Saint Brigid’s Day Celebrations: Women in Irish Harping and Song @ Temple Bar TradFest


Join us on St Brigid’s Day as we celebrate the rich history and culture of the Irish harp tradition.

Award-winning harpist Dr Helen Lawlor will perform with singer Dr Sandra Joyce. Along with wonderful performances, we’ll delve into the stories of the women who shaped the Irish harpist tradition.

Dr Helen Lawlor (née Lyons) is a musician and scholar, specializing in the Irish harp. She specializes in music research in Ireland with a focus on musical practice, education and the history of the harp. She is the author of Irish harping 1900–2010 (2012) and co-editor with Sandra Joyce of Harp studies: perspectives on the Irish harp (2016). His work is also published in The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, Ancestral Imprints, Sonus, American Harp Journal, JSMI and JMI. She is a member of the editorial board of JSMI and is secretary of Performance Research Ireland. Helen holds a BMused (DCT), MMwe (UCD) and a doctorate (UCD) for which she was the recipient of the Ad Astra Research Fellowship.

Helen has played and taught the traditional Irish harp at many international music festivals including the Festival Interceltique (Lorient), Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Blas and the Gaelic Roots festival in Boston.

Dr. Sandra Joyce is co-editor, with Dr. Helen Lawlor, of Harp Studies: Perspectives on the Irish Harp, a publication which focuses on various aspects of the Irish harp tradition. She created the TradSong research center in UL, which is a collection of scholars working in Irish traditional song and related fields.

A singer and bodhrán player, she has performed internationally, most recently at the Irish Cultural Center in Boston and at the Irish Embassy in Beijing. Her research focuses primarily on Irish harp and singing traditions.


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