UPDATE: EVENT CANCELLED WITH APOLOGIES
A GROUP of musicians who have played for royalty and world leaders will bring a Moray landmark to life when they play in a charity concert.
World renowned Harpa, an ensemble of harpists from across the USA will return to the Forres Tolbooth to raise funds for the Forres Heritage Trust who are custodians of the building.
The group last played at the historic site in 2015 to a sell-out audience in an ensemble of 14, but on May 11, six of the performers will return to stage another concert.
Spectators will be able to watch and listen in awe as the six women perform in the old courtroom of the venue.
Bob James, a trustee with the Forres Heritage Trust who is organising the event said he was delighted when the group said they play once again: “To have these world renowned performers, specialists in their field play for us once, was enough of a coup the first time, but to secure them again for a second performance has blown me away.
“Their music is sensational and this time they actually chose to return to our beautiful building. I spoke with their tour manager David Leitch and Harpa are here on a retreat and they said they wanted to play some extra venues and the Tolbooth was one that they asked about. This is a truly philanthropic gesture on their part to give us another concert.”
This time the performers will include Sue Richards, Therese Honey, Beth Kolle and Jennifer Narkevicius, Martha Hill and Donna Bennett.
Sue is an internationally known performer and has played twice for President Bill Clinton, President Bush and the Queen.
Therese Honey draws on her vast knowledge of early music history and brings alive for the audience the beautiful music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras.
Whilst Beth Kolle is a leading proponent of Nordic and Celtic music and Jennifer Narkevicius is the President of the American Clarsach Society.
Martha is of Scots-Irish descendent and is a member of the Scottish Harp Society of America whilst Donna owns her own private therapy practice, Coaching for the Voyage, in Maryland. Donna has competed for many years in the Scottish Harp Society of America harp competitions and was the 2016 recipient of the SHSA Travel Scholarship, which she completed by studying at the Cromarty Harp Village as well as pursuing private lessons throughout Scotland.
David Leitch, the group’s tour manager said: “I’ve now been associated with the Harpa group since their first visit to the UK in 2015. They are such beautiful people and performers that I consider working with them to be a true privilege.”
He added: “They loved the warmth of the reception, intimate atmosphere, and great acoustics of the Tollbooth venue, and are delighted to support the local Forres community. Given that during their 2017 tour they played such wonderful venues as Culzean Castle, The Robert Burns Museum, and Prince Charles’ Dumfries House, I too think it amazing that they themselves expressed a desire to play in The Tollbooth again where, I’m sure, they and the audience will all have a great and fun night.”