Celtic Harpers of Detroit
International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen
2005 St. Patrick's Day at the Gaelic League
NEWS FROM THE CELTIC HARPERS
by Lynne Reid This past January, we had a visitor from Kansas. Her name is RoJean Loucks and she lives, teaches and plays harp in Salina, Kansas. RoJean had met and heard Janet Harbison play harp almost 10 years ago. Like most of us, Janet is so impressive that you don’t forget her style and wizardry. RoJean had read my article in the Folk Harp Journal (Fall 2003) about Janet’s new harp centre in Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, Ireland. Prior to moving to the Republic, Janet was the founder and director of the Belfast Harp Orchestra. Many phone calls and e-mails culminated in RoJean coming to Detroit to see Janet’s method of learning to play harp by ear. No music is used. It was a full weekend. After working together for 2 days, RoJean came to the Gaelic League to meet the Celtic Harpers and to see the teaching method in action. After her return to Kansas, she has been experimenting with the technique and has been very pleased at the response of some of her more reluctant students. For me, RoJean’s visit helped to make me more organized and to reflect on far we’ve come in the Detroit group. RoJean is now exploring the possibility of going to Ireland herself to study with Janet.On a sadder note, the editor of the Folk Harp Journal, Nadine Bunn, lost her home and almost her life in the mudslides last month in LaConchita, California. The Celtic Harpers are a small group with BIG hearts. We collected and sent Nadine a sizeable amount of money to help her as she starts to rebuild her life. She had to be dug out of her home and now faces a series of painful skin grafts. We hope that our donation will encourage her as she begins the monumental task of returning to a normal life.During the Green season, the Celtic Harpers will be performing at a variety of venues, including the Parade Fundraiser on Feb. 27, the Gaelic League on March 13 and 17 and the AOH on March 19. Please feel welcome to come and talk to any harpers and to try a harp yourself.
WEEKLY LESSONS BEGIN, CELTIC COLLEGE INFO
Weekly harp lessons will be starting again at the Gaelic League on Sunday, Sept. 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. Teaching is done by ear, with written music given for reference. All ages and levels are welcome. For more information, call Lynne Reid at (519) 973-1263 or e-mail at LMReid@cogeco.caThis past August, a few of the Celtic Harpers attended the Celtic College in Goderich, Ontario. It’s a small town on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, north of Sarnia.Janet Harbison, the founder and director of the Belfast Harp Orchestra, now known as the Irish Harp Orchestra, was the teacher for the harp classes. Her method focuses on using one’s ear to learn the music, instead of reading sheet music. Janet soon had the classes working on marches, slip jigs and chording to fast Irish polkas.Her performances at the festival were very inspirational. Some young people in the audience were heard to comment, “Hey, she’s really cool.” She showed the phenomenal skill she possesses by playing either on her own or with other great Irish musicians, such as fiddler Maire Breatnach.The Celtic College has invited Janet to return to Goderich in 2005. For more information about it, contact the organizers at www.celticfestival.ca. Janet Harbison‘s website is www.irishharpcentre.com
October 25, 2003
THE HARP FUNDRAISER
On Oct. 25, 2003 the Celtic Harpers of Detroit held a harp fundraiser at the Gaelic League. It was a very successful evening, both musically and financially due to the generousity of those people who attended it. The hall was full and the audience was most attentive during the harp programme of 45 minutes. The funds raised are going towards our goal of bring Janet Harbison to the area to teach and give workshops to the harpers next year. Special thanks to Brian Bonner, Mick Reid, Justin Manning and Danny Marderosian for providing ceili music throughout the evening. Thanks, also, to the people who pitched in right from the start of this event.
September 17-18, 2003
Gráinne Hambly Workshops and House Concerts
The Celtic Harpers of Detroit sponsored a workshop and two house concerst on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 17-18th, 2002 with supurb Irish harpist Gráinne Hambly of Claremorris, Co. Mayo. Gráinne was Janet Harbison's top student in the Belfast Harp Orchestra. She now tours throughout Europe and the States. I met her 7 years ago at the first harp summer school in Northern Ireland. She was at Queen's University in Belfast doing an ethnomusicology degree in folk music. Workshop at Gaelic League, Thursday, Sept. 19th, 2002
Gráinne provided harp instruction at the Gaelic League in Detroit.PHOTOS OF WORKSHOP AT GAELIC LEAGUE
Gráinne provided harp instruction at the Gaelic League in Detroit on Thursday September 17th. The classes were very well attended. Photos ....
President: Lynne Reid
Vice President: Larry Allen
Secretary: Evelyn Wojtkowiak
Treasurer: Vickey Thompson