SPAH is a worldwide harmonica organization based in the United States. SPAH —the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica —is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in the State of Michigan. SPAH advances its mission of preservation and advancement since 1963 in many ways.
The Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the harmonica, and to its relevance in music: past, present and future. The organization was incorporated in the State of Michigan, USA in 1963 by a group of midwestern harmonica enthusiasts passionate about the instrument.
SPAH’s mission is to cultivate, improve, promote, preserve and advance the harmonica, harmonica playing, and harmonica music, as well as its teachers and players in all age groups, and to preserve the harmonica’s position as a respected musical instrument.
SPAH’s objective is to promote the rich heritage of harmonica music, and its talented musicians and harmonica communities around the world. SPAH educates players, teachers, and the public about the harmonica, its music, and the pleasure of playing and listening to the harmonica.
SPAH’s Mission Includes:
- Produces an annual convention, attended each year by about 500 enthusiasts, to gather, jam, give concerts, share knowledge casually and in seminars, and to spend time with vendors, teachers, experts, manufacturers and friends from across the globe.
- Publishes a quarterly magazine, Harmonica Happenings, for its members, with famous player interviews, historical articles, recording reviews, with advertising by makers and sellers of harmonicas and related products.
- Awards youth scholarships to cover registration and hotel accommodation at each annual SPAH convention. Scholarships aid in the musical development of young harmonica players, aged 21 or under. Scholarship funds are raised both through donations and through raffles & fundraising at the convention.
- Conducts youth outreach with free learning events for local children at the convention.
- Honors excellence with annual awards in musicianship and service to the harmonica community (similar to the Oscars or Grammys for the harmonica world).
- Helps local harmonica clubs get started, keep going, and help one another.
- Fosters worldwide communication and exchanges with harmonica players and organizations in many nations.
SPAH wants to inform everyone about the rich heritage of harmonica music, the many talented musicians currently playing diverse styles of music with this phenomenal instrument and the great pleasure to be derived from learning to play the harmonica.
Want to join SPAH? Click here.
Want to find out about this year’s convention? Click here.
Want information on youth scholarships? Click here.
Want to donate to SPAH’s scholarship fund? Click here.
Want to nominate someone for a SPAH award (SPAH member s only)? Click here.
Feel free to wander about the SPAH website, or check out our Facebook page at www.FaceBook.com/SPAH63
Who are SPAH members?
Our members, who hail from the far reaches of the globe, span the full spectrum of ability from newly-minted beginners to world-renowned players. Members play all styles of music and types of harmonicas. Among the membership are individuals and entire families, accomplished musicians as well as beginners, people of all ages and from all walks of life. Many members have played or do play the harmonica professionally. Their music styles include Country, Jazz, Blues, Popular, Celtic, Classical, Gospel, Rock and others, and can be enjoyed in recordings, live performances or on the internet. SPAH also welcomes many members who just like to listen to harmonica music.
Why should you join SPAH?
SPAH is the pre-eminent non-profit organization focused on preserving and advancing the musical instrument called “the harmonica” in all of its wonderful variations.
SPAH’s objectives are to cultivate, develop, improve, foster, promote, preserve and advance the harmonica and harmonica playing. SPAH seeks to preserve the rich and colorful history of the harmonica, while advancing the acceptance that it is the most played musical instrument around the world.
In addition to knowing that we are helping preserve and advance the harmonica for fellow performers and enthusiasts, and that we are encouraging young people to pick-up the instrument, SPAH members receive discounts on attendance at the annual convention, a quarterly issue of the SPAH Magazine, Harmonica Happenings, and other articles and information. Individual, group and family memberships are available.
What does SPAH do?
- Publishes Harmonica Happenings, a quarterly magazine with harmonica news from around the world including seminar and convention listings, articles on playing techniques, repairs, famous harmonica players and groups, and information on recently-released recordings and harmonica products from our world-class sustaining sponsors.
- Sponsors an annual, 5-day international harmonica convention, held in different US locations in August, featuring seminars, performances by world-renowned harmonica players, daily jams opportunities to play and learn, a vendor exhibition and round-the-clock camaraderie with fellow performers and enthusiasts,
- Encourages young people to play the harmonica through annual scholarships awarded to youth to attend the SPAH convention, funded by generous donations from members and foundations to the William Rosebush Fund, and through youth events at the convention,
- Recognizes and honors those who preserve and advance the harmonica,
- Maintains the spah.org website to support its objectives, its membership of players, vendors and sponsors and to support harmonica musicians and vendors throughout the community
- Promotes playing the harmonica for fun and for health,
- Distributes information from our members about harmonicas, harmonica playing, harmonica workshops and other events,
- Encourages and supports the formation of local harmonica clubs. SPAH members are encouraged to gather in their own local communities to form harmonica clubs. As part of local clubs and as individuals, many SPAH members participate in local activities that include parades, fairs, festivals and civic performances. Many clubs sponsor a local annual convention or gathering that draws enthusiasts from far and wide to meet, renew acquaintances and play harmonica,
- Provides opportunities for its members to publish articles for our membership, to teach and share harmonica knowledge and skills by presenting seminars at the annual convention and to get involved with the administration of SPAH.