Harp music to be showcased at St Patrick’s Church

The Historical Harp Society of Ireland is to present the HHSI 2011 Summer Concerts series Mac-talla nan Dun: Echoes of a Gaelic Chieftains' Castle in Kilkenny on Saturday August 20.

This series of concerts is quite unique in that three world foremost historical harpists are playing at these concerts.

Siobhán Armstrong who played her replica of the medieval Irish harp, kept in the Long Room of Trinity College library, for Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Trinity College Dublin and impressed her with the sound of its golden strings earlier this year.

Ann Heymann who is one of the pioneers and leading authorities in the early Irish harp revival, and Andrew Lawrence-King, the world’s most prominent harp virtuoso.

They will be joined by Scottish musicians and scholars — Barnaby Brown, who is dedicated to revealing the ancient artistic traditions of Scotland's music. One of Scotland's foremost Gaelic singers Griogair L abhruidh, who has resurrected numerous songs and tunes, through his research into his tradition is very proud to be keeping the dialect, singing and piping tradition of his people alive.

Over the centuries, Ireland and the Scottish Highlands and Islands have shared a common culture, language and musical heritage. Irish harpers travelled to Scotland and were valued at Scottish chieftains' courts for their skill and beautifully evocative music. Much of the older Irish harp repertoire, which has been lost in Ireland, can be found in Scottish manuscripts and other sources, while Scottish piping and vocal traditions have preserved much common Gaelic musical heritage.

These concerts explore and celebrate that heritage and these musical connections, established many centuries ago. And are part of the international Scoil na gCláirseach — Summer School of Early Irish Harp, which takes place at Kilkenny School of Music August 17-23.

Ticket information: €18/ €12, payable at the door at St Patrick’s Church, bookings on 087 113 0578.

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