Historical Harp Society of Ireland

Thursday, December 15, 2005

HHSI Student Harps in Oxford

As well as the seven delivered to Ireland and strung in Dublin (see News, 1st December 2005), the latest batch of Student Trinities included four instruments sent by David Kortier to Oxford, for new owners in England. The Society is particularly pleased that one of these measured replicas of the medieval harp preserved in Trinity College, Dublin, was ordered by the Bate Collection at the Music Faculty of Oxford University. This instrument is to be used for demonstrations and workshops as part of the education handling collection.

HHSI secretary Simon Chadwick took the instrument to the Bate on Thursday 8th December, and with the assistance of Bate curator Dr Hélène La Rue and Museum Assistant Andy Lamb, the harp was assembled and strung.

The Society is pleased to see interest in the early Irish harp spreading to institutions, and hopes that Universities and Music Departments in Ireland will soon follow Oxford's lead.

The three other instruments were strung by their new owners; one remains in Oxford with HHSI Secretary Simon Chadwick and the other two are with students in Cornwall and Wiltshire.

Click here for more photos (pictures courtesy of the Bate Collection)

The Bate Collection: http://www.bate.ox.ac.uk

Historical Harp Society of Ireland: http://www.irishharp.org/

Student Trinity Specifications and Prices: http://www.irishharp.org/shop/studenttrinity.htm

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Arts Council Funding Success

The HHSI has been successful in attracting a 2005 Minor Capital Funding grant from The Arts Council. This funding of €5,000 will enable the HHSI to buy

+two HHSI student harps
+reels of historical brass wire
+an Apple iBook lap-top computer
+ an external computer hard-drive
+a tripod projector screen and
+music publishing software

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Fergus Shiel and The Arts Council for this very generous and welcome support.

Siobhán Armstrong

Latest Arrival of HHSI Student Harps

The HHSI is very pleased to announce the delivery of our second shipment of student harps. Built to the Society’s specifications by master luthier David Kortier – http://www.kortier.com – the batch just delivered consisted of eleven instruments, ten of which were HHSI Student Trinity harps. For information on these, please visit http://www.irishharp.org/shop/

Additional excitement was generated by the eleventh harp in the group: this is the very first copy we have received of our NEW and LATEST MODEL: the HHSI Student Queen Mary, copying one of the two existing medieval Scottish harps. For more details and specifications of this latest addition to the HHSI student harp family, please see the HHSI on-line harp shop – http://www.irishharp.org/shop/. For information on the original, please visit http://www.earlygaelicharp.info/harps/QM.htm

On Sunday, 27th November, five of the new Student Trinities were strung in brass and sterling silver at a stringing party which took place upstairs at The Castle Inn in Dublin’s city centre. The HHSI’s chair, Siobhán Armstrong, and historical harper Javier Sáinz, guided the instruments’ new owners through learning how to measure, cut, wrap and attach strings to their new instruments. Many thanks to the new stringers for the speed with which they became proficient at the job, and also to experienced stringers, Róisín Allen and Brenda Malloy, for all their hard work!

Our sincere thanks go to The Castle Inn for sponsoring our venue for the stringing party.

Given the Society’s remit to help revive the playing of the early Irish harp, particularly here in Ireland, it is very encouraging to see that eighteen HHSI student harps have found owners, mainly in Ireland, this year.

If you would like to know more about our Student Instrument Bank of rental harps, please contact us at info@irishharp.org. If you would like to check out new HHSI student harps to buy, together with used instruments, please visit http://www.irishharp.org/shop/

+++ Watch out for an announcement of details of our THIRD new HHSI student harp model at the end of this year. This exciting new harp, on which we are currently working, will be a student copy of an 18th century Irish harp. +++

Click here for more photos

Siobhán Armstrong