Music Generation Louth has awarded three young harpers scholarships to attend this An Chúirt Chruitireachta, the Irish Harp Festival, taking place from Sunday 26th June to Friday 1st July at an Grainan, Termonfeckin.
Summertime in An Grianán can only mean one thing – the convergence of harpists from across the country and across the globe on the village of Termonfeckin.
The annual An Chúirt Chruitireachta, the Irish Harp Festival, takes place from Sunday 26th June to Friday 1st July.
Festival Director Áine Ní Dhubhghaill explains “The importance of the Festival to the community of harpists cannot be underestimated. Since the Festival’s inception 31 years ago, it has taken place at An Grianán in Termonfeckin. Many of Ireland’s finest musicians spent their summer here taking part in workshops, lessons and concerts with legendary harpists. Coming to Louth each year for the Festival has been the inspiration for many musicians and the place where they forged musical friendships for life.”
The Festival is open to the public with a series of fantastic afternoon and evening concerts each day. The programme of concerts is better than ever and truly reflects the diversity and style of harp playing.
The concert programme starts on Sunday evening with “Fáilte Isteach” featuring Michelle Mulcahy on harp, Louise Mulcahy on flute and County Louth legend Gerry O’Connor on fiddle. A tribute to the 1916 Rising will be performed on Monday night by the Festival Harp Tutors. The Meath Harp Ensemble will take to the stage on Tuesday night to accompany Janet Harbison from Ireland and Rachel Hair from Scotland.
The Festival takes a trip into town on Wednesday afternoon, performing a lunchtime concert in Barlow House, Drogheda. It promises to be a lively event with Kathleen Loughnane and Cormac de Barra on harp and Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch on vocals.
Back at An Grianán that night guests are in for a treat with An Chruit Abú, a fantastic line-up of harp, fiddle, flute and vocals with the Albiez Trio including virtuoso harpists Laoise Kelly, Siobhán Armstrong, singer Roisín Elsafty, Gerry Cullen and The Drogheda Singers.
Each afternoon during the Festival at 2.15pm and 4.00pm you can get a sneak preview at stars of the future at the “Rising Stars” concert series. The full listing for these concerts is available on www.HarpFestival.ie
And finally, the finale of the week is “The Power of Three” concert featuring Cormac de Barra on harp, Éamonn de Barra on flute and the hauntingly beautiful voice of the wonderful Julie Feeney.
“It’s a world class line up of musicians and fabulous concerts right here on our doorstep” continues Louth County Arts Officer Brian Harten. “Whatever your age or musical interest, I can’t recommend highly enough a visit to the Irish Harp Festival.”
The full programme is available to view on www.HarpFestival.ie. Concert tickets are priced at €15.00 for adults, €12.00 for students and senior citizens and a Festival ticket for all 6 concerts is just €60.00.
Booking for concerts and workshops is via the Festival website at www.HarpFestival.ie
Sunday 26th June 8pmFáilte Isteach: A Gentle Welcome to An Chúirt Chruitireachta featuring Michelle Mulcahy (harp), Louise Mulcahy (flute) and Gerry O’Connor (fiddle)
Monday 27thJune 8pmMemories Inspire: Internationally Renowned Festival HarpTutors draw inspiration from the 1916 centenary and envision the future.
Tuesday 28th June 8pmTriskell – Harp Music from The Isle of Man and more: Janet Harbison (harp), Scottish Harpist Rachel Hair and the Meath Harp Ensemble
Wednesday 29th June 1pm in Barlow House, DroghedaKathleen Loughnane (harp), Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch (singer) and Cormac de Barra (harp) Wednesday 29th June 8pm at An Grianán, TermonfechinAn Chruit Abú: Albiez Trio, Laoise Kelly (harp), Tola Custy (fiddle), Cormac Breatnach (flute). Siobhán Armstrong (harp), Róisín Elsafty (singer). Gerry Cullen and the Drogheda Singers.
Thursday 30th June 8pmThe Power of Three: Cormac de Barra (harp), Julie Feeney (singer) and Éamonn de Barra (flute)
Afternoon Workshops and Concerts:
Mon. 27th June
Girontondo d’Arpe, Italian Harp Ensemble
The Story of the Irish Harp, Gráinne Hambly
Over the Irish Sea – Music from Mann, Rachel Hair
Ensemble playing for the stage, Jane Harbison
Wed. 29th June
Singing Workshop, Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch
Getting your music out there, Áine O’Neill
Wed 29th June
Tionól na gCruitirí – National Harp Forum: An Arts Council Initiative
Learn the Tune, Dance the Dance, Dearbhail Finnegan
Tionól na gCruitirí, Harpers gather to play class arrangements