IRVING, Texas (Aug. 15, 2012) - The Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH) partners with the Harmonica Organization of Texas (HOOT) to present the 49th annual national SPAH convention in Irving on Aug. 15 - 17, at the Westin Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Hotel.

SPAH operates as a non-profit organization comprised of an administrative staff and membership base that rally under one banner - enthusiasm for the harmonica. The organization's annual convention is a celebration designed for and by harmonica players, teachers, vendors, and enthusiasts from all backgrounds and levels of experience.

This year, SPAH offers attendees an entertainment-packed program featuring an assorted line-up of more than 20 musical talents ranging from styles of Blues, Rock, Classical, Country, Jazz and Celtic - to name a few.

Beyond the featured line-up, SPAH offers two, free and open-to-the-public concerts (first 150 guests to arrive at each concert receive a free harmonica):

  • Variety show - Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m.
  • Country and Gospel show - Saturday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m. 

A tune is not the only thing a harmonica can carry. "It's more than just a hobby," said Tom Stryker, president of SPAH.

"Playing the harmonica offers countless health benefits - especially to the elderly. Harmonica exercises help improve respiratory health of patients with various breathing or lung problems, and also contribute to mental activity preservation."

In the midst of fun, SPAH lends conventioneers an educational opportunity to learn about the history, development and health benefits of the harmonica, while networking with fellow enthusiasts to share knowledge and exchange ideas.

Attendees may purchase day and evening passes on-site at the registration desk for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday programs at $30 each for adults, and $15 each for attendees 18 and under. Saturday evening passes are $35 each for adults, $20 each for 18 and under, and $35 each for the banquet dinner. Full program registration includes access to all programs - seminars, jam sessions and concerts - during the five-day convention. SPAH offers its new members a full program registration rate of $220 for adults and $130 for new members 18 and under.

All convention and registration details are available at Join the convention conversation on Twitter at #SPAH12.

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