Part 5: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour to Phan Thiết – From Dragon Fruit to a Dragon Festival Parade, a Secret Concert and Secret Beaches, sleeping in a restaurant and other Adventures on Buses and Motorcycles

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Map Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet

Phan Thiết is due west of Ho Chi Minh City a mere 125 miles but 6 and a half hours by bus!

7. I Call Out Smile But They Just Honked Their HornsIt takes that long because there are no freeways, just surface streets filled with mopeds and various other obstacles!

John Doan harp guitar on Bus Vietnam

On the bus I could lay down but there was not much room to store my harp guitar. A nice boy who was getting off at the next stop offered to hold it for me.  Although the thought crossed my mind that this was one way to introduce the harp guitar to Vietnam I decided to hold on to it for the duration of the trip. Continue reading

2005 International Harp Guitar Fesitval

In 2005, I hosted the third International Harp Guitar Festival (Sept. 3-4) at Willamette University where I am a professor of music. The event managed to attract a large crowd consisting of many students, faculty and staff, and members of the community nearly filling Hudson Hall for the evening concert.

Beyong Six Strings concert for the International Harp Guitar Festival

We had just over 71 people attending the workshops and presentations from 4 countries and 14 states. Over a dozen harp guitarists came to perform (and I might add mystified the audience with their playing), an equal number of noted luthiers discussed their latest designs, along with three published scholars who made presentations of their research. The stage in Hudson was an absolute spectacle displaying 65 antique to modern harp guitars (a display the first of it’s kind). This was largely due to the temporary loan of two crates of rare instruments shipped up from Los Angeles from the Miner Museum.

It is a humble group that has grown in numbers over the years and promises to continue to evolve. Go to Harp Guitars for information on the next Gathering.

You can see comments and photographs of the event and pictures of the International Harp Guitar Festival workshops and concerts.