National Harmonica League

HarmonicaUK The National Harmonica League

The NHL is Britain's national harmonica club, with members world wide, supporting and encouraging the playing of all types of music on the chromatic, diatonic, tremolo, octave and chord harmonicas. Paul Jones is our President.

           

Contest Rules

See list of Previous Winners

We suggest you print and study these rules to avoid misunderstanding and disappointment on the day.

There are two forms, one for your payment, and another for your contest entry or entries. These are both contained in the Festival Weekend booklet which you can download and print out.

You will be disqualified if time limits are exceeded excessively - marks will be deducted if you overrun.

Solo Classes Only - You may play unaccompanied or be accompanied by an instrument except another harmonica. You can bring an accompanist or provide a backing on audio CD only.

All Contest Entries - There are no set pieces. Choose one or more pieces of music to total no more than the time limit, see above.

  • Only amateurs may compete - i.e. harmonica must not be your main source of income.
  • Every competitor pays just one fee, allowing entry to as many classes as wished.
  • You may enter as a “youth” (which now includes the old junior class) if you are under 18 on the day of the contest. Note that you will compete on the Saturday.

You may enter one or more classes, but you must play different music in each and you may compete only once in each class. So you can't be a member of, e.g., two duet entries.

Entries in the Solo Jazz class must include the melody and improvisation.

CD backings and copies of sheet music for the adjudicator (unless you are playing by ear) must reach David Hambley, 7 Ingleborough Way, Leyland, Lancashire, PR25 4ZS, 01772 461974, by 18th October.

Late entries will only be allowed if there is room in the programme.

Winners will be awarded trophies etc., which they may keep. Special trophies (e.g. The Ken Howell Memorial Cup, which is awarded for the adult jazz solo) are retained by the NHL and the winner's name is added.

A word of advice - it is a music competion not a technical one. The adjudicator can usually get a feel for how good you are from just the first few notes you play. He won't thank you if you bore him! And you will get no marks for quantity. It is easier to keep a short piece interesting. But it may help to choose a piece with scope for you to show your musicality and variety in your playing. You will be disqualified if time limits are exceeded excessively - marks will be deducted if you overrun.

For further advice on the adjudicators expectations please visit David Beer's adjudication guidance.

The adjudicator's decision is final.

Contest Classes

  • 1 - Solo Chromatic Entry - 1 player: up to 4 minutes of own choice music.

  • 1a - Diatonic Blues and Rock - any diatonic harmonica(blues harp not chromatic) - 1 player: up to 4 minutes of own choice music.

  • 1b - Diatonic Straight Melodic - any model/tuning of diatonic harmonica, not a chromatic - 1 player: up to 4 minutes of own choice music.

  • 1c - Jazz Solo (Any Type of Harmonica) - any choice of harmonica - 1 Player: up to 4 minutes of own choice music.

  • 2 - Harmonica Duo - 2 players: any harmonicas may be used (only harmonicas) - up to 6 minutes of own choice music.

  • 3 - Harmonica Trio - 3 players: any harmonicas may be used (only harmonicas) - up to 6 minutes of own choice music.

  • 4 - Harmonica Group - 4, 5, or 6 players: any harmonicas may be used (only harmonicas) - up to 8 minutes of own choice music.

  • 5 - Harmonica Band - 7 or more players: any harmonicas may be used (only harmonicas) - up to 10 minutes of own choice music.

Previous winners


Here are some recent winners of the competitions. They were members like you when they won, and some have gone on to great things.

Solo Classes

Solo Chromatic - (1988-91) Julian Jackson, (1992) Ken Howell, (1993) John Brassington, (1997) Roy Green, (1999) Levy Bourbonnais, (2000) David Inns, (2001) Stuart Farquharson, (2002) Philip Achille, (2003) Gerry Ezard, (2004) Philip Achille, (2005) Philip Achille, (2006) Eddie Ong/John Jones, (2007) Eddie Ong, (2008) Mark Hemmings (2009) Chris Shrimpton, (2010) Chris Shrimpton, (2011) John Jones, (2012) Rim Myong San, (2013) Roy Wilkinson, (2014) Oliver Ellis, (2015) Pete Hewitt, (2016) Rowena Millar.

Solo Diatonic Blues and Rock - (1989) Ian Briggs, (1990) Kieran Doherty, (1991) Steve Hillan, (1992) Ken Howell, (1993) Lee Sankey, (1994) John Burr, (1996) Vinny Reed, (1997) Paul Gillings, (1998) Kevin Wells, (1999) Robin Andrews, (2000) Stuart Farquharson, (2001) Stuart Farquharson, (2002) Adam Wirich, (2003) Tony Jukes, (2004) Frank Bard, (2005) Tony Jukes, (2006) Tony Jukes, (2007) Tony Jukes, (2008) Luke Shaw, (2009) Luke Shaw, (2010) Greg Miller, (2011) Neil Warren, (2012) Liam Ward, (2013) Leonid Titkov, (2014) Mark Theobald, (2015) Philip Jackson, (2016) Hugh Barnett.

Solo Diatonic Melodic - (2004) Frank Bard, (2005) Arthur Miller, (2006) Hugh Barnett, (2007) Hugh Barnett, (2012) John Dixon, (2013) Mark Theobald, (2014) Vic Harman, (2015) Neil Warren, (2016) Simon Joy.

Solo Jazz - (1997) Robert Ryan, (1998) Wilf Taylor, (1999) Dave Shannon, (2000) Robert Ryan, (2001) Stuart Farquharson, (2002) Rowena Millar, (2003) Gerry Ezard, (2004) Anthony Cresci, (2005) Patrick Ellis, (2006) Patrick Ellis, (2007) Kenneth Cairns, (2008) Colin Marshall, (2009) Neil Warren, (2010) Leonid Titkov, (2011) Kestutis Svitra, (2012) O Un Hyang, (2013) John Jones, (2014) Neil Warren, (2015) Patrick Byrne, (2016) none.

Ensemble Categories

Duo - (2004) Gerald Ezard and Rowena Miller, (2005) Colin Mort and Rowena Millar, (2006) Tony Jukes and Jake Beamish, (2007) Tony Jukes and Jake Beamish, (2012) Rim Myong San and Ri Kwan, (2014) Joff Watkins and Mike Rasmussen, (2015) Joff Watkins and Mike Rasmussen, (2016) Joff Watkins and Mike Rasmussen.

Trio - (2005) G Ezard, R Millar and C Mort, (2006) G Ezard, R Millar and C Mort, (2007) G Ezard, R Millar and C Mort, (2012) Rim Myong San, Kim Yong Min and Chae Kwang Bok, (2015) S Perme, M Vidic, P Jersin.

Group - (2005) The Flower Pot People, (2006) Colin’s First Eleven, (2007) Colin Mort Orchestra, (2012) Ho Mi Yang, Rim Myong San, Ri Kwang, Chae Kwang Bok and Kim Yong Min, (2015) S Perme, M Vidic, P Jersin, V Bogataj, D Hrabric, A Primc.

Band (2015) Sorarmonica.

Youth Solo Categories

Solo Chromatic (Youth) - (2004) Oliver Ellis, (2005) Adam Thompson, (2006) Jake Beamish, (2007) Jake Beamish, (2012) Shivang Shastri, (2013) Shivang Shastri, (2014) Oliver Green, (2015) Sean Spicer.

Solo Diatonic Blues and Rock (Youth) - (2004) Oliver DePaulis, (2005) (joint) Adam Thompson and Oliver DePaulis, (2006) Emil Pilansky, (2007) Jake Beamish, (2012) Joshua Cooper, (2013) Joshua Cooper, (2015) Sean Spicer.

Solo Diatonic Melodic (Youth) - (2004) Adam Thompson, (2006) Jake Beamish, (2012) Joshua Cooper, (2014) Sean Spicer, (2015) Sean Spicer.

Solo Jazz (Youth) - (2004) Adam Mackintosh, (2014) Joshua Cooper.

Youth Ensemble Categories

Duo (Youth) - (2004) Heidi Orford and Oliver Ellis, (2005) Heidi Orford and Oliver Ellis, (2013) Matthew Burns and Ella Dye.


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