Join us for our 18th annual harp camp with Kim Robertson! JPG Harp Camp this year is July 23-25, 2020 in scenic Chattanooga, Tennessee. Capacity is limited. Act now!
Things you may want to know about JPG Harp Camp....
The two people you see above are our founders, the parents of Jan Pennington Gray. They started our camp 18 years ago to educate, support, and inspire harpists. Since that time, much has changed, but one thing remains...the love of the harp.
Chattanooga is a travel destination with visitors coming from across the country. We have beautiful mountains, Tennessee River, lakes, and fun music and art venues. In this beautiful and inspiring setting, harpists gather for 3 days to learn and to share. With a maximum of 30 harpists, it remains an intimate setting. There is no moving your harp around or racing to get a good seat. Once you arrive the first morning and pick your spot, you and your harp have found a welcoming home.
Imagine arriving and someone is there to open the door for you and give you a big smile. If this is your first time, relax. You are about to meet best friends that you didn't know you had. At least one harpist has been to our camp 16 years! You tune your harp as you listen to the excited chatter and get to know those around you. Class begins promptly at 9 and all sit on their benches or provided chairs with anticipation.
Courses are geared to what our previous harpists say they want. All skill levels are welcome and are encouraged to play what they can play. If someone to your right is more advanced, s/he will probably be a support for you. If someone to your left has less skill than you, you get to be the helper. We are all there to learn and support others.
If you think the harpists are diverse, so are the harps. Our musical partners come in pedal harps, floor lever harps, lap harps, wire and double strung. And the music? You are catching on if you realize that the music is varied also.
We provide you lunch and delicious snacks, along with your complete workbook containing all class work. On Friday night, we, including all gather at the home of the JPG President for dinner and lots of laughs and good conversation. There are always options for Thursday evenings, but some just want to relax and do nothing which is perfectly fine.
On Saturday night, all of us are encouraged to perform something. This is not a requirement, just an encouragement. Two years ago, a brand new harpist in her early retirement years played a solo simply and beautifully with one hand. The year before that, our youngest harpist played a simple tune while telling a story. It is a time to be brave, creative, and safe knowing you are playing in front of a very supportive audience.
How do you get started? Click on the STORE page and then click on HARP CAMP to complete the application and pay with your credit card.
About our 2020 teacher and course descriptions....
Kim Robertson is a renowned performer, arranger, and recording artist who has broadened the reach of harp music for a new generation of performers and audiences. Her improvisational spirit combined with love for tradition lends a contemporary sound for an ancient instrument. Her name is easily recognized in the harp world.
Recognized as a pioneer in American folk harp music, Kim tours the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Her work encompasses numerous recording projects, published harp arrangements, and an international itinerary of workshops.
Originally trained in classical piano and orchestral harp, Kim has studied harp in France. She comes to us from Wisconsin.
One of the best players recording today…her original works have that traditional ring of truth and authenticity to them. Compact Discussions
Her Celtic harp, held within its strings and wood, the diverse offerings of the human race…incredible technique. L.A. Times
Love Songs & Laments. From ancient to modern times, the Celtic harp has been used to accompany and convey the joys and sorrows of life. In this class, learn a sampling of beautiful melodies from Ireland, Scotland and Brittany, including ideas for LH accompaniment. We will also briefly explore the Bardic tradition of spoken work with harp accompaniment and its significance today for modern harpers. All levels welcome; tunes will be on lead sheets.
Creative Carols. Known for her popular Christmas recordings, Kim will share some secrets for arranging Christmas music. Both classic and lesser-known carols will be covered, with tips on choosing intros and chords patterns, substitute harmonies, creating medleys and other innovations that will breathe new life into standard carols. Hands-on, intermediate, sample tunes will be on lead sheets.
American Roots. American folk music is a richly diverse source of repertoire for the harp. Learn ideas and skills for adapting and arranging American roots music to the lever harp. Examples will include Southern, Appalachian, Gospel, Western and a few Celtic melodies that have crossed over the pond to become American classics.
Introduction to improvisation. A gentle look at non-jazz improvising as a means to spontaneous self-expression on your harp. With simple chord vamps, right hand patterns, “hot licks” and tricks, learn techniques that will help personalize your playing and lead to more creativity.
Musical Sandwiches and Cookie Cutters. Look at 2-hand chords chord sandwiches, including voicing and rhythmic progressions that will bring a new dimension to your playing. They can be used for expanding arrangements as well as improvisation and self-expression. Hands on, all levels. Ideal for right brain intuitive people. No musical knowledge required but basic two-hand coordination helpful.
The Fun Stuff. With the exception of Harpo Marx, harpists tend to take their instruments quite seriously, forgetting just how much fun it can actually be to play. Learn ways to lighten up and make your harping more playful, using sound effects and experimental techniques. Learn practical applications, including creative and sometimes silly exercises that can lead to composing and improvising at any level. For performers and instructors who work with children, or for anyone who would like to lighten up their musical life. All levels, ability to read music not necessary but a basic knowledge of notes and chords helpful.
Musicality 101. Basics of musicality, including exercises for tone and phasing, stabilizing rhythm, leaving space between the notes and feeling the pulse of the music. Learn to play expressively even with beginning technique. All levels.
Calm Your Nerves. Learn how to remain relaxed and “real” when performing for others with some practical tips on preparing pieces (safety nets, exit points, etc.) and effect ways to conquer nerves. For any level of harpist, learning some basic performance strategies will increase your comfort level to help you become a more confident performer.
Story Telling with the Harp. People love a good story. Learn the basics of what makes a story good. Learn how to enhance it and cut it back. Learn the power of your voice and how to use the harp as the accompanying instrument. You will break into small groups to build a short story along with harp accompaniment. This is a fun and stress-free class taught by Beverly Inman-Ebel who has spoken on 5 continents and is billed as, “The Story Teller.”
Cool Left Hand Patterns. Kick your playing up a notch, learning some of Kim’s cool signature LH accompaniment patterns. Building on drones, 5ths, harmonic variations and onto more advanced syncopated patterns, learn how to add rhythmic complexity and harmonic spice to any melody. The patterns can also be used for creating intros and interludes or to back up someone else playing the tune. This session is best for players with good two-hand skills but all levels welcome.
Playing Back-Up. Learn to be a “rhythm instrument”, playing “power chords”, syncopated rhythms, bass lines dampening techniques and other fun patterns that are easy to play but will add energy to your arrangements. Focus will be on one and two-hand patterns for accompanying vocals and others instruments, and some tips and shortcuts for playing along at sessions. Intermediate, basic knowledge of chord-structure helpful.
Lessons Learned. Beverly, Inman-Ebel, a professional facilitator, will lead us in group discussions of what tips we have learned over the past year. This is a time of sharing and learning from your harp peers.
Dates – July 23-25, 2020
Time – 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. with breaks and lunch served.
Saturday Performances:– 7:00 p.m.
Number of teachers– 1
Number of students – 30
Location: JPG Harp Camp is held in beautiful Chattanooga, TN with easy access from CHA airport and BNA and ATL airports by shuttle van. It is also accessible by I75 and I24. The exact address will be provided to registered harpists in March 2020.
Courses for 2020:
TO BUILD YOUR REPERTOIRE:
- Love Songs & Laments.
- Creative Carols.
- American Roots.
TO BUILD YOUR IMPROVISATION SKILLS:
- Introduction to Improvisation
- Musical Sandwiches & Cookie Cutters
- The Fun Stuff
TO BUILD YOUR PERFORMANCE SKILLS:
- Musicality 101
- Calm Your Nerves
- Story Telling With The Harp*
TO BUILD YOUR ACCOMPANIMENT SKILLS
- Cool Left-Hand Patterns
- Playing Back-Up
TO BUILD YOUR ABILITY TO LEARN:
- Lessons Learned*
Double Tree Hotel: This hotel is downtown where all the tourist action is. 407 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402. Very close to harp camp. Call: 423-756-5150.
Hampton Inn: 423-305-0840 further away in Hixson.
Holiday Inn Express: 423-877-6464 Hixson
Quality Inn: 423-870-8444 Hixson
You can also check other options in Chattanooga, TN for your lodging.
The fee for 2020 JPG Harp Camp is $285 (through January 31, 2020 when the price goes up to $295) which includes instruction, lunches, snacks, Friday dinner, Saturday evening refreshments, gifts, and workbook. Registration is refundable, except for the small percentage that SquareSpace may keep, until May 31st. After May 31, supplies are purchased, printed, etc. Even then, we will do our best to work with you if the reason for cancelation is illness or a death in your family.
Bring your harp, music stand, and bench. Chairs are provided, if needed. Dress is comfortable. We recommend you bring a sweater in case the room is too cool for you. We strive to strike a happy medium, but people have different temperature needs.
To register, please go to the Store page which is at the very top of this page and there third button from the right.
* indicates classes taught or facilitated by Beverly Inman-Ebel, President of JPG Harp Connections