Category - Traditional Irish Showcase
Date - Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm



Come join us for a FREE afternoon of harping in celebration of Lá na Cruite, National Harp Day on Saturday October 20th from 1.30pm.Always wanted to try out the harp?  Come along to our Hands on Harps workshop with Caoimhe Kilkenny, 1.30-2.30. No previous playing experience needed. Harps will be provided. This will be followed by a concert featuring performances from Music Generation Mayo Harp Ensemble directed by Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson, and well-known local harpers Laoise Kelly, Freda Hatton and Caoimhe Kilkenny. Local harp maker Graham Wright will also be displaying his harps for the afternoon.

Laoise Kelly 
Laoise Kelly from Westport, Co. Mayo, now living on Achill Island, is regarded as “the most significant harper of her generation” – Nuala O’Connor. She has pioneered a new style of driving instrumental harping showcased in her three critically acclaimed solo albums Just Harp, Ceis and Fáilte Uí Cheallaigh. She is director of the new Achill International Harp Festival, encompassing her role as musical director of music Suites Sraith Oileán Acla and Mayo-Breton collaborations. Laoise was a founding member of traditional group ‘Bumblebees’ with whom she recorded two albums and toured extensively. She frequently collaborates with various artists and her latest album release is ‘Ar Lorg na Laochra’ with Monaghan Uilleann piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn.
Gráinne Hambly
Gráinne Hambly from County Mayo is an internationally recognised exponent of the Irish harp, and is in great demand as a performer and teacher, both at home and abroad. She studied music at Queen’s University Belfast and also plays concertina. She has attracted glowing praise for her live performances and recorded material, which brilliantly showcase what has been described as her ‘absolute mastery of the Irish harp’. Gráinne has toured and recorded with various artists and has released a number of CDs, including Music from Ireland and Scotland with William Jackson, as well as books of arrangements for solo harp and harp ensemble.
William Jackson
Originally from Glasgow and now living in Mayo, William Jackson has been at the forefront of Scottish traditional music for many years. In 1976 he was a founding member of the band Ossian, with whom he toured extensively in Europe and North America. Ossian also produced a series of acclaimed recordings which remain a benchmark for Scottish music. In addition to being a renowned harper, multi-instrumentalist, and recording artist, he has gained an international reputation as a composer of music combining traditional and classical elements. William is also a trained Music Therapist.


Freda Hatton 
Freda is originally from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, but after spending years living in Galway, moved to Westport five years ago. She is a graduate of Music and Irish from University College Cork, and has post-graduate qualifications in Arts Administration and Translation Studies from NUI Galway. She has toured extensively all over the world, representing Ireland on several occasions in countries such as England, Scotland, Portugal, France, Spain, Czech Republic, North America, Canada, Brazil and Argentina. She won the Senior All-Ireland Harp Competitions at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and at the O’Carolan Harp Festival in Keadue and was selected as the harpist on the Comhaltas tours of Britain and North America.
Freda is accomplished on several instruments including harp, concertina and tin whistle.
Caoimhe Kilkenny
Playing since she was 4 years old, Caoimhe Kilkenny is a multi-instrumentalist proficient on Harp, whistle, fiddle, piano and bodhrán. She is all ireland champion and medalist on Harp and Whistle along with grupaí cheoil and trio also. Caoimhe was a member of
Glór mhaigh Eo who won Siansa gael linn in 2015. Caoimhe comes from a very musical background.
As the daughter of John Kilkenny, music and teaching is in her DNA.
Music Generation Mayo launched a new Harp Ensemble, for young harpers aged 10-18 yrs. in Co. Mayo in June 2017.The Harp Ensemble operates under the musical direction of Gráinne Hamblyand William Jackson, acclaimed musicians and composers with many years of experience performing worldwide. The ensemble provides an opportunity for harp students from throughout the county, to work together on collective pieces and partake in performance opportunities. It also allows them to experience ensemble playing and provides a social opportunity to meet fellow harpers.  Their debut performance took place in November 2017 at the Music Generation Tionól for harps and pipes in Portlaoise, followed by a performance at the Town Hall Westport for National Harp Day 2017 which was very well received.  The ensemble is excited to be playing again as part of the 2018 Harp Day celebrations!