September 22 - 26, 2021

Welcome to The Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat

September 22 - 26, 2021

2021 Harp Circle 

Julie Norem Hawley graciously continues to lead our Harp Circle, a very relaxed experience for all level harpers. She sends music to interested players in advance, conducts a few practice sessions during the festival, and then leads us all playing on the streets of La Veta and Walsenburg.

Notes from the 2019 Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat  

We had a spectacular 2019 retreat. Don Hilsberg started us off with “Teddy at the Throttle “ a silent movie with Gloria Swanson tied to the railroad tracks. We learned how these old time shows were scored and created a score for this one. This was followed by an incredible “Meet and Greet” hosted by Serendipity in Walsenburg. 

On Thursday, Chris Newman gave a workshop for harpers who play with guitarists. This was a new experience for most of us.  Imagine being able to say “I played with Chris Newman.”

Sue Richards taught the intermediate harp class , Maire Ni Chathasaigh the advanced,  and Jaimee Joroff the advanced beginners.  Maire was with us for the fourth time and we consider ourselves lucky to have her.  This was Sue’s first time with us and she was everywhere: retreat classes, Friday night Appalachian Workshop,  Saturday afternoon outdoor concert with our Harp Circle, Sunday workshop for all levels on proper techniques to avoid injuries.  

Saturday night Sue joined Chris and Maire for a concert at the Fox Theatre about which people are still raving. New and old harper friends traveled from all over to be part of our gathering. Their presence, harps, and music filled La Plaza Inn and Walsenburg and left behind a resonating beauty and peace.

Please note that the 2020 retreat is postponed due to COVID-19 safety precautions. 

We hope you'll join us in 2021! 

Until then, visit the websites of 2019's and 2021's teachers:

Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman

Sue Richards

Áine Minogue 

Kelly Stewart

For harp trivia, history, and fun, follow the 
Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat on Facebook. 
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Visit our sister festival! 
Spanish Peaks Intl. Celtic Music Festival
Click the logo to visit their page. 
Friends of the Spanish Peaks International Harp Retreat

People are Talking!

"Beautiful location, wonderful warm community. Nancy hasn't just built an
amazing harp retreat, she's facilitated a true harp community that people
come 'home' to year after year. The Spanish Peaks festival is a joy for
musicians, students and visitors alike!"   Aine Minogue, teacher and performer

I came home from this year's retreat with Christina, Park, and Maire, absolutely filled with a sense of the living essence of music--in rhythm, tone, and effect, versus it just being the thing we do. Totally transforming. I'm a different musician now."

I have attended the Spanish Peaks harp retreat now for 8 years. Every workshop brings the best players from the Irish and the Scottish traditions. Each year, my understanding of the songs and the culture deepens. I really love the intimacy of our circle of players. We get to know each other in a smaller venue and we are able to converse with our teachers and get to know them too. Southern Colorado is absolutely gorgeous in the fall-the mountains and the skies. I would not miss it!

I played Maire ni Chathasaigh's version of The King of the Fairies (from the Rogha na gCruitiri Harpers' Choice book) last night at our harp recital for the first time in public. I have been working on it since 2011 and I realized it was directly due to you that I was able to do that. It was because of your Harp Festival and what you do to help all us with bringing in such phenomenal teachers and all the inspiration and amazing support and of course, the chocolate!

"This year, I learned so much from Christina, Park and Maire.  The instruction from each teacher was personalized yet geared for everyone.  During lunches and breaks I had ample opportunity to speak with each instructor and discuss ideas.  (I know I am a better harp teacher for attending.) I wouldn't miss this weekend for anything.