Harping at the Portland Highland Games

ImageHere’s an exciting development:  for the first time, the Portland Highland Games, taking place next Saturday, July 20, 2013, will include harpers.  A friend of mine made it happen, and I’m proud of her as well as impressed.  I’ll be there with my Trinity College harp to talk with visitors about the clarsach traditions and the 20th/21st century revival of interest in this magnificent instrument.  Here is the schedule:

Harp demonstration and workshop:  1pm-2:30pm
Harp circle:  2:30-4pm


Mistral plays at Portland’s Bastille Day celebration, 2013.

In other news, I visited the Bastille Day celebration in downtown Portland today, and enjoyed the set played by my favorite Breton band, Mistral.  I hadn’t seen them perform since the excellent Dark Harvest Ballads back at Samhain.  They were in fine form.

If you come to the Highland Games, please come by to say hello!


(A special thanks to my friend and mentor in Scotland who nudged me about posting.)

Samhain music

Today I participated in “Harpers for Housing,” a fundraiser concert in SE Portland that raised over $1000 for the Northwest Pilot Project, a non-profit agency that helps elderly Portlanders with affordable housing.  Of the ten or so harpers, I’m the only one playing the clairseach / clarsach / Gaelic harp.  It feels important to get the sound of this instrument out there, even imperfectly.  I played March for the King of Laois, and it was rather fun.

Sue's Trinity on the porch on a mild October day.

Sue's Trinity on the porch on a mild October day.

For those of you who enjoy music for the dark time of the year, a member of the Bridgetown Morris Men, Ian Clemons, is organizing an event entitled The Dark Harvest Ballads on Friday, Oct. 30th at 7pm on East Burnside. We plan to attend, as I love that sort of music, and appreciate that it is a fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank.  A month ago I attended Clemons’s Bal Breton, and danced to some fine Breton tunes played and called by Clemons’s band, Mistral.

A good Samhain to you.


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