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Wales Harp Festival 2016

Telynau Vining logoTelynau Vining supported the Wales Harp Festival, which took place over April 6th – 7th, 2016 in Caernarfon. There was a busy concert programme, a course, and a spectacle of fifty harpists playing together on the galleries and balconies in Galeri!

The festival this year also included a course, which ran from 10AM – 5PM on both April 6th and 7th. It was suitable for harpists of all ages and stages, and tutors included Elinor Bennett, Eira Lynn Jones, Morwen Blythin, Einir Wyn Hughes and Dylan Wyn Rowlands.

Elinor Bennett / Triple Harp

Elinor Bennett performs on the Triple Harp from the private collection of Camac France

At 2PM on April 6th, course participants and the general public enjoyed a lecture-recital by Elinor Bennett and Lord Thomas of Gresford. This was about the lives of the famous Welsh Romany ‘Abram Wood’ family. Lord Thomas is descended from Abram Wood’s granddaughter – Black Ellen – whom he describes as “the finest story teller and the most powerful witch of all the descendants”. His recollections were accompanied by Elinor Bennett on the triple harp.

Thursday, 7 April saw more Welsh triple harp, as part of the festival’s main concert at 7:30PM – all about Wales and Ireland! Robin Huw Bowen performed Welsh Gypsy music on the triple harp, before Ben Creighton-Griffiths took to the stage with Gypsy jazz on his Big Blue. The evening concluded with Máire Ní Chathasaigh (Irish harp) and Chris Newman (guitar), and their breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, spiced with striking new compositions – and Chris’s subversive wit!

Ben Creighton-Griffiths / Lukásem Jancinou

Ben Creighton-Griffiths performs at the Camac Festival in Prague. Photo: Ben Creighton-Griffiths / Lukásem Jancinou

The festival is an annual event organised by the Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Music Centre. Every fourth year, it becomes the larger-scale Wales International Harp Festival – the next of which will be in 2018.

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