Over 60 Events to Take Place for Lá na Cruite / Harp Day 2022

Alannah Thornburgh will host two workshops and perform in Clones, Co. Monaghan, for Lá na Cruite / Harp Day 2022. (Photo: Molly Keane).

Over 60 Events to Take Place for Lá na Cruite / Harp Day 2022

Annual celebration of Irish harping tradition is now in its sixth year and will take place on Saturday 15 October.

Lá na Cruite / Harp Day 2022 takes place this Saturday 15 October and features a range of live and online events. Now in its sixth year, the event celebrates the Irish harping tradition with a programme of events across the country and internationally. This year also celebrates the 230th anniversary of the 1792 Belfast Harpers’ Assembly and over sixty live concerts in Ireland and abroad will be presented as well as talks, workshops, masterclasses and more. 

The theme for Lá na Cruite / Harp Day 2022 is ‘Harps Together’ and launching on the day is the Harpers’ Call project which involves harpers from across the world sharing videos that will appear on the Harp Ireland website. 

Concerts and storytelling
The main gala concert will take place at Dublin’s Liberty Hall and features Moya Brennan of Clannad and her band, harper Cormac de Barra, Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin on early harp, Derry harper Lauren O’Neill with Eugene McKenna on fiddle, and Rosie Murphy on pedal harp. Also performing is harper and composer Michael Rooney who will lead the Music Generation Harp Collective – a group of 60 young harpers. 

In Dundalk, Co. Louth, Laoise Kelly will perform a concert  with Monaghan uilleann piper Tiernan Ó Duinnchinn, featuring support from the Music Generation Louth Harp Ensemble. Cumann Cultúrtha Mhic Reachtain in Belfast presents a lunchtime concert featuring Belfast harpers Úna Monaghan and Cíara Ní Tháth; while the Reclaim the Enlightenment group will present an ensemble of harpers outside the Assembly Buildings in Belfast.

In Russborough House, Co. Wicklow, harper Aisling Ennis and storyteller and fiddle player Aindrias de Staic will present Labhraidh Loingseach: Musical Storytelling Sessions; while musicians from the Bray Harp Ensemble will also be performing at Russborough House that afternoon. 

In Sunderland, England, Limerick harper Fiana Ní Chonaill performs with Mary Bergin (tin whistle) and Mick O’Brien (uilleann pipes) for a programme of music by Turlough O’Carolan as part of the Tyneside Irish Festival; and at the Hill of Tara, Co. Meath, there will be performances by Fingal and Meath Harp Ensembles, harper Fiona Gryson and local student harpers.

Workshops and talks
There will also be workshops including a session led by harper and composer Anne-Marie O’Farrell at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester incorporating group composition and ensemble pieces that explore the world of nature; a session for advanced harp players with Alannah Thornburgh in Hilton Park in Clones, Co. Monaghan; a workshop for complete beginners with Holly Geraghty in Foxford National School, Co. Mayo; and a talk with harper and singer Úna Ní Fhlannagáin in Cairde Uí Néill in Coalisland, Co. Tyrone

Commenting on this year’s programme of events, Chair of Cruit Éireann/Harp Ireland, Aibhlín McCrann, said: 

We are excited that our 2022 programme highlights the vibrance of the harping tradition, its extraordinary popularity and its great diversity. The harp is a vibrant cultural presence across different genres; we are thrilled to be working with so many gifted harpers and artists to showcase our living harping tradition and we want as many people as possible to experience it.

For full programme information, visit: www.harpireland.ie/national-harp-day-overview/ 

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Published on 11 October 2022

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