We are fortunate to present some of the world’s best autoharpists — folks that would otherwise not make it to the upper left corner of the country. Here’s our lineup for 2018.
Heidi Cerrigione (‘ser-a-go-nee) and her husband, John, enjoy playing old time sentimental music. Their instrumentation includes guitar, autoharp, banjo, mountain and hammered dulcimer. Their tunes are drawn from many traditional sources, including fiddle and dance music of early America, the British Isles and Switzerland. In 2012 Heidi won the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Championship. And did we mention – Heidi demonstrates authentic Swiss yodeling! In 2014, Heidi completed the Music For Healing and Transition Program and is now a Certified Music Practitioner playing bedside therapeutic music. Released in April 2013, “Stay on the Farm”, John & Heidi’s 4th duet recording, is an uplifting collection of music inspired by life on the farm. In addition to their own recordings, John and Heidi are part of the band Doofus and record with the Atwater-Donnelly Band.
Listen to Heidi!
Wood Stoves and Bread Loaves
Grandma Slid Down the Mountain
Will Smith started out touring the college coffeehouse circuit. He settled in Nashville to concentrate on songwriting and session work playing autoharp. Will has appeared as a sideman on the Grand Ole Opry and on numerous albums. The autoharp used on some of the recordings uses a revolutionary chord bar set up which enables altered chords and progressions not possible on a conventional instrument. Will was included on the Autoharp Legacy anthology CD, has performed internationally, and a clip from one of his videos was recently featured in an exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel “autoharp-music“. In June of 2016, he was named to the Autoharp Hall of Fame.
Listen to Will!
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Hal Weeks has has been playing Autoharp for 30 years, and teaching for 20. He’s the man behind “Stalking the Wild Autoharp“, the premier autoharp tutorial series on YouTube. He is known for his pioneering work on chromatic; especially Blues and, for the past 10 years, the Prizim ‘harp which uses 21 bars, but plays close to 75 chords and open chords like a diatonic in 5 keys. He teaches all styles–Chromatic, Diatonic, and Prizim–to all levels of players, from Newbie to Advanced. He’s especially interested in using the autoharp to accompany song, and providing an interesting and evolving accompaniment line, with texture, variety, and appropriate melody breaks and fills. Hal was actively involved as a performer for kids on the autoharp for a decade and a half, performing sometimes 15 concerts a month in schools, libraries, rec centers, parks, summer camps and festivals. Since retiring from performing, he has focused exclusively on teaching, and is looking forward to bringing his workshops to NWAG this summer, as well as climbing back into the performing saddle for a rare concert of Prizim music.
Listen to Hal!
I Know You Rider
Kathy Wieland is a singer/songwriter/autoharp/banjo/guitar player who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She wrote her first song: “Good Cuppa Coffee” in the 90’s. “A Woman Who’s Aged” followed, and shortly after that the duo “Katseye” was formed with her good friend, Kathy Gravlin. Before the duo disbanded in 2014, they produced two CD’s: “He Thinks I’m Good Lookin’” in 2005 and “Makin’ Lemonade” in 2013. They performed at a lot of Michigan venues and several autoharp and dulcimer festivals in Pennsylvania over the years.
Kathy is mostly a solo act these days but has shared performances with local musicans and Songwriters like Bill Edwards, Sara Melton Keller and Judy Insley. She has played and taught autoharp workshops as well as harmony singing workshops at the Mt. Laurel Autoharp Gathering, Evart Dulcimer Festival, Noreast’r, Chestnut Ridge and on some of the Autoharp Cruises. Her song “Makin’ Lemonade” was one of the first place winners at Winfield in 2014. Her song “Momma Likes to Fish” took second place at Winfield in 2015. Another song Won first place at the 2010 Riverfolk Music and Arts Festival. You can hear some of her songs and see her Alpena Colada video.
Listen to Kathy!
Proper Cup Of Coffee
It Will Be Me