Scoil Na gCláirseach—Festival of Early Irish Harp

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Scoil Na gCláieseach—Festival of Early Irish Harp

We are now taking bookings for our sixteenth festival

DATE 15–21 August 2018

VENUE The medieval city of Kilkenny, Ireland, at Coláiste Pobail Osraí


Allan Macdonald (Scottish piper and singer), Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin (singer), Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin (singer), Paul Dooley (harpist) & Karen Loomis (lecturer) and also familiar faces: Siobhán Armstrong, Scoil director, Simon Chadwick, Scoil assistant director, Ann Heymann, Sylvia Crawford & James Ruff.

Our juicy, bursting-to-capacity programme includes the following


Ceòl Mór: The Big Music of Harp and Pipes [S. Chadwick, A. Heymann & A. Macdonald]
The Dawn of Day: Songs of the Harpers [S. Armstrong, E. Ní Ríordáin & Mícheál Ó Catháin]
Highlands and Lowlands: Sounds of Scotland [A. Macdonald & J. Ruff]
A Hidden Ulster: The Music of Oriel [P. Ní Uallacháin, S. Crawford & Darren Mhag Aoidh]


Passing on the tradition: learning old Irish harp repertory, style, and technique (S. Chadwick)
Radiocarbon dating the Queen Mary harp (K. Loomis; virtual presentation live from Princeton, USA)
Exploring tuning strategies (P. Dooley)
A’ ghlas mheur [< the finger lock]: Adapting Piobaireachd to Cláirseach (A. Heymann)
Music, Ireland and the sixteenth century (S. Armstrong)
Emotion and Passion in Ceòl Mór: dealing with rhythm and tension in phrasing (A. Macdonald)
Lyons, O’Kane & O’Hampsey: The transmission of Eibhlín a Rún variation
sets in the eighteenth century (S. Armstrong)


Intensive morning harp tuition
Afternoon harp masterclasses
As ever, we also offer our unique, measured
HHSI Student and HHSI Connemara harps for you to rent and play

Delicious, hot, vegetarian lunches cooked for us each day by our cook, Pat Glavin
A field trip to museum collections in Dublin to see surviving harps
Players: Join us for the complete festival programme, from 8.45 a.m. to 6.45 p.m. each day.

Auditors: Join us for part – or all – of any day to listen in on Players’ sessions, workshops, lectures, masterclasses and concerts.

Field trippers: Join us for a day in Dublin, inspecting historic harps close-up, guided by world experts, on Tues. 21 August.

What’s it all about? Informational video HERE

See the 2017 festival timetable HERE

Booking information HERE

Contact us by email or phone:
+353 (0)86 8623430