Limavady Borough Council
in association with the Historical Harp Society of Ireland
presents a200th Anniversary Celebration
of the early Irish harper
Saturday, 10th November
N. IrelandProgramme of Events
11.30 Workshop Registration
12.00–13.15 Hands-On Beginners' Workshop for early Irish Harp
The Earls Room
Radisson SAS Roe Park Resort
For children aged 10+ and adults
Illustrated Talk: Denis O'Hampsey and the Early Irish Harp
Roe Valley Country Park
Cheese and wine reception
with the young harpers of the Hampsey Harp School and Siobhán Armstrong, Early Irish Harp
The early Irish harp is Ireland’s illustrious medieval harp strung in brass, silver and perhaps even gold wire. Played from at least 1000 to 1800 – and also the national emblem of Ireland – it was made famous by harpers such as Turlough Carolan. When it died out in the early 19th century it was replaced by the now much more familiar neo-Irish harp strung in gut and also, nowadays, nylon.
November 2007 is the 200th anniversary of the death of one of the last and most important of the early Irish harpers, Dennis O'Hampsey (1695–1807), from Magilligan in Co. Derry. Limavady Borough Council in association with the Historical Harp Society of Ireland invites you to come and discover the early Irish harp and to celebrate the life and music of Denis O'Hampsey.
On Saturday, 10th November, the Denis O'Hampsey Anniversary Celebration will begin with a 'hands-on' beginners' workshop given by Siobhán Armstrong, Chair of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland, with a chance to play beautiful student facsimiles of surviving early Irish harps supplied by the HHSI, including copies of O'Hampsey's Downhill
harp from 1703. This workshop is suitable for participants from the age of ten to adults. Venue: Radisson SAS Roe Park Resort .
The evening events will take place at Roe Valley Country Park. Firstly, Siobhan Armstrong will give an illustrated talk: Denis O'Hampsey and the Early Irish Harp
on the fascinating history, repertoire and travels of this ancient instrument and O'Hampsey himself. This will be followed by a recital at 8.00 p.m. with Siobhan Armstrong and members of the the Hampsey Harpers' School. Siobhan Armstrong
is one of a very few harpists worldwide who play harps from earlier centuries and who research historical playing techniques appropriate to these instruments. She has an extensive collection of instruments from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the baroque era. Siobhan is particularly interested in encouraging the revival of the early Irish harp, which has suffered almost complete neglect in Ireland since 1800. She founded and chairs the Historical Harp Society of Ireland. She plays a copy of the medieval Trinity College Harp – the national emblem of Ireland – built by David Kortier of Duluth, Minnesota, and strung in brass and 18-carat gold. Her solo recording on this instrument – Clairseach na hEireann/The Harp of Ireland – was released on Maya Recordings in 2004.
For more information and bookings, please contact:
Events & Cultural Officer
Limavady Borough Council
Tel :028 777 60304
Fax: 028 777 68107
mobile: 07966 725 327
Historical Harp Society of Ireland
+353 (0)51 646286