News & Events
- Tickets are now on sale for this years Edinburgh International Harp Festival 31st March – 5th April 2017
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!
Clarsach player and singer Rachel Newton has been nominated as Musician of the Year in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Since her most recent record release Here’s My Heart Come Take It, Rachel has also been awarded an Ignition Award for Innovation by Hands Up for Trad and was voted Instrumentalist of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2016. Rachel grew up in Edinburgh and was taught to play the Clarsach by many of the instrument’s leading players including Charlotte Petersen, Isobel Mieras and Corrina Hewat. Rachel is a member of the Glasgow branch of The Clarsach Society and performs with The Shee and The Furrow Collective as well as with her own band.
Tickets are now on sale for this years Edinburgh International Harp Festival 31st March – 5th April 2017
The Edinburgh International Harp Festival is held at Merchiston Castle School from the 31st March – 5th April 2017, tickets can be bought online from the EIHF website.
The festival features a breath-taking range of music from the oldest traditions to the most experimental sounds.
Visit the festival website for latest news
The Clarsach Society’s successful “Dare to be a Teacher” scheme to encourage new teachers of the small harp was launched at EIHF 2 years ago. We now find there is a demand for further support from all teachers and, to find how we can best do this, all teachers and anyone interested in such matters, are invited to attend one of two “Carry on Teaching” sessions during EIHF 2017 to discuss, advise and share ideas. These sessions will be informal, open, friendly and FREE.
Sunday April 2nd at 9.00am (register HERE)
Tuesday April 4th at 4.30pm (register HERE)
Clan Donald Lands Trust is delighted to announce their new clàrsach competition, which will take place on 25th March 2017, in Sleat on the Isle of Skye.
The categories are :-
1a. clàrsach with voice, for children of primary school age
1b. clàrsach with voice, secondary age.
2a. clàrsach duet with any other instrument (eg clàrsach and whistle) primary
2b. clàrsach duet with any other instrument (eg clàrsach and whistle) secondary.
3a. own composition for clàrsach, primary
3b. own composition for clàrsach, secondary
4a. clàrsach ensemble, primary
4b clàrsach ensemble, secondary
(2 – 10 players and 1 or 2 pieces)
If you have any enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01471 822262.
It is free to enter the competitions and entries should be submitted by the March 11th to –
Jan Wallwork Clarke,
Isle of Skye,
Elinor Evans, a long time member of the Edinburgh Branch of the Clarsach Society, and former winner of the Young Composer Award, has recently completed her PG diploma in Composition and will be presenting the Craighouse Suite and original solo compositions for Clarsach at the Quaker Meeting House, Venue 40 at 7.30 on Saturday, 6th August. Tickets cost £8/£5 concessions. The Craighouse Suite is a multimedia performance featuring Clarsach and String quartet, along with illustrations drawn to display the music and the history. The music evokes the history of Craighouse from its time as a lunatic asylum to its use by residents of Morningside as a recreational space. Craighouse has in recent years fallen into disrepair, but its sense of history remains. Drawing on memories of former patients and images from the archives, the music and original art work explore the sense of time and space created by familiar buildings and looks at how they bear witness to history. Music by Elinor Evans, illustrations by Sophie Chatham and technical assistance by Anna Diamond.
Edinburgh Branch has not 1 but 3 great concerts this year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Scotland’s Harp – A Celebration 1, 2 and 3!
On Monday 22nd August, we see the return of the hugely talented Catriona McKay and Chris Stout at St Andrew’s and St George’s West on George St.
On Wednesday 24th August, come and see some of our younger players at the Columcille Centre on Newbattle Terrace – refreshments included!
And finally, on Friday 26th August, Na Clarsairean will be performing along with guests, the Lothian Gaelic Choir and Chinese zheng player, Yi Dong in a special East meets West concert at St Andrews and St George’s West on George St.
All tickets are available via the Fringe website.
Cairde na Cruite are running an International Lever Harp Festival in Ireland this summer. The festival takes place between the 26th of June and the 1st of July 2016 with tuition and concerts and workshops that are open to the public. It is a residential festival and harp hire is available. All ages and stages are welcome. Further information is available at http://www.cairdenacruite.com/festival.html
At the festival this year we were pleased to both receive and present an award.
Mary Scott received The Landmark Award from Hands Up for Trad recognising the work of The Clarsach Society over the last 85 years! In 2016 Hands up for Trad launched a new initiative – The Landmark Awards – “We are doing this to record the amazing landmarks that many cultural organisations reach.” Hands up for Trad was formed in 2002 and exists to increase the profile and visibility of Scottish traditional music through Information, Education and Advocacy.
Jessica Burton received the Young Composer Award from Janette Bain, Vice Convener of the Edinburgh International Harp Festival. Jessica’s beautiful, contemporary piece was very inventive, moving deftly between time signatures, using the drums to great effect. It is a piece that harpers can really get their teeth into – challenging and great fun. The Young Composer Award is an annual competition issued by The Clarsach Society where composers aged between 16 & 25 years of age are invited to present an original piece of music for the Clarsach.