Harpist of­fers work­shop, concert to Prince Ge­orge

The Prince George Citizen - - Local | Weather - Chris­tine HINZMANN Cit­i­zen staff chinz­[email protected]­i­t­i­zen.ca

Years ago, Cana­dian harpist and com­poser Shar­lene Wallace was firmly en­sconced in her clas­si­cally trained mu­si­cal­ity when she re­al­ized she needed a shakeup.

The burnt-out On­tario per­former searched – and found – the cre­ative av­enue she needed to start a more ad­ven­tur­ous mu­si­cal jour­ney.

She read about a folk harp re­treat in the moun­tains of Bri­tish Columbia al­most 30 years ago.

That’s when she vis­ited Wells and the artis­tic com­mu­nity she found there set her on a new path of cre­at­ing her own mu­sic.

On Satur­day, Wallace will be pre­sent­ing a Jour­ney of Shad­ows work­shop at the Prince Ge­orge Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic with a concert at Trin­ity United Church.

The events are hosted by the Prince Ge­orge Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic and Is­land Moun­tain Arts.

The work­shop is set for 1 to 4 p.m., with the concert tak­ing place at 7:30 p.m.

“I’m catering the work­shop to the harp com­mu­nity who is al­ready in Prince Ge­orge,” Wallace said.

“And it’s so awe­some there is a harp com­mu­nity in Prince Ge­orge.”

The work­shop is suitable for be­gin­ner and in­ter­me­di­ate lev­els.

“I’m go­ing to go in with a lit­tle bit of im­pro­vi­sa­tion, knowl­edge about tech­nique and one of the things about harp is called left­hand pat­terns so in the folk-harp world there’s this lovely tra­di­tion of im­pro­vis­ing and ar­rang­ing and com­pos­ing but I’m go­ing to be able to give them some ideas about ar­rang­ing which in­cludes these left-hand pat­terns. That way they’ll know what to do with their left hand if, say, they’re met with a fid­dle tune – or just a tune that they re­ally love – Celtic or clas­si­cal – what­ever it is.”

There is so lit­tle harp mu­sic out there, she said, and the work­shop of­fers the op­por­tu­nity for the play­ers to ac­tu­ally ar­range what­ever mu­sic they want. It will give the mu­si­cians a chance to explore their cre­ativ­ity.

“That’s kind of what learn­ing the folk harp gave me – this wide open world where what­ever mu­sic you want you can adapt it for your harp,” Wallace said. “So I’m go­ing to give them ideas about that and I’m go­ing to leave them with one of my pieces that they can learn if they wish.”

Wallace will pre­pare the piece so it’s suitable for two dif­fer­ent lev­els so both the begin­ners and in­ter­me­di­ates can use it, with em­pha­sis on left-hand pat­terns that are within the piece.

She will also show­case a bit of Latin mu­sic to of­fer a unique flavour to the work­shop.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the harp com­mu­nity – I know a few peo­ple in the Prince Ge­orge harp gag­gle but I’m look­ing for­ward to meet­ing the whole group.”

Wallace is the win­ner of two in­ter­na­tional harp com­pe­ti­tions, per­forms, records and teaches on both Celtic and clas­si­cal harps, tours with bass player Ge­orge Koller, the Christ­mas en­sem­ble Harp & Holly and the Soar­ing Harp Trio. Wallace has seven CDs that explore rhythm, spa­cious­ness, the Cana­dian land­scape, clas­si­cal, Celtic, South Amer­i­can and orig­i­nal mu­sic. Wallace teaches both Celtic and clas­si­cal harps pri­vately and at York, Guelph and Wil­fred Lau­rier Uni­ver­si­ties. Her own harp per­for­mance de­gree is from the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto where she stud­ied with the em­i­nent Judy Lo­man. Wallace is prin­ci­pal harpist with Kingston, Guelph and Oakville Sym­phonies.

Dur­ing the concert, she will show­case mostly her own com­po­si­tions, along with a few pieces from Al­fredo Rolando Or­tiz, a world-re­known harpist. There will also be a cou­ple of Celtic tunes, Wallace added.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to meet­ing more mem­bers of the Prince Ge­orge mu­sic com­mu­nity,” she said.

For de­tails and regis­tra­tion for the work­shop con­tact Shoshanna God­ber at 250-640-8615 or sd­god­[email protected]

Tick­ets for the concert are $20 at the door of Trin­ity United Church, 3555 Fifth Ave.


The PG Con­ser­va­tory and Is­land Moun­tain Arts present a concert and work­shop with harp school in­struc­tor Shar­lene Wallace.

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