programme, tutors/performers and booking) can be found at: http://www.ukautoharps.org.uk/events/uka_moniaive.htm

Saturday’s activities will run throughout the day, leading up to a Grand Autoharp Concert in the evening. Morning and afternoon workshops will be led by outstanding tutors from across the UK. The programme has been tailored for everyone from absolute beginners, through the most experienced of autoharp players.

Autoharp is an instrument with an especially gentle beginning learning curve – as those taking part in Beginner’s Workshops on Saturday will discover. Even if you have never held an autoharp before, by the end of the day, you will be strumming along with everyone else in a whole-group workshop. Special guest tutor and performer Guy Padfield will be in charge of leading the Beginners, and if you don’t have an autoharp of your own, there are some loaner instruments available for you to use on the day. Contact event organiser Nadine White at [email protected] if you would like to reserve one of the loaner autoharps, as numbers are limited.

If you’ve owned and played an autoharp for awhile, then there are a wide range of workshops planned, including Heather Farrell-Roberts teaching strategies and techniques to improve your playing and to help you to play melody and Bob Fish (ex-lead singer for the do-wop group Darts) to guide you in using the autoharp for singing and for performance.

Nadine Stah White, event organiser, and DG resident who leads regular autoharp meetings near Whithorn, will be bringing everyone together at the end of the Saturday afternoon to play an iconic Scottish anthem.

From 7.30 on Saturday evening, Nadine, Guy, Heather and Bob will all perform in the Grand Autoharp Concert – a feast of styles and genres, including traditional, popular, old-time, country and bluegrass music – and in the case of Bob Fish, high energy pop and rock standards as well!

So if you’ve got an autoharp tucked away under the bed or in your closet, this is definitely the time to tune it up and come along. Or if you just fancy ‘having a go’, then book your loaner autoharp for the beginner’s class and join the fun!

Scottish Autoharp Weekend is a flagship event of the UK Autoharps association (www.ukautoharps.org.uk ) and we’re also grateful for sponsorship by Sanquhar Tile Services.

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