For mobile users, log in icon is in  the upper right hand corner, for others it is below.  This icon also allows you to edit your profile once you have logged in and  clicked the icon:  

Log in

Public News

  • 30 Jul 2018 11:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For full tour details check out the Arts On Tour NZ website: 

    Below you will find for each location a link with more information and ticketing (where I could find it online), the ones not listed will be added as I find the data.  I suspect many will be on to the date.

    "Helen loves to take her harp out of the orchestra and on the road where she can share the music and stories related to this magical musical instrument.

    On her latest AOTNZ tour she’ll be showcasing the Celtic music of Wales, Ireland and Scotland, along with some glorious Baroque music by J.S. Bach, and then on to Paris and La Belle Epoche with the music of Claude Debussy and Gabriel Faure.

    The first half of programme is a mini history of the pedal harp, with pieces chosen to show the development of the double action pedal harp, invented by Frenchman Sebastien Erard.

    The second half showcases the Blue Carbonfibre Celtic harp, with music from Brittany, Scotland and Ireland. As well, the Concert harp is plugged in for some jazz surprises – ‘Duke’, inspired by Duke Ellington, and Mozart’s ‘Alla Turca Jazz’.

    Helen is also looking forward to playing music written for her solo CD ‘Pluck’ by New Zealand film composer Mark Smythe, nominated for Best Classical CD in the 2013 Music awards, and made into a DVD film ‘Harps Make Fine Companions’, screened by Television New Zealand.

    Her programme includes a couple of surprises –a recently discovered harp composition by the father of NZ classical music, Douglas Lilburn, and ‘Blue Smoke’ by Ruru Karaitiana, the first piece of recorded New Zealand music.

    Helen plays the Concert Grand, made out of South Island red beech by her brother, well known harp maker Kim Webby, and the Blue carbon fibre Celtic harp, made by luthier Davy Stuart.

    Helen Webby

    Born in Whangarei, Helen’s passion for the harp began at the age of 12 when her older brother Kim built her an instrument. She studied Concert Harp in Auckland, Holland and Germany and in 1996 completed her master’s degree from the Hochschule for Music in Hamburg. Since 2000, Helen has been Principal Harp with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and also plays with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as well as other orchestras. She premiered New Zealand works at the 2006 American Harp Society Convention and also tours with Chamber Music New Zealand.


    • Monday 3 September 7pm Lincoln

    The Laboratory

    $20 over the bar or 03 325 3006

    • Tuesday 4 September 7.30pm Geraldine

    St Mary’s Church, Talbot St

    $20 Book: LOUK Clothing (No Eftpos)

    • Wednesday 5 September 2pm Bannockburn

    Coronation Hall

    $10 Tickets on the door

    • Thursday 6 September 7.30pm Wanaka

    Armstrong Room, Lake Wanaka Centre

    $25 Phone to book: 03 4439037/021 481 358

    • Friday 7 September 7.30pm Gore

    Eastern Southland Gallery

    Adult $25, Members $20, Students $10

    Book: Eastern Southland Gallery

    • Saturday 8 September 8pm Invercargill

    Masonic Lodge

    $25 Book: Ticket direct

    • Sunday 9 September 7.30pm (Doors 7pm) Dunedin

    New Edinburgh Folk Club, “50 Dundas” St

    GA $25, Concessions $20, DFC members $15

    • Wednesday 12 September 7.30pm Nelson

    Nelson Centre of Musical Arts

    $30 Book: NCMZ, i-Site, Richmond Mall


    • Thursday 13 September 7.30pm Wellington

    Hannah Playhouse

    Adult $35,Student (with ID) $30, Seniors $30, Groups of 6 or more $30

    Groups of 15 or more $25 (Service fees apply)


    • Friday 14 September 7.30pm New Plymouth

    4th Wall Theatre

    Adult $25, Student $10


    • Saturday 15 September 7.30pm Coromandel

    The Club Woollams Ave

    $25, Concessions $20

    Book: The Information Centre Coromandel

    • Wednesday 19 September 8pm Norsewood

    The Old Dairy Factory

    $20 on the door

    • Thursday 20 September Dinner 6.30pm for 7.30pm Waipawa

    CHB Municipal Theatre

    $25 plus Dinner add on $20


    • Saturday 22 September Dinner from 6pm for 8pm Mapua

    The Playhouse Theatre

    $20 Book: The Playhouse

    • Sunday 23 September 8pm Onekaka

    The Mussel Inn

    $15 on the door

    • Tuesday 25 September 8pm Barrytown

    Barrytown Hall

    $20 door sales(cash)

    • Wednesday 26 September 7.30pm Hokitika

    Old Lodge Theatre

    $20 Book: Hokitika’s Regent Theatre

    • Sunday 30 September 4pm Darfield

    Selwyn Gallery

    Adult $25, Student $15

    Book: Selwyn Gallery 03 3188 702


    Arts On Tour NZ (AOTNZ) organises tours of outstanding New Zealand performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand. The trust receives funding from Creative New Zealand as well as support from Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust of Southland, Interislander, Otago Community Trust, Rata Foundation and the Southern Trust. AOTNZ liaises with local arts councils, repertory theatres and community groups to bring the best of musical and theatrical talent to country districts. The AOTNZ programme is environmentally sustainable – artists travel to their audiences rather than the reverse."

  • 03 Jul 2018 4:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Adventures for the Lever Harp Book 1 

    5 intermediate to advance pieces by Lauren Scott

    With winter well underway, what a better time for an introduction of a new book of groovy music for the intermediate to advanced harpist. The five pieces contained in this work have a wide range of titles that evoke images and thoughts of springtime, dancing and holidays in tropical places. All five pieces are specifically written for lever harp, but are possible on pedal harp too with only a few easy pedal changes.

    The Publication

    The book or pdf download (available in both formats) includes 5 pieces at approximately grade 5 and up level, although the focus of these pieces is on creating and capturing the character of the music rather than on technical elements. The pieces vary in length from 2 to 7 pages, syncopation and percussion is a focus in most of the pieces. Lever markings are given at the beginning of each piece, with no lever changes during the piece, so one can focus on the rhythmic and percussive elements of the music. This is a definite advantage for lever harp players!

    Guidance is provided as to the rhythms and how to bring out the various elements of the piece; as well as some background on each piece to help inspire your own performance of the music.

    This publication is available on Lauren’s website with sample pages shown or from the publisher  Also available on soundcloud are recordings of each piece, and a couple are on youtube as well.  Many are linked on Lauren’s website:

    One of the reasons I particularly like this book is I think players and listeners alike will really engage with it, a sense of fun and adventure that will put smiles on performers and listeners alike. It’s always good for a gigging harpist to have a few pieces of this nature to pull out and recapture an audience’s attention.

    I have enjoyed these pieces for many reasons, but mostly for their very catchy tunes with lots of groove and their so very well placed extended techniques! Each piece is musically satisfying and fun to play. They are programmatic and will be very accessible to an audience of non-musicians and musicians alike.

    Review by Michelle Velvin and Becky Swan

  • 03 Jul 2018 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year we’d like NZHS members to send in your photo of you out busking. In the photo we’d like to be able to see where you are (outside a shop or in a market) and the date (most phones/cameras can do this), and we’ll put you in the draw for a gift voucher from The Harp Column ( to be announced in December. You can go busking as a soloist or part of a group! Please send your photos in advance of the journal deadlines – 20 June and 20 October 2018 and all photos will be published in subsequent journals.

  • 02 Jul 2018 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Prizes to be won!!!!!
    This is open to all NZ harpists - anywhere in the country - as long as you can video your performance (on a phone is fine) and send it in - then you are eligible. See the webpage for more details (and if you look on the projects tab under Harp Perf Comp 15,16,17 you will see the winners from the past years).

  • 29 May 2018 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    North Atlantic Soundscapes - with slideshow on big screen

    Angelika Nielsen violin, vocals;  Thomas Loefke Celtic harp, photography

    Angelika Nielsen - the Faroe Island's number one traditional fiddle player - and harpist Thomas Loefke combine in their soundscapes their own compositions - a hybrid of Celtic and Nordic music - with traditional music from the Faroes and Ireland. 

    With violin, harp and pictures the two musicians take their audiences on a breathtaking adventurous journey to the North Atlantic: Tory Island in the Northwest of Ireland, the Shetlands, Lofoten in the East, Iceland in the North and right in the middle: the Faroe Islands.

    The music is accompanied by a slide show with photographs Thomas took during his island travels. 

    The Norðan CD is available now on Tutl and Laika records.

    Videos, music and pictures are on the Norðan website:

    Youtube links: Brimgjáir  Djupini  Alvastakkur  Døgg og Sproti.

    The Tour:

    Thu14 JuneTe Pahu Te Pahu Sound Lounge 8pm, bookings:

    Fri15 JuneWhangarei Whangarei Folk Club, Kamo Soccer Club, 7.30pm, bookings: 09 436 3003

    Sat16 JuneAuckland House Concert, Kathy Mc Donald, Waimauku 7.30pm, bookings: 0276622364

    Sun17 JuneCoromandel The Club 2pm, bookings:

    Mon18 June New Plymouth 4thWall Theatre 7.30pm,bookings:, 0800 484 925

    Tue19 JuneWellington Old St Paul‘s Cathedral, lunchtime concert: 12.15pm

    Wed20 JuneOnekaka Mussel Inn 8pm,, tickets at door

    Thur21 JuneHavelock Captain‘s Daughter 7.30pm, bookings: 03 5742440

    Fri22 June.Nelson Fairfield House 8pm, bookings: 03 54 83640 

    Sat23 JuneSouthbridge Mistlewood Gallery House Concert 7.30pm,bookings:

    Sun24 JuneDunedin Dunedin Folk Club, 50Dundas 7.30pm, info:

    Mon25 JuneWanaka Cardrona Hall, Cardrona 8pm, bookings: 03 4438152

    Tue26 JuneHokitika Old Lodge Theatre 7.30pm, bookings: 03 7558101

    Wed27 JunePicton Le Cafe 7pm, TP

    Fri29 JunePalmerston-North Folk Music Club, Theosophical Society Hall 8pm, tickets at door

  • 25 Mar 2018 3:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In addition to the orchestral parts, NZ Opera are doing Bohème this year which has quite a bit of harp, and NZ Ballet are doing The Nutcracker which is big for the harpists,  these are both pit works so people probably won't be able to actually see the harpist.  I have not added these to the calendar, but did want to call attention to them for those members who may be interested.

  • 25 Feb 2018 5:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ~ relieve tension and find freedom at the harp ~

    As harpists and musicians, many of us have had experiences of tension, unnatural breathing, or pain in our playing, and long for more freedom, lightness, and fun while making music. Almost everyone struggles with problems such as these at some point along the way - fortunately there is help!

    The Alexander Technique offers simple but profound learnings in balance, easeful body use, and mindful breathing and movement. Thousands of musicians (and others) worldwide have found help in regaining the natural ease that is within us.

    The Harp Society of New Zealand is sponsoring a visit from Lucy Reeves to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in May 2018.

    Lucy Reeves is a professional harpist and a qualified Alexander Technique teacher residing in Brisbane, Australia. Her experience with both disciplines gives her a unique understanding of the stresses we harpists put on our bodies every day, and how we can find a path towards more fluency and relaxation in playing the harp.

    Lucy writes, "My Alexander Technique lessons at the Royal College of Music were transformative, a glimpse of another way of living life. They were a 30 minute haven each week where I could go and just Be, a space free of expectation and judgement where I decompressed and emerged with lightness of body and spirit. I would return to my instrument after an Alexander lesson and be able to easily play a tricky passage I'd been struggling with all week. That really got me hooked - - if I could learn and apply a technique to open up my body and become this free of self created tension and limitation all the time, how much better could my music making be? Over the years, living the Technique and later training as a teacher, the fun question to play with has now become, how much more enjoyable can life be?!?"

    If you haven't heard of the Alexander Technique, or you are wondering what it can do for you, below are comments from two New Zealand harpists who have worked with Lucy:

    "While in Brisbane last year, I took the opportunity to book an Alexander Technique (AT) session with Lucy Reeves. At the end of my hour long session, the sense of release and relief I felt was so strong that memories came flooding back about how I felt at the end of each AT appointment I attended some 30 years before. I was introduced to AT while at university and suffering significant back pain. My regular appointments provided relief from pain and meant I could maintain my daily routine. In the intervening years, I'd forgotten what this felt like. At the end of my time with Lucy, she gave me a sheet setting out the balanced resting state procedure (a 10-15 minute floor based exercise I now frequently do) which helps me to think about my posture and breathing and gradually release accumulated tension in my body. Depending on the time of the day I do this, I'm either ready for a peaceful night's sleep or invigorated for the day ahead!"

    "I only had one short session with Lucy which covered AT theory and some application of that to the harp. She was very interesting and helpful about sitting position at the harp. Her experience as a harpist meant that she really knew how the AT fit with my instrument and she gave very personalised advice to help me avoid strain at the harp."

    Below are excerpts from the wonderful book, The Alexander Technique for Musicians by Judith Kleinman and Peter Buckoke.

    Frederick Matthias Alexander, the creator of the Alexander Technique, came to a clear understanding of some basic truths about being human. He found a way to help us to choose how we react to whatever happens in our lives, consciously rather than automatically.

    A few questions Alexander Technique encourages us to ask are:

    • Do you have a habit of mental chatter, while you are practising?
    • Is your habit an obsession with the results rather than the way to achieve the results?
    • Is your habit to screen out your body's feedback?
    • Do you have a habit of thinking that getting things wrong is a failure, rather than a path of learning?

    When considering instrumental technique it is very useful to "body map" the the moving parts. To get a sound out of any musical instrument you need to move your body. We are designed to move at joints. What joints are involved in playing your instrument? When you have a clear and accurate perception of where your body is and how it is designed to move, your movements will be fluent and your coordination reliable ... Mapping how the forearm bones move when you play is very influential ... If you think you do not use your legs when you play your instrument, think again.

    Whether you are standing or sitting, your legs will contribute to your upper body support. Clear ideas of where your hip joints and sitting bones are ... will improve your chances of playing with your whole body as a coordinated unit.

    Particular instrumental issues [for harpists]:

    The legs are often rather tense with restricted movement ... The hand shapes are often held in tension when the fingers should be releasing. There is a tendency for... losing connection with the back's natural support.

    Selected quotes from music students:

    • I got used to my faulty habits and they soon became normal and "right" to me ... I now know in a profoundly organic, physical way as well as an intellectual way that I simply cannot trust my own sensory awareness and I do need... guidance
    • It took me almost an hour to rediscover the joints on my hands and it felt so enlightening...I can avoid exerting tension on them and prevent recurring injuries
    • Today, I became aware for the first time that when I play, I tilt my head quite far backwards. I have learnt now that this can only hinder my playing by causing the the muscles in my neck to contract

    Further information about Alexander Technique can be found at the following websites:

    Means Whereby - Lucy and John Reeves based in Brisbane, Australia

    Alexander Now - The Alexander Technique for Musicians - Judith Kleinman and Peter Buckoke 

    Alexander Technique NZ - AT Teachers in New Zealand

    Alexander Technique Workshops in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch

    Lucy will conduct workshops in New Zealand in May 2018. The workshop, lasting approximately 2.5 hours, will provide an introduction to Alexander Technique followed by principles of Alexander Technique at the harp. 

    Each workshop will run for approximately 2.5 hours and dates are:

    Auckland - Saturday, 19 May 2018
    Wellington - Tuesday, 22 May 2018
    Christchurch - Saturday, 26 May 2018
    ** Location and start times will be advised soon

    The price for the workshop is $95 for Harp Society members and $105 for non-members.

    Lucy will also be available for private lessons during her time in each city. 

    Half hour lesson - $45
    45 minute lesson - $67.5
    One hour lesson - $90

    Click on the link below to complete registration for the workshop nearest you and indicate your interest in booking a private lesson.

  • 25 Feb 2018 1:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I've just received word that Esther Swift was trapped in Golden Bay by the road closures following Cyclone Gita and has not yet made it back to the north island. Monday night at Whangateau hall has unfortunately been canceled.

  • 09 Feb 2018 5:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating for music in the parks, and the Te Anahera Performance has been canceled.

  • 05 Feb 2018 9:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Esther will perform at the Horowhenua Scottish Society Hall, cnr. Bartholomew Road and Middlesex Street, Levin. (The Hall's actual address is
    155 Bartholomew Road, Levin)

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software