10th Annual Harp Gathering brings harpists from all over to northwest Ohio

10th Annual Harp Gathering brings harpists from all over to northwest Ohio

ARCHBOLD, OH (WTOL) - The 10th Annual Harp Gathering took place at Sauder Village from May 19 to May 20.

Harpists from all over the globe traveled to Archbold, Ohio to take part in workshops, concerts, and shop.

"There are a lot of people that come every year who have made friends here that they wouldn't have made friends with otherwise," said Denise Grupp- Verbon, the co-director of the festival. "They live across the country from one another and they room together at The Harp Gathering and it's like the hang of harps, where you come and learn and just love every moment."

Grupp-Verbon has been playing the harp since she was 11 years old and played her first professional gig when she was 14. She's passionate about bringing fellow harpists to northwest, Ohio to enjoy their mutual love for the instrument.

During the festival there were luthiers selling their instrument that were hand made. A luthier is a maker of stringed instruments.

"I buy raw lumber, cut them all out in templates, and everything is shaped, processed and sanded right in my shop," said Jeff Lewis, Master Luthier. "Each piece is hand cut, hand carved, hand painted. And then when everything gets done you put the finish on, string it, and send it out."

Lewis has been building harps for more than 20 years and has been a part of The Harp Gathering since its beginning 10 years ago. He said it takes about 40 to 60 hours to build a harp but he enjoys seeing others using his instruments.

"To know that they're enjoying something I spent so much time, so much effort, and sometimes blood creating, and see the smile on their face when they play it, and they ring it, it resonates so much. There's no better feeling," explained Lewis.

The Harp Gathering is already scheduled for next year, the weekend after Mother's Day.

More information about the festival can be found here.

Anyone interested in Jeff Lewis, Master Luthier's business or interested in purchasing a harp can look here.

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