From the far-flung corners of Cumbria, these four harpists travel over mountain, beck and mere to perform together.
Having met through Harps North West, a local charity whose aim is to promote the playing, teaching and appreciation of the harp, they created Mere Harps.
The quartet explore a wide range of genres and styles, and show off how versatile these beautiful instruments can be.
Come and join them at Scalesceugh Hall on November 24 for what should be a truly special evening of beautiful seasonal classics and more. Details and tickets available here.
Meet the Mere-kats...
Mary studied Music at Lancaster University, and continued further to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.
Mary has a particular passion for bringing the unusual instrument that is the harp to a wider audience, and she has spent many happy years teaching harp to adults and children alike in the north-west of England. With the National Festival Orchestra, Mary has performed in all the top concert venues across the country, including London’s Royal Albert Hall, Sheffield Hallam FM Arena, and the Sage, Gateshead. Mary works as a Musician in Healthcare at Furness General Hospital, bringing music engagements to patients' bedsides.
She recently gained Arts Council funding to develop a specialism in working with music in End of Life Care. Find out more about Mary and her many projects here.
After studying music at Durham university, Susan fell in love with all things harp when she was thrust into the world of Harps North West by an enthusiastic school teacher.
Since then, she has performed in a whole host of places. from garden parties to castles and all stops in between.
The coldest stage so far has been on top of Hadrian’s Wall, where she was featured as part of BBC’s Wall of Sound.
She currently plays for weddings and events, and works in numerous performing projects including Harp & Soul gospel, and Medieval Jukebox (harp & hammered dulcimer) performing modern music with a medieval twist.
She also takes her harp into care homes around the north-west to play and sing with the residents. You can find out more about Susan here.
The multifaceted harpist/biologist/accountant Ann was first inspired to take up the harp aged 12, after seeing one played on Blue Peter.
On her move up from Cambridgeshire to Cumbria three years ago, she was amazed and delighted to find such an active harp group with almost 80 members.
She is currently helping to organise a festival which will take place in Ambleside in July 2019.
Carol and Ann work closely together, taking their music into local care homes, and she will also be performing with the Westmorland Orchestra in December. You can find out more about the festival here.
Carol was born in Yorkshire and taught music for a number of years in the south-east, both in primary and secondary schools and privately.
She was Chairman of Hook Choral Society before moving to Cornwall, where she started to play the harp, under the tuition of Ruth Wall.
Hobbies include tennis, quilting and embroidery and gardening.
She moved to north Lancashire three years ago and met and started to play with the delightful ladies of Harps North West.