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Wexford musicians offer hope during online concerts


Aileen Kennedy taking part in Harps for Hope

Aileen Kennedy taking part in Harps for Hope

Aileen Kennedy taking part in Harps for Hope


Wexford musicians have been busy demonstrating their skills in the Harps for Hope online series presented by Harp Ireland which sees a number of individual harp performances taking place at home.

Preparations are now well underway for the finale in a concert that takes place online on June 30 as the musicians lend a hand in the fight against Covid-19.

More than 50 well known musicians will be taking part in the initiative, including a selection of our leading harpers such a Laoise Kelly, Cormac de Barra, Tríona Marshall, Máire Ní Chathasigh and Siobhán Armstrong among others and at the end of the month the concert will see a huge 240 strong harp performance.

Director of Wexford Harp Ensemble, Aileen Kennedy, is one of a list of musicians participating in Harps for Hope and she said she is delighted so many from Wexford are involved.

During her own unique video, she performs Boolavogue and The Middle East Mazurka, one of her own compositions and in the background of the video she includes art work from artists like Eoin O'Connor, Eileen Cloney and Anthony Doyle.

Speaking about her involvement with the project so far, Aileen described it as being something quite uplifting.

'Social distancing has given us a time for reflecting on what's important to us as well as where we belong. The music of the harp seems to have the ability to touch people at a level that words fail to reach. I was delighted to be involved in such a wonderfully uplifting initiative during these uncertain times,' she said.

Harp Ireland organisers said that in response to the initiative so far they have seen that the sound of the harp is something comforting, and hope the concert will enhance our sense of national identity during this health crisis.

'We were struck by the depth of emotion and resonance that Irish harp holds for so many people when it was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity last year,' a spokesperson said.

The full series of pre-recorded videos are available www.harpireland.ie by searching 'Harps for Home' with the introductory track on each of these videos An Cruitire from the Spirit of Laois suite composed Michael Rooney and performed by Siobhán Buckley.

Preparations are still being finalised for the concert at the end of the month, which will take place online and can be viewed live on www.harpireland.ie.