Young Composer Award 2017 – Call for Entries

The Young Composer Award is an annual competition based award issued by The Clarsach Society.             Composers aged between 16 & 25 years of age are invited to present an original piece of music lasting no longer than 15, and no less than 10 minutes, suitable for: a) Solo Clarsach/Non-pedal harp b) Clarsach/Non-pedal harp and up to 3 other instruments and/or voices The award is £500 plus a premiere performance at the 37th Edinburgh International Harp Festival in 2018. The deadline for the 2017 Award is 30th November 2017 You can read the guildelines and apply here. Read a report from Rachel Groves, winner of the 2016 Award, here....

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An Opportunity For Clarsach Teachers and Aspiring Teachers

Enrol here by September 30th 2017 to attend one of two teaching courses being run in October by The Clarsach Society. On offer is a course for experienced players who are considering teaching for the first time, and a course for teachers who wish to further develop their skills and strategies. See below for more details and to submit an online enrolment form.             Dare to be a Teacher / Carry on Teaching Saturday October 21st 2017 9:30 – 16:00 Nuffield Health Centre Strathblane Road Milngavie G62 8HJ Free to Clarsach Society members. Non members £15       Course Details:     Dare to be a Teacher:  This course, led by Wendy Stewart, aims to encourage experienced players who might be considering teaching, especially in areas where no professional help is currently available, to take that first step.   Carry on Teaching:  This course, led by Karen Marshalsay, is for those who are already teaching and wish to further develop their skills and strategies.   Both courses will be practical, so please bring your harp. There will be advice and discussion on teaching individuals, on leading groups, developing good technique and finding, sourcing and even arranging suitable material.     Tutors:     Wendy Stewart is a leading Scottish harper, a world class performer and inspirational teacher whose style and repertoire encompasses both traditional music and her own compositions. She has produced 4 solo recordings, several music books and teaches all levels of student, from beginner to graduate, throughout Europe and the U.S.A. Over her 50 years of playing, Wendy has been involved with the development of many key harping developments, from the BA in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to that institution’s Traditional Music Grade Exams and currently works with Feis Rois / Youth Music Initiative, giving an experience of traditional music to all primary school children in Dumfries and Galloway.These days much of Wendy`s nourishment springs from the rich artistic and natural environment of Glencairn where she lives, composes, teaches, sings, dances and gardens-though not all at the saem time. Her latest CD, Folds in the Field, is of her own music, inspired by Scotland`s South West. Karen Marshalsay is a master of traditional Scottish harp music, specialising on all three Scottish harps (wire & gut-strung clarsachs and bray harp), and performs in The Cathal McConnell trio with fiddler Kathryn Nicoll, with piper Allan MacDonald, as a soloist, and is also a regular on pedal harp at the Balmoral Hotel. Karen was clarsach tutor at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton for 7 years, is currently teaching wire and bray harp at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and is a guest lecturer for Glasgow University and UHI. She has taught at many feisean and festivals including the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and Birmingham Conservatoire Harp Day in 2017, and has published several books of harp arrangements (featured in both the Trinity and RCS exam syllabuses,) compositions, and techniques, and was composer in residence with Harps North West in 2015-16.     How to enrol:     To enrol please complete the form below and submit it to us by 30th September 2017. If preferred, you can enrol by calling our office on 0131 554 0212. Courses are free to members of The Clarsach Society. If you are not a member you can purchase a ticket online in advance. Alternatively you may wish to join The Clarsach Society. Payments by cheque can be made out to The Clarsach Society, and sent to Studio G43, Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street,...

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Edinburgh Branch Concerts at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017

    The Edinburgh branch of The Clarsach Society are delighted to bring you three fantastic concerts this month at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.           Scotland’s Harp – A Celebration : One Catriona McKay and Chris Stout   Monday August 21st 7.30pm St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, George Street Tickets £12 (£10) from Fringe or at the door   Superb duo: Catriona McKay (Clarsach) and Chris Stout (Shetland fiddle/viola). After spending time in successful collaborative work with musicians and composers all over the world, these two consummate, vibrant and innovative musicians return to present an acoustic programme of their incomparable music including tracks from their new CD. ‘A divine concoction of tradition and bold imagination – sensual, throaty fiddle lines – harp is deliciously angular and haughty – unimpeachable’ (Irish Times).   Scotlands’s Harp – A Celebration : Two Young Performers in Concert   Tuesday August 22nd 7.30pm Columcille Centre, Newbattle Terrace Tickets £7.00 (£5.00) (refreshments included) from Fringe or at the door   Come and hear some of our most talented young players perform traditional and contemporary music in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Refreshments included.   Scotland’s Harp – A Celebration : Three Na Clàrsairean (The Scottish Harp Orchestra), Lothian Gaelic Choir, Calum Macleod and Gillean McDougall   Thursday August 24th 7.30 pm St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, George Street Tickets £12.00 (£10.00) from Fringe or at the door   Na Clàrsairean, the Scottish Harp Orchestra, Lothian Gaelic Choir and Mod gold-medalist singer and harpist Calum Macleod present evocative and entertaining Scottish, Gaelic and contemporary music with stories and poems narrated by Gillean McDougall. The programme will include suites specially composed or arranged by Isobel Mieras reflecting Scotland’s troubled history, incomparable landscape and stirring...

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Get your copy here….

We are pleased to announce that the new Clarsach Society book “In Good Hands”, celebrating the work of the Clarsach Society is now available to buy from The Clarsach Society office.  The price is £12 plus £2 for postage, orders can be placed by email – office@clarsachsociety.co.uk or over the phone – 0131 554 0212. “In Good Hands”, about The Clarsach Society and the Renaissance of the Scottish Harp, was written and compiled by Stuart Eydmann and is illustrated throughout by a unique selection of contemporary photographs. The book will be of interest to all enthusiasts of the clarsach, and of Scottish music in general. A note from Stuart Eydmann about the book… “As a scholar of Scottish music with an interest in the history, use and revival of musical instruments in the modern era, I was delighted and privileged to be given the opportunity to pursue this project to map and share the intriguing story of those dedicated to its promotion of the clarsach and responsible for leading its renaissance. It is hoped that this first exploration of the harp in Scotland in the modern era will prove of value to students, learners and enthusiasts and serve as a base for further research by others. I am sure readers will share my conclusion that the revival of the clarsach is an achievement for which The Clarsach Society and its membership should be very...

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Young Composer Award Winner Announced

The Clarsach Society are delighted to announce that Rachel Groves is the winner of this years Young Composer Award with her composition ‘Sun, Moon and Stars’ which was written for the clarsach and the pedal harp.  Rachel will be performing at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival on Sunday 2nd April at 3pm at Merchiston Castle School, where she will also receive her award for the competition.  Tickets can be purchased from The Edinburgh International Harp Festival website. Rachel Groves, 18, has been playing the clarsach for 7 years, and has been attending EHIF since 2010 when she had had just two lessons! She began the pedal harp a year and a half ago and has lessons with Sharron Griffiths, at the Junior Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. In December 2016 Rachel was named a joint winner of the Times’ annual Carol Competition and performed her piece with the Bach Choir in London. Rachel is currently taking a gap year, volunteering with a church in Edinburgh. Having wanted to write something for this competition for the past couple of years, she decided this was the year to finally do it but was incredibly surprised and delighted to have been successful!...

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