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As well as being a working farm we also love opening our gates and holding a range of family friendly events. We run a full series of events all year round right here on our farm and grounds. From Spring to Christmas, there’s always something to see!
This month we’re proud to host a range of amazing local talent
Fingal Harp Ensemble
Fingal Harp Ensemble is made up of my students that learn with me here at Cornstown House. We have been playing together for a few years now. Recent highlights include playing in a previous ‘Music on the Farm’ concert and at Ashbourne Library and participating at other events for Lá na Cruite/Harp Day which has been taking place annually in October since 2017. (The 6th Lá na Cruite, Harp Day will be celebrated on Saturday 15th October this year. Keep an eye out for more events around country.)
The ensemble generally plays at each of the two student concerts, one at the Winter and Summer concerts. It is a lovely way for players to learn, play and perform together. The number of members varies but we have a great trio ensemble for you this evening who have been working hard on the programme. I’m delighted to introduce Caoimhe Giles, Jack Smyth and Abby Lynam. They are each going to introduce one of pieces we will be performing for you this evening.
Bray CCÉ Harp Ensemble is a group of young musicians from Wicklow, Ireland. They have extensive experience performing at local and national festivals and events including An Chúirt Chruitireachta International Harp Festival and concerts run by Cairde na Cruite and Cruit Éireann. They also enjoy collaborating with Heart Children Ireland as part of their fundraising initiatives. In 2018 the ensemble performed live on national television with the TU Dublin Harp Ensemble to launch National Harp Day. More recent highlights include Seachtain na Gaeilge and Midsummer Harp Recitals in Bray Library and a performance as part of Music in Monkstown Festival.
Bray CCÉ Harp Ensemble will present a selection of historical and contemporary pieces from Ireland and further afield, beginning with ‘Lord Galway’s Lamentation’ (Turlough Carolan). This will be followed by ‘Draíocht agus Drúcht’(Gerry O’Donnell), a composition inspired by Glendalough, an area in County Wicklow which was home to a synod of harpers from Ireland, Wales and Scotland in the eleventh century. Tunes from Kerry, Nova Scotia and Scotland follow, entitled ‘The Road to Glountane’ (Terry Teahan), ‘Malcolm’s New Fiddle’ (Jerry Holland) and ‘Looking at a Rainbow Through a Dirty Window’ (Calum Stewart). The programme concludes with a set of contemporary traditional tunes ‘An Ciúnas’ (Caitlín Nic Gabhann) and ‘Farewell to Whalley Range’ (Michael McGoldrick).
Rachel Duffy, Aoife Ní Bhriain, Eoin Mac Thomáis, Marian Kenny, Camille Heffernan, Siobhán Ryan, Jasmine Kennedy, Colm O Briain (bodhrán)
The Elver Harp Ensemble was set up in October 2017 to give young harpists opportunities to perform together. Since then the group have been performing regularly and have won 1st place at the Ballymena festival in the ensemble competition, and were the first ever group in the history of the competition to be awarded a perfect score of 100/100. They were subsequently invited to perform at the festival gala evening. The have been invited to perform at the World Harp Congress in Wales in July 2022.
They have been guest performers at the Cairde Na Cruite festival in 2018 and 2019, as well as participating and performing in National Harp day events in 2018 and 2019. The have recorded for “Sessions on the house” and have been featured by Classic FM. They recently performed at the launch of the Antrim Fleadh and the “Gig ‘n’ the Bann” festival and were awarded first place at the Busk ‘n’ Bann 2019 competition.
The ensemble performs a broad range of repertoire consisting of Irish traditional music from their local area and beyond. They perform their own arrangements, devised collectively as an ensemble.
TU Dublin Conservatoire Harp Ensemble
The TU Dublin Conservatoire Harp Ensemble is one of the most active ensembles in TU Dublin Conservatoire of Music and Drama performing classical, Irish and contemporary repertoire under the direction of Rachel Duffy and Fiona Gryson and previously under the direction of Denise Kelly McDonnell and Clíona Doris. The ensemble is also grateful for the guidance of Gráinne Hambly who has taught the ensemble many of her and William Jackson’s arrangements. Some of these will be performed in the programme this evening. The ensemble recently recorded a project in the new concert hall in the new home of TU Dublin at East Quad, Grangegorman Campus.
TU Dublin Conservatoire Harp Ensemble has performed at the Edinburgh Harp Festival, the Welsh Harp Festival, RDS Rising Stars Series, RTÉ Reflecting the Rising Festival, Brian Boydell Centenary Conference and for HRH The Prince of Wales in Hillsborough Castle and for President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.
The ensemble are very much looking forward to performing at the World Harp Congress in Cardiff later this month.
Da Thàbh air an Fharaidh (‘Two Spoon Nets in the Loft’)/ Da Foostra
The first reel a piping tune from the Hebrides, although it is also an example of puirt à beul or mouth music while the second tune is drawn from the Shetland Islands fiddle tradition.
Jump the Broom/ Luke Skywalker Walks on Sunshine
Written by Damien McKee of Beoga. Jumping the broom is a wedding custom.
7/8 tune composed by David Stone
Dún do Shúile
Lullaby ‘From oral tradition. Close your eyes, my heart’s treasure, and I’ll reward you tomorrow. Your father is coming home from the hill, with woodcock in his hands for supper. Summer is coming, the south wind blows softly, and tomorrow we’ll go fishing. “Dún do shúile, a rún mo chroí…’
Arranged by Gráinne Yeats; Published as part of Cairde na Cruite’s Sounding Harps series
Freedom’s Call (Luke Webb)
Depicts two armies marching into battle. They meet on the battlefield and there are no survivors. The ensemble recorded this piece for a céili house broadcast in March 2020 and it was later included in CÉHI’s ‘Harps for Hope’ series of videos.
Lady Keith/ Gavotte
‘Lady Keith’s Lament’ was first published under the title ‘When the King Comes O’er the Water’ in James Hogg’s collection, The Jacobite Relics of Scotland (1819). This song was either composed by or written on behalf of Lady Mary Drummond, who was a strong supporter of the Stuarts. The melody dates back to the 17th century, with versions appearing in a number of collections under various titles. In Ireland the tune is closely associated with the Battle of the Boyne, which took place in 1690 between the armies of King William III and King James II. The melody was used by supporters on both sides – for the song ‘The Boyne Water’ by the Williamites and ‘Rosc Catha na Mumhan’ (The Battle Cry of Munster) by the Jacobites. Both songs are still widely performed today.
The second tune is a traditional Breton gavotte popularised by the playing of both harper Alan Stivell and guitarist Pierre Bensusan in the 1970s.
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