3rd October 2015 Harpist for a Day – Press Release

Become a harpist for a day! www.harpistforaday.co.uk

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 www.harpistforaday.co.uk. 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 www.camacharps.co.uk

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 info@camacharps.co.uk or 02920 620900 to reserve your space, book early to avoid disappointment as spaces are very limited. You can also book online at www.rowlandsonline.co.uk



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 info@harpwales.com 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.


47 Harp Strings, 3 Strands and 1000+ Botanical Plants!

Three Strands at NBGW 2015

47 Harp Strings, 3 Strands and 1000+ Botanical Plants! 

The Harp is the National Instrument of Wales yet many of people living in Wales have never touched one.

The National Botanical Garden of Wales aims to change that for all adventurous and curious visitors to the garden this June! On the 13th and 14th of June the NBGW hosts it fourth annual harp weekend, two full days of family friendly events and concerts including hands on harps workshops for those who have never played the harp before.

Returning by popular demand Harpist Shelley Fairplay will be teaching workshops, leading her student ensembles “Dynamic harps” and performing her concert ‘The Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy”. The harp weekend also marks the official launch of her latest CD, which carries the title of the concert.

Why “The Three Strands”? Throughout generations tales have been told of harpists” playing 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.

Shelley”s performances bring to life music that reflects the three strands: Passion, Sorrow and Joy. The program weaves a story of three strands using diverse music styles including Celtic, Classical and Flamenco to Doctor Who and Starwars! The program not only includes the harp being played traditionally but also uses a looper pedal and amplification for parts of the concert. This year for the first time Shelley will be bring her golden electro harp to the NBGW harp weekend. This specialist instrument she wears on a harness and walks around with whist on stage performing, the harp will be used as part of the 2.30pm concert on both days.

Shelley is so passionate about engaging people with the harp that she likes to create ‘harp petting zoos’ at her concerts so people who have never touched a harp before can put their hands on it.  In addition to teaching & performing she has also created two harp ensembles, called ‘Dynamic Harps’ – one for adults and one for teenagers – both of which are performing at the harp weekend with Shelley leading the groups from her harp.

The Concert “The Three Strands: Passion, Sorrow and Joy” takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of June 2014 as part of the National Botanical Garden of Wales Family Harp weekend. Events run from 10:30am to 5pm and include The Three Strands concert, try the harp for the first time at a Hands on Harps workshop, listen to the ensemble group Dynamic Harps perform, become a Harp Detective, and to enter our Draw the harp in the Flowers competition.

All the concerts and activities are free of charge once you have paid to enter the National Botanic Garden of Wales. For admission charges please visit www.gardenofwales.com

If you have any questions regarding this event please click here or email Shelley Fairplay via email address:



For further information regarding the full weekend of events please visit:www.harpwales.com/threestrands