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Exploring the Taro Tant weekend with Kathryn Rees and Helen Sanderson

Kathryn Rees is the Head of Harp Studies at RWCMD and Helen Sanderson is Head of Guitar and the Artistic Director of the National Youth Guitar Ensemble. They tell us what to expect from the upcoming Taro Tant festival.

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Music, What's On, Guitar, Harp

Date published

Published on 16/08/2023

What can we expect from the guest artists?

'As well as being exceptional performers, our guests are all pushing the boundaries of their instruments and repertoire', Kathryn Rees explains.

'Parker Ramsay transcends our perceptions of the harp, breaking into new territory with his use of electronics, whilst Rhodri Davies works with free improvisation. His performance will feature both electric and acoustic harps.

A real highlight will be Grammy award winning guitarist, David Russell. Beloved the world over for his exquisite artistry, he will entrance us with music from the guitar’s native country, Spain, as well as his own Celtic roots.

We’ll be celebrating guitar ensemble playing throughout the weekend and it doesn’t get much better than the Mēla Guitar Quartet’s astonishing virtuosity and consummate musicianship.'

What else can we look forward to?

'The Carne Foyer will be filled with free performances across the weekend showcasing the talents of ensembles from across the country, such as Harps Wales - three young ensembles from West Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan and Gwent – and youth guitar ensembles including the National Youth Guitar Fellowship Ensemble', Helen Anderson explains.

'There will also be performances by RWCMD students, including the junior department, with an opportunity to hear the sound of guitars and harps in a combined recital featuring a newly commissioned suite.'

What opportunities are there for learners?

'The weekend is all about bringing learners of all ages and abilities into the college, with fantastic opportunities to work alongside our students and guest artists.

Kathryn will be leading a harp workshop with Parker Ramsay sharing the joy of ensemble playing; and guitar finger-aerobics will be on the breakfast menu with Helen and visiting tutor, Zoran Dukic on Sunday morning. If you can’t be there in person, you can still take part in the live-stream as a virtual warm-up session. This will be followed by a pop-up community guitar orchestra workshop with Helen and the Mēla Guitar Quartet with a very special appearance from David Russell as a guest soloist.

Our hope is that this weekend will be a unique festival that inspires and delights in ‘taro’r tan au’ - plucking strings.'

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