Welcome to The Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat

September 20-24, 2017

The Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat is entering its 13th year of offering several days of multi-level harp workshops and instruction. Harp events are set in the midst of a full Celtic Festival in Southeast Colorado.  

The 2016 retreat delighted everyone. Esther Griffoen started us off with Storytelling for Alzheimer Sufferers, continued with Music from Brittany and Maire Ni Chathasaight related individually to all advanced retreat players.. All level players were able to avail themselves of Maire's expertise by auditing some of her sessions. What made the 2016 retreat so magical was the incredible blend of participants.

Two years ago we had an expert on music therapy for animals in our midst. We really just scraped the surface of Sue's expertise.  We are fortunate in having Sue Raimond return to share more of her experiences and knowledge.  She will be leading the full day, WEDNESDAY, workshop “TAKING IT TO THE DONKEYS.” We shall spend the entire day at a donkey sanctuary. Sue will provide background and theory on harp music and animals and then lead us into  real applications of this information using donkeys as our test animals.  The  (site) is within a half hour drive of La Plaza Inn, the site of most of the harp events. This workshop is open to ALL levels. 

Tired, bored, intimidated, not going to make Carnegie Hall this lifetime ?  So you have this lovely harp (at least one), you practice for your lessons, perhaps you play in a small group or for hospice, but there are other ways you can use your instrument.  "WHAT'S NEXT?" is an innovative approach to solving that age old question. The THURSDAY workshop is led by Sue Raimond who answered this question in one way for herself in what she calls "Woman Up."  This offering is open to ALL levels.


Kelly Stewart returns to us for the second time.  She will again offer a session or two in Welsh Music, its music history, theory and arranging in addition to harp technique and repertoire.  By request, Kelly, A U.S. Scottish Harp champion, will also offer one session on Scottish music.  These three sessions are for intermediate through professional level players.  Beginners and intermediate players taking the Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Level Class are encouraged to audit some of these sessions. We hope to have Kelly's triple harp with us again and give all participants a chance to play this unique instrument.

Jaimee Joroff will be leading the all day Friday Class "The Joy of Celtic Music."  This offering is for the Advanced Beginner -Intermediate players.

Participants may then audit the Retreat sessions with Kelly Stewart.  There may be more offerings for this class, so please keep checking back with us.

As always, the Early Birds, those who register by May 1, 2017, can request that their instructor, Kelly or Jaimee, address a specific issue or teach a particular tune.

Julie Norem Hawley will graciously continue 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. 


The Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat is most grateful to Victoria Lidmark for her generous donation to promote the interests of the Retreat.  More can be seen about Victoria on our 2016 Tutor link.

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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.