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Harp Lessons via Skype – Christine Edwards

Today’s post is by Christine Edwards, a harp teacher who has embraced the age of virtual music lessons. Christine delivered a workshop on teaching harp over Skype at EIHF 14 as part of The Clarsach Society’s ongoing courses to support new teachers. The response and enthusiasm of participants lead us to ask Christine to write […]

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Session Etiquette – How to Harp in a Crowd

Isn’t it great when you have lugged your harp into a crowded room full of musicians in order to attempt a few tunes only for some gallant chap to point at said instrument and declare “Are you going to play it?” The thought comes into your head to retort “No, I’ve just carried it all […]

Anna McLuckie and Charlotte

“If you could eat music…”

Charlotte Petersen talks about being Anna McLuckie’s clàrsach teacher. Lately, there has been lots of excitement with Anna zooming up and down the country to attend auditions for BBC’s The Voice.  With around 3.5 million YouTube hits to date, she certainly seems to appeal to a wide audience.  On Saturday she will appear on our […]


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Travelling with Harp – Cheyenne Brown

Travelling with a harp is kind of like travelling with a peacock on your head.  They’re staring, but they’re pretending not to stare, except for the kids, who don’t care if it looks like they’re staring.  It’s a great conversation starter, I love telling people its my granny and I’m taking her for a walk.  […]

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Homecoming in the Chieftain’s Hall

Today’s post is by John Purser, one of Scotland’s most important cultural ambassadors and award-winning composer, musicologist and music historian. Incredibly (perhaps disgracefully), last year was only my second experience of the Edinburgh International Harp Festival – the first being back in 1997 with Patsy Seddon, Hamish Moore and Rick Bamford and the recently reconstructed […]

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Harpies all like to get together

Today’s post is by Wendy Stewart, a leading Scottish harper, who has been coming to the Harp Festival since our early days in the Teviot Library.  I often sometimes wonder if trombone players get together once a year for a grand gathering. Do aficionados of that wonderful instrument meet in a grand old school, set […]


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From small seeds great things grow

The Harp Festival is a great meeting of minds for harpists and musicians alike and over the years it’s given seed to new projects and musical collaborations. Today’s post is by harpist, singer and broadcaster, Mary Ann Kennedy. In 2009, our Artistic Adviser, Isobel Mieras invited Mary Ann and her family “the Campbell’s” to put […]

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It’s over…

Five happy days of harping as promised. Now we take stock and begin the planning for EIHF 2014.  Feedback forms from those who attended are already helping us to build on the many successes of this year’s Festival and see what can be done to deal with problems. You have told us in your feedback […]

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Deep-fried Haggis.

This year we’re inviting a number of guest bloggers to write about the Harp Festival. Today’s post is by Park Stickney, a favourite of the Festival for many years. This is Park’s post. In 2000, in Edinburgh for my 2nd EIHF, I realized after listening to the evening concert, that I’d been teaching all day, missed […]


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Karen Marshalsay Video Blog

This year we’re inviting a number of artists to perform a tune for our Festival Video Blog. Today’s video is by Karen Marshalsay, a master of traditional Scottish harp music, specialising on all three Scottish harps: wire, gut-strung clarsach and bray harp. At EIHF 13, Karen will tutor two 4-day courses: Music from the Elizabeth Ross MS, and […]

Volunteer

Volunteer with Us

This year we’re inviting a number of guest bloggers to write about the Harp Festival. Today’s post is by Louise Douglas, a long-serving volunteer with the Festival. This is Louise’s account of Festival life as a Steward! To Steward or not to Steward? That is the question.  Or I should say that was the question! I […]

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Haley Hewitt Video Blog

This year we’re inviting a number of artists to perform a tune for our Festival Video Blog. Today’s video is by Haley Hewitt who will be performing at the Festival as part of the Tea Concert (Tues 9th April) alongside fellow RCS students Jessica Burton and Sarah MacNeil. This is Haley’s video:  Path to Glanleam […]


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Dave Francis – Scottish Music

This year we’re inviting a number of guest bloggers to write about the Harp Festival. Today’s post is by Dave Francis,  musician, songwriter and traditional arts activist. One of Scotland’s wonders is the Queen Mary Harp, made in the 15th century, and now residing in the National Museum of Scotland, mute testament to a distinctive voice […]

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Bluegrass for the harp

This year we’re inviting a number of artists to perform a tune for our Festival Video Blog. Today’s video is by Cheyenne Brown who will be teaching one workshop and a multi-day course at this year’s festival including an Introduction to bluegrass for the harp (not the moothie!), and Pan European (elementary/intermediate). This is Cheyenne’s video: […]

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Back On Board

Today’s post is by Patsy Seddon, one of Scotland’s favourite and most innovative Celtic harp players, and a leading figure in the early development of EIHF. Patsy is now back in the ‘hot seat’ as Joint Artistic Adviser of the Festival. This is Patsy’s account of her relationship with EIHF. This time last year I […]


Award

Scots Music Award

In 2012 Isobel Mieras, EIHF Artistic Adviser and long servant of The Clarsach Society, was awarded the Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award at “Na Trads”, the Scots Music Awards. In this video from the award ceremony, fellow harpers Patsy Seddon, Catriona Mckay and Mary Macmaster praise Isobel as an inspirational figure in the […]

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The Beginnings of the Harp Festival

This year we’re inviting a number of guest bloggers to write about the Harp Festival. Today’s post is by John Hoare, one of the founding members of Pilgrim Harps and the Edinburgh Harp Festival. This is John’s account of its beginnings.  Pilgrim harps was formed in 1980, five of us got together all with harp making […]

Homecoming

Homecoming and the Reel of Contentment

‘Homecoming’ and the ‘Reel of Contentment’ were written as the finale tunes to ‘The Song of the Oak and the Ivy’, a piece commissioned by the Edinburgh International Harp Festival to celebrate their 30th anniversary, and the 80th anniversary of The Clarsach Society. The piece has been written for 6 players and 10 harps, including […]


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EIHF and the Clarsach Society

This year we’re inviting a number of guest bloggers to write about the Harp Festival. Today’s post is by Anne Chorley, Secretary of the London and South East Branch of the Clarsach Society. The Society is the parent body of the Harp Festival. The Edinburgh International Harp Festival is widely known throughout the harp community, both in […]

Host of Harps

Harps at Hamnavoe

Harps at Hamnavoe – composed by Isobel Mieras Hamnavoe is the old name for Stromness, a busy harbour town in Orkney, which has been visited by Vikings, whalers and tourists through centuries of history. It was written to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Clarsach Society, having its premier performance during the 25th Edinburgh International […]

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EIHF 2012 Review

This year we’re inviting a number of guest bloggers to write about the Harp Festival. Today’s post is by Rachel Hair who performed, and taught not one, but two courses at EIHF in 2012. This is Rachel’s review of the Festival. A beautiful warm (unusual for Scotland) spring evening saw the launch of the 31st […]