Events Calendar 2022 

To sign up or ask any questions please feel free to email us at

JAN 1st - 31st 


JaNEWary Challenge 2022

Mary introduces us to exciting new tunes in bite-size portions each day, with plenty of hints on technique. A great way to learn. 

Open to all. 

Videos published online (youtube, facebook, website) each day. 

JAN 12th & 31st  



JaNEWary Challenge 2022 - Live Zoom 

A chance to play together through the first piece of this years challenge, "O'Carolan's Dream" Led by Mary Dunsford 

Zoom Session, open to all.  

FEB 12th SAT 


10.00am - 12.00 

Guest Tutor - Luke Webb - An Introduction to Irish Traditional Music. 

Online workshop, we look forward to welcoming Luke. You can find out more about him at 

Zoom Session. 

£10 fee. 

FEB 27th SUN


10.00 - 13.00 

Playing Session - Live. Bring Your Favourite Tunes 

Session led by members, event leader Ann Woolley. 

Ladyholme Centre, Windermere. 

Free to HNW Members 

MAR 12th SAT 


11.00 - 13.00 

Skills Session - Tutors Mary Dunsford & Susan Lambert. "Finger Agility" 

2 simultaneous workshops covering the same topic at 2 levels. Elementary & Intermediate/Advanced. 

Slyne with Hest Church Hall 


MAR 12th SAT 


13.45 - 16.30 

Absolute Beginners' Workshop - Mary Dunsford

A workshop for anyone wanting to try the harp, tell your friends! No experience/harp necessary!!

Slyne with Hest Church 


MAR 27th SUN  


10.00am  -  12.00

Guest Tutor - Eira Lynn Jones "From the first note" 

Eira will direct a session on the six steps to follow when you start a new piece. A guide through her practise method with technical hints and a tune or two. 

Zoom Session


APR 12th TUES  


 20.0 -  

Play for Ukraine - Zoom playing session Fundraiser

Join us for an evening of Ukrainian music being led by members and guests of HNW. Contact us via email for the links and sheet music, and if you would like to lead any of the pieces. 

Free event on Zoom, with links to make private donations to relevant organisations.  

APR 24th SAT  


13.30 - 16.00 

Composer in Residence - Lauren Scott - 3rd Piece. 

Lauren introduces us to the 3rd piece in her position as composer in residence. We can't wait to hear/play it!  

Threlkeld Village Hall 

Free to members 

MAY 21st SAT  


10.00 - 12.30

"Spring into Summer" Playing Session 

A chance to share and play your favourite pieces with a seasonal theme. 

Orton Market Hall. CA10 3RX

Free to members 

MAY 21st SAT  



Committee meeting

Orton Market Hall. CA10 3RX




20.00 - 21.30

Flexible Fingers for Frolicking Fun!

Mary returns with a bang with this fun and informative session designed to follow on from Susan’s fabulous skills workshop back in March. Keep those fingers working for, and with, you!

Zoom Session

Free to members 

Donations welcome 




Optimising your Small Harp - Mary Dunsford

Do you own a smaller harp, with reduced bass notes? Does it sit in the corner gathering dust as it just feels too daunting, or perhaps when you do play it you find yourself dissatisfied? Join Mary for this online session where you rekindle the joy of playing your small harp as you learn how to approach it as an instrument in its own right. 

Zoom Session

Free to members 

Donations welcome 



19.30 - 21.30 

Online Workshop - Playing in a Session - Zoom

Led by Susan Lambert. In preperation for the late night session at the festival, or any other session. Where to start, and how to join in. 

Online. Contact Mandy to sign up. Free to members, donations welcome. 

JULY 17th SUN 


10.30 - 16.00 

Guest Tutor - Ailie Robertson Full Day Workshop

Develop your skills alongside learning some fun and challenging arrangements by the highly renowned Scottish harpist, Ailie Robertson. The session is designed to include harpists of all levels. 

Bardsea Malt Kiln Village Hall, LA12 9QT.  



JULY 30th SAT 



Absolute Beginners' Workshop - with Alice Pell

Have you always fancied having a go at playing the harp? or know someone who has always wanted to try it, now is your chance! no experience necessary, we provide the harps, you bring your enthusiasm. Come along and see why we're all so addited to these wonderful instruments! Email us to sign up. 

Open to all 

In person workshop

Ambleside university campus




JULY 30th SAT 


1.00 - 17.30

Youth Session Led by Mary Dunsford with Guest Festival Tutors

Calling all under 18 harpists! join us for an unmissable and free afternoon of workshops with our fabulous teacher Mary Dunsford and guest workshops with our festival tutors, Lauren Scott and Charlotte Petersen . 

Open to all young (18-) harpists

In person workshop

Free to attend

Ambleside University Campus 



JULY 29th - 31st 


HNW Festival 2022 - Ambleside

Tutors - Mary Dunsford, Jean Altshuler, Charlotte Petersen & Lauren Scott. Harp servicing and repair by Teifi. Exhibitions of sheet music and harps, plus extra activity sessions. 

Open to all. Booking will be available soon, in the mean time you can you can register your interest with us at

SEP 24th SAT


10.0- 12.00

Play Mediaeval Music - Guest Tutor Wendy Stewart

A recording of the workshop will be available.

Zoom Event 

Fee £10
Ref:: Wendy+your initials



Guest Tutor: Lily Neil - workshop title to be confirmed

A recording of the workshop will be available.

Zoom Event

Fee £10
Ref: Lily+your initials

OCT 15th or 16th tbc 


Live - Full day workshop - Guest tutor Karen Marshalsay

details tbc 

Live event 

Venue in the north to be confirmed.

NOV 11th - 13th


Higham Hall - A Weekend with the Harp 

Tutors - Shelley Fairplay & Rachel Newton 

Open to all. 

go to for more info and booking. 

AUG 19th - 21st 


Higham Hall - A Summer Break with the Harp

tutors tbc 

Open to all. 

go to for more info and booking. 

Past Events Diary 



Our annual online gathering to play through the HNW Carol Book. led by Susan Lambert. With mulled wine, mince pies and decorated harps. 

SAT 11TH DEC - HNW Christmas Party  

Fabulously festive day rehearsal and performance of pieces recaping the many projects of 2021, and a few extra christmas pieces. Including our own arrangement of "I Saw Three Ships" which we recorded to be featured on BBC Radio Cumbria over Christmas. Led by Mary Dunsford. 

12TH - 14TH NOV -  Higham Hall, Residential Weekend

                                            A Weekend with the Harp  

The second of this years residential weekends, learning harp with Ailie Robertson and Wendy Stewart, in the gorgeous setting of Higham Hall. 

SUN 31st OCT - Guest Tutor - Tamsin Dearnley, Jazz &.

                                                          Blues on the Harp.  

Fun filled morning online with the wonderfully talented harpist Tamsin learning Jazz and Blues techniques on the harp.

Access to a recording of this workshop is available for £10, please contact for details. 

23RD OCT  - Harps for Harmony Live Recording of Pachelbel's Canon at St Bees Priory co-ordinated by Mary Dunsford.

 21ST SEP & 12TH OCT - Harps for Harmony Rehearsals - Pachelbel's Canon Tutor - Mary Dunsford. 

"Get up to speed and in the zone"  

Two one-hour rehearsals for all playing abilities, in preperation for recording live at St.Bees Church for the Harps For Harmony Project -  All members welcome.  

SUN 10TH OCT  - MacMillan 'Coffee Morning' Play along Session

A fun afternoon playing along to our favourite pieces, members took it in turns to lead pieces and donations were made to raise money for MacMillan cancer support. 

SAT 11TH SEPT - Preparation for the HNW Christmas Party - LIVE SESSION 

A fabulous morning practising together in real life! for the up coming Christmas Party, we have some spectacular pieces to play this year, musically recaping the year we have had! 

9TH - 11TH AUG -  Higham Hall - Rescheduled date - LIVE 

A residential weekend with the harp. Tutors Jan Bennett & Mary Dunsford.

SUN 18TH JULY - Composer in Residence Lauren Scott 

 2021                                     presents 'Beatles Medley'

SAT 19th JUNE  -  Composition Competition Winners  

 2021                                         Announced! 

Sun 11TH July - Composition Pieces Play along Session 



SAT 22ND MAY  -               Guest Tutor Lucy Nolan.        

 2021                                O Mio Babbino Caro, Puccini  


Lucy brought us a fantastic workshop focusing on her multileveled arrangment of this classic Aria. She warmed us up nicely with some mind bending exercises that really got us thinking and trying out new techniques, and made this beautiful piece of music accessible to all of us. 


SAT 8TH MAY - Play Along Session - Favourite Classics 


In a session led by Susan Lambert, we played a selection of popular classics including:

Brahms' Lullaby, Pucinni's La Musetta's Waltz, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade. 

We had a treat playing Mary Dunsford's Classical ensemble arrangements, made all the more fun with her fabulous multitracked videos, so we could play along and hear all the parts together! As well as a play through Shelley Fairplay's beautiful arrangemnt of Beethoven's 'Shepherd's Prayer'

SUN 28TH March - Composer in Residence Lauren Scott 

 2021                                     presents 'Black Sheep' 

In the first installment of this years Composer in Residence project Lauren presented 'Black Sheep' a fantastically fun piece to play, inspired by the resurgance of the sea shanty and the force to be reckoned with Jackie Weaver. 

Find out more about the project and hear the piece here.  

SAT 20TH March - JaNEWary Live Playalong - Zoom


A great afternoon revisiting the music of the last 6 challenges, led by Mary Dunsofrd and a guest apprearance from one of the composers Eira Lynn Jones. Each piece played at 2 speeds to give us a chance to join in or just sit back and listen. You can find out more about our music learning challenges here

SUN 14th March - St Patrick's Day Irish Tunes Playalong 


32 members from far and wide joined us on Zoom for an afternoon of Irish tunes led by Susan Lambert. Dressed in green we played our way through some Irish classics including Molly Malone, Londonderry Air, Salley Gardens and a few O'Carolan arrangements. 

SUN 7th MAR - Composition workshop (2) 


A relaxed look at ways of getting creative with our harps, using the skill set we already have. 

We worked on finding inspritation for our melodies, harmonies and techniques and looked at how to start fitting them together. 

SUN 21st FEB  -   Rachel Newton "First Hint of Spring" 


The wonderful harpist and singer Rachel Newton guided us through a beautiful tune composed for our workshop called "The First Hint of Spring" first we studied the melody, working on placing and rhythms, then looked at ways to embelish with grace notes and cuts. We then looked at the accompaniment and by the end of morning had a gorgeous new tune under our fingers.  

Open to all members - donations welcome.  

SUN 14TH FEB -   Valentines Day Play Along Session. 


A romanitically relaxed morning playing together over zoom. With different members of HNW leading their favourite romantic pieces. 

SUN 31ST JAN  -   Composition - where to start? Workshop. 


With the aim of inspiring us all to have a go at getting creative with our own music, this workshop focused on where to draw inspration, ideas of how to practise compossing, and a brush up on the musical theory blocks we need to help get those ideas from inside our heads onto our harps. 

Free and open to all members - open to donations. 

SAT 16TH JAN -   Shelley Fairplay "You can do it!" 


Kicking off our 2021 workshop series, Shelley brought us a fantastic workshop on how to play ANYTHING! With her contagious enthusiasm and energy she showed us how to break down even the most complicated of music into manageble exercises and patterns. 

Free and open to all members - open to donations. 

SUN 20TH DEC -   Christmas Carol & Song playing Session


A festive morning of Christmas carols and songs on Zoom, hosted by Susan Lambert.With christmas cake and mulled wine in hand, we had a good catch up and playing session, playing our way through the Chrismtas Carols booklet. 

Free and open to all members 

SAT 5TH DEC            HNW Virtual Christmas Party! 


What a fantastic festive afternoon with Master of Ceremonies Mary Dunsford. 43 of us got togther to celebrate with Chrismtas play alongs, recorded performances and videos from HNW members, fancy dress competitions, best decorated harp competitions and a quiz. 

Free and open to all members 

SAT 14TH &                 Shelley Fairplay - Zoom Workshop 

SUN 15TH NOV                 "Come Hail or Higham Water" 


Shelley gave us two jam packed mornings, learning everything from fundamentals to extended techniques, all based around a piece compossed especially for us this weekend as a comfort to missing Higham halls weekend workshop. Wonderful workshops! we can't wait for her return in January. 

Free to members - open to donations 

SUN 8TH NOV  - Tutor Led Rehearsal for the Christmas Party

2020                              by Mary Dunsford, on Zoom.  

A festive morning of working through our Christmas party pieces, wonderfully guided by Mary. We worked on 'Seal Lullaby' 'Carol of the Bells' 'Walking in the Air' and a revision of the epic 'Pachelbel's Cannon'. 

Free to members - open to donations 

SUN 18th OCT  - Tutor Led Workshop - "Session Tunes"

2020                              by Susan Lambert, Zoom.  

 A relaxed Sunday morning learing and playing session tunes together. Playing along with slow and fast recordings of tunes from our collection (available for free on our webite Session Tunes page) With focus on how to and memorise the melodies and approach creating your own accompaniment from the chord symbols. 

Free to members - open to donations. 

SAT 3rd OCT  - Online Coffee Morning Playing Session

2020                              For Macmillan Cancer Support  

A nice and relaxed morning with 22 people taking part! We played 5 pieces, each led by different members of the group, had a good natter with a good excuse to have cake for breakfast! Raising over £300 in the process. 

Free to members 

SAT 26th SEP  -  Harping Across the Border 


Saturday morning members of Harps North West and Dumfries Branch of the Clarsach Society got together on zoom to play together. Wendy Stuart guided us through the beautiful tune Lord Galway's Lamentation, Now the Green Blade Riseth and the funky Snademill Summertime Swing. Whilst Mary guided us through a theme and variation on Hela'r Sqyfarnog, the sailors hornpipe and a fantastic experimental piece specifically composed for playing together on Zoom. The piece was a pattern of notes that fit together with the delay of zoom to create an amazing ripple of sound and for the first time in months we could play together!! A very fun session and lovely to see our friends over the border. 

SUN 13th SEP  -  Christmas Tunes Rehearsal Session

2020                                                   and AGM 

Our first Face to face session with 6 attendees and a live link to 11 more members via zoom, joining in from home. 

Free to members 

SAT 22nd  AUG - Online Workshop with Lauren Scott

2020                              Beatles 'Across the Universe' 


Lauren will guide us through a wonderful Beatles songs she has arranged for lever harp. Free to members but remember to sign up to save a space. 

Free to members 

SAT 15TH AUG - Committee Meeting


If you have any issues you would like us to raise at the committee meeting please feel free to get in touch. 

SAT 25 JULY - Lockdown Arrangements 


Online Playing Session

Led by different members of HNW sharing their own arrangements from this time in lockdown, including "Somewhere over the rainbow" and "We'll Meet Again" 

SAT 27 JUNE -  HNW First online workshop


Guest Tutor Lauren Scott - 'Harps Across the North' project. 'Freshwater Tears' 

From the comfort of our own homes, 34 of us attended Lauren's workshop where she expertly guided us through her ensemble project. It was a morning of learning new techniques and playing Lauren's stunning 'Freshwater Tears' together. The piece is based on the Rain Stone Poem by Simon Armetage  

FRI 19TH JUNE - Online Premiere of Harps For Harmony, 


Lauched on facebook at 7.00pm and youtube at 6.30pm, we revealed the first stage video of our harps for harmony project. All watching together from our own homes we saw 109 harpists playing the beautiful Pachelbel's Canon together.The video has been seen all over the world and has had over 80,000! views so far and still rising, it has also been shared by Classic fm online. Well done to everyone involved! 

SAT 14 MARCH - Absolute Beginner's Workshop 


led by Mary Dunford, arrive 13.15 playing 13.30-16.30. No musical experience necessary! To book on to our next beginner's workshop contact Mandy on 


SAT 14 MARCH - Harps 4 Harmony Rehearsal  


Tutor: Mary Dunsford, arr. 10 for 10.30 start until 12.30

Committee Meeting 13.30 - NB a new date & time.



SUN 16 FEBRUARY 2020. Valentines Weekend Playing Session 


A morning session of playing together, we brought along our favourite tunes to play together, with an emphasis on our favourite love songs. The session also provided the perfect chance to play through Pachelbel's Cannon in preperation our for Harps for Harmony

SAT 18 JANUARY 2020 -  Workshop - how to play in a 'Session' 


Twelve of us had a lovely morning with Susan Lambert, learning how to play session tunes. Whether you want to join in a pub session but aren’t confident, or go to a session at e.g. Edinburgh festival, this was the session for you.

Susan concentrated on 2 well-known tunes, Mairi’s wedding and John Ryan’s Polka. The tunes were learnt first from memory and then with notes, and then Susan bombarded everyone (very nicely!) with lots of advice on what to do with the left hand. She ran through typical chord progressions and how to use them in any key. Everyone came away having learnt lots of new things, and hopefully gained the confidence to join in a session. Carol Coldwell

7 DECEMBER  Christmas Concert and Party 


32 harpers all in a room! Congratulations to all involved, what a wonderful day we’ve had sharing music and merriment! You’re all amazing 🎵🎶🎵

 Thank you to everyone who came along and made it a success. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from HNW 🎶 🌲

Higham Hall Success! A weekend with the harp. 

15th-17th November. 

A wonderful weekend was had at Higham, learning the secrets of the Welsh harp tradition from Robin Huw Bowen and exploring the world of stunning Scottish music with Charlotte Petersen.


Next years dates: 13th -15th Nov 2020


Absolute Beginner's Workshop 

Saturday 9th November - Led by Mary Dunsford. 

Nine enthusiastic absolute beginners made excellent progress and played some really good tunes by the end of the afternoon.

Thank you Mary for your guidance and inspiration. We welcome a number of new members and hope they love playing as much as we do!