Dynamic Harps Concert for Cardiff Foodbank

On the 6th of December 2014 the Over 30 musicians gathered together in Radyr to celebrate “A HARPy Christmas Concert”.  Under the direction of Harpist Shelley Fairplay the concert included performances by the two Radyr based harp groups ‘Dynamic Harps’, harp solos from primary and secondary school children from South Wales and songs from the Canu O’r Galon quartet with vocalist Deborah Morgan Lewis. The event was in aid of Cardiff Foodbank and the students raised over £200 for the charity and a substantial food collection was taken to the Foodbank following the event.

In September 2014 Radyr resident Shelley launched two new harp ensembles Dynamic Harps who meet weekly to rehearse at the Radyr Methodist Church. They have now enjoyed 4 wonderful terms together playing music from a vast array of genres, rehearsing and working together on ensemble and general harp playing skills. Many of the songs the ensembles learn come directly as requests from group members and are then arranged specially for the group.

The next performances for Dynamic Harps take place on the 25th of January at the Swansea National Waterfront museum and then on the 7th of February at Cardiff Metropolitan University as part of the Camac Harp Weekend”s Saturday night harp concert: The Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy. On the 13th/14th of June they are very excited to be returning to perform at the National Botanic Garden of Wales “Hand-on-harps” weekend!

Dynamic Harps meet on Monday”s and Tuesday”s during term time. For further details on the harp ensembles next performances please visit www.dynamicharps.co.uk. For those who have never played the harp before various hands-on-harps events take place regularly, including Shelley”s www.harpistforaday.co.uk. With events such as this everyone can have their chance to try the truly incredible National Instrument of Wales!

The musicians involved in the December performance would like to thank the audience members for their attendance and support, with special recognition to Huw James for arranging the Methodist Church Hall Hire, Helen Nolan from Cardiff Foobank for coming and addressing the performers on the night and finally to Bob Pearce from Radyr Chain for supporting the group and this article!

Become a Harpist for a Day – 7th February 2015!

Become a harpist for a day!

 The Harp is the National Instrument of Wales yet many people living in Wales have never even touched one!  On the 7th of February I 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 my new concert ‘The Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy’.

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” with Dynamic Harps Ensemble (www.dynamicharps.co.uk)

Rehearse in a “1st Performance Rehearsal” with their own harpist-mentor.

Perform in my 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”!

I created ‘Harpist for a Day’ because I believe everyone should get to have an experience like this – especially in Wales, where harp is the national instrument.  I 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!

Anyone that has always secretly wanted to try the harp can book a place to become “A Harpist for a Day!” for £40 on Saturday 7 February 2015 as part of the Cardiff Camac Harp Weekend at Cardiff Metropolitan University. For further information and details visit www.harpistforaday.co.uk. The Camac harp weekend taking place on the 7th/8th of February also includes workshops, demonstrations, master-classes and a live webinar with Deborah Henson-Conant, a Grammy-nominated composer, performer and the world’s leading electric harpist.


Trinity College Carmarthen Harp Festival 15th/16th November 2014

Harp Festival at Trinity College Carmarthen – 15th/16th November 2014

Harp Workshop with Shelley Fairplay

Harpists from all over Wales will gather at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Carmarthen for a weekend of workshops, lessons and master classes proudly supported by Telynau Teifi. Choose from a fantastic selection of tutors and sessions to suit your level and interests. Whether you are an adult looking for opportunity to play with others, a young student looking to refine your repertoire and technique, or would like to be the harpist in a band, the program has something for everybody.

I am really excited to be teaching the following workshops:

Just Loopy!

A looper pedal enables performers to record their playing live on stage and then perform over their recorded ostinato tracks. Learn the joys of using ostinato patterns in your own playing and discover some basics on how looper pedal can be used with harp in performance

Baroque Flamenco by Deborah Henson-Conat:

This fiery, intriguing and passionate piece of music is an incredible addition to any harpists repertoire, whatever your level! Come along to this workshop to learn the structure, mood and style of the music and perf orm the piece within an ensemble setting. To join this workshop you will need your own copy of “Baroque Flamenco” which will be available for purchase on the day if required

For further details please visit: http://elinlloyd.com/harp-festival.php

Hope to see you there!

With all best wishes,


Harp Workshop 23rd November 2014 for Clarsach Society Wales Branch

12 Bar Blues and Christmas Notes!

Sunday 23rd November 2011 2.00pm-5.00pm

The Workshop:

PART 1: Discover the 12 Bar Blues for harp!

In this workshops we will learn to play the 12 Bar Blues by discovering the form, riffs, basic improvisation, bass line and much more. This is such fun to explore and great to work on in a workshop together. Open to all abilities on lever or pedal.

PART 2: Christmas Notes!

To round of this Clarsach Society afternoon we will musically launch into Christmas! As musicians we have to choose and learn our tunes in advance of the festive season, so I look forward to sharing with you a couple of my personal favorites to help our musical preparations for December!

Where and When:

23rd November 2011 from 2.00 pm-5.00pm

Village Hall, Pentrecwrt, Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, SA44 5BD

The Tutor:

Shelley Fairplay is a freelance harpist working as a musician in South Wales and throughout the UK. She is also an enthusiastic and dynamic qualified teacher providing harp lessons to students of all ages and abilities including weekly sessions for her two harp ensembles www.dynamicharps.co.uk .For further information please visit www.harpwales.com.


The course will run from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Please arrive in time to set up and tune your harp in advance of the session, the hall will be opened at 1.30pm. There will be a tea break in the afternoon when fingers and brains can take no more!


For further details and to book please contact Susan Berry on email: sbsusanberry@gmail.com. £15 for members, £20 for visitors. Membership to Clarsach Society £20 for adults, £10 concessions and under 16s.