This page is for all autoharp lovers, pickers and grinners, and is brought to you by Lindsay Haisley, FMP Computer Services and the Cyberpluckers autoharp community. It may help you stay up-to-date on autoharp news and help you connect with players, performers, luthiers and other resources for the instrument.
We sadly note the passing of our friend, master autoharp luthier George Orthey. George left us on August 18, 2020 after many decades of, among his many contributions, raising the bar for excellence in custom made autoharps. George was an amazing person and a gifted musical instrument engineer in spite of longstanding hearing issues. Along with the late Mary Lou Orthey, his wife of many years, he founded the annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, the original and premier music festival by, for and about autoharp players. He and Mary Lou were inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame in 1998, and were beloved by all of us who love the instrument. For those of us who knew George, he was kind, generous, funny and eccintric enough to spawn a wealth of lovely stories which we'll be telling each other for many years. If you were an autoharp player, or just a fan, and in his neighborhood, he would let you know that you had a standing invitation to his home, his guest house and his shop.
George was not only a great autoharp luthier, but also a teacher, and over the years took on apprentices who learned his craft and who have carried on his reputation for making amazing instruments. Among these are Greg Schreiber and Tom Fladmark, both of whom are now highly respected autoharp luthiers in their own right.
* * Changing Strings?? * *
We found this excellent video by Tom Fladmark and Greg Schreiber that tells how the cow eats the cabbages when it comes to string changing!
* * The Cyberpluckers * *
The Cyberpluckers is a collection of autoharp players and autoharp music lovers who work and play (when they're not playing music) on the Internet. The Cyberpluckers keep in touch by means of an electronic mailing list. You can join the discussion by subscribing to the list and participating.
* * Who is King of the Autoharp * *
According to a number of authoritative and reputable sources, Mary Umbarger is currently the reigning King of the Autoharp. This coronation was by unanimous decision of the Autoharp Board of Authorities, duly convened and in official session on January 26, 2022. The former reigning sovereign, Heidi Cerrigione, graciously abdicated to allow the honor to be shared and appreciated by a larger audience.
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