$12 – $250

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Franciscan Life Process Center

11650 Downes Street Northeast

Lowell, MI 49331

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Each year we bring to West Michigan a clinician who will lead all who come into new dimensions of harp playing. In the past we have had workshops from some of the most well known and loved harp teachers in the country, including Dennis Rybicki, Rhett Barnwell, Frank Voltz, Serena O’Meara, Sunita Staneslow, Kim Robertson, and Angi Bemiss. The opportunity to study exclusively with one master harpist for a day and a half is a rich experience. Come and spend time with William Jackson as he shares his knowledge of Scottish harp at HARPfest 2019.


Internationally known composer, harpist and multi-instrumentalist William Jackson has been at the forefront of Scottish music for many years. In 1976 he was a founding member of the top Scottish band Ossian.

In addition to performing, William has gained a substantial reputation as a composer, known for combining traditional and classical music, with such major works as The Wellpark Suite, St. Mungo, Inchcolm, and A Scottish Island to his credit. In 1999 his composition 'Corryvreckan' from the album Inchcolm was included on Fiona Ritchie's favourites collection, "The Best of The Thistle & Shamrock, Volume 1."

William's music is featured on many BBC and other Television productions; he is in demand as a composer of sensitive music, and increasingly as a producer. He directed and performed the music for "Battle of the Clans" for The History Channel, and produced and recorded the music for a new six part series about Scottish National Trust properties for Scottish Television.

William's performance on harp, whistle and bodhran is featured on the soundtrack of the motion picture starring Robert Duval and Michael Keaton, which was filmed in Scotland. (Sounding Strings)


Kelly Yousoufian, Michigan Harp Center, www.michiganharpcenter.com, will be on hand for your harp needs. Contact her ahead of time if you have a specific request. You may rent a harp for the workshop from Kelly. michiganharpcenter@gmail.com 248-288-4277


William Jackson will perform in concert on Friday evening at 7:30. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. There is no charge for workshop participants.


William Jackson is offering the following workshop presentations:

Note on All workshops:

Tunes will be taught 'by ear', with written music provided at the end of the workshop.

Participants are encouraged to bring a recording device.

The pace and level of each workshop can be tailored to suit the needs and interests of the participants.

Friday September 13th 2019

8:30am: Registration

9-10:30am: Workshop 1

Arranging Pipe and Fiddle Tunes for Harp

Ideas on how to select tunes from non-harp instrumental collections, and decide how to arrange and perform them. How to create interesting arrangements - intros, bridges and "outros"! A useful source of ideas on how to expand your Scottish repertoire and develop creative arrangements.

10:30am: BREAK Shop at Michigan Harp Center

11-12:30pm: Workshop 2

Scottish Ornamentation

Learn about the different types of ornamentation used in Scottish music, and how to add appropriate ornamentation to strathspeys and Gaelic Airs.

12:30-2:30pm: Lunch, shop, walk the land, rest and practice!

2:30-4:00pm: Workshop 3

Accompanying Other Instruments

Some approaches to accompanying other instruments. The modes used in Scottish and Irish traditional music will be discussed and ideas for playing in sessions and improvising chord patterns will be covered.

4:00pm: Break

4:30-5:30pm: Harp Circle

5:30pm: Dinner

7:30pm: Concert

Saturday September 14th 2019

8:30am: Registration

9-10:30am: Workshop 4

Composing in a Traditional Style

What makes a new composition sound traditional? Looking at the structure of traditional music, the modes and rhythms used from Gaelic song, strathspeys to jigs and reels. How to use a simple chord progression as the basis for developing melodic ideas. And how to expand these melodic ideas into a larger work.

10:30am: Break

11-12:30pm: Workshop 5

Using the Harp in Music Therapy

William will give an overview of Music Therapy in general and also talk about using the small harp. There will also be some examples of his work with children shown on DVD.

Registration Information for full workshop

(does not include lodging and meals)

Your registration fee for the full workshop includes five workshops, an ensemble experience, a concert, shopping at the Michigan Harp Center and walking the wooded trails around the Center. The first workshop HARPfest begins at 9:00 am Friday morning, September 13th, 2019. HARPfest ends at noon on Saturday, September 14th, 2019

$250.00: online or postmarked before August 30, 2019

$300.00 after August 30, 2019

Non-Harping Companion: The fee covers admission to workshops, the concert, and use of the wooded trails. $100.00

Registration for Single Day Registration

(does not include food)

$125 Your Friday Only Registration includes Workshops I, II and III, and a ticket to the concert. Registration must be received by August 30, 2019.

$125 Your Saturday Only Registration includes Workshop IV and V. Registration must be received by August 30, 2019.

Lodging at the Center

The price on the "ticket" is per room for Thursday (9/12/2019) and Friday (9/13/2019). If you would like to stay over until Sunday, please place your order first, then contact us to make arrangements for the extra night's stay.

A processing charge of $25 per harpist registration and $10 per non-harping companion registration will be charged if canceled before July 30, 2019. Registration fees are non-refundable after July 30, 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Will individual concert tickets be available to non-registrants?

A: Yes, tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Q: How many can attend HARPfest?

A: Space is limited, so register now.

Q: Should I bring my harp?

A: Yes, by all means.

If this is impossible, contact Kelly Yousoufian, michiganharpcenter@gmail.com, 248-288-4277, to rent one for a nominal fee.

Q: What if I have special dietary needs?

A: Please let us know if you have any special dietary needs.

Q: What can my non-harping companion do if he/she chooses to not attend any workshops?

A: Shopping, nature, art, golf, Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce

Lowell Chamber of Commerce

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum

Grand Rapids Art Museum

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Local off-site lodging

Main Street Inn, 5 miles from Center in downtown Lowell


Witt’s Inn, 2 miles from Center


River Edge Bed and Breakfast, 3 miles from Center


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Date and Time


Franciscan Life Process Center

11650 Downes Street Northeast

Lowell, MI 49331

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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