Join us for our 17th annual harp camp with Frank Voltz. JPG Harp Camp this year is July 25-27, 2019 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 17 years ago to educate, support, and inspire harpists. Since that time, much has changed, but one thing remains...the love of the harp.
Camp is nestled at the base of Signal Mountain at the JPG Harp Connections Studio. 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. One harpist has been to our camp all 14 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. You also have the option for individual problem solving. Just sign up for it when you arrive.
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.
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 2019 teacher and course descriptions....
Frank Voltz is a highly recognized harpist, composer and teacher. In 2017 he taught at the International Harp Festival. He is a multi-talented musician with the piano, harp and organ. He has performed on various Rock, Jazz, Gospel, New Age Folk, and Sacred recording projects including a Grammy Award winning instrumentalist. He has published more than 85 arrangements for solo and ensemble as well as original compositions for pedal and lever harp through his music publishing company, Chiera Music. His music has been recorded by other harpists around the world. He is a highly respected teacher and helps harpists to simplify the process.
Geography of the Harp. If you understand the geography of the harp (string spacing = finger spacing), you can learn your repertoire faster and literally play faster on the harp because your fingers know what to do before they touch the strings. This hands-on workshop will help you think of the harp in a new way with ideas and exercises that will improve your playing.
Hymnal to Harp. If you think jazz harp in church is beyond the boundaries of religion - think again! We’re going to wake everyone up in the pews! We will take several humans and create jazzy arrangements. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore many musical possibilities with jazz styles and techniques. Most hymns are simple 16-bar tunes that make them easy to arrange. You can take everything you experience in this class and apply it to pop tunes as well.
You’ve Got Rhythm. This hands-on workshop will start with the basic building blocks of rhythm (time signatures, notes, rests, beats, etc.) and move into different rhythmic patterns. We’ll learn the value of rhythmic patterns in the left hand for playing lead sheets, and once you get the hang of that, we’ll explore rhythms of other musical traditions. Some will be easy and some will be challenging. We will discover the fun of syncopation, complex rhythms, and rhythmic concepts to the harp. By the end of class you’ll be excited about rhythms - both old and new - and you”ll be able to apply what you’ve learned to your playing.
From Start to Finish (Introductions, Interludes, and Endings). Whether you are playing a song, playing a hymn in church, accompanying a signer, improvising for the fun of it, or composing an original composition, you need an introduction and an ending. If a vocalist is involved, you will probably need an interlude so the vocalist can catch her/his breath. Every piece of music is different, so we need to decide on the style and length, and whether to incorporate the melody of the piece. This workshop is interactive and fun and attendees will have ample opportunity to experiment and express their creativity by creating their own introductions, interludes, and endings for pieces they choose.
The Musical Equation: Talent + Ambition = Artistic Excellence. Are you ready to move to the next level as a harpist? Do you know what the next level is for you? This workshop helps you become a better harpist and explains the concepts and values of becoming a better musician. The color, nuance, and subtlety of a dynamic performance requires an artistic approach. This hands-on workshop provides techniques and exercises that will help enhance your playing. We will discover the secret to a great sound on the harp and increase our speed and agility.
Cool Chords. No matter your level of playing, you can learn to play chords that will ring in your listeners’ ears and that you will enjoy hearing. Triads are baby steps; let’s mambo! Without any knowledge of theory, we will explore how to create chords that will give our music more life, flair, sophistication, and excitement. First, we learn how to build the chords, then we will learn how to use them and apply them to a piece of music. This workshop is very interactive, completely hands-on and fun. As time permits, attendees will pick their favorite songs and together, we will apply these cool chords and experience the new sounds we’ve created from small nuances to amazing musical colors. Let’s take the music you plan and create and kick it up a notch!
Finding Lever Land. Many harpists are afraid to move levers while they are playing a piece. Flipping a lever is as easy as plucking a string. By applying a few simple rules and practicing a few simple exercises, harpists can feel confident to move levers with their left hand while plucking strings with their right hand. Training materials are provided so even if you don’t “get it” in the workshop, you can go home and practice everything you’ve learned so that you can master moving levers.
Harp Maintenance. Charles Nix is part-owner of Barger and Nix Organs, who have been building, restoring, and servicing pipe organs since the 1960”s. After buying a harp in 1999, he applied his passion for proper instrument maintenance to his own instruments, and now offers repair services to other harpists. Her is also music coordinator and harpist for the Sunday evening Celtic Contemplative Eucharist held weekly at St. Francis of Assis Episcopal Church in Ooltewah, TN. This 90 minute crash corse in harp maintenance will cover tuning, replacing strings, buzzes, loose pins, and more. This will be hands on so bring your spare string bag and your tuning key.
I Feel Spatial. Of course you understand the concept of the spatial aspects of the harp. But what can you do to maximize your technique by applying these spatial aspects to your playing? How can I get my left hand to do one thing while my right hand is doing something else? Where’s my coordination? The spatial aspects of the harp can help you coordinate your hands, enjoy playing rhythmic patterns, learn music faster, play challenging passes faster, and move around the harp with ease. Yes, this workshop will make playing the harp easier - and then you’ll be spatial and special!
Cascading Arpeggios. When you see and hear a harpist play ascending and descending arpeggios, it takes your breath away. Why? Because you wish you could do that and it is simply gorgeous. We will break them down into small bites, understand how to intertwine, practice, and polish them. Voila! You just added a new arsenal to your harp toolbar. We will start with three fingers per hand and continue with four fingers per hand. Learn to play them now so that you can enjoy playing them the rest of your
Jazz Techniques for the Harp. Get ready for some fun!. In this hands-on workshop, we will learn the most common jazz harp techniques such as slap bass and walking bass. We will learn other exciting techniques such as touch damp, swing, lever slides, and more.
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 25-27, 2019
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: This year our camp will be held at St. Marks United Methodist Church. The address is 701 Mississippi Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37405. This allows us to have more space, parking, bathrooms and a large kitchen. It is located in an area of Chattanooga called North Shore with many speciality shops and restaurants and just across the river from downtown.
Courses for 2019:
Geography of the Harp
Hymnal to Harp
You’ve Got Rhythm
From Start to Finish
Finding Lever Land
Harp Maintenance (Charles Nix)
I Feel Spatial
Jazz Techniques for the Harp
Lessons Learned (Beverly Inman-Ebel)
Double Tree Hotel- mention JPG to get the discounted rate. This hotel is downtown where all the tourist action is. 407 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402. Very close to harp camp. The discounted rate is $149.00. 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 2019 JPG Harp Camp is $265 which includes lunch and snacks. Bring your harp, music stand, and bench. Chairs are provided. if needed.
To register, please go to the Store page.