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Harpist

Fionnuala Kirby

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About Fionnuala

Celtic Harpist based in Devon with wide repertoire of traditional, classical, popular and religious tunes, and some Paraguayan harp music.
Harpist
Yelverton
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Fionnuala is a Celtic Harpist based in Yelverton, Devon. She plays a 36-string Yew Clarsach made by Tim Hampson of Bere Ferrers, Devon. She has been teaching herself the Celtic Harp since she was given one in 2005 for her 33rd birthday. She had a musical upbringing, studying piano (Grade 7 with distinction), and violin (Grade 5), and also sung solo in choirs and on stage. She also has a first class degree in languages, has travelled widely and spent several years gardening professionally while her children were small. After studying the harp for a year, she then spent four years travelling in Europe with her family, playing the harp in around 150 different towns and cities, including several private performances, weddings and funerals. Since returning to Devon in 2010, she has been building a good reputation for her playing and the variety of her repertoire. She plays all over Devon and Cornwall for weddings and a variety of functions. For the last eight years she has played every Friday night in the restaurant of Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor, and for the last three years every Sunday lunchtime at The White Thorn Inn in Shaugh Prior. Before lockdown, she could also be heard on special occasions in Fletcher’s restaurant in Plymouth. She is looking forward to returning to this work as soon as the hospitality venues can reopen. She teaches the Celtic Harp both privately and at Mount Kelly independent school in Tavistock. She has pupils of all ages and backgrounds, several of whom have passed ABRSM harp exams with distinction. Inspiration for her ever-expanding repertoire comes from many sources, such as her English and Irish roots and love of folk music, her classical and religious upbringing, and her love of rhythm and world music. She plays a wide range of traditional tunes, classical pieces, popular tunes and Paraguayan harp music. In 2012 by popular request she recorded her first cd called "Travelling Tunes", as a showcase of her repertoire at the time, which was very well received. In 2017 she recorded some video footage and a second cd called "Harp from the Heart", which has also been very much appreciated. She likes to sing to her own harp accompaniment, and plays regularly with other instrumentalists, especially with Daniel Crimp on flute. In 2019 she played at Tavistock Wharf with the band Mad Dog Mcrea supporting Seth Lakeman. Fionnuala has a friendly and down-to-earth approach, and her fees are very reasonable. If you book her for your wedding ceremony, she would normally invite you to a private audience at her home, if convenient, to choose the special music for your big day. Under the current restrictions she is happy to discuss this by phone or email, or if desired, by Zoom meeting so you can hear the harp.

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
Encore awards
4th Encoreversary
Saved the day!
Booked for 10 Encore gigs!
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
Nuvole Bianchi 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
Moving Cloud
Many more traditional tunes....
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
Perfect Ed Sheeran
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

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8 verified reviews
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From Encore customers:

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Linda H, 1 year ago

Excellent, Fionnuala's performance added another dimension to my mother's farewell service.

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Linda B, 1 year ago

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

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Alison R, 1 year ago

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

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Tom L, 1 year ago

Excellent

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From other customers:

Melvyn T, 7 years ago

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

Tim 3, 6 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