The Historical Harp Society of Ireland

26th July - 1st August 2024

55 events: workshops, talks, concerts, social occasions and more

ONSITE in Kilkenny & LIVE Online

What's on Offer?

Join us in Kilkenny, Ireland OR live online each day to rediscover, and immerse yourself, in the music and traditions of Gaeldom's exquisite, ancient harp, guided by expert performers and researchers. Our aim is to share with you the ‘real deal’ of the music of the old harpers, exploring as much of their world as is now possible two centuries after the tradition died out, using everything from 18th-century manuscripts to cutting-edge 21st-century science. We warmly welcome players of ALL kinds of harps.
Learn more

Daily Events

Player Sessions

Beginner+ to professional level. Develop your practical skills under the guidance of some of the world’s best-known tutors. Join one of four simultaneous daily live sessions, and access videos of ALL the others from August to December 29, 2024. N.B. All kinds of harps are welcome in these sessions!

Illustrated Talks

World-class researchers and performers share their knowledge and expertise with you in accessible, illustrated talks on diverse subjects relevant to historical Gaelic music: evidence of how the early Irish harpers performed, in-depth looks at surviving instruments, history and much more.

Workshops

Interactive events on a wide variety of subjects — many hands-on — led by expert researchers and players, helping you to learn and develop your own understanding and expertise.

Talk to an Irish Music Master

These relaxed, interview-style sessions allow you to listen to, and question, recognised master musicians in the living Gaelic tradition. Listening to their embedded knowledge and style — often honed over generations in a family — should help you make your own music making more authentically Gaelic.

Tea Breaks

Join your fellow IN-PERSON festival goers in Kilkenny for social tea breaks — the heart of our festival — where you can relax, chat, and share ideas, meet Scoil 'family' and new friends. Join ONLINE festival goers in our Zoom Tea Room twice a day, and in an end-of-day social hour especially for our ONLINE festival goers.

One-to-one Coaching

A festival service to connect you to expert, international tutors for one-to-one coaching, tailored to your exact needs and wishes, at a time to suit you. Suitable for Beginner+ to professional players. Click on 'One-to-one Coaching' in the navigation bar at the top of the page to learn more.

Concerts

Hear some of the world’s finest historical and traditional musicians in festival concerts, recreating the glorious sound world of the early Irish harp.

What do our festival goers say?

I think this is the best festival I have ever attended. You have given me food for thought and learning for a long time to come.

M M, USA

It was a brilliant festival! Great to see old friends and make new ones. And so much wonderful music and inspired teaching. Congratulations to Siobhán and Karen and the whole team.

MW, Ireland

As a first-timer at the Scoil, I have felt warmly welcomed at all of the events…the sessions were, and continue to be, amazing. The high level of musicianship, scholarly research, and professionalism is very impressive…I'm completely gobsmacked in a very positive way…My heartfelt thanks to you…for sharing your talents and love of the harp and music and doing the work to make the Scoil happen.

JA, Canada

I am so happy that I am participating in your festival. The classes…have inspired and informed me so very much. The concerts are both beautiful and informative and the talks have introduced me to a fascinating world of piecing together the ‘sound world’ of the early harpers. My exposure to your festival has already informed my approach to playing my modern harp. Thank you…for your dedication to your research and to your craft and for bringing together all of these exceptional people to share their passion and knowledge with us.

LP, USA

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What do our festival goers say?

I think this is the best festival I have ever attended. You have given me food for thought and learning for a long time to come.

M M, USA

It was a brilliant festival! Great to see old friends and make new ones. And so much wonderful music and inspired teaching. Congratulations to Siobhán and Karen and the whole team.

MW, Ireland

As a first-timer at the Scoil, I have felt warmly welcomed at all of the events…the sessions were, and continue to be, amazing. The high level of musicianship, scholarly research, and professionalism is very impressive…I'm completely gobsmacked in a very positive way…My heartfelt thanks to you…for sharing your talents and love of the harp and music and doing the work to make the Scoil happen.

JA, Canada

I am so happy that I am participating in your festival. The classes…have inspired and informed me so very much. The concerts are both beautiful and informative and the talks have introduced me to a fascinating world of piecing together the ‘sound world’ of the early harpers. My exposure to your festival has already informed my approach to playing my modern harp. Thank you…for your dedication to your research and to your craft and for bringing together all of these exceptional people to share their passion and knowledge with us.

LP, USA

I am having A BLAST! This is just so fabulous…I am loving Scoil!

JK, USA

Thank you again for organising and hosting this wonderful festival and connecting us all, early Irish harp lovers together.

AG, France

…it’s so refreshing to be on a course where ideas are broached, and followed through with discussions and examples provided from different genres, and an expert from a genre. The whole course is so well conceived…I am so sorry to have missed…class this afternoon. And that's exactly why this course is so good…because I know I can catch up… Right up to December!! I shall…miss the course when it ends.

LP, UK

I am energized by the passion, commitment, scholarship and musical expertise in your Early Harp community, and thrilled to be connected and finally dipping my toes into such rich waters! I have wanted to do so for a while…..but this online format has allowed me to do so!

LR, USA

I'm so happy that I signed up and hope this is the first of many festivals for me. It's really wonderful how welcoming everyone has been.

LB, USA

Thank you again for a fantastic course and I am looking forward to next year already! Your attention to detail on every aspect of this course is impressive.

MMcG, Scotland

I can't tell you how grateful I am to be stepping into a world that's been paved with such incredible research and resources... I've been blown away by the depth of thought, preparation, earnest passion and exciting ideas and honestly just... style, put into the whole course! It's a true joy to witness and be invited to participate in…it's incredible. I'm in awe of you all!!

MMcK, Ireland

I…can’t wait to go back through the recordings, catch up on the sessions I didn’t attend & comb back through the ones I participated in, looking for all the things I missed on the first go. I will definitely attend again next year…I’m really quite excited about the things I’ve encountered this week…Thank you so much for all your efforts with all of this.

AA, USA

Fabulous festival - congratulations and thanks to Siobhan and Karen and all the team! xxx Loved meeting everybody and all the wonderful and talented participants in my classes! had a great time as usual at Scoil and leaving this Scoil feeling very inspired!!!

E NiR, Ireland

I am truly captivated by the energy and passion coming from you all! I wanted to attend the Scoil in person a few years back, but it was not possible to make the trip, and this year having the event online makes all the difference. Quite delighted. Congratulations on a super festival! You all are a great team!

LR, USA

This week has been absolutely wonderful! …the sessions have been absolutely fantastic. I've really enjoyed everything. Thanks for all the work you've put into this. It really shows, and it's much appreciated.

MKJ, USA

Thank You. This felt so personal. This was my first experience with the early Irish harp and singing in Irish and i really loved it.

OW, USA

It's always amazing!

AB, Italy

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Scoil na gCláirseach is proud to be supported by the Festival Investment Scheme of An Chomhairle Ealaíon / The Arts Council of Ireland.

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