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SPAH 2009

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Ryan M
Apr 14, 2009 7:37 PM GMT

First of all, I'm new to harmonica space so I'd like to say hello to everyone. Now for the business: I'm thinking about going to SPAH in California this August, but I don't know much about it, and the website is a little vague. How much does it cost to attend the whole thing? Is it free for members? Also, do you thinkrooms in theRadisson the convention is in will fill up? If so, I need to book soon and I may be looking for a roomie to offset hotel costs. Just throwing it out there.....RyMo


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Comments (17)

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Apr 15, 2009 12:54 AM GMT
Brady Mills Replied:

Howdy Ryan,

I just spent about 30 minutes on the SPAH website and couldn't find any information for you. All I could find was dates and location. Hopefully someone else will have more insight!?!?!?

Brady


Apr 17, 2009 3:21 PM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

Hi, Ryan

I went to SPAH last year for my first time. I will definitely go again. It is a hoot! There are great harp players everywhere you turn - and you'll hear every style you ever heard of and then some. Blues, jazz, folk,bluegrass, slavic, brazilian, old school, diatonic, chromatic, ensembles with bass harp and chord harp - you just walk around and be blown away the entire time. I recommend the experience! I'll be there as a vendor so come by and say hi....

SPAH is a small non-profit org so they're a little slow some times - they WILL have a package deal that will get you a discounted rate at the hotel - when they do they'll put it on the web site. I have no idea when that will be but I know the president of SPAH, Tom Stryker, is out here on the west coast for a performance this week and he may well have it on his agenda to meet up with the local organizers in Sacramento to finalize these details.

/Greg


Apr 17, 2009 5:06 PM GMT
Ryan M Replied:

Thanks Greg. I will defineltey see you there! Though I'm a broke college kid, I'm in the process of saving up for my dream gear, and your mics are on my list for sure. Hopefully I can snag one at SPAH!


Apr 17, 2009 5:15 PM GMT
Warren B Replied:

I am sorry that specific details about the SPAH convention haven't made it to the website yet. Feel free to email me with any questons until it is posted. wlb@harptime.com It is not free for members. Registrations before August are: $175 member / $220 non-member

Thanks for the phone call Madcat!

Warren Bee


Apr 18, 2009 6:51 AM GMT
Oldwailer Replied:

I'm planning to be there too--it'll be my first time, and I'm really looking forward to it!


May 09, 2009 3:28 AM GMT
Eric S Replied:

The info is up now, going myself but on a budget. hope to learn alot.

Eric S.


Jul 30, 2009 6:09 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

I may only be able to make it for the Saturday part.Still not sure what I get for what I will be paying,other than my membership.

I see there will be seminars but I see no list of what seminars there will be-Just a list of seminars they`ve had in the past.


Aug 10, 2009 6:03 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

A little over one day until SPAH starts and still no specifics on what seminars there will be and who is giving them?


Aug 10, 2009 9:43 PM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

24 hours, and, in the inimitable words of Michael Jackson, "I'll be there!"

I'm bringing a boatload of BlowsMeAway Productions product including Ultimate mics, wood mics, volume controls, adapters, cables.... and everything will be 10% off for show attendees. I'll be in the vendor area - come by and say hi!

/Greg

BlowsMeAway Productions



Aug 11, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

I could only swing the saturday ticket but i`ll be there.


Aug 23, 2009 7:02 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Got an email from the SPAH website guy finally.

Says it never occured to him or anyone else at SPAH to put the seminar schedule or the other informationa lot of us were wondering about up on the site but will do so for next year lol.

Were anyone elses eyes and throat burning later in the evening from all the concert goers perfumes/colognes and hair products or was it just me?


Aug 23, 2009 7:26 PM GMT
HarpMan Freeman Replied:

Go here to see a few pics from spah

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41830012@N08/


Aug 23, 2009 8:18 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Gahhh! Never thought to check out Flickr! I`ve been seeing videos on Youtube.com though.


Aug 23, 2009 8:59 PM GMT
HarpMan Freeman Replied:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7JCGMEfpY8


Aug 23, 2009 11:07 PM GMT
HarpMan Freeman Replied:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I76B4wEIjrY

Part 2


Sep 15, 2009 5:32 AM GMT
HarpMan Freeman Replied:

I found some more pictures taken at SPAH 2009.

These are professional pictures and they are amazing!!!!! quality.

http://richbaum.smugmug.com/Music/SPAH-Convention-2009


Sep 29, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
Elizabeth S Replied:

I have to explain something, Ryan, Ray, et al. The reason scheduledevents might have seemed 'vague', to you is that SPAH only went online this year. In years past everything was done through the mail..the way the majority of the membership liked it. SPAH goes back many years and there is a core group who like things just as they are, and don't wish to be dragged into the 21st Century ;) They're the ones who created the organization and like their SPAH just fine. Now they have Warren as publicity director, and Bob Cohen to create a website with info and photos added...but they're still dealing with a certain level of: 'just send me my package in the mail, the way I always got it before'. A lot of older SPAH members (long-time participants) don't even own computers, much less post online.

So, while SPAH is trying to recruit more and younger players, deference and understanding must be given to those who founded (and funded since the beginning) the organization for all of those years...keeping it afloat and alive, and without whom SPAH wouldn't exist!

Many of us go either the night before (for Jason's Harp Blow-off), realizing that the next day we'll get our 'package' of SPAH materials. We get up, have our breakfasts, register and then look through our schedule of events for that day and the rest of the week, unless one pre-registered through the mail...thenyou could have these materials before you arrived, but again there wasn't much information. Two years ago SPAH had to begin to schedule events at the same time: chromatic (jazz/otheror classical events) up against Blues seminars and shows. Onesimply couldn't be at both...unless you moved from one to the other, because of the huge turnout and interest inso many styles of harmonica and harmonica playing.

There never was an extensive 'pre-' listing of seminars/events before except for those which had to be scheduled around local schools and nursing homes (a matinee to bring people from the local community) and Judy Smith's prepaid workshop (which filled up rapidly). It's a huge amount of work all done by VOLUNTEERS, if you haven't realized by now. A local club in the town putting on SPAH does 90% of the legwork, with the SPAH board and its helpersworking with them (and for the entire year before) to make it look seamless. It's a thankless job, and most of those involvedare retired or close to it.They always need volunteers. Young, healthy and active people would be welcomed with open arms. Contact www.spah.org to volunteer your services (anyone here who is unhappy with how SPAH is and wants things to change). You'd be made most welcome, I'm sure.

JP Pagan has been doing a helluva job with the new and more modern version of the SPAH 'newsletter/newspaper' Harmonica Happenings. He's young with fresh ideas and only in the jobabout a year?He's stepped up to the plate. Warren's giving tons of his time to help keep SPAH running as well as it did this year. Anyone who doesn't like or approve of how things are being done now needs to understand more of the behind-the-scenes work and needs to volunteer to help make it better.

I have my complaints as well..but each time I begin to feel the need to grumble a tad too much Iremember that I don't have the time, energy or physical ability to do what these folks do. So I bite my tongue and appreciate instead what they have done all too right.

Thanks for listening.

Elizabeth



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