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NGI Recipient: Jessie Appel

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - Early Music Week (2014)

Early music week was certainly an event I will never forget. It was a joy being able to play so much interesting music all day. I think the most valuable things I gained from camp/the scholarship are the completely new experiences I was able to participate in. For example, I was always somewhat afraid of dance and had always avoided it. However, at camp I tried to dive in and found myself loving it. I now hope to continue with local dances as a whole new interest and hobby.

Before the camp, early music and the instruments used to play it were almost mythic to me. I had of course heard early music and seen pictures and sound clips of violas, krumhorns, etc, but seeing these ensembles and being surrounded by these instruments was completely new and an opportunity one is not often presented with. It was a very genuine experience of early music.

The people I met were very interesting, ranging from young students like myself to interesting people in their middle age or older. Everyone I spoke with was very nice, and often had quite a life and world view. I made some friends and connections I hope to keep!


Addendum by Ellen Tepper, Jessie’s Sponsor and Early Music Week instructor:

Jesse was such a quick study in morning harp class that he was able to use some of the extra time to work on his new pedal harp technique (he calls it “floppy arm technique”).

Also, his tone production was enormous as a result of spending the past year on a higher tensioned instrument. Aside from the harp playing and learning to dance (and loving it) he used his new-found sight-singing techniques and sang in his afternoon class. He fit in perfectly.

I taught the tune Carolan’s Welcome for my “Side-Blinded” side by side [advanced players coupled with beginners], learning by ear, which was one of the first tunes we’d worked on when he began the harp. At the after-party. in the wee hours, a massive Carolan’s Welcome happened in the Camphouse, led by Jesse.

We should all be so fortunate as to have students like him.