The project was founded on April 2014 over Italian coffee by Anna Sacchini, Karen Tweed, Vic King and Tony O’Nions.
Harp on Wight 2016 is being organized by the Festival Team : Anna Sacchini, Theresa Ellis, Diana Wood, Menna Morey, Tony O’Nions and Vic King.
Review of 2015 Festival….
The second annual Harp on Wight Festival concluded after six packed days of concerts, teaching courses, workshops. lectures and a popular showroom of harps made by leading national manufacturers. The first event of the festival on Tuesday evening was a sold out harp-themed dinner at Michelangelo’s Restaurant where Netherlands harpist Marije Visjelaar played for the diners and was warmly received. The opening concert was at Ryde School on Wednesday evening. After short welcoming speeches from the Mayor of Ryde Councillor Roi Milburn, and Simon Dabell, Chairman of Visit Isle of Wight, young harpists Clara Garde (France) and Zita Silva (Portugal) impressed with their virtuosity and technical prowess. Clara’s performance included playing the harp with a bow and striking it with a drumstick to produce unusual effects during ‘Feerie’ by Marcel Tournier. Clara and Zita were rewarded with a performance opportunity at the festival following their success in the 2015 CAMAC competition at the North London Festival. Just before the interval the prize for winning the competition run by the festival for young people under the age of 21 to compose a new piece of music for the harp inspired by the sea was presented to Christopher Pickett. In the second half Mike Parker presented ‘History of the Harp – Part One’ both describing and playing a range of historic harps in his usual entertaining and informative style. On Thursday evening Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita thrilled a sold out audience at Ryde Methodist Church with a captivating and enthralling performance of instrumental pieces and songs, enhanced by visual projections to highlight the theme of the inspiring music. Classical harpist Keziah Thomas presented a programme of British harp music on Friday night under the appropriate title of ‘Crossing Waves’ and won many admirers with her engaging and informative introductions to the pieces. ‘Rondeau Turc’ by Stiebelt was beautifully played. Two concerts took place on Saturday. Young Cardiff-based harpist Ben Creighton Griffiths created a real impression at All Saints Church in the afternoon with his selection of jazz music played on an electro-acoustic pedal harp with pieces by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Hoagy Carmichael included in the repertoire, interspersed with Ben’s own inventive compositions, incorporating harp and keyboard effects which took the harp into new territory. American Celtic harpist Kim Robertson’s Saturday evening concert at Ryde Methodist Church was fully of lively jigs and hornpipes, together with more contemplative pieces, some with song. A real highlight came at the end of her performance when she was joined on stage by the Festival Director Anna Sacchini on sitar for a spellbinding version of ‘She Moved Through The Fair/ Tender Shepherd’. The festival ended on Sunday evening with a concert by American harpist Christina Tourin, who is a world specialist in the field of harp therapy. Christina played some suitably calming pieces, some enhanced by visual projections. Kim Robertson joined her for a duo piece with the two harps chiming like bells. The second half included a large degree of audience involvement, with crowd members encouraged to accompany Christina on harps and hand bells. Vic King – one of the organizing team – said “We are delighted with the progress that the festival is making in what is only our second year. There were good numbers attending the teaching courses and all the concerts were well supported. For me, the highlight was the extremely high quality of all the concerts across a very diverse range of styles”. Festival Director Anna Sacchini concluded “It was a beautiful festival”.
Harp on Wight extend our grateful thanks to all our volunteers and supporters.