Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering

Folks, registration is now OPEN for the 2021 Virtual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, June 23-27, 2021! We have a stellar lineup starting each day at 12 noon Eastern time. There will be a total of 17 Zoom webinar sessions at various levels.  We will have a welcome & orientation to kick us off in addition to a social  hour each day.  There will be lots of opportunities to learn, listen, and catch up with friends. Each 90-minute webinar will include about an hour of instruction, and then an entertaining demonstration of techniques and tunes by the presenter! Plus, each session will be recorded and will be available to ticket holders for eight weeks after the event, in case you want to watch again, or just watch at your convenience.

Our presenters include Ivan Stiles, Karen Mueller, Les Gustafson-Zook, Cindy Harris, Cathy Britell, Drew Smith, Patrick Couton, Karen Torell-Hoffman, Ron Wall, and Mike Fenton, and six (!) acclaimed autoharp luthiers

Click here for all the details and to register. After creating your account and browsing the offerings, you can either purchase a full ticket ($120), or pick and choose the sessions you wish to attend a la carte ($10 each). All social hours are free, of course! Then, your unique links will allow you to download handouts when they’re available, and tune in to the sessions you’ve registered for. We can’t wait for you to join us in June!

Kathie Hollandsworth, MLAG Director

Muriel Powers

On February 21st, Muriel Powers passed away after a two  year-long fight against lung cancer. She died at home, “Surrounded by  Love“.

Muriel’s style of playing the autoharp  has been described as intense, or dream-like, depending on the song, but  always passionate. She took great pride in demonstrating how many  different genres of music could be played on the  instrument. Other harpists say they were inspired not only by how she played, but what she played. By doing so, she exposed other musicians to various methods to freely explore ways to “play outside the box”.

Muriel Powers was a gem of the Northwest, as a player and an organizer, as a recording artist and as a gentle spirit. She was comfortable playing full-blown rock ‘n roll as she was with meditative music. Muriel recorded as a soloist with a Celtic group in her hometown of Port Townsend, WA, and on a CD of her own compositions very much in a meditative groove. She worked in the field of healing bedside music and played at several festivals, as well as writing the column “Music And Healing” for the Autoharp Quarterly. After a long battle with cancer, Muriel wanted to donate to her favorite charity, the Autoharp Angels.
We will miss her, yet she will live on through her music and wonderful memories. Should anyone wish to donate to Autoharp Angels in memory of Muriel, you may do that by clicking on the donate button at the bottom of this page … please indicate that you’d like the donation to go to the Autoharp Angels when asked if there are any special instructions to the seller.

Dr. George Orthey In Memoriam (1932-2020)

For those of you who haven’t heard, I must acknowledge some sad news – the passing of Festival Founder George Orthey on August 18, 2020.

Even before the public festival began, George and his wife Mary Lou hosted several gatherings on their Newport farm for owners of his Dulci-Harps. Then they made the decision to open their farm, and their home, to anyone who was an autoharp enthusiast. They initiated the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering and the accompanying Championship in 1991. The festival was a monumental annual undertaking for them and the small group who supported their efforts in making the Gathering possible, and each year it only improved under their leadership. When they turned the Gathering over to a Board of Directors in 2001, it was a thriving, healthy enterprise that gave the Board a firm foundation to continue presenting the oldest and largest festival dedicated to the autoharp. The gratitude that MLAG collectively has for George and Mary Lou’s efforts cannot be overstated.

George also organized the Mini-Mountain Laurel Concert Series, which brought notable performers to Newport and nearby Lewistown for many years during the fall, winter, and spring. I’m sure many of you attended or performed at those concerts. And I cannot even imagine how many of you must own and play George’s autoharps and mountain dulcimers, which he built from 1964 up until just last year.

George’s full obituary can be found here.

When we can all be together again, we will certainly properly remember George as a group. Until then, please ponder his contributions to our community, and remember his sons, Scott and George III, and their families.

Warmest regards,
Kathie Hollandsworth
Festival Director

Here’s a photo tribute to George …

Cindy Harris – June Maugery – Ron Wall – Les Gustafson-Zook – Karen Mueller – Ivan Stiles

The Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering brings together autoharp enthusiasts from around the world for five days of workshops, concerts and ’round the clock music-making. Now in its twenty-ninth year, the Gathering features concerts and workshops from some of the folk world’s best musicians — and they come because no matter what else they’re famous for, they also just happen to play the autoharp!

The Gathering takes place at Little Buffalo State Park Campground just outside Newport, Pennsylvania.  For those who are unfamiliar with the Gathering, Gregg Averett’s 2019 Gathering Recap is a good way to understand just how much fun we can pack into four days.

Our 2022 Gathering will be held at Little Buffalo from June 23-26, 2022

Our featured performers for 2022:

Karen Mueller • Ron Wall
 Les Gustafson-Zook • Ivan Stiles • June Maugery
Cindy Harris (and the GrayScale ContraBand)

Hot News

New MLAG Toll-Free Hot Line: MLAG now has a toll-free hot line to help answer any questions you may have about the upcoming Gathering …

Annual Deadlines

  • Autoharp Hall of Fame nominations applications are due by March 1, 2021. A ballot is  downloadable here  and is also available in the Summer, Fall and Winter issues of the Autoharp Quarterly. You can also use our new interactive form feature to submit your nomination. For a list of the members of the Autoharp Hall of Fame, click here.
  • Mary Lou Orthey Scholarship applications are due April 1, 2021. If you are thinking about coming to the 2021 Gathering but a lack of funding is making it tough, consider applying for a scholarship.
  • Applications for the Cohen/Grappel Recording Grant are due June 1, 2021.

Remember to bring items for the Silent Auction to benefit the Gathering. Items or services do not have to be autoharp-related or even music related — any item you think might be of interest to people is welcome. More details at the Gathering or send a note to Kathy Wieland or Cathy Beyer.

Registration – Press 1
Camping – Press 2
Pre-Gathering Classes – Press 3
Workshops – Press 4
Mary Lou Orthey Scholarship – Press 5
Cohen-Grappel Recording Grant – Press 6
Autoharp Angels Program – Press 7
Autoharp Hall of Fame – Press 8
For all other questions – Press 9

The Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Consider making a tax-deductible donation, now, or remember us kindly in your will, later. Please contact us for details or, to donate on-line via PayPal, click on the donate button below.

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