8th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat July 9-12, 2015 “Catch The Vision”

Harp Guitar Retreat Morning Class

Harp Guitar Retreat Morning Class

The 8th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat July 9-12, 2015 is a great event for all those interested in learning more about:

1. the techniques and concepts of playing the harp guitar

2. exploring ideas on how music works through hands on application

3. composing and performing through personal coaching

4. and being inspired.

If any of the above interests you please consider reserving your place for this summer’s 8th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat held at the home of John and Deirdra Doan.  At the retreat you will have access to John’s years of experience as a pioneer of the harp guitar and as an Emmy-Nominated and award winning recording and performing artist.

The setting is nothing short of breath taking with expansive westerly views of the Willamette Valley.

John Doan - living room concert - the chair awaits in his home.

It is an intimate stress-free environment with all levels of playing/performing encouraged and accepted for an educational seminar involving a very limited number of participants.

Harp Guitar Retreat 2013 BBQ7


You may come out to learn about playing the harp guitar but you will also leave with some new friends.






The retreat starts with a Thursday night dinner and informal performance for those who would like to play. The class and lessons are laid back and are aimed at working with players who have just started playing the harp guitar and with those who want to put an edge on what they already have accomplished with the instrument and their music.

Weekend morning classes begin with reviewing various exercises from the new harp guitar instruction book John Doan is preparing for publication.

6. Harp Guitar Retreat 2014 Adrian Bellue Lesson

John gives a private lesson to Adrian in the woods

After lunch John works one-on-one with students. This past retreat John found Adrian Bellue playing out in the woods and an impromptu lesson began.

On Saturday in the early evening there is a potluck/concert where the audience brings a main dish and dessert.  Everyone enjoys hanging out together at various places around John and Deirdra’s mountain top.

This last summer many in the harp guitar class gathered around special guest Mason Williams listening to what a gas it was to compose and record Classical Gas.

12. Harp Guitar Retreat 2014 Outdoor Concert1

The concert in the woods was advertised for the audience to BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair)

Last year’s 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. You might want to check out his dreamy new recording “Amongst Moonlight.”

James Schaller Harp Guitar Performance

Adrian Bellue followed with an unbelievable solo that sounded like a trio of guitar, bass and drums that he had just composed that afternoon! Check out  some of the music from his debut album “Draw Inspiration.”

Adrian Bellue Harp Guitar Performance

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).

John Doan Harp Guitar Performance2

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.

Low Moon Through Trees John Doan Concert

14. Harp Guitar Retreat 2014 Mason Williams and Class

Steve Stein, Mason Williams, John Doan, Adrian Bellue, James Schaller and Angele Blanton

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. 16. Harp Guitar Retreat 2014 Outdoor Concert2The flickering light of tiki torches and a concert video accompanied John’s Celtic Pilgrimage music for the second half of the outdoor concert. 17. Harp Guitar Retreat 2014 SunsetThe 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.

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.”

Adrian Bellue

“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.”

Angele Blanton 

“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!”

Steve Stein

“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.”

James Schaller

Included with registration: All lodging and meals are on site and included with registration. Printed materials are provided for each student with a series of exercises and compositions to take home after the retreat.

Instruments available on site: There will be several harp guitars on site for your use if you do not have one of your own to bring to the seminar.

Incidental Activities: There is plenty of hiking trails, tax free shopping, local wine tasting, on site hot tub, trampoline, and wireless internet. The site is central and about one hour away from the Oregon Coast, the high desert of Bend, and the cities of Portland and Eugene. In between classes and private lessons there will be time to just relax, practice, read, explore the area, or casually visit with other harp guitarists.

Space is limited: Retreats are limited from five to seven participants and their guests. Spouses, friends, or family attend at a reduced rate. If needed an additional weekend retreat will be scheduled to accommodate more participants.

Participants Fee: $695

Includes four nights stay, three group sessions, three private lessons, meals, evening presentations, and various incidentals.

Additional guests Fee: $250

Includes four nights stay, meals, evening presentations, and various incidentals.

To enroll or for more information call or write:

mailto:harpguitar (at) gmail.com


PO Box 5081, Salem, OR 97304