The Society hosts events throughout the year. There are sanctioned competitions at local highland games across the country culminating in The National Scottish Harp Championship of America. We also host an Annual Membership Meeting which gives the membership an opportunity to meet our board members, officers, and committee chairs and find out what's happening in the administration of our society.
To compete in the sanctioned competitions, one must be a member of the society. Membership information can be found on our Membership Page. It is generally possible to fill in a membership form at the competition, but it's best to plan ahead. The rules for these competitions are described at length in the Handbook for SHSA sanctioned harp competitions, which is summarized in the Rules Summary. Competitors will be asked to complete a registration form and the top portion of the appropriate Adjudication Sheets prior to competing for each competition category that is entered. Printing and completing this form prior to the competition saves time and can help avoid distraction prior to competing.
The society also sponsors the Herbert P. MacNeal National Scholarship. The winner of this scholarship is chosen from among the Journeyman and Masters competitors at The National Scottish Harp Championship of America each year. See the Scholarship page for more details.
The 2010 National Scottish Harp Championship of America will be hosted by the Meadow Highland Games in Richmond, Virginia, on October 23, 2010. All harp players are welcomed to the competition, but must perform on a levered folk harp, play Scottish music or original pieces in a Scottish style, and be members of the Scottish Harp Society of America (SHSA). Membership to SHSA is available through this website or you may complete the membership form on the day of competition and include payment with your registration fee. Our judges for 2010 are Sue Richards and Jen Narkevicius, both fantastic and well known Scottish harp musicians and adjudicators across the United States, Canada and Western Europe.
Somerset Harp Festival Scholarships
Competition organizers should contact the Competition Chair, for information and forms needed to host a SHSA Sanctioned Competition. In order to have your competition sanctioned, please use this form.
April 2 at the Hilton Parsippany: For the third consecutive year, the festival will be awarding scholarships at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil on April 2. Our goal is to reward young players playing traditional music with a harp immersion experience at the festival and the scholarships will go the first place winners in each age group of the harp category. The Mid-Atlantic Fleadh is a qualifying round for the All-Ireland competitions held in Ireland in August. This year the Mid-Atlantic is being held at the Hilton Parsippany, the same place where we're having our festival! For rules about the competition and other schedule details see their website.
The National Scottish Harp Championship of America - 2009
The Scottish Harp Society of America is proud to introduce you all to the new National Scottish Harp Champion! Wire harper Chad McAnally took the prize at last weekend’s National Championship in Wellington, Ohio.
Chad McAnally was introduced to Irish and Scottish traditional music at about age 6 by his grandfather who played button accordion. Noticing his musical talents at an early age his parents enrolled him in piano and then organ and harpsichord instruction. He penned his first composition at the age of 10 and continues to compose and arrange music.
Chad became interested in the wire strung harp as a teenager and took it up in 1985 after a chance meeting with Patrick Ball. Not being able to afford a harp, he built his first harp in his dad's small basement workshop from Dennis Warring's Queen Mary plans with the kind advice of harp maker Jay Witcher. He has been active as a maker of historical style harps ever since.
After moving to Minnesota for college (U of M) to study ethnomusicology, he had the good fortune to study with master Gaelic harper Ann Heymann. After graduation he won a Minnesota Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant allowed intensive study with Ann for a year.
Since that time Chad has performed at venues ranging from such as the Festival of Nations, the Minnesota Revels, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival as well as intimate occasions such as weddings, funerals, christenings, and gallery openings. He has played for personages including the US ambassador to India, the Minnesota State House, and many other political and church dignitaries. As an active teacher he has been involved with the Center for Irish Music in St. Paul MN for the past few years, in addition to doing workshops and school demonstrations. He is a member of the traditional/ original group Rumgumption who are recording an album for New Folk Record scheduled for release later this year.
Look for the interview with Chad in the upcoming Kilt and Harp!
SHSA is, of course, equally proud of all of our winners and competitors! Here’s the full list of placements and prizes. Click this link to see a photo slide show of the competition!Beginner
1st place: Jessie Dostal
1st: Graham Dunham
2nd: Casey Flowers
3rd: Julia Lerner
1st: Tiffany Lingle
2nd: Sandy Place
1st: Rachel Clemente
2nd: Ruth Hook
3rd: Sarah Givens
1st: Kellen Lowrey
2nd: Catherine Mullins
3rd: Mike Connors
1st: Chad McAnally
2nd: Sairey Miller
3rd: Haley Hewitt
1. Susan Wilzer
Harp and Vocal
1. Steve Schack
2. Keith Rowley
Harp in Ensemble
1. Dunham Ensemble
National Scottish Harp Champion: Chad McAnally
Herbert P MacNeil Travel Scholarship: Steve Schack
Somerset Harp Fest Scholarship: Rachel Clemente
Dr Andrew Turner Trophy for Harper of the Day: Ruth Hook
SACSO OSAS scholarship: Chad McAnally
alternate: Keith Rowley
Mary Young Trophy for Most Promising Beginner: Sandy Place
Bardic Cup: Steve Schack
Clan Lamont OSAS Scholarship: Mike Connors
alternate: Casey Flowers
Wanted: Harp Circle Leaders at Highland Games
Martha Kuch has come up with an idea to attract harpers to Highland Games for fun. Let's have more harp circles! If there are harpers who would like to coordinate a harp circle at their local Highland Games, the SHSA and Kilt & Harp will help publicize these events. The SHSA will send post cards, and e-mails to harpers in the geographical area of the Games locations, and the K&H will announce the harp circle if the information is received at least 4 months prior to the event. Any harper willing to coordinate a harp circle at their local Games or other Scottish event, please contact Martha Kuch.