Beginners’ Workshop for Early Irish Harp at Galway Early Music Festival
On Saturday 17th of May, the HHSI collaborated with Galway Early Music, to provide a Beginners’ Taster Workshop for Early Irish Harp at Galway Civic Museum, as part of the Galway Early Music Festival, 2008. This highly regarded early music festival is at the forefront of bringing historically informed concert performances to Ireland, so the HHSI was delighted to accept the invitation to present Ireland’s historical harp to a new audience with the help of a short illustrated lecture and a ‘hands on’ workshop.
The workshop, conducted by the HHSI’s Western Harp Circle, attracted an extensive audience of over 30 people not only from Ireland but also from other parts of the world including France, Germany and Japan. The participants learned about the history of the early Irish harp from Maura O Cróinín (early Irish harpist and Galway Early Music chair), about harp construction from Natalie Surina (apprentice to Paul Doyle – Galway harpmaker). Then, with the help of Sylvia Crawford (early Irish harp player and music teacher), fifteen lucky participants had a unique chance to try their hands on the HHSI Student Trinity College and Downhill harps as well as on a new Trinity College harp copy built in Paul Doyle’s workshop just three months before.
Prior to the workshop, audiences at Galway Early Music Festival had a unique chance to hear the sound of Ireland’s historical harp as well as a continental Renaissance harp at a concert in the Poor Clares closed order chapel on Friday 16th May, performed by historical harpist and Scoil na gCláirseach 2007 tutor, Javier Sáinz.
The HHSI would like to thank Galway Early Music, Brenda Malloy, Western Harp Circle, Eibhlin Ní Hír, Catherine and Mimi La Farge and all the participants for supporting and collaborating in this event.