Last Sunday evening I went to a small musical party at luthier Kathy Wingerts’ house.  This followed a concert at a nearby music store’s grand opening (I missed it, but many played, including local classical guitar professor/virtuoso Martha Masters, and our own Pete Bradshaw).

Eventually, 5 harp guitarists showed up – Pete, Frank Doucette, Kathy, Jose Luis Garmenzzi, and myself.  Pete played for Frank and me his final arrangement of his submission for the next Harp Guitar Music Christmas compilation CD – “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”  This was one Frank (my HGM creative assistant) had suggested, and one a bit outside Pete’s normal classical or slack key styles.  We all imagined it as somewhere between straight, simple chords, and full-on jazz voicings/movement.  Needless to say, I wouldn’t be writing this if Pete hadn’t “passed the audition.”  It’s a perfect arrangement, with not a single note out of place.  Though the CD is a year off, perhaps he’ll play it at HGG8.

Pete Bradshaw, in deep concentration.

I also got a peek at Stephen Bennett’s new Wingert HG (in the raw) and got to spend time again with Kathy’s short-scale harp guitar (just back from a loan to a prominent harp guitarist).  It was tuned to her preferred pitch for the unique instrument (a whole step up) and sounded amazing.  I was able to A-B it directly against Pete’s full-size Wingert HG and also my Dyer, which by coincidence is currently strung and tuned to a higher, vaguely “terz” tuning (“Bb cluster,” if you’re curious), so the pitch range was similar to hers.  It’s still available for sale (look for an additional HGM listing in the future).

Kathy, with her short-scale HG.  Note how it’s perfectly proportional to her, as Pete’s full-size instrument is to him.

One local guitarist who came, Steve Lindbergh, recognized my name – 5 years ago, he was visiting relatives in Salem the very weekend of HGG3 (unbeknownst to him) and literally wandered across the street to the auditorium, where he remembered me doing that harp-mando solo!

Good food, drink, friends (new and old) and a great time was had by all.