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We are delighted to announce that, once again, we came up with a terrific lineup of musicians for you.  You will find all the presenters knowledgeable, approachable, and most eager to contribute to your progress on the harp.  They are some of the most dedicated individuals you will ever meet!

Our artists this year are:

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Máire Ní Chathasaigh   Máire Ní Chathasaigh

Culture Ireland

Máire Ní Chathasaigh (pronounced Moira Nee Ha-ha-sig) is "the doyenne of Irish harp players" (The Scotsman) and one of Ireland’s most important and influential traditional musicians, described by the late Derek Bell as “the most interesting and original player of the Irish harp today”. She grew up in a well-known West Cork musical family who were active in the Cork Pipers' Club and was already proficient in a variety of other instruments by the time that she began to play the harp at the age of eleven. Using her knowledge of the idiom of the living oral Irish tradition, she developed a variety of new techniques, particularly in relation to ornamentation, with the aim of establishing an authentically traditional style of harping - “a single-handed reinvention of the harp”. Her originality was quickly recognised and she made a number of TV and radio broadcasts as a teenager, going on to win the All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic Harp Competitions on several occasions. Her live performances had been attracting attention internationally since 1978, when she first toured Germany as part of the hugely-influential and commercially-successful Irish Folk Festival tour. Her very first recording was made for the live compilation album released to commemorate that tour; other artists featured were Liam O'Flynn, Andy Irvine, Dolores Keane and John Faulkner, Mick Hanly and Máirtin O'Connor. In 1985 she recorded the first harp album ever to concentrate on traditional Irish dance music, The New-Strung Harp, described by The Irish Examiner as "an intensely passionate and intelligent record… a mile-stone in Irish harp music”. Her approach has had a profound influence on the new generation of Irish harpers and in 2001 she was awarded Gradam Cheoil TG4 - Irish Traditional Musician of the Year - in recognition of her pioneering work. She remains the sole harpist recipient of this prestigious award.

Workshops by Máire:

Performing Saturday evening in the Theatre with guitarist Chris Newman. (Concert free for participants; limited tickets for the public.)
Frank Voltz began playing the harp as an adult.  After playing for only 5 years, he competed and won Second Prize in the Lyon & Healy International Jazz and Pop Harp Competition, Lever Harp Division.  For the past 15 years, he has been guest clinician and performing artist at various harp festivals and conferences throughout North America.  Since moving to Winston-Salem, NC in 2009, he has performed with the Winston-Salem Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, and the Piedmont Wind Symphony.  Frank has recorded four harp CDs.  As a Gospel Jazz harpist, he is in demand performing in churches all over the country.  As a jazz harpist, he has performed on various Rock, Jazz, Gospel, New Age, Folk, Christmas, and Sacred recording projects for various artists (including a Grammy Award winning instrumentalist).  He has published more than 80 hymn arrangements and original compositions, as well as eight ensemble arrangements for pedal and lever harp through his music publishing company, Chiera Music.  He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Piedmont Chapter of the AHS.

Workshops by Frank:

Performing Saturday evening in the Theatre. (Concert free for participants; limited tickets for the public.)

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Ian Hepburn   Ian Hepburn

Holds Associate diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy. Hepburn has taught piano and harp for more than 40 years. In addition to private teaching, Hepburn has presented ‘Healing Harps’ workshops at Algonquin College in Ottawa.

In 2005, Ian was introduced to Sarajane Williams and Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy (VAHT). Seeing the great benefits of VAHT, he began studies with Ms. Williams. Upon completing studies in 2006, Ian became a certified VAHT practitioner. Profoundly impressed by the potential of VAHT, Ian introduced this therapy to Hawkesbury & District General Hospital. The medical staff and administration enthusiastically endorsed VAHT and began the process of establishing protocol for the use of VAHT in the hospital. In 2007, Hawkesbury General became the first hospital in North America to offer VAHT to its patients.

In 2008, Ian conducted an investigation into the effects of VAHT on Fibromyalgia – with positive and encouraging results. The results of this work have been reported and published in the Harp Therapy Journal.

A New Direction:

In 2012, Hepburn and a partner began a 2-year pilot project funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). The project, Healing Harp & Restorative Drumming, focused on children with learning and behavioural difficulties.  The outcomes proved successful and, with support from the school and community, the project continued beyond the completion of the OTF project.

The harp component of the project combines basic harp-playing (often tuned to the pentatonic scale) with VAHT. One of the challenges that arose early in the project was the need to develop an approach that would be effective for children who are non-verbal.  Inspired by the writings of Fabien Maman (“The Tao of Sound: Acoustic Sound Healing for the 21st Century”, published by Tama-Do, 1997), Hepburn eventually developed a protocol which has produced positive outcomes.

Based on his Zen practice of more than a decade, Hepburn has recently begun to include Mindfulness practice along with playing and Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy. This is being done in elementary and high schools in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. The results have been deeply rewarding.

Ian’s work in Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy has received a full-page article in the Ottawa Citizen (Science & Medicine: “Good Vibrations”), been the subject of a 22-minute documentary – broadcast nationally on CBC Radio (Sunday Morning: “Straight from the Harp”), and has been presented on the CJOH TV (CTV) programme “Regional Contact”.

Workshops by Ian:

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Isabeau Corriveau     Isabeau Corriveau

Isabeau graduated with an honours degree in recorder and second harp at the Université de Montréal. She went on to pursue her studies in California under the famed historical harp performer Dr. Cheryl-Ann Fulton.

An astute and talented musician, Isabeau has performed in many concerts and festivals in Canada and internationally. Her musical career has included a performance at the “Joie de chanter” Festival in Martinique. She performed in Holland through the efforts of the Jeunesses musicales du Canada organization. She also played at the “Festival of Harps” and for the opening act of the Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza performance in California.

Isabeau’s musical talents can also be heard on numerous albums and sound tracks, including the sound track of the movie “Du Big Bang au Vivant” by Hubert Reeves and the recording “Sur les traces des Filles du Roy” which was produced for the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the filles du Roy (the King’s daughters).

Isabeau has been developing her interest in composing music since 2007. Her talents in this area are much in evidence on her album “Pour mieux rêver” and she does all the singing and writing on her latest album “La joueuse de harpe”.

Isabeau will be presenting 2 of her 3 workshops in French!

Workshops by Isabeau:

Performing Friday evening in the Theatre. (Concert free for participants; limited tickets for the public.)

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Timothy Habinski     Timothy Habinski

Timothy Harps has become an established cornerstone of the the international harp community. Timothy has this to say about his passion for all things harp related:  I divide my time between making harps, performing as a professional harpist and songwriter, and spending time with my family in this lovely corner of the world. We have harps on every continent in the hands of professional and aspiring musicians (well, except for Antarctica, as penguins lack the requisite opposable thumbs). I feel unbelievably blessed to have been given the opportunity to live as a luthier and musician. I love my job! I love producing these fascinating instruments, and touching the lives of the musicians who adopt them. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our success as a company and our happiness as a family. Wishing you all blessings and music.

Watch Timothy on YouTube: Timothy Harper, at the Northern Lights Harp Fest in 2013

Workshops by Timothy:

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Ray Pool         Ray Pool

Ray Pool is a harpist known for his performance in New York's leading hotels. He was associated with The Waldorf Astoria for seventeen years (ending in 2003) playing for tea in The Cocktail Terrace situated over the Park Avenue lobby entrance and in Peacock Alley Restaurant for both dinner and Sunday brunch. During these years, he developed a broad repertoire of popular tunes from Broadway, the Big Band Era, and other American standards. Prior to his engagement at The Waldorf Astoria, Ray was involved in more than a dozen original Broadway productions in New York. He is the author of various writings on harmony for both lever and pedal harp. Other publications include numerous collections of solos of both popular repertoire, traditional tunes and seasonal favorites for lever harp, pedal harp and multiple pedal harps. He is also a frequent contributor to The Harp Column and The American Folk Harp Journal with articles on harmony and arranging.

Watch Ray on YouTube: St Columba , (Six Celtic Hymns, arr. Ray Pool)

Workshops by Ray:

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Diana Rowan      Diana Rowan

A musical artist currently performing worldwide and actively recording both as a solo artist and collaborator, Diana Rowan performs and teaches harp and piano. Diana’s playing and compositions have unusual power and beauty derived from her ability to integrate the musical traditions of the many countries in which she has lived and traveled. Her forthcoming album "As Above, So Below" reflects recent travels throughout Asia, plus Diana’s PhD research in harp composition from ancient times to today.

Watch Diana on YouTube: Harpist, by Triple Spiral Productions

Workshops by Diana:

Performing Friday evening in the Theatre. (Concert free for participants; limited tickets for the public.)

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Harper Tasche      Harper Tasche

Harper Tasche holds a unique and prominent place in the folk harp world, as an award-winning performer and composer, recording artist, teacher, and author. Best known for his innovative work with the small harp, the cross-strung harp, and the Renaissance bray harp, he delights and inspires concert and festival audiences, harp players, and harp builders throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad.

Based in Seattle, Harper creates a distinctive and exceptionally expressive sound which blends traditional Nordic and Celtic music with classical, historical, and contemporary styles. He is a regular headliner at major international folk harp events, and his work has been heard and seen throughout North America and Europe on widespread radio and television broadcasts and in feature film.

Watch Harper on YouTube: Just You, original composition (small harp, left hand only)

Workshops by Harper:

Performing Friday evening in the Theatre. (Concert free for participants; limited tickets for the public.)

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Joanne Griffin  Joanne Griffin

Joanne Griffin is a freelance harpist working in Ottawa, Canada. She took up harp twenty years ago following classical training on the piano, which had earned her an Associateship with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (ARCT) in 1977. Formal studies on the harp were awarded with the Silver Medal for grade nine. Having taught elementary school for 35 years she found it an easy transition to teaching students the harp. Her classical training in theory has allowed her to break just enough rules to create winning arrangements for the folk harp. To date she has several publications for purchase, ranging from beginner to advanced material. Joanne founded the Ottawa Harp Circle which continues to thrive and attract beginner and intermediate level students. Currently she is the chair for the Northern Lights Harp Fest, Canada’s only harp-dedicated fest, in Cornwall, Ontario. She continues to be inspired by how the folk harp is evolving, and finds it thrilling to bring new players into the fold.  

Workshops by Joanne:

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