Clarsach society to hold annual fundraiser

The north east branch of the Clarsach Society will hold their annual fundraiser in Stonehaven this month.

The Gaelic harp which has been played in Scotland since the 11th century and according to the group is experiencing a revival in this region.

The local branch of the Clarsach Society, formed three years ago, has gone from strength to strength drawing members of all ages from throughout the north east.

Musical director, Christine Edwards commented on what she thought accounted for this revival of interest.

She said: “Speaking personally, I graduated to the clarsach from the piano. If you have played a piano the transition to clarsach is very easy as the playing techniques are very similar. We’ve recently carried out a survey amongst our members and over 50% of them had previously played piano. For me, the clarsach is a much more expressive and versatile instrument. It also has the advantage that it is lighter and more portable.”

The group will hold their annual fundraiser in Stonehaven Town Hall on Saturday November 14 and are looking to recruit more members. The evening will have tutors giving people a chance to play the harp.

While previous musical experience is helpful, its by no means essential, as one of their younger members, Iona McFadden, said: “The harp is the first musical instrument I have learnt to play, what I liked about it was that it didn’t take too long before I was playing tunes. I especially like the range of music we play together in the North East Harp Ensemble, a mix of traditional tunes, Coldplay songs and original compositions written especially for us.”

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