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 Celebrating the 1500th anniversary of St. Colmcille’s birth in 521.

Inviting all harp players and singers of plainsong
(early Christian chant)
to participate in the 
virtual performance of
Janet Harbison's 
Colmcille Suite

Join us and feature in the online concert being uploaded to YouTube
at 6pm on 7th December 2021



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Hello Everyone!

I hope you have all survived the strangest of years and that we will all be harping happily together – and in public again soon!

It's been a busy time at Harbison Harp HQ, with the Colmcille 1500 Project off to a strong start - and it’s very exciting to see people signing up to participate from all over the world: Canada, USA, Tasmania, Australia, China, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland and of course the UK - just to name a few!

If you haven’t checked it out already, be sure to do so now as all options are still open. Read all details about how to get involved below!. 

For participants, I am planning some live video rehearsals that I will tell you more about in the next newsletter.  

If you wish to perform the Colmcille Suite yourselves with your own ensembles/orchestras and local choirs,  you are also most welcome.

This will be a FREE CONCERT but we will be asking for donations toward costs of the video production – and there will be a percentage of the donations going toward a charitable interest.

So, for now – enjoy your music-making with ‘The Colmcille Suite’ – and have a listen to the tracks! 

What a special year this is becoming – a real celebration of an exceptional holy man and historical figure in Irish, Scottish and Christian history.  

I look forward to welcoming you on board. 





The Colmcille Suite for soprano and community choir singing plainsong,  with harp solo and massed harps in 4 parts, hand-bell and chime, was first performed in 1997 with the Belfast Harp Orchestra, soprano Mairead Healy and choirs from all over Northern Ireland and western Scotland.  Then, we performed over 20 concerts  commemorating the 1400th anniversary of St.Colmcille’s death.

In 2021, we celebrate the 1500th anniversary of his birth
and we will perform ‘Colmcille’ once more – but this time, in a virtual concert that audiences can access online on and from 6 pm on 7th December 2021.


Get involved....

1. Purchase your score

The purchase of the score via our shop automatically registers you to participate in the production.

Choose which part is appropriate (between low intermediate, high intermediate, and advanced standard) – and you are welcome also to consider the solo part (advanced).

The harp scores come in 3 volumes:

Harps Part 1 for novices - low intermediates (easy, 2 years experience +) (Price: €20)

Harps Part 2 & 3 for high intermediates (3-5 years experience) (Price €25) and

Harps Part 4 and Solo for advanced players (6+ years’ experience) (Price €30)

The Vocal Score (Price €10) is available to all singers. Any soprano or tenor soloists interested in participating with the solos, please get in touch!

The Director’s Score – the full work for conductors and directors that would like to consider performing the work with their own choir and ensembles/orchestras independently.

All scores are available in our online shop and you may also wish to purchase the Colmcille – Columban Suite Album(from the 1997 production).

The complete work is also available to stream on Apple Music and Spotify.

2. After your purchase, get practising!

You will receive an email from Janet confirming your participation and giving you the links to the sound files and training videos.

3. Toward the end of June,

You will receive the conducting video with advice on setting up your camera, your background (the plainest possible please!) and the video recording quality. You will also receive a base track for the recording. We will be in contact with you to hear how you’re getting on, and to ask if you need assistance with any aspect of rehearsing.
Janet is happy to offer one-on-one assistance (at her usual lesson rate) between May and August to anyone seeking help with the production – and we can offer other tutors if you wish.

4. Record and submit your video by September 1st 2021! THIS DEADLINE HAS NOW BEEN EXTENDED TO 31st OCT 2021!

All participants are requested to submit their video performances which will be edited into the full production. 

5. Be sure to tell all your friends to tune in to watch

The entire production will be aired online on the evening of 7th December 2021 – at 6pm. 

Video Submission Guidelines 

  • All videos to be submitted as mp4 files on or before September 1st, 2021 

  • Please have the camera positioned about 3 – 5 feet (1m – 1.5m) from you and against the plainest possible background (off-white walls if possible) so to feature you singing or with your instrument. 

  • Also, please ensure sufficient light and camera quality a video quality of 720p minimum 1080p maximum and 30 fps (frames per second) 

  • We will send you a link to submit your video. 

  • Please name your file as 
    ColmcilleHarp _YourName.mp4 

Any questions, please contact Janet at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.