I flew back from the SouthEastern Harp Weekend in Asheville, NC after a full weekend of teaching, a sold-out Sunday Night show at one of my favorite theaters – the Altamont – and a working visit with the first guy I ever had a crush on (Fred) – and his husband (Jimmy). Jimmy gave me my first North Carolina persimmon – a tiny delicacy with immense seeds.

moneytalks-shamesI had dinner with one of my all-time favorite authors, Laurence Shames and his wife Marilyn, where we talked about publishing, romance and how we could get Donald Trump to sue him for his book “Money Talks” about a thinly veiled Trump character.

Over lunch one day I started writing a country-western heartbreak song with Mike Williams (who’s written songs with EmmyLou Harris) and in my many hours driving the Blueridge and environs in my rented Toyota Corolla, I listened to Audible.com downloads of Buddhist nun Pema Chodron speaking about the philosophy of emotional attachment.

I got to meet a lot of my online harp students in person for the very first time – people I feel I already know intimately, yet realized I’d never seen face to face.

I rode in a harp taxi, I taught Blues to 18 harp players and got to hear them jamming all at the same time – and I had fried green tomatoes for the first time ever.

I got to sit in on a masterclass with classical harpist Emily Mitchell who I’ve admired for years and even got a mini-technique lesson with her!

I came back home to a gorgeous Indian Summer day.  It was a great trip … and it’s wonderful to be home again.

My Southeastern Harp Weekend in Photos! Share on X

Here are some photos from the trip:

The trip started with a visit to Fred and Jimmy at their wonderful home near Raleigh.  Fred and I have known each other since Junior High School and the older we get the more we seem to have to talk about.


The beautiful tiny persimmon Jimmy gave me along with a coxcomb from their garden.


And this will give you an idea just how tiny this persimmon is …


Anna Dunwoodie, the wonderful harp teacher and publisher/author from New Zealand has been a student in several of my online courses.  Anna and I first met in Sydney last summer, but this time Anna and her partner Shane Stewart who plays the Something-or-Other Pipes entertained the audience before my show at the Altamont with pipe-and-harp music.


Anna and I taking a selfie…


And then getting silly with selfies…


Mike Williams sent me this sheet of the song we blurted onto a napkin one day at lunch – I’ve never seen this kind of music manuscript. The plain numbers are the melody, the circled ones are the chords and the little arrows show you which octave the melody is in.  It was fun to decipher it and play around with it. We decided we’ll each finish the song separately and then share our versions and see what we come up with.


I got a thoughtful and helpful technique lesson from classical virtuoso Emily Mitchell who’s psyching out my playing in this picture.


I attempted a selfie with students from my all-day Blues class …


… then gave up and got someone to hold the camera so we could all get in the picture.


Eric Allison and I finally got to meet and take a Selfie after many a Facebook conversation about technology and shrimps.


Kathryn Kuba Danderand I and FINALLY got to meet after months of virtual face-to-face meetings in my online classes.


Ginny’s been in my online classes since my last visit to Asheville in 2014 but this was our first time meeting in person!


Joyce is another online student I’ve spent many virtual hours with but never met in person!


I got to ride in a harp taxi with Pam Jurgens and Peter Kappus …



It is a personal triumph for me to be able to walk into an airport and check TWO bags – one of which is my harp!


This may look like a hohum picture to you, but to a harpist who, for years had to hire someone to cart the harp around, and figure out how to beg, borrow or rent harps abroad, this picture is one of sheer glory (THANK YOU CAMAC HARPS!!!!)


And it’s ultracool to be able to fit it in the trunk of a compact car snuggled on top of my suitcase – it’s not called the “DHC-Light” harp for nuthin’!


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