Sarah Deere-Jones LRAM LGSM

Harpist

 

Recitals/Orchestral/Weddings/Folk harp/Teaching/Medieval

For details on courses at the Cornwall harp centre go to

www.cornwallharpcentre.co.uk

Sarah studied harp and singing at the Royal Academy of Music and while in London played with the major Symphony orchestras, clubs and hotels in the UK, and appeared on prime time Television on several occasions as half of the 'London Harp Duo'. She later worked in the Middle East and on the cruise liner QE2 for many years where she gave lectures and recitals. She performed many times as a recitalist for various organisations and festivals, including South West Arts, and the Buxton, Cheltenham and Great Elms Music Festivals. She has also performed on the Celtic harp playing at Folk Festivals all over the UK, appearing on the Richard Digance show on Capital radio and radio two's 'Folk on 2'. She also performs on medieval wire strung harp with 'Lammas' the medieval music duo who toured New England with Hurdy Gurdy player Mike Eaton in the autumn of 1998.

RECITALS

Sarah studied harp with Renata Scheffel-Stein and singing with Jean Austin-Dobson at the Royal Academy of Music, London where she gained her LRAM and LGSM diplomas in harp performance, LRAM in singing teaching, and won the Julia Leney Prize. Whilst a student she performed the Mozart Flute and Harp concerto with the RAM Chamber orchestra with Robert Whin Flute, conducted by Lawrence Leonard in the Barbican lunchtime concert series.

Sarah has performed numerous recitals for a great many different organisations over the past 15 years, but her hallmark is to include several different types of harp in the concert and play a wide variety of music. This way the audience is shown the wonderful variety of the instrument, from medieval wire strung lap harp, through Folk harps and traditional music to the large concert harp with jazz and classical music. In between the pieces, Sarah enjoys telling the audience in a lighthearted and informal way, about the history and construction of the instruments, and telling tales about the adventures and trials and tribulations of a modern day concert harpist. The diverse pieces could include:

Medieval:Cantigas 12thC, Estampies 13thC, Ductia/Rondo 14thC, Amoroso 15thC

Traditional: Various traditional songs/various O'Carolan (Irish), Various jigs and reels (Scottish and Irish) Brawles and Bourrees from France and Brittany, 'Lagrimas'(Paraguyan) and Traditional English Folk Songs.

Jazz: Various trad Rags, Scott Joplin, arrangements of Glenn Miller, Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Acker Bilk.

Classical: Hasselmans La Source, Faure Impromptu, John Thomas 'Watching the wheat', Handel's harp concerto, Bach Partita, Pesceti Sonata, Tournier 'Vers la source dans le bois', Bach Sonata.

Recitals usually comprise two 35 minute halves.

Sarah has previously performed recitals for organisations including, South West Arts, National Association for Decorative and Fine Arts, ArtsReach, Buxton, Cheltenham and Great Elms music festivals, Private companies such as Siemans, Rothmans, Barclays and Glaxo, and Cunard Line during the QE2 World Cruises.

 

ORCHESTRAL

Sarah's orchestral experience includes seasons playing with opera and ballet orchestras such as Ballet Rambert, the Bolshoi ballet, and touring with the Royal Festival ballet and she also played with the English music theatre orchestra at the Aldeburgh Festival. Symphony orchestra experience includes the Bournemouth Symphony orchestra, the BBC Symphony orchestra during a season of the 'proms', the Ulster Orchestra and the Tenerife Symphony orchestra.

She has also worked with theatre orchestras during West End and touring shows such as 'Evita', 'The sound of Music', '42nd Street', and 'South Pacific'.

WEDDINGS

Sarah has been in great demand to play at wedding ceremonies all over London and the South of England where she has played in venues as diverse as stately homes and historic ships to private marquees. She is also asked occassionally to play during meals or drinks receptions, but the sound of the harp is particularly popular during the ceremony itself, particularly a civil ceremony.

Typically, Sarah will play as guests arrive before the ceremony and then play the bride's choice of entrance piece as she enters the room. Then she plays again during the signing of the register which sometimes lasts for about 10 minutes if photographs are taken, and then some faster brighter music will be played as the bride and groom depart.

For church ceremonies she can also play the chosen hymns if required although an organ is recommended if there is to be a large congregation.

Suggested pieces for a civil ceremony include :

Vivaldi - excerpts from 'The four seasons', Bach -'Air on a G string', Pachelbal -'Canon', Handel - Harp concerto, Massenet -Theme from 'Thias', Ravel - Pavanne, Bizet - Interlude from 'Carmen', Elgar - Salut d'amor.

Wedding marches such as 'Trumpet voluntary' by Jeremiah Clerk, and the Bridal marches by Mendlesohn and Wagner are all possible, plus various excerpts from hit musicals or popular songs, traditional Welsh, Irish, Scottish or European pieces. Please note that music with religious associations is not allowed during a civil ceremony.

Sarah has played in Hotels such as The Ritz, The Savoy, The Hyde Park, and Claridges in London, for Ramada Hotels in the Middle East, and on board the cruise liner QE2. In Southern England she regularly plays at The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, the Chewton Glen, the Royal Bath, Rhinefield House, Le Coq au Vin - Winchester, Highclere castle, Somerley, Summer Lodge, the Lygon Arms - Broadway, and Wilton House.

Please consult Sarah about any special requests, the music may have to be ordered and arranged and this can take some time, an extra fee may be incurred.

Bookings are taken after signing an MU approved contract, please contact Sarah for more details and fee quotations.

FOLK HARP

Traditional music has always been at the forefront of Sarah's career, in the 1980's she produced a recording of Irish harp music called 'Harpsong' and this was followed with many appearances at Folk Clubs and Festivals throughout England. Later she included English Concertina, wooden flute and whistles in her performances and produced another recording of Dorset traditional music called 'Scenes and Dreams' which was highly successful and was featured on London's Capital Radio, Radio Solent, Radio Trent, BBC Radio Devon, and BBC Radio's 'Folk on 2'.

Her recording 'Scenes and Dreams' lead to her being asked to write scores for two wildlife documentaries. In 2004 she released 'Timing Her' a selection of traditonal music plus her own unique song settings of some of the poems by Thomas Hardy, see page on this website.

TEACHING

Sarah has been teaching harp since the early 1980's in London, and given many lecture recitals at schools and colleges. She was invited to teach harp at Exeter school and Talbot Heath school in Dorset, and to take workshops at Glebe house at Probus in Cornwall, as well as having many private pupils who come from all over the South to her home. She has tutored children from age 6 upwards through to Associated Board grade 8 standard, she has never had a pupil fail an associated board exam, and her oldest pupil was a lady aged 76 years!

Sarah has always been open minded about teaching, recognising that different people have different ideas and objectives, therefore she has taught people to play the harp who dont read music, who only want to use it for accompanying singing, or who only want to play to themselves and improvise. Her harp courses include help in arranging music for harp, technique, and tips on nerves and confidence building for performing. Her love of all types of music provides a willingness to explore many possibilities and ideas.

Sarah had recently started organising music weekends here at Trehawsa, for people wishing to get started or learn more about unusual instruments including Celtic & Pedal harp, Hurdy Gurdy, English Bagpipes, Hammered Dulcimer, Concertinas, and these weekends have proved very popular.

See www.cornwallharpcentre.co.uk

 

MEDIEVAL

In recent years Sarah has formed with her husband Phil Williams the medieval music duo 'Lammas' and been busy researching into the music and history of the harp and bagpipe in England. This has lead to them acquiring many medieval instruments and she has enjoyed the challenge of learning new instruments such as the Gemshorn, the medieval recorder the English Bagpipe and the Hurdy-Gurdy. She has also had to learn to sing in difficult languages such as medieval French, Spanish and Old English, as well as research into and make the medieval costumes. They regularly perform for various organisations and historic sites across the country.

See Lammas page on this website

SINGING

Sarah studied singing as her second instrument at the Royal Academy of Music and as a student sang with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and the BBC Symphony Chorus. She soon started singing with the harp, an instrument with a great tradition of vocal accompaniment and she gained her LRAM in singing teaching in 1982. Since then she has been singing with the folk harp and medieval harp a wide variety of different songs from 12th century songs in Old English, through to traditional Irish and English unaccompanied songs, to her own more contemporary compositions.

RECORDINGS

Sarah has produced several recordings :

'Puttin on the Ritz' Light music and jazz for concert harp (cassette 6)

'Harpsong' Traditional Irish music for folk harp (cassette 6)

'Scenes and Dreams' Traditional folk songs of Dorset with Folk Harp flute and concertina

(cassette 6)

'Wood of Joy' cassette, 'Lammas' CD and 'Amoroso' CD (see lammas page)

For bookings or enquiries - Email

sarah@trehawsa.com

 

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