Oh, how I wish I were going!
This is the premier autoharp get together in the Eastern Half of the United States and very possibly the best of the best for the entire hemisphere. There are a lot of things to do at the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, from classes which begin before the official starting day and run through the Gathering, to the competition, the jam sessions, the catering so you can enjoy meals right there, and finally just the great fun of a huge gathering of talented autoharp musicians and your opportunity to experience the entire mix! There is fun fellowship with people who share a love for the boxy instrument we call the autoharp.
This past week on the Cyberpluckers autoharp list there was a wonderful sharing of the history of this gathering.
It was started by the Orthey’s and originally called the Dulciharp gathering. Owners of Dulciharps, those autoharps made by Dr. Orthey, were invited to come together for a weekend of music.
Later, everyone was invited and the get together was renamed for the state flower and became the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering or MLAG.
The MLAG is a big event with workshops and pre-festival classes, and a competition, and people come from all over the world to enjoy music and fellowship. I wish I were there this year!
Until this January when I decided I needed to buy a new autoharp and finally learn to play I had never heard of this gathering, or of any gathering of autoharp players. Now I cannot imagine not wanting to attend!
Every year there is a competition and I have a CD of the music from one of those competitions and love playing it–a lot! I read today that there will be another CD from this years competition and buying that will make my having to miss this marvelous event bare-able.