Harp & Holly weaves a tapestry of yuletide magic with their poetic blending of Celtic, New Age and Baroque sounds. Sharlene Wallace (Celtic harp), Sandra Swannell (violin, viola and vocal), Terry Young (acoustic guitar and vocal) and our new Holly, Rob Ritchie (keyboard and vocal) bring their annual concert celebration of Christmas to the Southern Ontario region. Audiences are drawn into an enchanted world of Christmas reverie by the group’s stirring arrangements of ancient carols, jubilant seasonal favourites and poignant storytelling.
Toronto based harpist Sharlene Wallace is one of Canada’s most prolific and influential Celtic/lever harpists. Playing both Classical/pedal and lever/Celtic harps has led Sharlene to many diverse musical influences and opportunities. Winner of two international competitions, the Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Lever Harp Competition (Tucson, Arizona) and the Concours d’Improvisation de Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique (Dinan, France), Sharlene has created 7 independent CDs, and tours internationally giving concerts, workshops, masterclasses and adjudications. Sharlene is on the music faculties of Wilfred Laurier University, University of Guelph and York University teaching both Classical and lever harps. Her own performance degree is from the University of Toronto where she studied with the eminent Judy Loman, O.C.. Sharlene is Principal Harpist with the Guelph, Kingston, and Oakville Symphonies.
Terry Young‘s fingerstyle guitar wizardry has astounded audiences across Canada, USA and Great Britain. BBC critic James Harrox calls his playing “virtuosic”, while FATEA magazine describes it as “jaw dropping”. Terry tours extensively with the contemporary ragtime band “My Sweet Patootie” and is a Canadian Folk Music Award winner. He teaches advanced fingerstyle guitar clinics and has written about his techniques for Chicago’s Plank Road Folk Music Society Magazine. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist who toured for more than a decade with the swashbuckling roots group “Tanglefoot”, performing on guitar, mandolin, banjo and whistle. He is a classically trained tenor who holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario.
Sandra Swannell is a violinist, violist and singer-songwriter from Woodford Ontario. Before joining the award winning Canadian roots group “Tanglefoot” in 2005, she was the principal violist of the Georgian Bay Symphony and fiddler with the Celtic art-rock band “The Shards”. Sandra has taught violin/ viola clinics for festivals, schools and community orchestras as well as in her own private studio. Since 2009 most of her year is spent touring with “My Sweet Patootie”, performing in a vintage ragtime/swing style. She has a diverse musical life that ranges from writing a series of musical sketches for string orchestra to recording with Canada’s legendary Stompin’ Tom Connors.
A storyteller fluent in many genres, Rob Ritchie has been a contributing songwriter for folk/roots bands Tanglefoot and RPR (rprmusic.com). He also released a solo CD Five O’Clock Shadow (2004), and has had two literary novels published (Orphans of Winter, 2006; In a Company of Fiddlers, 2011). In addition, Rob works regularly as a commissioned composer for the Wiarton Concert Choir (wiartonconcertchoirs.com).
For Harp & Holly album and concert details please visit www.harpandholly.com
2020 Christmas Concert Tour CANCELLED
Like everyone else this year, we are snugged up at home keeping each other safe. To feel a bit more connected and share a bit of Christmas cheer we put together this fun little video parody of “Carol of the Bells”.
We wish you all the very best and hope we can be together next year.
2019 Harp & Holly Christmas Concert Tour – Ontario:
Harp & Holly Quintet
November 28th – Port Credit (1-2pm) (Harp & Holly Trio)
November 29th – Toronto (7pm)
December 6th – Clinton (8pm)
December 19th – Colpoy’s Bay (7:30pm)
December 21st – Sauble Beach (2pm)
December 21st – Owen Sound (8pm)
2018 HARP & HOLLY Christmas Concert Tour – Ontario:
Harp & Holly Quartet
December 13, 7:30 – Wiarton
December 16, 7:30 – Wasaga Beach
December 22, 2:00 – Sauble Beach
December 22, 8:00 – Owen Sound
2017 HARP & HOLLY Christmas Concert Tour – Ontario:
Harp & Holly Trio
December 2, 3pm – Sauble Beach
December 7, 7:30 – Guelph
December 14, 7:30 – Colpoy’s Bay
December 17, 7:30 – Wasaga Beach
December 22, 7:30 – Owen Sound
2016 HARP & HOLLY Christmas Concert Tour – Ontario:
Harp & Holly Trio
December 9 – Owen Sound
December 10 – Sauble Beach
December 12 – Guelph
December 14 – Cambridge
December 18 – Oakville
Enjoy Harp & Holly’s CD Here is Joy HERE
This chickadee is a woodblock engraving by the wonderful Canadian artist Wesley Bates.
Wes created this piece for our brand new album “Here is Joy”. Our new collection of ancient carols tells the Christmas story through the eyes of the animals and nature that surround it. The chickadee, a native of Ontario, symbolizes truth, knowledge and the courage to grow. Its sweet distinctive song actually lowers its body temperature in winter’s coldest weather, a reminder that we all have infinite potential to adjust and adapt no matter the conditions.
We are so grateful to Wes for capturing the spirit of this album in this image.
Check out Wesley’s impressive work at wesleybates.com.