What's On

 Events Calendar 2021 



4.45PM - 5.30PM 

Announcing the winners of the Competition Competition & Launch of the Composition Collection

Our judges will announce the winners of our first competition and we will be having a play along session to celebrate! 

Open to Members 

Zoom Link or (if you can't join us)  Youtube link will be sent to all members. 



10AM - 11AM 

Composer in Residence - Lauren Scott.

Lauren will be holding an hour long session trialing out parts of her new composition for us. This will not be a workshop as such but a try out of ideas, all members are welcome to sign up for this session to get an insight into the composision process and see where Lauren is up to in her next piece. 

Open to Members

Contact Mandy on events@harpsnorthwest.org.uk

to sign up for the zoom link. 

Donations Welcome 




Committee Meeting 

We do love a good planning session! Have your say, please let us know if there are any issues or ideas you would like to raise at the meeting and as always just let us know if you would like to join the committee.  



10.30am - 12.30 

(arr.from 10 for tuning) 

Composition Competition Play Along Session. 

All members will receive a pdf copy of the HNW Lockdown Compositions before the playing session. This live session will be recorded and made available to members on request.

Open to Members 

Please sign up with Mandy at events@harpsnorthwest.org.uk for attending live. 



10.30 am -12.30

(tuning from 10am) 

Composer in Residence, Lauren Scott, presents her second piece!  

 Resident composer: Lauren Scott will lead HNW members through the first and second pieces she has arranged for us. It will be special to be playing these pieces live and ensemble. Hopefully a recording of the session will be available to members who cannot attend. TBC

Open to Members 

Please sign up with Mandy at events@harpsnorthwest.org.uk for attending live. 

Venue tbc. 

9TH - 11TH AUG


Higham Hall - Rescheduled date. 

A residential weekend with the harp. Tutors Jan Bennett & Mary Dunsford. Go to www.highamhall.com for more details.

Open to all.  

Higham Hall, CA13 9SH

12th - 14th NOV 


Higham Hall (2) - Rescheduled date. 

A residential weekend with the harp. Tutors Ailie Robertson & Wendy Stewart. Go to www.highamhall.com for more details.

Open to all.  

Higham Hall, CA13 9SH




Beginners' Session - Live, Tutor Mary Dunsford. 

This is open to non-members and an opportunity for non harp players to come and have a go on these beautiful instruments.



Workshop - Kulning, Swedish Cattle Songs, Tutor with tutor Mary Dunsford.

 Following government guidelines we hope to be able to hold this workshop live.  



Workshop - Cumbrian Tunes for All Levels. 

Led by tutor Jean Altshuler. arr.10am for 10.30 - 12.30 



*Harps for Harmony* - A global collaboration. 

Live recording session of Pachelbel's Canon - all HNW members welcome. To get involved please contact Mandy on events@harpsnorthwest.org.uk 

Open to all members




Day Workshop - With Rachel Gladwin.  

A full day workshop with professional manchester based harpist Rachel Gladwin. More info to come. 

£40 for members, open to all. 


Past Events Diary 

SAT 19th JUNE  -  Composition Competition Winners  

 2021                                         Announced! 




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 events@harpsnorthwest.org.uk 


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

email: admin@highamhall.com 

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!