Category: News

Exeter Camac Harp Weekend – Three Strands Concert! 3rd October 2015 – Press Release

On the 3rd of October, Darth Vader, Doctor Who & James Bond walk down the aisle together in harpist Shelley Fairplay”s harp concert ‘The Three Strands,’ as part of the Camac Exeter Harp Weekend

Shelley aims to show the harp to be an instrument that both harks back to an ancient tradition and is moving forwards with the times. This is reflected in “The Three Strands” concert where she performs a diverse range of musical styles using traditional harp-play techniques and also amplification, looper pedal, effect pedals and an amazing electro lever harp that she wears and walks around with!

The concert combines many music genres including Celtic, Classical and Flamenco to Doctor Who and Starwars. The program includes musical vignettes from her life, a suite of dance tunes that streams from Tchaikovsky to La Bamba called: ‘Tchaikovsky dances with friends’– and the show ends with her own interpretation of Deborah Henson Conants (a Grammy-nominated composer, performer and the world’s leading electric harpist, based in Boston, USA) fiery harp showcase, ‘Baroque Flamenco.’

Modern Sound?! Camac Electro Harp and Loop Pedal in action!

Her ‘Wedding Remix’ sequence is a series of three motifs – based on real-life events – in which Shelley, as a wedding harpist, found creative ways to accommodate musical requests of the couples she played for – including the groom who wanted to pace the aisle to the Darth Vader Theme, the couple who fell in love to Dr. Who, and the man, whose name being ‘Bond’ wanted – you guessed it – the James Bond theme. She presents, in music and story, a perspective that only SHE could give us – in this case, her life and experience playing hundreds of weddings throughout the UK, with a personal mission of creating a deeply personalized musical experience for each couple.

‘Rally of the Riffs’ brings together pop and rock riffs on electro harp, as Shelley explains how the “riffs” or “hooks” from songs are often what really draw us in to a song, the piece uses a number of famous riffs including Greenday”s “Good riddance” and Elbow”s “One day like this” alongside her own original material.

The name of the show, ‘The Three Strands’ refers to an age-old Celtic tale that each harper must master three musical strands in order to truly serve humanity.   The details of each strand differ in every story. In Shelley”s version, it”s the strands of passion, sorrow and joy. But in every tale, these strands are always played by a harpist, and they always encompass the human experience. The idea of these three strands really connects with Shelley as expressing emotion through music and connecting with an audience is what performing is all about.

Shelley explains that this is a tradition that”s not about “traditional music,” but a tradition of expressionExploring this through the harp, every musician can create a completely unique style.

Harp Workshop Students – Camac Harp Weekend 2015

If you”re anywhere near Exeter on the weekend of the 3rd/4th October come along to catch her show at 7pm on Saturday 3rd of October at Exeter School Music Department. Tickets available by calling 029 2062 0900 or online via this link. It is part of an entire weekend of events at the Camac Harp Weekend where harpists are travelling from across the UK to participate in workshops, master classes and concerts. The full program of events is available via:

3rd October 2015 Harpist for a Day – Press Release

Become a harpist for a day!

Harpist for a Day February 2014!


The harp is one of the world”s oldest and most diverse instruments appearing in Greek mythology through to Harry Potter. In Celtic tales harps often have magical powers of enchantment and this queen of instruments is deep rooted in our musical and cultural history. It is amazing that despite this, many of us have never played a harp or even been up close to one!

Shelley Fairplay


On the 3rd of October Harpist Shelley Fairplay will change that for twelve adventurous first time harp students on a momentous one-day learning journey, from plucking their very first note in the morning right through to performing in the evening as part of her new concert ‘The Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy’. Whilst the harp might look complicated, Shelley will show these students how to create a beautiful sound in a very easy and accessible way.

Harp Workshop Students – Camac Harp Weekend 2015
Participants in the “Harpist for a Day” experience will:

Learn the basics of harp playing in a “Hands on Harps” Workshop exclusively for the 12 participants.

Attend an “Open Rehearsal” to watch regular harp students practicing.

Rehearse in a “1st Performance Rehearsal” with harp tutor and “helping hands” from students on hand to assist.

Perform in Shelley Fairplay”s evening concert “Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy Concert” alongside their personal harpist-mentor.

Celebrate their experience of having been “A Harpist for a day”!

Shelley Fairplay Harpist Three Strands Concert

Shelley, who describes herself as ‘obsessed with all things harp’, says ‘I created ‘Harpist for a Day’ because I believe everyone should get to have an opportunity to get up close and experience this incredibly diverse and beautiful instrument. I have structured it so that even if you’ve never played a harp before and have no previous experience of music reading or performing, you can truly participate and have the full experience of learning, rehearsing and performing along with an ensemble – so it’s not just a learning experience but a wonderful day of fun and harp-playing together!’



Modern Sound?! Camac Electro Harp and Loop Pedal in action!

Anyone that has always secretly wanted to try the harp can book a place to become “A Harpist for a Day!” for £40 on Saturday3rd  October 2015 as part of the  Camac Exeter Harp Weekend at Exeter School. For further information and details visit The Camac harp weekend taking place on the 3rd/4th October and also includes a harp exhibition, workshops and concerts for harpists and non-harpists of all ages and abilities. Full details of the harp weekend are available via

NEW! Harp Taster Sessions Launched in Cardiff!

Have you always wanted to try the harp?

Come along to a ‘Harp Taster’ session on the National Instrument of Wales at Telynau Vining Harps with Harpist Shelley Fairplay.

You will be allocated your very own Celtic harp to play on during the session!

During the workshop you will be introduced  to a variety of different harps including Celtic, Concert Pedal and Lap harps. You will be allocated a Celtic harp to use throughout the session and be guided through your very first stages of learning the harp; how to sit, basic harp technique and of course how to create beautiful sounds! By the end of the session you will have learnt how to find all the notes on your harp, played an accompaniment along with Shelley and also be able to play a tune on your own! No guarantees, but we should also warn you that you may well totally fall for this incredible instrument and awaken your inner harpist!


Harp Tutor Shelley Fairplay
If you have any hopes and dreams of once day renting or even owning your very own harp, Elen from Telynau Vining Harps will be available during the sessions to answer any questions you might have, including prices and information on Camac harps for sale and details regarding their harp rental scheme which starts from just £50 a month.
The workshop runs from 6.45pm to 8.30pm and includes a short tea break. The sessions are open to all ages and require no previous musical knowledge. Please note under 18″s must be accompanied  by an adult.


Cost: £30

Time: 6.45pm  – 8.30pm

Dates: 19th November 2015, 21st January 2016.

Venue: Telynau Vining Harps, 116B Pantbach Road, Birchgrove, Cardiff, CF14 1UE. For directions please click here.

Booking: Booking is essential, please contact Elen Vining on or 02920 620900 to reserve your space, book early to avoid disappointment as spaces are very limited. You can also book online at



Harp Break Out! Cardiff Graduation Week 2015

Harp Break Out!

Cardiff Graduation Celebration Music Monday 13th – Friday 17th July 2015

Al fresco harp music anyone?! This week I totally thrilled to staging Harp Break Out performances in Cardiff City Center for a whole week!

Modern Sound?! Camac Electro Harp and Loop Pedal in action!

The Harp Break Out is taking place as part of Cardiff Graduation 2015 week.  I am a very proud Cardiff University Alumni, having graduated from the School of Music a number of years ago. It is a true honour and privilege to be able to come back to provide harp music to help this years graduates celebrate their hard work and achievements. Here is a link to a video taken earlier this week: Harp Break Out on the Bandstand! 

Cardiff University and Cardiff Council are hosting this event, which is based in the Bandstand on the Hayes in Cardiff City center. It is a free and open to everyone! Anyone can come along and listen, so if you happen to be on your way to work, shopping or running an errand you can just swing by to catch a few tunes and say hello.

Harp Break Out consists of music performed outside, on my wireless golden electric harp that I wear and walk around with whilst playing. The harp has an amplified yet traditional sound which I can then enhance using a loop station and effects pedals, so much fun!

I feel liberated by escaping to the great outdoors to perform! I am also escaping from the static feeling of being sat behind a harp, as with this harp I am wearing it to play, I can walk around and move easily, much like a solo violinist can. It makes playing music feel much more natural and free, a great escape indeed! Another felling of a Harp Break Out comes from the music itself, we often associate harp solely with the incredible classical repertoire and Celtic music (all of which I love dearly) but for the Harp Break Out I have drawn influence from other genres to escape (or at least have a holiday) from this traditional repertoire. So, in the Harp Break Out you will hear my own original material alongside film, blues, jazz, rock and pop with rhythms and harmonies drawn from genres all over the world including flamenco, habanera and calypso styles.

If you happen to be free or passing by do come along and join me for my Harp Break Out as part of Cardiff University”s Graduation Celebration music! I will at the Bandstand on the Hayes in Cardiff bright and early all week: Monday 13th 9.30-10.30am, Tuesday 14th 8.30-9.30am, Wednesday 15th 8.30-9.30am, Thursday 16th 9.00-10.00am and Friday 10.00-11.00am.

Would you like a Harp Break Out for your event? I would love to come and play for you! My email address is or you can call me on 07960 718663.

Concert in Kinver! 2nd August 2015

The Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy

6pm – Sunday 2nd August 2015


Tickets available here: The Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy 
Throughout generations tales have been told of three musical strands. The details differ in each story, but they”re always played by a harpist, and they always encompass the human experience. This is a tradition that”s not about “traditional music”, but a tradition of expression. Exploring this through the harp, every musician can create a completely unique style.

Come and hear Shelley entwine The Three Strands. You can expect a wide diversity of guests at this musical gathering; we meet with our Celtic forefathers, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Flamenco Dancers and even Axl Rose, Darth Vader and Dr Who will make an appearance!

The concert program includes a 47 string pedal harp being played traditionally and also uses amplification, looper pedal, effect pedals and golden electric harp that Shelley wears to play.