Winter Harp

Last night a friend and I went to see the musical group Winter Harp in Victoria. We didn’t know what to expect, we only knew that the music would be “A Celtic Christmas Celebration”, and that the group played with medieval instruments. It sounded like it was going to be a special night of Christmas entertainment, so we decided to take a chance.

Winter Harp is fabulous! I could not take my eyes off the stage as two women played harps (a classic grand pedal harp and a Celtic harp), the percussionist played all sorts of drums, bells, chimes and even a jug, and other members played medieval instruments and the fiddle. It was mesmorizing for the eyes and melodious for the ears.

Lori Pappajohn (harp) heads up the group and is joined by Joaquin Ayala (medieval instruments such as the bass psaltery, the organistrum and the nyckelharpa) and Lauri Lyster (percussion). This year Winter Harp is also joined by guest vocalist Rachel Landrecht, and fiddler Oliver Shroer, in addition to narrator Alan Woodland.

The ad for the performance had indicated that this was to be a “hauntingly beautiful collection of music” and they were right on target. The medieval instruments brought forth sounds that are quite unusual in this day and age. They transported me to feeling like a lady in King Henry VIII’s court, in the days when musicians could not rely on recordings, on digital music, on amplifiers. I enjoyed Landrecht’s voice in particular – she was captivating.

This was a wonderful show and I highly recommend anyone to see and experience the music of Winter Harp if you have the chance.

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