Scoil na gCláirseach - Festival of Early Irish Harp 2018 | Kilkenny Tourism

Scoil na gCláirseach - Festival of Early Irish Harp 2018


Scoil na gCláirseach Festival of Early Irish Harp 2018

We are now taking bookings for our sixteenth festival 


DATE  15–21 August 2018

VENUE  The medieval city of Kilkenny, Ireland, at Coláiste Pobail Osraí



VIEW THE FULL Scoil na gCláirseach 2018 Festival Programme 2018 Programme


BRING A FRIEND DISCOUNT of €25 on the week rate if you sign up with a friend who is new to the festival.

HHSI Associate Members receive a €30 discount on Player's fees paid in their year of membership.

Join now at



Allan Macdonald (Scottish piper and singer), Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin (singer), Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin (singer), Paul Dooley (harpist) & Karen Loomis (lecturer) and also familiar faces: Siobhán Armstrong, Scoil director, Simon Chadwick, Scoil assistant director, Ann HeymannSylvia Crawford & James Ruff


Our juicy, bursting-to-capacity programme includes the following 

  • Ceòl Mór: The Big Music of Harp and Pipes [S. Chadwick, A. Heymann & A. Macdonald]
  • The Dawn of Day: Songs of the Harpers [S. Armstrong, E. Ní Ríordáin & Mícheál Ó Catháin]
  • Highlands and Lowlands: Sounds of Scotland [A. Macdonald & J. Ruff]
  • A Hidden Ulster: The Music of Oriel [P. Ní Uallacháin, S. Crawford & Darren Mhag Aoidh]
  • Passing on the tradition: learning old Irish harp repertory, style, and technique (S. Chadwick)
  • Radiocarbon dating the Queen Mary harp (K. Loomis; virtual presentation live from Princeton, USA)
  • Exploring tuning strategies (P. Dooley)
  • A’ ghlas mheur [< the finger lock]: Adapting Piobaireachd to Cláirseach (A. Heymann)
  • Music, Ireland and the sixteenth century (S. Armstrong)
  • Emotion and Passion in Ceòl Mór: dealing with rhythm and tension in phrasing (A. Macdonald)
  • Lyons, O’Kane & O’Hampsey: The transmission of Eibhlín a Rún variation sets in the eighteenth century (S. Armstrong)


  • Intensive morning harp tuition 
  • Afternoon harp masterclasses

As ever, we also offer our unique, measured

  • HHSI Student and HHSI Connemara harps for you to rent and play
  • Delicious, hot, vegetarian lunches cooked for us each day by our cook, Pat Glavin
  • A field trip to museum collections in Dublin to see surviving harps

Players: Join us for the complete festival programme, from 8.45 a.m. to 6.45 p.m. each day.

Auditors: Join us for part – or all – of any day to listen in on Players' sessions, workshops, lectures, masterclasses and concerts.


Programme for Scoil na gCláirseach Festival of Early Irish Harp 2018, which takes place from August 15-20 in Kilkenny, Ireland, with a field trip to Dublin on August 21. A week of workshops, talks, concerts, tuition, with an optional visit to museums and private collections in Dublin to see Ireland's rich collection of historical harps.