Wild Strings UKHA Jazz & Pop Harp Festival 2018

The Wild Strings UKHA Jazz & Pop Harp festival was held on October 5-7, 2018 at the RNCM in Manchester. The event was initiated by the UK Harp Association and organised by the Wild Strings festival team.

A true celebration of the harp in jazz, blues, pop and folk rock, the festival offered three days full of concerts, workshops, lectures, open mic, jam session and harp exhibit, as well as a jazz and pop composition competition.

Wild Strings was inspired by a donation made in name of Jean Price. A dedicated harpist, Jean worked extensively in West End shows and London orchestras, including the BBC Light Music Unit. Our thanks go to the donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

“The festival exceeded it's original aim to unite harpists who are not on the traditional classical path and the festival reflected and celebrated the diverse musical path that many of today's harpists travel. All musical paths are truly open and possible with the harp. The UKHA is proud to support this new direction of harping that many of today's harpists are exploring.”

  • Helen Sharp, UKHA Chair

"The first of its kind, a new exciting venture for the UKHA, and a most brilliant success!  A plethora of outstanding artistes combined the best of all jazz, pop, and other contemporary styles. Creative workshops, stunning artistic performances, composition and performance opportunities for all, and exhibitions of really cool new harps provided inspiration and a rightful platform for students and professionals alike. I enjoyed listening and learning from world class artists, hearing and seeing the buzz from excited youngsters, catching up with old friends, making new ones and simply having a blast!  A whirlwind of passion from start to end…..here’s to the next event!"

  • Sioned Williams, UKHA President

Quotes & thanks:

I just wanted to write to say how wonderful Wild Strings was, Pete and I thought that everything you guys have achieved is nothing short of brilliant!

You would never think it was the first festival. everything ran so well you had a great range of artists and courses. I know from organising our open day that it is a huge amount of work but when everything comes together like it did at the weekend, it makes all the stress and sleepless nights worth it.

We can’t wait for the next one and if there is anything that we can do to help make it happen we will do.

Thanks Again,


  • Pilgrim Harps

Thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!! Brilliant weekend last weekend.

When's the next one? ;-)

  • Lu, Participant

Congratulation to the very well thought through and varied festival.

A big thank you once more that I could be part of it as well as for the excellent organization.

It was truly inspiring and made me so happy to see that the jazz/pop/creative harp world is growing and flourishing.

  • Monika Stadler

Performers include (in order of appearance):

Park Stickney / Rachael and The Red Socks / Tara Minton, Eleanor Turner and Brenda Dor-Groot with DJ’s Ayrton Hood and Cristopher Michelangoli aka Tear of Joy

Monika Stadler / Ranagri

Amanda Whiting / Tara Minton Trio

Amy Turk / RNCM Young Harps / Dynamic Harps / Shelley Fairplay / composition prize winners Tamsin Dearnley, Steph West and Anna Tait Westwell / showcase performers Ruby Rose Lee, Tara Minton, Elinor Nicholson, Maddie Herbert & Simeon Evans, Alice Roberts, and Olivia Ter Berg

Appearing at the open mic: Inbar Vernia, Tsvetelina Likova, Olivia Ter Berg, Karen Marshalsay, Ethan Stokes, Steph West.

Workshop teachers (in alphabetical order):

Alina Bzhezhinska, Amanda Whiting, Amy Turk, Ben Turk, Brenda Dor-Groot, Cristopher Michelangoli, Eleanor Turner,  Monika Stadler, Park Stickney, Shelley Fairplay, Steph West, Tara Minton Trio, Zanna Evans

The Wild Strings UKHA Jazz & Pop Harp Composition Competition was held in collaboration with the Future Blend Project, and adjudicated by David Snell and Savourna Stevenson. Four winning compositions are featured in the Wild Strings UKHA Jazz & Pop Harp Collection, published by PoppyHarp, together with eleven pieces contributed by Wild Strings artists (those performing and teaching at the festival, competition adjudicators, etc.). Buy your copy here. Tamsin Dearnley brought the main prize home: a 22 string fully electric Spectrum harp generously donated by Pilgrim Harps.

Many thanks go to:

Our invaluable sponsors and partners: Camac Harps, the Jazz Harp Foundation, The Harp Studio, Harp Column, and individual donors.

Exhibitors Morley Harps, Telnyau Vining, Pilgrim Harps

Royal Northern College of Music, in particular Eira Lynn Jones, Karen Humpreys, Young Harps and the RNCM Harp Department

The Future Blend Project and PoppyHarp Publishing, run by Francesca Barsby

The main production team Brenda Dor-Groot, Steph West, Natasha Gale, along with Wild Stringers Zanna Evans, Rachael Gladwin, Tara Minton, Amanda Whiting, Shelley Fairplay, and Eleanor Turner.

Becca Ritchie-Timms and Theuns Van Dijk for on-site production.

UKHA committee members and colleagues Helen Sharp, Lauren Scott, Katherine Harrison and Alex Rider, Jane Lister and UKHA president Sioned Williams.

Copyright © UKHA 2020 Email: admin@ukharp.net

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software