Harpist

Fionnuala Kirby

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About Fionnuala

Harpist
Plymouth
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Celtic Harpist based in Devon with wide repertoire of traditional, classical, popular and religious tunes, and some Paraguayan harp music.

I am a Celtic Harpist based near Plymouth. I play a 36-string Yew Clarsach made by Tim Hampson of Bere Ferrers, Devon. I have been teaching myself the Celtic Harp since I was given one in 2005 for my 33rd birthday. I had a musical upbringing, studying piano (Grade 7 will th distinction), and violin (Grade 5), and also sung solo in choirs and on stage. I also have a first class degree in languages, have travelled widely and spent several years gardening professionally while my children were small. After studying the harp for a year, I then spent four years travelling in Europe with my family, playing the harp in around 150 different towns and cities, including several private performances, weddings and funerals. Since returning to Devon in 2010, I have been building a good reputation for my playing and the variety of my repertoire. I play all over Devon and Cornwall for weddings and all sorts of functions. I can be heard every Friday night in the restaurant of Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor, and every Sunday lunchtime at The White Thorn Inn in Shaugh Prior. I also teach the Celtic Harp to pupils of all ages and backgrounds, several of whom have passed ABRSM harp exams with distinction. Inspiration for my ever-expanding repertoire comes from many sources, such as my English and Irish roots and love of folk music, my classical and religious upbringing, and my love of rhythm and world music. I play a wide range of traditional tunes, classical pieces, popular tunes and Paraguayan harp music. In 2012 by popular request I recorded my first cd called "Travelling Tunes", as a showcase of my repertoire at the time, which was very well received. In 2017 I recorded some video footage and a second cd called "Harp from the Heart", which has also been very much appreciated. I play regularly with other instrumentalists, especially in a flute and harp duo. I also like to sing to my own harp accompaniment. I have a friendly and down-to-earth approach, and my fees are very reasonable. If you book me for your wedding ceremony, I will invite you to a private audience at my home, if convenient, to choose the special music for your big day.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I require car parking close to venues
I own a PA system
Musicianship
Genres:
Folk, Christmas, Classical, Classical crossover, Traditional English folk, Traditional Irish folk, Traditional Scottish folk, Light music, Acoustic
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Instruments:
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Event types:
Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Concert, Recording session, Burns night
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Other skills:
Instrumental teaching
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Song list

CLASSICAL
The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Handel
The Wedding March, Wagner
Pachelbel's Canon
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, Bach
Gabriel’s Oboe / Nella Fantasia
Theme from “Ladies in Lavender “
Theme from “Forrest Gump”
I Giorni Ludovico Einaudi
WELSH
The Lambs Fold Vale
The Inspired Bard
y Dydd
IRISH
The Coolin
Taimse i'M Chodladh
Roisin Dubh
Danny Boy
The Sally Gardens
Carrickfergus
Believe me if all those Endearing Young Charms
The Castle of Dromore
The Spinning Wheel
Boulavogue
The Belfast Hornpipe
The Derry Hornpipe
Fisherman's Lilt
The Boys of Blue Hill
The Blackbird
The Wise Maid
A Sore Point
The Kid on the Mountain
Countess Cathleen (Riverdance)
The Rights of Man
Connemara Cradle Song
TURLOUGH O'CAROLAN
Planxty Eleanor Plunkett
Planxty Constantine Maguire
Planxty Fanny Power
Planxty Irwin
Carolan's Concerto
Sheebeg Sheemore
Blind Mary
Planxty Hewlett
SCOTTISH
St. Kilda's Wedding March
My love she's but a lassie yet
Ca' the yowes
My love is like a red, red rose
The Feet Washing
Glenlivet
Bonnie Banchory
Lamentation for James Moray of Abercairney
OTHER
Emily's Calling Savourna Stevenson
Greensleeves
Coming Home (New 'World Symphony)
Ashoken Farewell Jay Ungar
Turkey in the Straw
PARAGUAYAN
A Mis Dos Amores Digno Garcia’s
Caturi Abente Prudencio Gimenez
Cajita Musical Santiago Cortesi
Luna Llena Digno Garcia
Llegada
Fleur de Jasmin Nicolas Caballero
Cuando Caliente El Sol M. and C. Rigual
POPULAR
How long will I love you Ellie Goulding
I can’t help falling in love with you Elvis
Songbird Eva Cassidy
Wind beneath my wings
Theme from “Titanic”
I will always love you. Dolly Parton
Owl city. Fireflies
Everything I do Bryan Adams
More than words Extreme
Here comes the sun. George Harrison
Angels Robbie Williams
Marry You
Just the way you are Bruno Mars
1000 years Christina Perri
Grow old with me Tom Odell
Born Again Billy Preston
Better Together Jack Johnson
Love me like you do Ellie Goulding
Wind beneath my wings
Songbird
Titanic theme
Candy Paolo Nutini
Every breath you take
Fields of Gold Sting
Closest thing to crazy Katie Melua.
Let her go Passenger
Customer questions

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

Please just let me know as soon as possible and it should not be a problem as I rarely do more than one event in one day.

How much time do you need to set up?

I usually arrive at least 20 minutes before I am booked to start playing which is generally plenty of time to set up as I only need a chair and possibly a power supply.

Is the transport of your harp included in your quote?

Yes the transportation of my harp is included in the travel expenses in my quote.

Do you need any equipment provided to play outdoors?

I have a portable amplifier which I bring with me which should not require additional power for at least two hours of music. For playing outside therefore I usually only need a chair, please.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Of course! I always tailor what I play to any requirements you might have as best as possible regarding specific pieces or musical styles.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

Yes I am happy to learn up to a maximum of three new requests for an event depending on the lateness of the booking, and the suitability of the requests to be played on the Celtic Harp!

What do your clients love most about your performances?

Most people are quite blown away by the sound and the physicality of the harp being played when they encounter it! I am often bowled over with praise as the harp music inspires and touches deep emotions. I have a style which has developed very naturally as I am self-taught on the Celtic Harp.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

I recently performed at Tavistock Wharf with the band Mad Dog Mcrea supporting Seth Lakeman. I play every Friday night at Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor and every Sunday lunchtime at The White Thorn Inn, in Shaugh Prior, Devon. I have also performed twice in St. Eustacius’ Church in Tavistock in concerts by Vocal Harem and the Mount Kelly Choral Society.

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Much of my harping inspiration comes from Maire Ni Chathasaigh, Savourna Stevenson and Deborah Henson-Conant, amongst many others.

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

When I played at Tavistock Wharf in February 2019 with the band Mad Dog Mcrea. I also play regularly for formal Dinner events at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and also for similar events for the Royal Navy at H.M.S. Drake in Devonport.

Prices

Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£80
Up to 1 hour£200
Up to 2 hours£280
Up to 3 hours£350

Reviews

Booked 8 times through Encore!

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7 verified reviews
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From Encore customers:

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Linda B, 8 days ago

we thoroughly enjoyed having the harp and Fionnula was very good highly recommend.

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Alison R, 2 months ago

Really pleased. Had lots of positive comments from the guests. Fully recommend using Fionnuala.

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Tom L, 2 months ago

Excellent

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Louise H, 5 months ago

Beautiful music for our ceremony. Great communication and professional throughout the whole process.

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From other customers:

Melvyn T, 5 years ago

To hear the harp and your singing was an absolute delight and very much appreciated by the crowd present.

Tim 3, 4 years ago

Thankyou so much for playing at our event ..so many people have said how much they enjoyed your music.

Read all 9 reviews