Ensemble Playing: Dynamic Harps!

The Dynamic Harps ensembles have been invited for three years in a row to perform at the National Botanic Garden of Wales Family Harp Weekend. Save the date for 2016 which will be on the 2nd/3rd July!   We thoroughly enjoyed an exciting event at the National Waterfront Museum on Dydd Santes Dwynwen, to celebrate Dwynwen the Welsh Saint of love. The ensembles also be made a wonderful guest appearance in a performance of my ‘Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy’ concert as part the Camac Harp Weekend at Cardiff Metropolitan University. There are some very exciting concerts in 2016 which will be announced soon!

Dynamic Harps next public performance will be our annual Christmas concert at Radyr Methodist Church on Thursday 3rd of December. For tickets and further details please email info@harpwales.com.

  • Information for Student Dynamic Harps
  • Information for Adult Dynamic Harps
  • Why Dynamic Harps?!

Student Ensembles:


Student Dynamic Harps Perform at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

Are you frustrated practicing studies and exam pieces on your harp alone at home while other instruments seem to get all the fun playing in “Big Band”, “Wind Band” and “Orchestra” – performing amazing film music, show tunes and Jazz?

Do you enjoy Pop and Rock tunes and like to play them on your harp?

Would you like to play the songs you really love on the harp?

Would you like to improve your sight-reading skills without making any conscious effort?

Would you like the opportunity to perform solos and ensemble pieces in friendly group environment?

If you think yes to any of the above then come along and join the student harp ensemble Dynamic Harps!

Email me via info@harpwales.com for further details! 

Student Dynamic Harps meet on Tuesday evenings 6.45pm – 8.30pm and is open to all students of grade three and above level (under age of 18).

  • Sessions focus on modern repertoire including pop songs, rock songs, show tunes, film music, Jazz and more.
  • The classes are open to all harp students who are grade 3 level or above.
  • Weekly meetings with others will encourage practice and enjoyment as we all work together to progress our pieces and techniques.
  • Share your successes and concerns with others who enjoy learning our wonderful instrument.
  • Each week we will work on repertoire pieces as an ensemble and also look at a specific skills/techniques that will inform general harp playing.
  • Music is prepared to cater for the group to make sure everyone can participate and progress appropriately within their comfort zone.
  • Most of the songs we learn are specific requests from group members, what will you ask for?
  • You will be able to enjoy listening to and trying out new repertoire, benchmark your progress, explore different techniques, improve sight reading, share successes, overcome challenges and meet regularly with harp friends old and new!

Dynamic Harps Rehearse 2014
Some of our favourite pieces played by Student Dynamic Harps have included The Cave (Munford and Sons), A thousand years (Christina Perri/Twilight), Good Riddance Time of Your Life (Green Day), Somewhere Only We Know (Keane/Lily Allen), In the Mood and film music from the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, StarWars and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Q: What are the benefits of learning and playing in an ensemble?

A: In an ensemble you will be able to enjoy listening to and trying out new repertoire, benchmark your progress, explore different techniques, improve sight reading, share successes, overcome challenges and meet regularly with harp friends old and new!

Q: Will you need to bring your own harp and equipment?

A: So that we can play as an ensemble you will need to bring your own harp on a weekly basis. A benefit to this will be that if you have any tunings, string or other maintenance questions I will be able to help and offer advice as required. Adjacent parking to the venue is available along with good access to the rehearsal space. I will provide all the music for our sessions and you will need to bring the handouts from previous weeks.

“Playing for fun, from Guns and Roses to Les Mis, Star Wars to The Hobbit the sky is the limit! Great time had by my daughter! Her sight-reading has improved so much and her confidence in playing has increased. Fab arrangements on all the music pieces!’

Dynamic Harp Student Performs Solo at ‘Summer Harp Gathering 2014’

‘It”s fun that we can request songs that we like and play them in concerts.’

‘I enjoyed learning new effects on the harp as it is something different and you wouldn”t expect these sounds to come out of the harp!’

‘My friends used to think me playing the harp was boringnot anymore now I can play the “Sweet Child of Mine” riff!’

Course will run as 10 weekly meetings in conjunction with Autumn, Spring and Summer school terms.

Booking will be for 10 weekly 1 hour and 45 minute session (including a short break) at a fee of £125

You will need to bring your own harp on a weekly basis. A benefit to this will be that if you have any tunings, string or other maintenance questions I will be able to help or offer advice as required. Adjacent parking to the venue is available along with good access to the rehearsal space. I will provide all the music for our sessions and you will need to bring the handouts each week.

Places are limited – please email info@harpwales or call 07960 718663 for further details and to book your space.


Adult Dynamic Harps:

Adult Dynamic Harps Perform at National Botanic Garden of Wales 2014

Do you enjoy playing the harp? Are you frustrated always practicing alone at home? Do you love the sound of playing in a workshop or ensemble setting? Would you like to improve your sight-reading without any real conscious effort and practice your performance skills in a safe and friendly group?

If you think yes to any of the above then come along and join the Adult harp ensemble Dynamic Harps!

Adult Dynamic Harps meet on Monday evenings 6.45pm – 8.45 and is open to all abilities!

  • Each week we practice and learn repertoire pieces from traditional, classical, world and modern genres as an ensemble
  • We look at specific skills/techniques to inform your general harp playing.
  • Music is prepared to cater for a variety of abilities to make sure everyone can participate and progress appropriately within their comfort zone. with others
  • Joining the ensemble will encourage practice as we all work together to progress our pieces and techniques.
  • Most of the songs we learn come directly as requests from group members, what will you ask for?!
  • Ensemble playing works wonders for improving sight-reading skills!
  • Share your successes and concerns with others who enjoy learning our wonderful instrument.
  • Hear new repertoire as part of the ensemble and from fellow harpists.

Adult Ensemble ‘Dynamic Harps’ Perform at Cardiff Bay 2014

Some of our favorite pieces played by Adult Dynamic Harps have included In the Mood, Hobbit Song from the Lord of the Rings, The Flower Duet and traditional tunes such as Suo Gan and My Dancing Day!

‘I have such a fab time. Everyone is so friendly, We can laugh at our own mistakes. Shelley is an awesome teacher. Shelley is really helpful.  My husband”s mates are really impressed that we are playing “rock songs”.’

‘It has been a wonderful term. I can feel the ‘grip of performing fear”  relaxing more each week! It will take time, but it is happening. Also, I am throughly enjoying the cohesion within the group. A genuine concern for each other is growing, and it is very good to be part of it.’

Q: What are the benefits of learning and playing in an ensemble?

A: You will have the opportunity to hear and try new repertoire, bench mark your progress, explore different techniques, share successes, overcome challenges, the list is endless! You will also find that ensemble playing works wonders for sight-reading skills.

Q: Will you need to bring your own harp and equipment?

A: So that we can play as an ensemble you will need to bring your own harp on a weekly basis. A benefit to this will be that if you have any tunings, string or other maintenance questions I will be able to help or offer advice as required. Adjacent parking to the venue is available along with good access to the rehearsal space. I will provide all the music for our sessions and you will need to bring the handouts each week.

“Young and old, beginners and not such beginnersit”s brilliant. Like minds meeting to make music’

Course will run as 10 weekly meetings over the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms.

Booking will be for 10 weekly two hour sessions (with a short tea/coffee break) at a fee of £155.

You will need to bring your own harp on a weekly basis. A benefit to this will be that if you have any tunings, string or other maintenance questions I will be able to help or offer advice as required. Adjacent parking to the venue is available along with good access to the rehearsal space. I will provide all the music for our sessions and you will need to bring the handouts each week.

Places are limited – please email info@harpwales.com for further details and to get on the ‘First to know’ list for when a space becomes available!


Why Dynamic Harps?!

 

Harp Obsession!

I personally have a harp obsession! Anything to do with the harp from playing, teaching, listening to, learning about, arranging and composing for, playing in ensembles and playing in orchestras. I really love it all!

When I stop to think about where this drive, passion and enthusiasm stems from I am sure I can contribute most of it to this: for nearly 10 years I totally delighted in being part of a harp ensemble.

From the age of 9 years old until I went to study music at Cardiff University I played in a harp ensemble every Saturday (during term time) we would also go out to play for concerts and events perhaps twice a month. It was an amazing experience, our wonderful ensemble teacher opened my eyes and ears to musical styles from all around the world and throughout our musical history and we learnt so much from playing together.

There were the obvious benefits – such as trying out new music, improving sight-reading, meeting like minded people gaining performance experience. And then perhaps the more hidden gems, as a fledgling harpist I aspired to be like the more advanced players so it encouraged me to practice more, once I was a more fluent player I learnt the joy of sharing and teaching whilst assisting beginners.

Often I would hear a fellow harpist practicing or performing a tune they had been learning, I would then be desperate to get hold of the music and learn it for myself.

Shelley Fairplay – Tutor of Dynamic Harps

The safety of learning together in this friendly environment was also invaluable  – we were often playing music that stretched us greatly, but as we were part of an ensemble the music didn”t stop if any of us lost our place, and so we quickly learnt to pick up and carry on, another great skill.  I also made wonderful harp friends in the ensemble who I could play duets with and learn from away from the main group.

So, as part of my life journey as a modern day minstrel I wish to try to create and pass on this experience to you. The first year of Dynamic Harps have proved overwhelmingly successful and moving forwards we hope to attract more members and increase the number of events we play at.

Come along and be part of this brilliant group of happy harpers!

With all best wishes,

Shelley Fairplay

info@harpwales.com

07960 718663