Image: Suzy holding a harmonica outside in front of red flowers

Greetings dear members and welcome to another newsletter covering August!

Goodness me! Where do I start with this month's newsletter? There is so much information to get over to you all. Our Newsdesk page on the website has some particularly interesting pieces for you to read, learn and enjoy, including a backing track to play along with our president Paul Jones, from Manfred Mann!! 🎶 

We also have gigs throughout September around the London area from our amazing patron Adam Glasser. Adam is also kindly doing a workshop for our Saturday sessions in October just before he joins us at the festival in the same month!! 🙌🏼 

Talking of Saturday sessions, Rachelle Plas is joining Vice-Chair Dave and myself on Saturday the 12th August, 5pm UK time, for an hour of teaching and chat! Rachelle's workshop is one that you definitely should not miss. Full details of Saturday sessions coming up can be found on our events page alongside coffee mornings (every Friday at 11 am UK time) and of course the monthly Open Mic - come along and join us on the first Saturday of every month and play your heart out, any level, any style all are very welcome, including spectators, friends, and family - next one is this Saturday 5th August 5pm UK time.

The festival preparations are going splendidly. Tickets have been flying out the door since they went on sale! Come along and join us for a weekend of fun, friendship, learning on all levels and fantastic music from the artists. 

Just before I go, please give a warm welcome to another member of the communications team who has volunteered his time to help HarmonicaUK - a warm welcome to Colin Horner, and thank you. 🤗

Until the next time,


Suzy Colclough
Communications manager

Image: Barry playing harmonica with a microphone

Hello everyone, 

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the (slightly damp) summer. 

Festivals and Chromatic Weekend

As Suzy has noted above, we've all been busy preparing for our upcoming festival at the end of October. Just in case you're in a position of not being sure whether to book a place or not, I feel it important to release the news now that the Committee have decided to take some time off of organising the Chromatic Weekend, so there will be no Chromatic Weekend in 2024. We simply don't have enough volunteers with time to organise two events every year - we have been working on this year's October Festival since the week following the 2022 festival, it takes a lot of time and energy to organise a weekend event. 

So, we will only be running one live event in 2024, which will be at the end of October as usual. So if you want a live harmonica event fix, get your booking in for this year's festival now. At the time of writing, we have a fair few weekend tickets available, but only have one room left of the on-site accommodation. Please email [email protected] if you would like to book the one remaining on-site room. Once that goes, there are quite a few hotels very close to the venue. All details at:


We are taking video entries for our 2023 Harmonica Competition. It's open to all, and we have a good number of categories including Chromatic, Diatonic, and Junior. Entries all get really helpful feedback from our experienced adjudicator, David Beer, and category winners will be announced at the festival. Please check out all the details on our competition page:

Saturday Session Workshop with Rachelle Plas -12th August

Join us on Saturday 12th August at 5pm UK time for this hour long Zoom session with HarmonicaUK ambassador Rachelle Plas. In this one hour members only workshop, learn melodies, riffs and effects to play the Blues with a chance to ask questions at the end. This is definitely one not to be missed! 

Here is the members only zoom code: Meeting ID: 854 7324 3720
Passcode: 297401 

Finally, HarmonicaUK relies on volunteers to function, to produce the magazine, newsletters and put on events. HarmonicaUK relies particularly on our Membership Secretary to function, given we are a membership organisation; our current memsec, after 20 years on the committee in various roles, is retiring at the AGM this October. If you are good at administration and have an hour a week to spare to help us keep our membership database in order, please get in touch.  

We are also keen to keep up a regular presence online, and need some help on the communications team, specifically in working with our social media. If you have experience in social media and have an hour a week to spare, please get in touch. Please contact [email protected] if you have time to spare helping us with either membership or social media. All the team at HarmonicaUK are volunteers, we're all friendly, and volunteer because we enjoy it. Plus you get to know lots of great players, and pick up some really useful harmonica tips along the way!

I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.

Happy Harpin'


Barry Elms

Image: HarmonicaUK Logo


We’ve decided to include a section dedicated to our wonderful and amazing volunteers, without whom Harmonica UK would not exist. So let me introduce you to our helpers who are most definitely noticed by us on the Committee, but not necessarily known to all our members. 

So let’s start in this newsletter with my amazing team, The Communications Team:

Jo Elms works on Newsdesk writing and putting up news items. She also is an amazing proofreader, helping out the whole of the communications team.

Joe French collates the relevant pieces of work for our newsletter and puts it all together for us every month.

Colin Horner is new, but already a valued member of the team. He will be working in Newsdesk, writing and putting up news items, updating the events page and more.

Dave Colclough jumps in to help us when we are short of capacity, and covers for me when I’m unavailable. Dave is also the magazine editor, events manager and Vice-Chair.

Gary Newman works on Newsdesk, writing pieces and putting them on our website. He is currently unavailable but an equally valued member of our team - we miss you Gary, get well soon.

Barry Elms - our Chair! Barry looks after the website, and pops in every now and again to troubleshoot if required.

Suzy Colclough - communications manager, and committee member for accessibility and diversity, events team, and venue liaison.

So, that right there is the communications team; no one is paid for their time and effort, so please join in and give them a huge round of applause. 🙌🏼👏🤗


Suzy Colclough,
Communications Manager

Image: Newsdesk header, Microphone and harmonicas on a wooden table

Newsdesk brings you a selection of items from the HarmonicaUK Newsdesk this month. Click "Read more..." to read the full news item.

HarmonicaUK is proud to announce the lineup and details of our 2023 Festival
Featured artists Rob Paparozzi, Adam Glasser, Beata Kossowska, Aidan Sheehan, and Cathal Johnson.

Adam Glasser - upcoming Gigs
Four live gigs in September

Harp On with Chromatic Tab and Diatonic resource
Tom Potter has hundreds of folk and pop tunes available on Youtube with tabs

Members only Saturday session with Rachelle Plas 12th August
Exploring The Blues on the diatonic harmonica led by Rachelle Plas

Workshop with Dave Ferra - Margate 14th October
A “one off” session so catch him while you can!

Chromatic Harmonica Music from Douglas Tate Memorial
A video is available of the music played during Douglas Tate's Memorial Service in 2006

Tour of Trossingen - Hohner Factory Tour
Take a tour of the famous factory with Liam Ward

Obituary: Jerry Guy

Tom And Jerry Show - Cy Leo & Joyce Cheung
Try playing along to the music of the famous cartoon

Blowin’ Like Hell - The William Clarke Story - by Paul Barry is due out shortly
Release date expected soon for this biography of "a wonderful musician and man"

Play & Sing Like a Harmonica Hobo
Free lesson from Harmonica Barge

Read about these items and more on our Newsdesk page...

Image: Events Header, hand holding up a harmonica

Events this month and beyond - Read more and Zoom links on our Events page…

HarmonicaUK Open Mic - Sat 5th August 5pm UK Time
Join us for our monthly Open Mic on Zoom. Whether you're new to playing harmonica or a seasoned performer, you are very welcome. Details here...

HarmonicaUK Friday Coffee Morning - Friday 11th August 11am UK Time
Join us on Zoom for a chat every Friday Morning 11am UK time to talk about harmonicas, music and more! Meeting ID: 999 3719 8697 and Passcode: 178801

Saturday Session with Rachelle Plas - Sat 12th August at 5pm UK time
Exploring the Blues (diatonic). Members only Saturday session. Details here...

Celebrating 60 years of SPAH
60th Annual SPAH convention USA - AUGUST 15-20th. Details here...

HarmonicaUK Friday Coffee Morning - Friday 18th August 11am UK Time
Join us on Zoom for a chat every Friday Morning 11am UK time to talk about harmonicas, music and more! Meeting ID: 999 3719 8697 and Passcode: 178801

HarmonicaUK Friday Coffee Morning - Friday 25th August 11am UK Time
Join us on Zoom for a chat every Friday Morning 11am UK time to talk about harmonicas, music and more! Meeting ID: 999 3719 8697 and Passcode: 178801

HarmonicaUK Friday Coffee Morning - Friday 1st September 11am UK Time
Join us on Zoom for a chat every Friday Morning 11am UK time to talk about harmonicas, music and more! Meeting ID: 999 3719 8697 and Passcode: 178801

HarmonicaUK Festival - 27-29th October 2023
Hillscourt, Rednal, Birmingham, B45 8RS. Tickets now on sale, but places limited!
Festival 2023 details and tickets

Image: HarmonicaUK Logo

Have you got a harmonica story? Upcoming gigs? Single or album release? 
Newsdesk can help spread the word for you with our members
Please contact us at [email protected]
HarmonicaUK - Registered Charity no. 1131484 (England & Wales)

HarmonicaUK - Registered Charity no. 1131484 (England & Wales)
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