Cruit Éireann/Harp Ireland presents Harps for Hope, a series of online harp concerts from more than 50 of Ireland’s leading harpers to express our togetherness and lend its voice to the fight against Covid-19.
Musician and teacher for the Ballycommon Comhaltas branch (Nenagh), Fiana Ní Chonaill is one of the list of illustrious musicians participating in Harps for Hope and performs her own composition the Garden Hill with a traditional jig The Wind oe’r the Lake.
Speaking about her involvement, Fiana said: “ My contribution to this series is twofold, as a soloist and as director of Cuisle Harp Ensemble. My students and I really enjoyed the creative challenge of being part of Harp Ireland’s large scale ensemble performance which is due for release in early June. This initiative has acted as a source of personal joy and comfort during these unprecedented times”.
Members of Cuisle Harp Ensemble performing as part of the Harps for Hope concert are: Fiana Ní Chonaill (Director) Castleconnell, Aoibhin Lee Drombanna, Co. Limerick, Mara Van Aelst Newport, Co Tipperary, Naoise Ní Fhuireastal, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Clodagh Moylan Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, Roisin Duffy Nenagh, Co. Tipperary and Ciara Kennedy Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.
To date the series includes music from a selection of leading harpists including Laoise Kelly, Cormac de Barra, Tríona Marshall, Máire Ní Chathasigh, Siobhán Armstrong among others and will culminate with a 240 strong harp ensemble performance in June.
Aibhlín McCrann, Chair of Cruit Éireann/Harp Ireland explains, “Over the past year, people have highlighted to us how connected they feel to the sound of the harp; how it calms them, comforts them and enhances their sense of national identity. We were struck by the depth of emotion and resonance that Irish harp holds for so many people when it was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity last year. Undoubtedly, Ireland’s national instrument enjoys a unique place in Irish musical and cultural life and that is a tribute to the steadfast dedication of harpers, teachers, harp students and our supporters nationally and internationally”.
The full series of videos are available at www.harpireland.ie. The introductory track on each of these videos is An Cruitire from the Spirit of Laois suite composed by harper-composer, Michael Rooney and performed by Siobhán Buckley.