Seven teenage harp players from the ensemble Claasagh will join young musicians from across Ireland for the world’s only festival for harps and Irish pipes.
The Tionól is being held at Port Laois, south west of Dublin, and is hosted by Music Generation Laois, part of the wider Music Generation network funded by the Irish government and the band U2.
The Manx teens, aged 13 to 16, are being taken over for a weekend of workshops and performances by their teacher, inter-Celtic harpist Rachel Hair as well as Mera Royle, a former Claasagh member.
Rachel, one of the workshop leaders at the festival, told Island Life: ‘There’s going to be over 120 young folk all playing harp and Irish pipes and we’re super chuffed to be going and learning alongside some amazing young harpists and getting the chance to perform at one of the concerts that will be livestreamed.’
Supported by Culture Vannin, Rachel teaches the island’s best and most promising harp students each month at Culture Vannin in St John’s.
The group have performed at the annual Edinburgh International Harp Festival but this is the first off-island trip for all of the members taking part.
The seven youngsters heading to the Tionól are Sophie Lyness, Alyth Braithwaite, Maisie-Mae Kinrade, Resa Brown, Isla Mealin, Amy Lewthwaite and Sophia Shimmin.
Rachel said: ‘The trip will be a fantastic opportunity for them to not only play music with other harp players their own age but to have the chance to meet other players from different, but similar cultures - our Celtic claasagh cousins.’
The island musicians’ trip is supported with grants from the Isle of Man Arts Council and Culture Vannin.
The concert featuring Claasagh will be livestreamed on the Music Generation Laois Facebook page on Saturday (November 4) at 7pm.