Harp Ireland, Cruit Éireann, invites harpers and people interested in the harp to join in celebrating Ireland’s 1,000-year-old tradition on the third annual National Harp Day, Saturday, 19th October. National Harp Day is Cruit Éireann’s initiative to promote Ireland’s national instrument, encourage more people to learn the harp, attract new audiences and recognise the harp’s unique place in Irish musical and cultural life. This year, over fifty harp events will take place throughout the country and internationally with our harping friends in the UK, Scotland, France, the USA and New Zealand.
Music Generation Louth (MGL), supported by Create Louth, will host an afternoon concert at St. Nicholas’ Church of Ireland, Dundalk from 2-3pm. Performers include the MGL Harp Ensemble, 2019 Senior Harp Champion Fionnuala Donlon, local harpist ChuChang Cronin and Soprano Evelyne Bourton.
The MGL harp ensemble perform regularly at festival’s around the country. Most recently they featured in the line-up of artists at the O’Carolan Harp Festival in Nobber and wowed the audience at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, where they supported Garadice. In 2018, they performed live on TG4’s Fleadh TV, on RTÉ’s Ray D’arcy show and on the TV3’s National Lottery awards show, on behalf of nominee Cairde na Cruite. The ensemble is directed by Deirdre Ní Bhuachalla, and comprises accomplished young harpers living and learning in Co.Louth.
Fionnuala Donlon, from Dundalk, began playing harp at the age of nine. She is a multi-All-Ireland medallist; in solo, accompaniment, trio and duet competitions and most recently won the Senior Harp title at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, 2019. She has performed and taught across Europe and in the past year toured Ireland and Britain with Macalla na hÉireann, Comhaltas Tour group. She is also a member of the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland.
Evelyne Bourton was immersed in the Irish musical tradition from a young age. She was also inspired by a grandfather who loved Italian opera and learned the magic of expressing stories and emotions in song. Eve’s passion for the performing arts grew when her family migrated to New Zealand and she gained acclaim in the world of theatre, musicals and opera. She has studied under the guidance of sopranos Virginia Zeani, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Mirella Freni and tenors Marcello Giordani and William Matteuzzi. Since returning to Ireland, she performs regularly with local harpist ChuChang Cronin.
ChuChang, is a classically trained pianist and flautist. Her childhood dream of playing the harp came true when she acquired a beautiful pedal harp. Her ability was instantly recognisable to her teacher Deirdre Ní Bhuachalla who recommended she further her studies with renowned pedal Harpist Denise Kelly McDonnell, with whom she studies today.