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The Irish Harp Centre (2002-2016)

The Irish Harp Centre at Castleconnell, Co.Limerick was a residential harp college and music school directed by Dr Janet Harbison with husband Malcolm Gullis from September 2002 to June 2016.

While originally envisaged as purely a harp training centre, to ensure the integration of the harp in wider traditional music practise, the Centre expanded operations in 2004 to include a traditional music school employing leading local musicians to teach all traditional instruments.  Traditional sessions were hosted weekly and for a short time, the Centre hosted its own Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann branch entitled 'Craobh na Cruite' (the 'harp branch').  With Malcolm Gullis' classical music background, some classical music classes were also hosted.  By 2007, the Irish Harp Centre and Music School served over 700 students and employed 22 part-time teachers.  There were over 100 harp students taught by 6 of Harbison's graduate teachers.   It was also the venue for many festive occasions,  concerts, courses, conferences, summer-schools, visitor group experiences, parties and sessions.  Also, it had a harp shop, library, studio, hire service, publishing (Irish Harp Centre Publications) and was the home-base for the Irish, National and Irish Youth Harp Orchestras.

Super events at the Irish Harp Centre included a 'RTE Nationwide' TV broadcast (2002), the hosting of the Brian Boru Millennium Festival (2014) with events at St.Mary's Cathedral, Limerick and at the Harp Centre (including a 2-day conference); the visit of Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism Jimmy Deenihan (2011), and the visit of President Michael D.Higgins and performance of a new work in his honour by the Irish Harp Orchestra and student collective at the Centre (2015).

In 2016, Janet returned to academe in Northern Ireland on becoming Visiting Professor (Irish Music) at Ulster University (Magee College, Derry) leaving behind a new generation of harp performers, teachers and professionals, over 100 students with A grades in state examinations (Junior and Leaving Certificate), and over 20 All-Ireland Championship title holders.