Have you seen so many harps in one place?


By Carys Glynn

A rare opportunity to see so many harps play together in one room.

It looked as if angels were about to descend upon Theatr Brycheiniog last Saturday evening (3 September) as twenty six harps lined the stage in readiness for what turned out to be a truly heavenly experience.

The performance was the culmination of a three day Harp Summer School run jointly by Glasbury Arts and Theatr Brycheiniog, with participants ranging from seven  to budding harpists in retirement and  including an eight  year old all the way from Germany.

To aid inspiration, their tutors were three of Wales leading harpists, Katherine Thomas, Gwenan Gibbard and Harriet Earis.

The three harp school groups – young beginners, adult beginners and advanced – each got to perform on stage, playing pieces both challenging and charming. The youngest beginners particularly impressed with their rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

Each of the tutors then demonstrated their individual styles, from Welsh traditional to classical and jazz, showing how very versatile an instrument the harp is.

A rousing finale saw all 26 harps out in force to play a stirring version of the Welsh National Anthem.

This was the first ever Harp Summer School collaboration between Glasbury Arts and Theatr Brycheiniog, with plans for next year’s already under discussion (if the funding can be found) to be even bigger and better. If you’d like to be on the Harp Summer School mailing list please contact  Mike Harding (Glasbury Arts) at: mike.harding@blueyonder.co.uk or Cathey Morgan (Theatr Brycheiniog) at: cathey@brycheiniog.co.uk

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