Congratulations to Edinburgh International Harp Festival who have been nominated in Event of the Year in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2020. Vote here! Vote now!
We asked Rachel Hair of Edinburgh International Harp Festival the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
The Edinburgh International Harp Festival (EIHF) takes place every spring and is a celebration of harp, music and friendship.
Taking place in in the stunning surroundings of Merchiston Castle School, harp enthusiasts gather together with local Edinburgh audiences for 5 days of concerts, courses, workshops and late night music, with performances and tuition from some of the world’s finest harpists.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
The Festival is organised by the Clarsach Society, which promotes the Clarsach (the Scottish harp) and its music throughout Scotland and beyond.
Whilst we feature a huge range of styles of harping, the Clarsach is right at the heart of the Festival and we are keen to support its music, those who learn and who teach– professionals and amateurs alike.
Any particular career highlights?
We received the best publicity of our 39 year history (headline news on the BBC!) when our venue cancelled in
early March due to the impending pandemic. We were devastated to be the first major Scottish event forced to cancel BUT enter one enterprising harping heroine to save the day!
The first ever Virtual EIHF was the brainchild of harper and EIHF committee member Rachel Hair, collaborating with a stellar line-up of performers and teachers who would all have been performing and
teaching at the planned EIHF.
So while we couldn’t meet together in Edinburgh, the EIHF was still able to give the chance to experience some joyful harping over the dates of the 2020 Festival, in those dark
days of early lockdown.
Harp enthusiasts around the world tuned into our concerts and took part in our online workshops. We are proud that many other Harp Festivals have since been inspired by what we did and have taken the
leap to be online. All power to them!
What are your plans for the future?
2021 marks a double celebration for the harp world in Scotland – 90 years of the Clarsach Society and the 40th EIHF. We’re in the midst of planning the Festival and can’t wait to share our
celebratory line-up of concerts, workshop and courses.
Read more about Edinburgh International Harp Festival
The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, Na Trads 2020, will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on 12th December 2020 at 9pm where the award winners will be announced along with specially recorded music performances. During the day on Saturday the 12th, you will be able to watch from 1pm til 9pm a day of live Scottish trad music including Kinnaris Quintet, Dallahan, Inyal, Paul McKenna Band, Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth and many more here https://youtu.be/amByvVzxl5E. Keep up to date with all the latest information by joining the Hands Up for Trad newsletter at https://handsup.link/Newsletter or use the hashtags #natrads #HUFTonline.
If you would like to support Hands Up for Trad in their work with Scottish trad music and musicians please consider supporting our Patreon campaign. We have 3 tiers starting at $1 a month and everything helps support us in our work. Read more at www.patreon.com/handsupfortrad