2016 - When the final three were announced, first place was awarded to Betty Scott of Dallas, TX. This was the fourth time she has enter this contest. She took 3rd in 2008 and 1st in 2009. Betty has been playing the autoharp for twelve years. She also competes in the autoharp competition at Mountain Laurel. Camping, Canoeing and Travel are her favorite hobbies. Betty won the 1st Place Trophy, $175 in cash and a d’Aigle Cascade SP G-D Diatonic Autoharp by Pete Daigle of Seatac, WA.
Betty’s love of music was nurtured throughout her school years by singing in choirs and playing a folk guitar in college during the mid 60’s. It was not until after retirement from teaching high school math and computer science that she discovered the autoharp in 2005, in a music store in the mountains of Arkansas. Not realizing at first the a‘harp’s full potential, she was thinking instead how well it would fit in a dry bag for canoe-trip campfire sing-alongs. Betty soon discovered it to be the perfect vehicle to recall the rich tunes and harmonies from her youth.
Although the selection of music Betty plays, “from Bach to Gershwin to Willie Nelson,” is in itself unusual for an autoharp, it is her unique picking style with clear bell-like melodies and “flying fingers” that puts the meaning of harp back into autoharp.