The Harp Ensemble gave a fabulous performance at tonight’s concert in St Martin’s Church, Epsom. Some really professional solo items extended an already varied and popular programme of ensemble pieces. Everybody seemed to feel it was one of the best performances and looked forward to a return event in the not too distant future.
Faryl Smith to perform alongside the International Harp Ensemble
On 31 May 2008, Faryl Smith’s life changed dramatically when she sang her way into people’s hearts and minds all over Britain during the final round of ITV’s “Britain’s Got Talent.”
One minute Faryl Smith was an ordinary schoolgirl from Northamptonshire who liked to sing in the choir, play football, and shop with her friends – the next minute Simon Cowell was praising her in front of a national television audience, calling her “literally one in a million” and “the most talented youngster I’ve ever heard.”
In February, out of tens of thousands of entrants the Ensemble were short listed to the final 100 to audition at the Hammersmith Apollo for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. They achieved a resounding four ‘yeses’ and rarely given compliments from Simon Cowell who is renowned for not appreciating the harp and its beauty. The Ensemble narrowly missed being one of the forty semi-finalists to go forward to the next stage, but to have been selected from such large number of acts was a great achievement and something they are proud of!
O’Carolan was born in 1670, the son of an iron founder. What is most incredible about his music playing is that he became blind from smallpox at the age of 18. He had a prodigeous output of songs and poetry during his life as an itinerant harper, little of which was written down but over 200 have been transcribed from later traditional players. We love the vitality of his tunes which form the core of Irish traditional harp music and are a must for our repertoire.
O’Carolan bridges the gap between continental art music on the one hand, and the Gaelic harp and folk music on the other. At his best he wrote music that is distinctively Irish, yet has an international flavor as well. It is this achievement that suggests that Turlough Carolan does indeed deserve the title of Ireland’s ‘National Composer.’
The International Harp Ensemble brings harp playing to the fore. It is a platform of unique and tremendous opportunities for harp enthusiasts of all ages. It is a positive and inspirational training ground for the world of performing. The repertoire is rich in diversity, impeccably presented and performed to the highest standard. The sky’s the limit...