September 13, 2019 – September 14, 2019 all-day
Franciscan Life Process Center
11650 Downes St NE
Lowell, MI 49331
Franciscan Life Process Center


Each year the Franciscan Life Process Center brings 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, Angi Bemiss, and Lorinda Jones.  The opportunity to study exclusively with one master harpist for a day and a half is a rich experience.

HARPfest also includes a concert given by the workshop instructor on Friday night.  Last year, harp enthusiasts enjoyed the music of Lorinda Jones and her friends, Cathy Wilde and Jannell Canerday.  Their group, “na Skylark”, which simply means “the Skylark” in Irish, is dedicated to playing the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, and other Celtic lands on Ireland’s national instruments: the Irish harp and Irish uilleann (“elbow”) pipes

Click here to view photos of HARPfest 2018.

HARPfest 2019: William Jackson
September 13-14, 2019


Internationally known harper and composer William Jackson has been a major force in Scottish Music for many years.  He was part of the revival of traditional music in Scotland in the 70’s and 80’s and became known as an innovative composer, using a mix of traditional and classical musicians in several acclaimed works.

Touring extensively in Europe and North America he gained a reputation as a fine performer of traditional music featuring the Scottish harp and also as a teacher.  William is also a trained Music Therapist and has worked in that area since 1993 in both Scotland and the USA.

Come and spend time with William Jackson as he shares his knowledge and love of the Scottish  music during  HARPfest 2019


Click here to register.


William Jackson will be giving a concert on Friday, September 13. Click here to reserve your ticket for the concert.


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

7:00pm: 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.

Lodging at the Center

Registration information for specific rooms will be available in January, 2019.

Click here to learn general information about the housing options at the Center.

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

Frequently Asked Questions:

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

A: Yes.

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