Doug Pratt

In 2006, first place was awarded to a sixty-two year old Ornithologist from Cary, NC by the name of Doug Pratt. For his first place award Doug took back to NC a d’Aigle ‘harp, Cascade by Pete Daigle of Des Moines, WA, $150 and the 1st Place trophy. This was Doug’s third trip to the Festival. In 2003 he made the cut to the top five. Doug says he came to Winfield specifically to enter the Autoharp contest. You see made the comment to someone that he was going to play his current autoharp until he won a new one. Now for the rest of the story on his “Old” autoharp. A teacher friend of his dug this autoharp out of a dumpster and gave it to Doug. He put it in his closet and a few years later brought it out. He strummed it and said, “This doesn’t sound to bad.” He put on a new cord selector and has played ever since. Will he put the old one aside? Doug says probably not, “This old one has some sentimental value and after all it won me this new one.” Besides playing the autoharp, Doug plays Dobro and some guitar. He started playing the autoharp when he was 10 years old, taking lessons from his grandmother, Julia Foy Pratt. He likes jamming, but starts with the dobro. Doug says, “This gets me in the door, then I can trot out the autoharp.” I just tell the dismayed pickers, “Just play; I’ll keep up!”