Alys Howe is unique among Celtic harpists in North America. Alys was the first overseas harp student accepted to the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she studied Scottish harp and Gaelic song traditions for over a year. Devoting another year to study in Ireland, Alys received her Masters degree in Performance of Traditional Irish Music from the University of Limerick. ...
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Alys Howe is unique among Celtic harpists in North America. Alys was the first overseas harp student accepted to the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she studied Scottish harp and Gaelic song traditions for over a year. Devoting another year to study in Ireland, Alys received her Masters degree in Performance of Traditional Irish Music from the University of Limerick. Not content with studying where the harp has come from, Alys is also fascinated by where the harp is going today. Currently immersing herself in the musical dialects of Cape Breton, incorporating Jazz and Ragtime influences, Alys is dedicated to weaving three strands from the Celtic traditions into her own contemporary soundscape.
To date Alys has appeared in many different concert venues, on radio, television, and documentary programs performing as a soloist and in ensemble – both live and in the studio. Performances have taken her from The Mission Folk Festival to playing before the Prime Minister of Slovenia; she has appeared with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The National Youth Orchestra of Canada, The West Coast Symphony and Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra. As an accompanist she has worked with Pandora's Vox, Ariel Sung, Jubilate Choir, and The Vancouver Gaelic Choir. Crossing the border into the US, Alys has performed at Seattle's Dusty Strings on several occasions, most recently as a duo with harp partner Seumas Gagne. Alys Howe's debut recording, Phosphorescence (2005), combines innovative arrangements of traditional material with new compositions, and features songs in both Scots and Gaelic. Demonstrating her masterful understanding of the techniques developing among contemporary harp players, Alys has won awards of distinction including two Mod Gold-Medals, The Watkins Fellowship, and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. A dedicated teacher and tradition-bearer, Alys shares her love of the harp with students world-wide. Exploring her instrument with passionate energy and dexterity, the music of Alys Howe will open your ears to the diverse contemporary sounds of the harp.
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