“One of the UK’s finest contemporary Celtic harpists and tunesmiths” Songlines
Rachel, from the Highland village of Ullapool, is a prominent performer in the Scottish Traditional Music scene. A much sought after performer, composer and tutor of the lever harp, she has released 4 critically acclaimed albums and toured extensively throughout Europe, the USA and beyond, both as a soloist and with the “Rachel Hair Trio”.
Now based in Glasgow, a Scottish city renowned for its melting pot of musical and cultural style, Rachel is passionate about promoting the harp, Scotland’s most ancient instrument. She strives to open up fresh horizons for it, removing it from its stereotypical, stuffy ballroom image, whilst always remaining true to her Highland roots.
One of Scottish folk music’s most recognised, much-loved bands, The Rachel Hair Trio are renowned for their strong melodies, rootsy songs and majestic instrumental flair. Harnessing their repertoire from traditional, contemporary and international sources, the Trio present live performances that ooze charm and skill, with entertaining prowess.
This year sees the trio take Scotland’s oldest instrument to quirky new corners with the release of their second album, Trì. From haunting Gaelic ballads and sassy Strathspeys, to Manx jigs and jazzy marches, Trì is a declaration of intent from one of the countries most lauded and well-respected touring outfits.
As well as their general public performances, the Rachel Hair Trio are specialists in providing specially crafted performances for schools and education institutes. They tour annually in Norway and Denmark for the Government run organisations Rikskonsertene and Levende Musik i Skolen, and to this day have performed to over 7,000 school students throughout Scandinavia.
Rachel is a much sought after celtic harp teacher worldwide, and has taught Scottish harp at numerous celtic harp festivals throughout the world. She has published 3 books of harp arrangements and compositions, and her music has featured on the syllabuses of both the RCS Scottish Harp exams and national clarsach competitions.
Through her work as visiting harp for the Isle of Man, the smallest of the Celtic nations, Rachel has emerged as the world’s premiere specialist in Manx Harp music. Having founded the harp ensemble Claasagh on the island, she is at the forefront of a revival of Manx harp and this has led to invitations to teach and perform Manx music worldwide.
Some of the harp festivals that Rachel has performed / taught at include:
The Edinburgh International Harp Festival – Scotland
Somerset Folk Harp Festival – USA
Arfavita – Russia
Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique – France
Harfentreffen – Germany
Festival Internacional Arpa Sentmenat – Spain
Celtic Days – Switzerland