33rd Annual International Island Mountain Harp and Cello School
Monday, August 19 – Friday, August 23, 2019


New this year – Early Morning Coffee Concerts
Every morning 3 people can sign up to play a couple tunes in the coffee room from 8:30 - 8:50am (followed by tuning 8:50 - 9) Free coffee for those that sign up!  

Mornings (Choose your instructor for the week) 
Mon-Tues & Thurs-Friday 9am - 12:15pm

Sharlene Wallace – Advanced Harp

The advanced class will put fingers to strings learning new tunes, playing as an ensemble, and working on creative arrangements. With all of our playing we will work on and talk about technique, musicality, creativity, personal playing style, playing faster, rhythm, control, dynamics, tone, and all with an emphasis on playing with effortlessness, beauty and relaxation.

Hailing from Toronto, Sharlene Wallace tours internationally, giving concerts, workshops and master classes. Winner of two international lever harp competitions, she has created seven independent CDs that feature many of her own compositions and her most recent album is In Night’s Deep Silence.

Felice Pomeranz – Intermediate Harp

Felice Pomeranz, harpist, is a performer, teacher, entrepreneur, and recording artist. She holds advanced degrees from New England Conservatory of Music, in both classical and jazz harp. Felice is the first and only harpist at New England Conservatory to receive a Masters’ Degree in Jazz Studies. Ms. Pomeranz is Professor of Harp at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She began the Harp Program in the String Department at Berklee College in 2002.

Seumas Gagne – Intermediate Harp

I combine the excellent education I received in classical harp technique, my decades of experience teaching at festivals, and my knowledge of traditional Scottish Gaelic music to create a unique and exciting opportunity for students. I want to see folks leap forward both in their technical abilities and their understanding of the cultures that produced this music, which is so beloved around the world. Each day will include some foundational work, time spent learning music by ear, and developing an understanding of the context for the pieces being studied. Staff notation will be provided at the end of each day, fear not!

Back by popular demand, Seattle's Seumas Gagné has been playing the music of the Scottish and Irish Gaels on the Celtic harp for more than thirty years. After finishing his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Music at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, his attention returned to his first love, the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland.

Marilyn Rummel – Beginners Harp

My focus is on students playing beautiful music by paying attention to tone production, healthy movements of bones and muscles, and the elements of musicality, which can be learned at any age and stage of musical development.

Playing for over thirty years, Marilyn teaches in her Harp Canada Studio in Duncan, Vancouver Island, and at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music and is the founder of the Island Mountain Arts International Harp School. Since establishing herself on the Island, Marilyn has built up a very busy teaching schedule and is delighted to share what she's learned. To see what she and her students are doing visit: www.hcs.harpcanada.com

Morag Northey – Cello Beginners to Experienced

This workshop will be tailored to the participant’s level of achievement. Beginners to experienced are welcomed and encouraged.  Each session will begin with warm-ups to unlock and balance the body, free vibrations, and provide ease, accuracy and direction. Cellists will dive into technique, studies and pieces and tie-up the day with cello & harp ensemble! Morag offers a very rewarding and memorable approach to furthering your love of the cello…forever positive “I am excited to work with any and all who come to play!

A teacher for 35 years, Northey adheres to the technical demands of classical music while inspiring cellist of all ages and stages from rudimentary skills to successful entrance in the profession. She has trained in the Suzuki and Kodály methods, taught at the Calgary Suzuki Talent Education Society, consistently lead group and ensemble classes for early childhood, teen and adult levels, and for ten years created and ran a series of unique, multi-age, multi-level, all-encompassing intensive string summer boot camps.

Afternoons (choose your group for the week)
Mon-Tues & Thurs-Friday  2 – 4pm

  • Sharlene and Morag - All levels Cello and Harp Ensemble Class

  • Seumas - All levels – Great Gaelic Songs for Every Harper

Scottish Gaelic song literature is one of the richest sources of material for both singers and harpers. In this workshop, Seumas will use the innovative Language Hunters method of immersive teaching at the beginning of each session to provide insight into the spoken language. Then, he will teach the melodies, suggested chords, and chorus lyrics to popular Scottish Gaelic songs.

  • Felice Pomeranz – Intermediate/Advanced – Jazz for lever harp

In this class, you will play jazz music using tools to make your lever harp as groovy as it could be, with fun basses and coloured chords. We will use some jazz standards, chord progressions and improvisation. No prior jazz knowledge is necessary but a good understanding of playing chords and theory fundamentals is needed.  We will go in a step-by-step progression, using some tools in order to understand the process of arranging with a teaspoon of theory and just a pinch of analysis (nothing hot, it’s for the flavour). Learners by ear and/or with the music are all welcome.

  • Beginners have the afternoons to practice or may choose to join the Ensemble Class or Gaelic Songs


New this year - Wednesday Morning Special Topics
9am – 12:15pm 
Choose from a variety of special topics with the instructors. Each student can choose two sessions. More session topics to be added soon.

Session One: 9 – 10:30am
Session Two: 10:45am – 12:15pm

Topic 1: When the Blind Harper Took on the Chief of MacLeod with Seumas Gagne

When Ruaidhri MacMhuirich, also known as An Clàrsair Dall (the blind harper) was 37 years of age, his patron Iain Breac, Chief of MacLeod died and Iain’s 19 year old son, also called Ruaidhri, succeeded him. Within a short time, word reached Dunvegan Castle of the Clan’s tax money being spent to impress the English-speaking court in Edinburgh. The harper’s culture and tradition told him exactly what he had to do; it fell to him to compose an òran sàrachaidh (song of harassment) to shame the young chief into fulfilling his responsibilities. The result was arguably the finest achievement of Gaelic poetry in the 18th century.

In this workshop, Seumas will layout the course of events in the lives of Iain Breac MacLeod, Ruaidhri Og MacLeod, and Ruaidhri MacMhuirich, the blind harper that led to the composition of this remarkable song. At the end, Seumas will perform selected verses of the song and teach the melody to any harpers who would like to learn it.

Topic 2: TBA with Felice Pomeranz

Topic 3: TBA with Sharlene Wallace

Wed afternoon and evening – off to enjoy Wells and Barkerville


Special Evening Events included with Registration

·       Sunday, August 18, 7pm at the Island Mountain Arts Gallery - Welcome Reception on the evening before the workshop begins. Pick up your student package and meet your instructors.

  • Monday, August 19, 5:30pm Students BBQ at the School; After the BBQ head to the Sunset Theatre for 8pm for the Good Vibrations Cello Choir featuring Morag Northey

  • Tuesday, August 20, 7pm – Annual Instructor Concert at the Sunset Theatre

  • Thursday, August 22, 6pm - Annual Community Céilidh & Potluck – a chance for all the classes to perform and for all to dance to Breton and Scottish dances. Céilidh Master Seumas Gagne

Harp Rentals for the week (limited availability) – Call IMA 1-800-442-2787
$75 for novice harps, $100 for Int/Adv Harps