2019 TUTORS
SUE RICHARDS

Sue Richards is an internationally known performer, teacher, composer and author. Sue has recorded dozens of CDs, and has entertained audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe. 

After first studying the concert harp in Ohio with Lucy Lewis and Jean Harriman, Sue turned to the Celtic harp and the Irish and Scottish traditional music of her heritage. Since then, Sue has performed numerous times for the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC, has twice played for President Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and President and Mrs. Bush. 

Sue has sat in with The Chieftains and has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. She has performed in Scotland at Celtic Connections in Glasgow and at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, and she recently toured Norway and Sweden with the Harpa ensemble. 

Sue can be heard on dozens of recordings, both solo, with Ceoltoiri, and with Grammy-nominated Ensemble Galilei, a group performing Celtic, Early, and Original music. As a member of EG, she has written music and performed in two multi-media shows, A Universe of Dreams and First Person: Stories from the Edge of the World, the latter sponsored by the National Geographic Society. 

In addition to multiple Wammie (Washington, DC area music awards) awards, Sue has won the American National Scottish Harp Championship four times, and is now a Scottish Harp Society of America (SHSA) Distinguished Judge. She has also served as president of SHSA, as well as of the Washington, DC, Folk Harp Society.




MÁIRE NÍ CHATHASAIGH


Máire Ní Chathasaigh (pronounced Moira Nee Ha-ha-sig) is "the doyenne of Irish harp players" (The Scotsman), “the great innovator of modern Irish harping, a player of outstanding technique and imagination” (The Rough Guide to Irish Music) and one of Ireland’s most important and influential traditional musicians. She was described by the late Derek Bell as “the most interesting and original player of the Irish harp today” and is the sole harper recipient to date of Irish music's most prestigious award, Gradam Ceoil TG4 - Irish Traditional Musician of the Year. 

She grew up in a well-known West Cork musical family who were active in the Cork Pipers' Club and was already proficient in a variety of other instruments by the time that she began to play the harp at the age of eleven. Using her knowledge of the idiom of the living oral Irish tradition, she developed a variety of new techniques, particularly in relation to ornamentation, with the aim of establishing an authentically traditional style of harping - “a single-handed reinvention of the harp”. This sharply diverged from the established norms of 20th century Irish harping up to that point - the instrument was associated in the public mind almost exclusively with song accompaniment and performance of the music of the old Irish harpers was confined to a select few. 

Máire's originality was quickly recognized and she made a number of TV and radio broadcasts as a teenager, going on to win the All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic Harp Competitions on several occasions. (Her three Senior All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil wins were in 1975, 1976 and 1977 - a record that is still unsurpassed.) 


Her live performances had been attracting attention internationally since 1978, when she first toured Germany as part of the hugely-influential and commercially-successful Irish Folk Festival tour. Her very first recording was made for the live compilation album released to commemorate that tour (and featured the first commercial recording of a reel played on the harp in a traditional style). 

In 1985 she recorded the first harp album ever to concentrate on traditional Irish dance music, The New-Strung Harp, described by The Irish Examiner as "an intensely passionate and intelligent record… a mile-stone in Irish harp music”. Her approach has had a profound influence on three generations of Irish harpers and in 2001 she was awarded Gradam Cheoil TG4 - Irish Traditional Musician of the Year -“for the excellence and pioneering force of her music, the remarkable growth she has brought to the music of the harp and the positive influence she has had on the young generation of harpers”- a recognition of her pioneering work. She remains the sole harpist recipient of this prestigious award.  

Máire and her two fiddle-playing and singing sisters Nollaig and Mairéad , who previously recorded the CD Sibling Revelry, performed and taught at the 2nd Harp Weekend at Bandon Walled Town Festival, held in their home town of Bandon, Co. Cork on August 30 – 31, 2018. Their concert on August 30th (to a capacity audience in St Peter's Church) included the première of their specially-composed Bandonbridge Suite- a musical representation of the history of the town - and their new CD will be released soon.


CHRIS NEWMAN

Besides recording with Maire Ni Chathasaigh, Chris is a respected
record-producer and arranger in the field of traditional and folk music and a composer.  Among others, his composition "Fretwork" (from his solo album of that name) has been used as the signature tune for BBC Radio Wales's weekly "Celtic Heartbeat" program for a number of years, and was used for an advertisement on Sky TV for four years.


Chris's activities as a guitar instructor...


Chris has been principal guitar tutor for Newcastle University’s Folk B.Mus course since its inception and many of his alumni form the new wave of British acoustic guitarists currently to be seen gracing festivals around Europe. In addition, Chris has been a visiting tutor at the University of Limerick, the University of Ulster and the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense, Denmark. He has been an instructor and performer at many acoustic, folk and guitar camps, including Folkworks (UK), Sore Fingers (UK), Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School, Gaelic Roots (Boston), Beppe Gambetta's guitar camp in Slovenia, Roberto della Vecchia's guitar camp in Vicenza (Italy), the Wrigley Sisters' Fiddle & Guitar Festival (Orkney), Tony McManus's Elora Guitar Festival (Canada) and has been a flatpick guitar instructor and performer at Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp, held annually in Maryville, TN, on eight occasions.


DON HILSBERG  


Don Hilsberg has been a professional harpist, performing in the Rocky Mountain region for over thirty-five years. He has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as an orchestral musician, 

performing with symphonic, ballet, opera and musical theater 

organizations. He has also appeared as a recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist with numerous organizations along the Front Range.


Mr. Hilsberg was Principal Harp for ten years with the Denver Chamber Orchestra until its demise in 1994, and recently retired after sixteen years as Principal Harp with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. Don currently holds the position of Principal Harp with the Colorado Chamber Orchestra and the Jefferson Symphony 

Orchestra. Don is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he was a student of Lucile Lawrence.

 

In Don’s very limited spare time, he enjoys gardening at high altitude while living on the Palmer Divide. When he’s not tending a garden, he stays more than busy with his three rambunctious pups: Wild Willy and Zeek (Welsh Terriers) and Beado (Beagle).



JAIMEE JOROFF


Jaimee is the 3rd generation harpist in her family and the first generation harper. Starting with pedal harp around age 10, she accompanied a friend to a Celtic harp lesson and that was the beginning of her involvement with the world of the lever harp. 


Trained by Aine Minogue in Irish harp and experiencing various Scottish harp teachers at the Edinburgh Harp Festival, Jaimee has combined harp with various aspects of her life: music of Henry David Thoreau, Jane Austen, therapeutic music, music for pet needs, duets with Bodhran, etc. But always it is the Celtic Music that calls to her.