Harp Building Course
to 16 Aug

Harp Building Course



13-16 AUGUST 2018


The course is a chance to put together your own Bohemian harp (or other instruments) under the expert tuition of Christoph Löcherbach, an inspirational harp maker from Bavaria; and to have harpy days with Wendy Stewart, one of Scotland’s best known players and teachers, in the wonderful village of Moniaive in Dumfries and Galloway, named as “one of the ‘coolest’ villages in Britain” by The Times newspaper.


This year, the course is being held in the Craigdarroch Hotel in Moniaive.  Christoph began running instrument building courses over 40 years ago  (www.klangwerkstatt.de), mostly in Central Europe, and we have been running a Scottish course for 15 years.


The Bohemian harps (as played by Wendy) have 33 strings and are light-strung with rich sound and powerful projection. There is a smaller 26 string version, known as a ‘travel harp’ as it is very portable!  The course fee includes all parts for the harp, including a set of strings: semitone levers and a fitted case can be supplied at extra cost. No previous woodworking skills are required, and all equipment is provided. Course numbers are limited to about 10, so you will have all the help you need at all stages of production. 

Refreshments, light lunch, and some evening meals are included in the course fee.  Accommodation is not included, but has been reserved in the hotel and an adjacent B&B.  Public transport is easy to Dumfries or Lockerbie by train, and we can pick you up there.  This is a very beautiful, peaceful, and little-known part of Scotland, and there will be some time for you to explore the hills or just sit out in the sunshine (?)


COSTS: costs worked out closer to the date, as they vary due to exchange rate.  As a guide, basic 33 string harp £1000, full price with fitted levers and case £1500.

For  other types of harp, or other instruments please ask for prices. Contact: Wendy/ Alan tel 01387 820241: email alan@snademill.co.uk

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2:30 pm14:30

Fèis : The Music

Fèis: the Music

A celebration of Gaelic and Scots song and melody in the South West.

Sunday November 19th  Theatre Royal Dumfries2.30pm

£10 / £6 (children under 12)

Come and join us in celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Scotland in music and language and across the generations.

This afternoon concert will feature youngsters from Fèis an Iar Dheas (Festival of the South and West)  Scotland’s newest and most southerly Fèis.   This is a festival of traditional music, culture and language transmitted in an easy, non-competitive way with fun and games included,  offering traditional music tuition and a Gaelic arts experience to young people from 3 to 16.

This amazing day is coordinated by Angela Pearcey and check out our facebook page for more info on this year`s event on Saturday October 28th @feisaniardheas

Joining the region`s young talent will be the slightly more mature delights of Na Seinneadairean  (The Singers)  a Gaelic Song choir led by Nicola Black,  plus the rousing sound of The Borders Strathspey  and Reel Society led by Barbara Lewis .

Completing this extravaganza of Scots and Gaelic delights are members  of the Dumfries and Galloway Branch of the Clarsach Society. The Scottish harp has seen a huge revival over the past 40 years with more makers and players than at any time in history. From its ancient roots on Pictish stones, it is now heard throughout the world and has a repertoire to match.  The local branch of this UK wide organization is coordinated by Wendy Stewart and has harpers from 8 to 80 !

Tickets available at the Midsteeple Box Office (01387 254209) or online at www.theatreroyaldumfries.co.uk


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9:15 am09:15

Fèis an Iar-Dheas

A day of teaching for children (3 to 16) at Lincluden Primary School, Dumfries with Mischa Macpherson and many more wonderful tutors. Fèis an Iar-Dheas (Festival of the West and South)  is the most southerly Fèis in Scotland! Come and try ukulele or tin whistle (instruments provided), playing in a band, Gaelic and Scots singing, guitar, drama, pipes and chanter.

Information and booking form available below:

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to 10 Aug

Northern Harps Course

4 days of teaching, sessioning and eating too much!

Northern Harps are running a four day clarsach course at Brancepth Castle, Durham, led by Wendy Stewart with Louise Bradley on the 7th-10th August 2017 (Monday to Thursday). This is the tenth year we have run this course, and the fourth year that we have had the course at Brancepeth Castle.

More information from the Northern Harp website

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to 6 Aug

Harps North West Summer Harp Festival

Newton Rigg College Penrith, Cumbria

A weekend of all kinds of harp teaching, performance, music and maintenance with a host of other tutors and harpophiles

I`ll be performing Nine Nests at the opening Friday concert with the wonderful poet Tom Pow and nyckelharp friend Ruth Morris

For more information and a full brochure, visit the Harps North West website

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5:30 pm17:30

Concert at St Ninian`s, Moniaive

I will be performing a new piece I`ve written as part of Glencairn`s Creative Place project. Its for handbells (The Bells of St Ninian`s!) , saxophone, percussion and lots of harps!  Called ‘Ae Spark o Nature`s Fire’ it reflects a day in the creative life of this glen and its folk , from dawn chorus to star studded dark sky with a healthy dose of community discussion/argument and a lyrical waltz to bring everyone together!

I`ll also being playing in, local bass player,  Stuart Macpherson`s composition which he has written for our newly formed quartet that includes Gavin Marwick on fiddle and Ruth Morris on nyckelharp.

These two pieces will be set in a whole song cycle of newly commissioned works from a range of brilliant songwriters inspired by local places and poetry – all performed by our community choir, Cain Chorus www.cairnchorus.co.uk

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5:30 pm17:30

Harpa concert at Mill on the Fleet

I will be playing along with members of the Dumfries and Galloway Branch of the Clarsach Society.  Harpa are a group of fantastic players from the USA who will be over here touring round the sights and playing at various venues. There will be a harp heavy session at the Craigdarroch Hotel in Moniaive on the Monday evening too!


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to 5 Apr

Edinburgh International Harp Festival

Simply the best harp festival in the UK, with great concerts, courses, workshops and sessions. A fabulous exhibition of harp makers and all things harpy plus friendly volunteers makes this a highlight of my year and I`ll be in the thick of it teaching two courses ( Elementary Scottish tunes and US/UK songs with the harp) plus a workshop on the Macmath project I was involved with recently. Hope to see you there!


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