IONA 2020 Conference

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Plan to join us for a trip of a lifetime to the Isle of IONA – the week of July 1 – 15, 2020.  Please study the information below and then let Christina know if you are interested.  We have only a couple places available but we will start a waiting list in case you think you might want to join us.

There are 49 beds in the hotel. We have reserved for two weeks. This Conference will be a combination Therapeutic Harp Conference with lectures in the morning and time for exploration of the island in the afternoon.  Our beloved Fionntulach will lead us in the Sacred tradition of the Ceile De (known well to the island) at the end of Week 1 and during the beginning of Week 2.

IONA Week 1 and 2 are Conference/Retreat Weeks – a time to restore and rejuvenate and be inspired. Continuing education credits are awarded to Graduates for your requirement to remain listed on our active listing.

On July 17-22, 2020, we will be moving to another location for those who want to study the International Harp Therapy Program both Level 1 and Level 2. We will be holding the trainings at the Daisy Centre in Glastonbury, UK.  Please Contact LIESBETH if you are interested.

Why you might ask we are holding the classes in the UK? The fourth week from July 24 to the 30th, the World Harp Congress will be held in Cardiff, Wales which is a wonderful event to attend. Last time it was in Hong Kong, it has also been held in Sydney, AU; Amsterdam, NL; Dublin, Ireland; Vancouver, Canada just to mention a few places. Our proposal has been accepted to give a wonderful presentation on Therapeutic Harp at this Convention. Most will plan to obtain a 1 day pass for the day we present.

So, jump in if you think there is any chance you might attend. The journey is incredible and the cost is less than any tour to Scotland you will ever find. You will be with like minded people. The dream may become a reality. It’s worth the $50. non-refundable deposit to get onto the list. Or you may simply decide at this time you want to be on the waiting list and make a decision later. Save this LINK for when it is time to make your $50. deposit to hold your choice.

Now for some tempting lecture offerings from our Key Speakers!’’



julie-and-harp-aug-2016-crop-3_origJulie Darling

 Julie Darling of ‘Spiritual Harp’ will present :  ‘Iona Essence’ – The art of weaving words and music on the Isle of Iona. The performance of the spoken word accompanied by the harp is an ancient art. The weaving together of words and music goes back to the roots of poetry itself. Julie Darling will use harp meditations, imagery and words to guide you into a space of stillness where you can become deeply attuned to the elemental aspects of sacred Iona – the wild wind, her ancient rock and the pristine light and colour of sky and sea. During three sessions, Julie will guide you in the process of allowing your own words to flow from the place of the heart, expressing your own unique poetic response to this ancient and holy place. She will demonstrate an intuitive approach to the interweaving of the spoken word with the music of the harp, and how this can be used in a variety of therapeutic settings.

BIO: About Julie Darling – Julie Darling’s Celtic harp music is inspired by the natural world and the teachings of the contemplative Celtic spiritual path which she has followed for more than twenty years. Her intuitive approach to her ‘Spiritual Harp’ work is widely recognised for its ability to bring peace, inspiration and sense of empowerment to people from all walks of life, including inner city children living with poverty and disability, and those seeking to discover deeper meaning and healing in their lives. Julie lives in the North of England, in a deep green valley where she plays her harp and writes poetry, while sitting in the woods and fields, by the running water. Her other favourite place is the Isle of Iona – her spiritual home, which she has visited for many years. Julie performs around the UK, at festivals, meditation centres and spiritual gatherings, and also leads retreats. Her music has been called ‘the music of perfect peace’.  Workshop Offering: Week 1

 btyLudwig Conistabile

 GUIDED IMAGERY WORKSHOP – This workshop aims at understaning the basics of Guided Imagery and how harp practitioners can benefit from some easily applicable harp and sound therapy techniques in their personal and professional life.

Guided Imagery Therapy involves the therapeutic use of Visualization to bring about positive changes, induce a relaxed state of mind, reduce symptoms and enhance coping abilities. Music is at the same time a vessel and a creative and emotional content trigger, that can be extremely beneficial if used correctly.

Participants will learn how to create and maintain an hour long session of non-stop music, with Improvisations in 4 modes, Voice induction and Creative Visualization stimulation. They will learn how to create and enhance a positive and soothing, perceptual experience, across all sensory modalities.

The application of this technique is extremely wide: from sound baths, guided meditations or mindufulness exercices to work with hospitalized patients, hospices and other care units.   Workshop offering: Week 2

 Barb14Barbara Crowe

 Barb Crowe is no stranger to the International Harp Therapy Program. She is one of our four CORE Professors. She has shaped just about every graduate of the program from 1998! Barb’s lectures are fascinating and full of both factual and inspirational topics and details. Most are familiar with her book Music and Soulmaking – however, the last chapters of that book were her lead into her new book:

A Transpersonal Model of Music Therapy Deepening Practice

She will take us on an exploration of a transpersonal psychological model and its applicability to all aspects of music therapy practice. Transpersonal therapy encompasses extraordinary and transcendent experiences, modes of spirituality, and human development to states of wholeness and “super sanity.” She presents the basic principles and assumptions of this model and explores the three elements of a transpersonal therapy practice — transpersonal context, content, and method. These elements are applied to music therapy in an effort to deepen practice. Topics in her book that she may cover in the workshop include: developing the transpersonal music therapist through mindfulness training; music generated transcendent experiences; and special ethical considerations in transpersonal work. Existing music therapy practices are considered from a transpersonal perspective and applied to a wide spectrum of clients, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, developmental delay, and mental health condition (i.e., eating disorders, addictions, trauma victims).  Workshop Offering:  Week 2

  Erin DurrettErin Durrett


Hildegard Von Bingen and the Water of Life


Composer, painter, writer, doctor and one of the great spiritual lights of her (or any) age, Hildegard’s works take us into the depths of consciousness where we will explore the sacred nature of holy water and glorious sound! This class will include field trips to the seashore and the Holy Well of Iona to sing, play and draw inspiration from the Source. Erin Durrett will introduce Hildegard through one of her iconic chants, O Vivens Fons, focusing on learning simple vocal and instrumental material and improvisation in Mode III.

                   “O Living Fountain, how great is your sweetness….”

 BIO: ERIN DURRETT, SOPRANO, from Vashon Island, WA, describes herself as a Buddhapalian – (Buddhist + Episcopalian) who loves music of all times, genres, and cultures with a special passion for sacred chant. Trained as a Cantor at St. James Cathedral in Seattle, she is now Director of Music Ministries at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit on Vashon Island. Erin works with vocal music as an artist, teacher, and healer. She continues to direct the Explore Celtic Spirituality series of sacred gatherings for storytelling, poetry, and music. Workshop Offering: Week 1


Weeks 1 & 2: Personal harping among many of our Professional Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioners regarding their work in Harp Therapy!

EICSE Divine Inspiration at the Brink of the Waters

In Alwyn Rees’ CELTIC HERITAGE, “The thin line between opposites has essentially the same significance as the dangerous bridges that lead to the citadels of the other world… Irish poets deemed that the brink of water was always a place where eicse – ‘wisdom’, ‘poetry’, ‘knowledge’ – was revealed.” Rees extends this concept to the juncture between two seasons, or to a plant like mistletoe, which is neither a shrub nor a tree. To nimbly jump back and forth between this world and another would not be as spiritually significant as being aware of this supernatural juncture.




This is going to be such a wonderful time. What better place to bring the healing qualities of our therapeutic harp conference than to be on the Isle of Iona and be in the absolute centre of healing on the planet!  Our conference which usually runs 2 days in most years will be leisurely this time spread over 4 days – allowing us time for integration, for exploration of the island while incorporating the profound callings of why we are here on this planet.

Fionntulach, a leader in the Ceile De tradition, will guide us in the Sacred Ceile de Tradition that was the forerunner of the early Christian settlements by St. Columba. She will be guiding us into that thin place between the veils!

WELCOME – The St. Columba Hotel offers superb food and warm, friendly service in an environment of relaxation and comfort. Comfortable sun lounges and restaurant provide glorious panoramic views, in ever changing colors over the Sound of Iona to the Ross of Mull and the mountains beyond. An open fire warms the inner lounge.

St. Columba Hotel with organic gardens
Entrance of the Hotel
Entrance of the Hotel
The Lounge at the St. Columba Hotel
The grounds at the hotel
The grounds at the hotel
The food is wonderful including veg. options
The food is wonderful including veg. options
Looking out St. Columba Hotel window
Looking out St. Columba Hotel window

ISLE OF IONA – The famous Inner Hebridean island is only three miles long by a mile and a half wide. The ferry from the Isle of Mull to Iona takes approximately five minutes. Even before the Christian era, Iona was considered to be a place of special spiritual significance – there are said to have been over 300 standing stones on the island. Today it is most famous for the coming of the passionate and renegade St. Columba from Ireland in 563 AD. The Saint founded a small Celtic monastery here, and for 34 years, carried on his work of introducing Christianity to the Scottish mainland until his death in 597 AD.

Castles on the way to IONA
On top of Dunn I spanning the north – the Holy Well
Old Celtic Crosses
The Ancient stone circle – the Hermit Cell


The Benedictine Abbey was built in the 12th Century, but fell into ruin after the Reformation. The buildings have now been restored.

The Abbey
Inside the Abbey
The Nunnery
Oran’s Chapel

There are many explanations of the origin of the word “Iona”, and some think it is derived from I-shona, the Blessed or sacred Isle. It is also curiously significant that the Hebrew word for Dove is “Iona”, the Latin ‘Columba’.Optional Trip – Local boats sail twice daily to the Isle of Staffa where you will find Fingal’s Cave. Wildlife including whales, dolphins, porpoise, basking sharks, seal pups, puffins and many other sea birds are often sighted on these trips.

Isle of Staffa
Fingal’s Cave

Within walking distance of the hotel are a wonderful choice of beaches, mainly of white sand, others with multi-coloured pebbles and shells. It is hard to leave the island without a pocket full of treasures. Expect to enjoy sand dunes, rock pools, beach-combing and excellent swimming, when the sun shines, in crystal clear turquoise water. Packed lunches may be ordered in advance and bikes are available to hire on the island.


The Animals and the Flowers!


The rates included a full Scottish breakfast, delectable evening dinner, taxes and leadership by featured speakers. We are reserving the hotel from the 1st through the 15th of July. Take a look at the costs below based on 7 nights. This will help you plan your costs over this next year and a half.

At the time of deposit, please note that at this point we only have twin rooms, some with possibility of having an extra folding bed to accommodate a third person to further bring down the cost of the room. We have a few rooms with a double bed, good for 2 people willing to sleep in the same bed. If a person chooses a room with a double bed as a single person, then they are required to pay extra minus a certain fee, please inquire if this is of interest to you. We have one Superior room available during the 2nd week. It is a large corner room with two large windows overlooking the seaview. There is a double bed, a twin bed and room for a folding bed.

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Take note – The following prices are in GB pounds. All rooms have bathrooms – some with showers, some with tub/shower. Remember these prices are in GBP. Your invoices will reflect the exchange rate at the time of the final payment to make up any discrepancies along the way.


Payments are made as follows:

  1. First payment by May 15th, 2019 – £200. per person  or $265.US – non-refundable
  2. Second payment by December 1st, 2019 – £270. per person  or $360.US – if this deposit is cancelled more than 8 weeks prior to your stay and we can fill the room with a person on our waiting list, you will receive this deposit back.
  3. Final balance is due on May 15th, 2020 – if you cancel within eight weeks prior to your arrival and we can not fill your room with someone on our waiting list, then you will be charged £50 per bed/per night.  Your payment will be calculated on what you have paid to what is owed for your room for 7 nights per person and any short comings incurred in your previous payments.

Please be aware of these policies. In order for us to have complete use of the hotel and the lounges for our teaching spaces, without outside people coming in, it is necessary to have these terms and conditions as we will be charged by the facility.

*We recommend that you take out travel insurance for any unforeseen events.

Please plan to pay by check for a discounted price to avoid an additional  3% on these payments paid through bank transfers etc. Bank transfers incur a $20.00 transfer fee. Nothing like the old-fashioned cookie jar to stash away your savings for this amazing trip!

Checks may be sent to:
International Harp Therapy Program (payable to)
P.O. Box 333
Mount Laguna, CA 91948   USA

Estimated Ferries and Trains based on 2019 prices

Train from Glasgow to Oban Return Fare (RT) £45.00 ($55.) (Although some fares are cheaper if you reserve ahead of time.
Oban – Craignure Ferry Return Fare (RT) £7.55   (takes about 46 mins)
Bus across Mull Return Fare (RT) £10.00   (takes about 1 ¾ hours)
Fionnphort -Iona Ferry Return Fare (RT) £4.10   (10 mins.) If you plan to bring a small harp, wrap in bubblewrap as it will need to go underneath in the luggage hold in the bus on top of the suitcases. (Has worked fine for Christina)
TOTAL approx. extra transportation charges £55.00 – £65.00 (with increase allowance around £75.00 for 2020).

Check out this site to help you in planning:
Some of you may need to plan to stay an evening in Oban depending on your arrival time. You can find a list of hotels on-line.

Meals at the Hotel:

A full hearty Scottish Breakfast and an outstanding evening dinner is included in your price. The hotel offer groups a set menu choice at dinner, which is usually made up of a choice of three starters, three main courses and two desserts, with tea/coffee after. Menu items are changed on a daily basis. Cooked breakfasts are provided unless a group is departing Iona before 9:00 a.m. in which case a continental breakfast with porridge is offered.

Most dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notice.

This is indeed an event you’ll remember for a lifetime and who knows – perhaps your heart will call you back to Iona often!


Christina (Tina) Tourin

* This page is also a Blog, join in and submit your comments HERE.

One Response to “IONA 2020 Conference”

  1. Christina says:

    Hi Everyone, you can start communicating with each other here regarding meeting up, rides, touring before or after. Cheers!

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