Celtic Harpist Julia Lane Performs in Morgantown

October 23-24, Folk Harp Workshops, Coffee House Concert with Castlebay Duo

Celtic harpist Julia Lane
offered workshops for area harpists on Thursday and Friday, October 23 and 24. Lane and her partner Fred Gosbee also performed at the Blue Moose Cafe on Friday evening. Their duo, called Castlebay, returned for a repeat performance after receiving a very warm welcome in October of 2002.

This year, Lane gave two harp workshops: a beginner workshop on Thursday evening, and an intermediate workshop on Friday, at the Ronald McDonald House, where the Almost Heaven Harpers have been meeting weekly for more than three years. At this workshop, Lane taught some of her own compositions and demonstrated her own distinctive personal technique.

At the Blue Moose on Friday evening, The Castlebay Duo presented the timeless traditions of Maine's nautical legacy and its British Isles heritage. With Gosbee on fiddle, guitar and woodwinds, the sang a mix of traditional and original music that blend history, legend and personal experience.

Gosbee and Lane reside in Round Pond, Maine, where their summers are devoted to staging musical events for the waves of holiday visitors who return there year after year and generation after generation. The two also frequently visit Scotland, to attend and to perform at maritime festivals and other events. Their visit to Morgantown is sponsored jointly by Harping for Harmony Foundation and The Blue Moose Cafe.

Workshop fees: $15 for each workshop, or $25 for both. Observers: $10.

Morgantown's harp community has become very active in recent years. The weekly harp circle at Ronald McDonald House has recently decided to call themselves The Almost Heaven Harpers and to form a chapter of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen. At WVU's Ruby Hospital, Howard Emerson, Certified Music Practitioner and Celtic harpist, has been serving on the staff in the Chaplain's office for two years. There is also a local chapter of the American Harp Society which meets monthly to perform for patients at Health South Rehabilitation Hospital, under the direction of harpist Christine Mazza.

Formed in 1995, the mission of Harping for Harmony Foundation is "to promote harmony and community, locally and globally, through harp music." For more, go to www.harpingforharmony.org. For more about Castlebay, go to www.castlebay.net.