Mystic Strings Harp Circle
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Those of you familiar with the harping world, know that a harp circle is a gathering of harp players who meet regularly to play ensemble, network, try new things, and have fun. The Mystic Strings Harp Circle is just that kind of gathering. We are located in Chicago's western suburbs.
Several Chicago area harp circles meet periodically throughout the year. Mystic Strings is one of the few Chicago area harp circles that meets on a monthly basis.
Chicago Area Harp Community
Mystic Strings Harp Circle is part of a strong local harp community. Chicago is home to numerous professional, amateur, and hobbyist harp players. Northwestern University in Evanston and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, both offer pedal harp programs. The Academy of Irish Music of Chicago offers group and private lessons on the lever harp. Numerous harp teachers can be found from Evanston to Wheaton, Westmont to DeKalb, Vernon Hills to Oak Park, and other points between.
Great Lakes Harpers, the Midwest chapter of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen, sponsors annual conferences in the greater Chicago area.
Celtic Fest Chicago is held every September along the lakefront and is home to a harp tent sponsored by Great Lakes Harpers. This venue features performers from the Chicago area, as well as some of the world's most renowned folk harpers. Great Lakes Harpers also offers harp workshops during the weekend of Celtic Fest Chicago.
Mystic Strings History
In October 2002, our founder, Patrice Ribando, attended one of the conferences organized by Great Lakes Harpers. She exchanged information with a handful of people at the conference, found a Chicago suburban meeting site for the harp circle, and got everyone together. Initially targeting beginner harpers, the harp circle started out with 4 members. By January 2003, word had spread and we had doubled in size. By our one year anniversary, we had an official name and our membership had grown to 20 members. We still continue to grow!
The harp circle is open to all harp players. We have members at all levels of ability and experience from absolute beginners to music majors. If you are in Chicago or the suburbs, like to have fun, and like to play your harp with others, then you should join Mystic Strings Harp Circle. There are no dues or membership fees.
Where? - Oak Brook
The Mystic Strings Harp Circle meets monthly at the Oak Brook Public Library
Oak Brook Public Library
600 Oak Brook Road (same as 31st Street)
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Directions can be found at the library website by clicking the link above.
The harp circle normally meets the 2nd Saturday of each month from 11:00am-1:00pm. Email to confirm schedule.
Mystic Strings members choose the music we play and new ensemble music suggestions are always welcome. Members are responsible for purchasing their own music.
At present our repertoire consists of several ensemble arrangements done for us by a local teacher and arranger and the published works listed below. The arrangements done for us consist of some Welsh tunes, some O'Carolan tunes, and some original compositions.
Published works we are currently playing:
- Jeannie Kern Chenette's book, Progressive Solos for the Harp — for warm-ups and sight reading practice.
- Jubal Press' Discovering the Harp Series by Daniel Burton, The Ash Grove
- Deborah Either's book, Four Traditional Tunes for Lever Harp Ensemble
For new members who have not had an opportunity to purchase the music yet, our Music Librarian has copies to lend in the interim. These copies are available for use at the meeting.
Most of the published music is available from Melody's Traditional Music and Harp Shoppe or your favorite harp music source. This is not a paid endorsement of Melody's Traditional Music and Harp Shoppe, just a satisfied customer's opinion. Support your local or favorite music vendor.
For more information or to verify meeting schedule, please email us at email@example.com