SATURDAY CLASSES                                                                                Halifax Central Library BMO Room Spring Garden Rd. 

Library Doors open Tune & Set Up                                                                                        Chairs will be available in the room. Bring your own music stand

 10 – 10:50 Thea Huard

Thea HuThea Huardard is a Celtic Harp player who is based in Halifax. She apprenticed with Dr. Janet Harbison at the Irish Harp Centre in Castleconnell, County Limerick. She has a particular interest in Carolan and the historical music of the 1600-1700s. Thea specializes in teaching and ambient entertainment and has played at many events throughout Ireland and Nova Scotia.              Last year, Thea started the story of the Irish harp, a dramatic history which spans over 2000 years. But she only scratched the surface so is returning this year to tell more about its glory days entertaining chieftains to its near extinction at the end of the 18th century. The Irish harp has seen many highs and lows. Tunes from different periods of the Irish harp’s history will be performed and you will learn another Carolan song.

10:50 – 11 Stretch & Tai Chi with Wendy Murray                                                          Wendy MurrayWendy is an award winning tapestry artist who built her first harp from scratch. Since then she has acquired two harps and has learned to play. She attends all the harp workshops and has spent many hours learning Tai Chi and Chi Gong. She lived in the Prince’s Lodge Music Room on Bedford Highway for many years and is an authority on its history and preservation.                                                                           

11 – 11:50 Ellen Gibling 

Ellen Gibling 2

Ellen is based in Halifax and holds an undergraduate degree in harp performance from McGill University. As an orchestral harpist, she has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, the World Youth Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales, and has toured with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Ellen is currently part of the flute and harp duo, Conundrum, environmental improvisation ensemble New Hermitage, and orchestral pop band The Heavy Blinkers
Her Irish traditional duo with Erin Dempsey, Ragged Robin, released its 
debut album, Deep in the Tangled Wood, in 2016. Ellen has a Master’s degree in 
Irish Traditional Music Performance from the University of Limerick. She teaches in Halifax.

12 Noon LUNCH and OPEN HOUSE: the PUBLIC is invited to visit and ask questions about the variety of harps in the Library BMO Room. Thinking of taking up the harp ? Here’s your chance to be up close and personal with a harp.

Eastcoast Harpshop Dusty Strings


NovaHarps (Lyon & Healy & Salvi)                   

With permission,  test drive a harp in the room.


1:50 – 2 Stretch & Tai Chi with Wendy

2 – 2:50 Cheryl Reid O’Hagan 

_DSC5362Cheryl, BA music (piano) Mount Allison University, took up the Celtic Harp in 1990 and has been devoted to performing, teaching and promoting the Celtic Harp in Nova Scotia. She was brought up chording on the piano with the fiddle in St. Stephen, N.B. and singing unaccompanied. Her passion for getting to the roots of things led her to Allison Kinnaird, Ann Heymann and the Irish harpist Grainne Yeats. After taking Gaelic classes and travelling to Harp Festivals to learn more about the instrument, she has become an authority on the Celtic style of playing. She’s the authorized dealer for Dusty Strings harps.

Work: Halifax schools music teacher – Kodaly & ukulele, Royal Conservatory of Music teacher piano, voice, theory, gold medal harp teacher. Highland Games, Ceilidh Trail School, Re-Jigged                                                                                          CDs: The Darkest Midnight, Sunnyday, Maeve                                                      Eastlink TV Doc “Sailing on Strings”, Harp Ring video Arran Boat Song                    CDs contributed to:  Scott Macmillan, Rita MacNeil, Camerata Singers, B&R Cape Breton Heritage Recordings, movie scores                                                                          Played with: Stadacona Band, Symphony NS, Buddy MacMaster, Rankin Sisters, Scott MacMillan, Dwayne Cote, Ashley MacIsaac, Aeolian Singers, Amythyst Dancers, St. Brigid’s Band, Fancy’s Flight, the Rumi Ensemble.                                    Founded Eastcoast Harpshop 1997, NS Harp Ring 1998, NS Harp Assoc. 2017, NS Harp Festival 2018 

What’s the difference between a Jig and a Reel ? What’s a Slip Jig ? The basic forms of Celtic music explained and experienced.   


3 – 3:50 Brenda Bowen Cox Brenda Bowen Coxgrew up in Northern Indiana where she learned to play the piano, organ and classical guitar. She received a B.Sc. in Deaf Education with a minor in music and later a Masters in Deaf Education and Audiology. About thirty years ago, Brenda began an ongoing quest with harps and in the 1990’s founded the Harpers’ Circle of Kentucky. She performed with the popular Celtic Band “Ceol Cridhe”alongside her husband, a fiddler. The band’s 2002 cd is “Like a Heartbeat”. The pair spend winters in Arkansas and summers in Cape Breton. In 1997 Brenda graduated as a Certified Music Practitioner from the Music for Healing and Transition Program in Houston. Since then, she has worked at bedsides in hospices and hospitals and has initiated therapeutic programs at various sites.

Brenda’s class will focus on music she finds successful in therapeutic settings. Her books are “A Peaceful Harbour” for Therapy or Relaxation, “A Cape Breton Bouquet”, “AnotherBouquet” and she has written and arranged several songs which are available as sheet music. http://www.brendabowencox.com


4 – 5:45 Just for the Love of It Harp Circle Your ring onshoreHARP CIRCLE  Cherish the Old, Embrace the New ! Learn new or new to you group music. Some people have been playing these songs only recently and some forever, so this will be interesting for everyone. 

Arran Boat Song  Ch. arr.                                                                                              https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2j3ErSqZklEbrCGXpoXQBg

Song of the Water Kelpie group  

Lauda – Praetorius   2 parts (Cheryl arr.)

 Reverie  Gillie Robson 

Wild Mountain Thyme (Ch. arr. )

Tell My Ma Medley Tribute to the Downeast Fiddlers  St. Anne’s Reel D+ (Ch. arr.)

The Donegal Lass (Ch. arr. dance arrangement for Elizabeth) 

Butterfly Jig, TamLyn (Glasgow Reel) (for Diaga Dance)

Rights of Man (Hornpipe for Diaga) 


5:45 Breakdown 



 11 open The Triangle, Prince St. in the Seannchie Room upstairs.  Food is available for adults & children with a parent. 

12 – 1:30  HARP CONCERT

The public is invited $10. per person upstairs at the door.                                      Bring the family and all your friends!

 Workshop Cheryl Play Learn Grow

Your ring onshore

Ellen Gibling behind stringsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADonna Bear CoveThea Huardcalnen photosA_DSC0447_resizeNSHR Wendy Murray 1JackieBrenda Bowen Cox_DSC0484_resizeFestival Players:  Ellen,  Johanne, Donna,  Thea, Cheryl, Alexis, Wendy,  Jackie, Brenda, Tara, Saeed, Bob                                             

Elizabeth MacDonald lives to dance and to share that passion with others. Originally trained as a Highland dancer and accredited teacher, she discovered traditional Irish dance in the late 80s, and has been building her knowledge and skills ever since, studying with dance masters in both Ireland and the US. Elizabeth is  credited with introducing Irish sean-nos step dance to Nova Scotia.  Elizabeth specializes in two older forms of Irish dance that, until recent years, were on the verge of extinction: the Irish set (or square) dances and sean-nos step from the Gaeltacht region of Connemara. She’s taught for many years in Halifax and for three years, led the set dance group in Brussels, Belgium. She’s led workshops and ceilithe at festivals across Eastern Canada, northern France and Belgium. Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE) recognized Elizabeth’s contribution to Irish traditional dance by inducting her into the Canadian Hall of Fame. 

Elizabeth Beautiful   

UPSTAIRS  After the concert Slow session                                                              DOWNSTAIRS 2 – 4 Fast session led by Fiddler extraordinaire Kevin Roach with Jane Lombard bouzouki & button box. Enjoy the Traditional Set Dancing led by Elizabeth MacDonald.

Kevin, Jane, Charlie, Cheryl