Festival Photos, Selfies with Harpists, Behind-the-scenes, and much more!

Last week was a blast being a part of the Dutch Harp Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands. I conducted a workshop, performed at the festival, and sat as a jury in the World Harp Competition.

It’s a packed weekend – an adventurous experience worth sharing.

Festival Photos …

Leading the concert “Night with a 1000 Strings” with the largest harp orchestra is phenomenal.
See if you can find me in this wonderful mass of harp humanity!  I’m the one facing backwards with the blue harp at the very top tier of the play. Huge thanks to whoever captured this moment!

FUN FACT: The piece we were playing is one of the very newest publications my “Legacy Project Team” has just released.  It’s a musical game for 1-100 harp players and I played it with a whole symphony and audience last October in Salzburg. If you want to play it yourself, you can buy it here: https://dhc.gumroad.com/l/califypso

World Harp Competition …

This is my seat as a member of the jury at the Dutch Harp Festival World Harp Competition. The Semifinals went on from 18th-19th April, while the Grand Finals was held at the festival on 20th April. To see the winners, link here to their website.
Meet the official jurors at the link above … and meet us in an elevator below! Congratulations to the winners!

A LIVE Dancable “Baroque Flamenco meets The Strings of Passion”  Harp Workshop …

During the festival, I have one more role. I conducted “Play Your Passion” – a hands-on harp workshop where I got to combine a breakdown of my piece ‘Baroque Flamenco’ combined with the 7 principles of Creative Resonance (aka the “Strings of Passion”).  It was an absolute joy to share this piece with everyone and feel the vibe and energy. Can’t wait for more moments like these!
Days before I left the Netherlands, someone brought my only vinyl album to my workshop to sign (this was from 1989, I think — likely decades before that girl was born). Also that day, 100 harps set up to play together, including 2 pieces of mine including “Califypso” which we’ve just published.

Learn more about how I teach and join the Hip Harp Academy. Click here to know more.

Hosting this kind of workshop was an incredible experience! It was filled with joy, creativity and connection which I really want to share! CONNECTION and not PERFECTION!

Selfies with Harpists …

Got all smiles with the amazing jazz harpists Brandee Younger and Charles Overton … next step … let’s PLAY together!
With the talented artistic director behind the Dutch Harp Festival, Remy Van Kesteren after the event. It’s quite interesting because he has a TEDx talk about harp, and I also have a TEDx talk about harp.

Link to Remy’s TEDx talk “Inspired by a mysterious French teacher | Remy van Kesteren | TEDxAmsterdam 2014” where he talked about how grateful he is for his teacher, Isabelle Moretti.

Link to my TEDx talk “Reinventing Freedom with Electric Harp | Deborah Henson-Conant | TEDxNatick” where I talked about reinventing the harp with the help of Camac Harps and its president Jakez François.

Check out the interconnected story about our two TEDx talks here.

It’s fun to wrap up the festival with these wonderful figures in the harp scene. (from left to right: Christophe Sauniere, Deborah Henson-Conant, Celine Mata, and Jakez François).

Fun Facts: Celine reminded me that she was in one of my first-ever jazz workshops, decades ago at the Paris Conservatory – and that she still has the (massive!) handout I prepared for that series of workshops and shares the exercises with her students. That hand-out later became the foundation of Hip Harp Academy where harpists around the world now learn the fundamentals of improv, harmony and jazz – and those exercises are the foundation of the “Modulation Staircase” series we’re just now starting to publish.  So great to see you again, Celine!

Strolling in the streets of Utrecht, Netherlands with Hip Harp Academy members who went to the Dutch Harp Festival – Jolijne Viergever (left) and Joke Verdoold (right)

Fun Fact: Joke and Jolijne met in “Hip Harp Academy” and have now become playing buddies who consistently create creative fun projects in the Academy.

There’s nothing like having musical friends to play with, people you can try out new ideas with, be silly, share the depth that music and story create.  You can see the whole spectrum of that relationship from the silly to the sublime

Behind-the-scenes …

This is the stage setup of the 2024 Dutch Harp Festival from my point of view.


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I got out for a short run along the canal of Utrecht.
And as I was exploring this beautiful city, I met a new friend! What a cute and lovely little cat!
This beautiful harp just arrived from the CAMAC ship in Rotterdam today! And for the first time since I started playing the harp, I was able to travel with just one bag! That’s a huge achievement! And with enough DHC harps around the world, I don’t always need to bring mine everywhere. Woohoo! I’ve been waiting a long time for this! Thanks to Camac Harps!

… and much more!

We looked at my Instagram feed and realized it showed how we work and we saw there are 3 ways I connect to the world.

As a composer, I connect to the people who use my music to express themselves.

As a teacher, I coach them to break through perfectionism to greater self-expression.

And as a performer, I share all of that on a stage in my own self-expression.

I’m working these days to integrate those 3 aspects of what it means to be an artist who is committed to making a connection in every part of my life.

Here is a snapshot of my feed …

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