The 7th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat was a great event for all. All the participants made friends quickly starting off with a Thursday night performance for each other.
Weekend morning classes began with reviewing various exercises from the new harp guitar instruction book John Doan is preparing for publication.
After lunch John works one-on-one with students. He found Adrian Bellue playing out in the woods and an impromptu lesson began.
Saturday early evening began with a potluck/concert where the audience brings a main dish and dessert. Everyone enjoyed hanging out together at various places around John and Deirdra’s mountain top.
The concert opened with James Schaller performing on an amazing Alan Perlman nylon string harp guitar. James shared with the audience how he uses music to help people in hospitals and care facilities and then played a soulful original composition.
Adrian Bellue followed with an unbelievable solo that sounded like a trio of guitar, bass and drums that he had just composed that afternoon!
To view James, Adrian and John’s performance click here for video excerpts from the first half of the concert (special thanks to Don Fries and Bev Bow for filming and posting this video).
With the audience completely stunned John stepped up to the makeshift stage and played music occasionally accompanied by woodland songbirds while draped in the last of the evening sunlight.
John dedicated his harp guitar version of “Ridding the Low Moon” to its composer Mason Williams who was in the audience just as the full moon rose low in the star studded sky.
The 7th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat class of 2014 all gathered around Mason Williams for a photo at intermission. Everyone seemed to have such a great time together. The flickering light of tiki torches and a concert video accompanied John’s Celtic Pilgrimage music for the second half of the outdoor concert. The retreat and the concert were capped off by the swirling glow of a spectacular Oregon summer sunset. For those wanting to plan ahead mark July 9th (evening dinner and get together) and 10th – 12th 2015 on your calendar and reserve your place for the 8th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat. John is aiming at having his new harp guitar book available by then.
Testimonials 7th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat 2014
“Words can’t describe the serenity and tranquility of living with the Doan’s for even a few days. Having you as my mentor and my friend is truly a blessing. John you and your harp guitar retreat have influenced a change in my life, and continue to help me grow every year. Everything from the landscape, (which I can tell you’ve diligently worked on) and the view of the valley, to the magic of working with you one on one, and of course meeting new players and making new friends.”
“The event, the beauty, the learning were beyond words. Maybe only music could tell the tale. However, until it does, I want to thank you all for what you each brought along in addition to the music we shared. Deirdra, you are all-round amazing! You made all that beauty, organization, partying, scheduling seem effortless. And you smiled the whole time. Unbelievable!! John, thank you for writing your music, thank you for sharing your music, thank you for pouring it out on us so bountifully. The immersion system certainly is the most effective! Again words don’t have it, but my favorite piece of yours does: Farewell, my music friends.”
“The whole event was so magical. Thank you so much for everything. From your first greeting, I knew this was going to be something very special. My wife and I had such a wonderful time and appreciate all of your efforts and hospitality. I felt as though you had taken each of us on a wayfarer’s quest into the very soul of music. It was particularly helpful that you didn’t just talk about music theory, you showed us how it was used in songs and how to apply it to our own compositions. Wonderful, wonderful and yet again most wonderful!”
“My participation in the Harp Guitar Retreat exceeded my expectations as John’s instruction and personal coaching opened up new creative and performance vistas on the Harp Guitar. John provided a very personal insight to his creative and compositional choices, and make no mistake John Doan is an accomplished composer! Deirdre and John extended warm hospitality and designed a weekend of creativity, music and new friendships. If you play Harp Guitar, do not miss John Doan’s Harp Guitar Retreat.”