Spring Harpas at Halsway

TBC Date for next year: 28th – 30th March 2025
Second tutor tbc

Hurry Up!

The information below is from 2024.

A full-on, fun packed workshop weekend for beginners as well as more experienced players of this unusual Swedish folk stringed instrument. Vicki Swan will be leading the weekend, supported by David Chadwick.

The weekend includes the opportunity for complete beginners to meet and play the instrument. There are spaces for people needing to borrow an instrument – book up quickly to get your space!

Plenty will also be on offer for the improver / intermediate level player. Workshops will cover all aspects of playing the nyckelharpa: posture, technique, bowing, Swedish tunes, British tunes, chord playing, ensemble playing (by ear), exercises and Nyckelrythmics!

We are able to stay over on Sunday night. This is subject to an extra fee and you get a buffet dinner, and breakfast. Let me and Halsway know!

Who’s it For?

This course is aimed at both total beginners, and those with some experience, up to about intermediate level.

The Team

Vicki Swan: studied at the Royal College of Music on the double bass. She also plays the various types of bagpipes, flute, recorder, piano and nyckelharpa.  On leaving music college Vicki started down the long path of folk music and was only seen on rare glimpses back in classical orchestras. You’ll find Vicki now inhabiting the troll ridden forests on the hunt for new and exciting tunes from the näcken. Vicki plays not only the standard 3-row modern chromatic, but also the 1408 sienaharpa, the 1526 moraharpa, the 1700s kontrabasharpa and the 1800s silverbasharpa. Over the pandemic Vicki has worked tirelessly on a Virtual Music Room to try to help isolated nyckelharpa players remain motivated and focussed on playing and learning. She also set up and actioned World Nyckelharpa Day. Chances are after all this time alone at home she won’t stop talking at the Halsway weekend! Seeing as this is Vicki’s website we don’t really need a link, but here is one to Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer:

David Chadwick: began his nyckelharpa journey a decade or so ago and has been a visitor to Halsway Manor several times. Taking his core repertoire from Sweden, he enjoys exploring the blurry boundary between baroque and traditional music, connections from Scandinavia to Scotland, spicy fiddle tunes from way up in Norrland and still has a major soft spot for Spelmansglädje!

David has performed widely in the UK, from the St. Magnus International Festival with låtmandola player Marit Fält and solo in Inverness Cathedral, to the Royal Opera House and chamber music with Echor Music. He plays on a traditional 3-row nyckelharpa built by Sören Åhker.

A full-time performer, David holds a position with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (violin!), having previously been a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed in festivals and concert halls around the world with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Music aside, he takes any opportunity for a horticultural geek-out and to improve his Swedish!

For World Nyckelharpa Day we filmed some Tunes and Chat. Watch the whole video below!