June 29th 2022

Looking back at spring Acadamh na gCláirseach

Two great sessions wrap up the HHSI spring Acadamh na gCláirseach programme!

clockwise, from top left: Sylvia Crawford, James Ruff, Bill Taylor, Simon Chadwick

The spring programme of Acadamh na gCláirseach–Academy of early Irish Harp has come to a close. Our tutors presented wonderful courses, and we had two great sessions to end the spring programme.

Simon Chadwick was guest presenter for the final session of Sylvia Crawford's Developing your hands-on skills: post-beginners' course, and gave us a talk on the harping tradition and the tune sources, full of fresh insights and information. A highlight was seeing an annotation in Bunting's own copy of his 1840 volume that says 'Planxty Irwin' was "composed for Irwin of Streamstown house" and then seeing the actual ruins of Streamstown house.

For the final session of Historical music of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Bill Taylor introduced us to a beautiful piobaireachd in Daniel Dow’s Collection of Ancient Scots Music, '‘S fhada mar seo tha sinn'. Now we're all looking forward to working on this piece and learning it on our harps!


Thank you to all of our spring Acadamh tutors! James Ruff got us all singing and playing gorgeous Scottish Gaelic repertory on our harps in his three sessions of Historical music of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and Sylvia Crawford's Developing your hands-on skills: post beginners' course gave us an insightful, and fresh, understanding of the fundamentals of playing the early Irish harp. Every class was a revelation!

Thanks also to An Chomairle Ealaíon / The Arts Council of Ireland for generously supporting Acadamh na gCláirseach–Academy of Early Irish Harp.

And, a big 'thank you!' to all the students who enrolled in the courses! It's been delightful seeing you each Saturday. You make Acadamh na gCláirseach possible, and getting to know you all has made the programme special.


All of the course content has been recorded in the session videos. If you enrolled in these courses, you have access to the videos until the start of the autumn programme, on 22 October, 2022.


We have two new courses for the autumn programme. Details will be posted on the Acadamh na gCláirseach website in the coming weeks. As a 'thank you' to returning students, if you sign up for an autumn course, you will continue to have access to the videos of any previous Acadamh courses you've taken.



There's more great harp music, workshops, and community coming up in July at Scoil na gCláirseach–Festival of Early Irish Harp. We have a super lineup of workshops, talks, concerts, players’ sessions and communal social hours. Attend onsite in Kilkenny, Ireland or ONLINE from the comfort of your own home. Plus, you will have access to all event recordings until the end of 2022, to rewatch all of the presentations and workshops and learn at your own pace.


Early Bird: Save €100 on an All-Access ticket by booking before 11th July.

Student / Unwaged: Save a further 50% on an All-Access ticket if you are a student or unwaged.



Scoil na gCláirseach–Festival of Early Irish Harp is proud to be supported by the Festival Investment Scheme of An Chomhairle Ealaíon / The Arts Council of Ireland, with additional support from Cruit Éireann / Harp Ireland, Kilkenny County Council / Comhairle Chontae Chill Chainnigh — Clár Éire Ildánach / Creative Ireland Programme, and the members of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland