New CEO for Cruit Éireann | Harp Ireland
Dea-scéal ó Chruit Éireann | Harp Ireland ar Lá Fhéile Bríde…
Lauren O’Neill appointed as new CEO of Harp Ireland
Lauren O’Neill is a sought-after traditional harper, teacher and researcher from Glenullin, Co. Derry who performs both nationally and internationally as an Irish traditional musician. Having completed her undergraduate degree in Irish Language and Literature with Music followed by a Masters in Music, Lauren’s keen interest in historical and contemporary Irish harp practices is reflected in her recently completed practice-led PhD research into the Gaelic bardic poetry and harping traditions of Ireland. Throughout her doctoral research she presented her work at various events such as the Joint SMI/ICTM Postgraduate Conference, Aduaidh: Comhdháil Cois Laoi ar Dhúchas Uladh 2018 and as a part of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Fringe events with the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Lauren was the 2018 recipient of the Degenhardt scholarship which enabled her to travel to Scotland to explore historical harp music manuscripts and present her work at the Association of Celtic Students Annual Conference 2019.
Throughout her sixteen years’ experience as a harper, she has performed for dignitaries such as President Michael D. Higgins, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and the European Parliament. Along with TV and radio appearances in both Irish and English on programmes such as Seth Lakeman’s 2020 Folk Map of the British Isles, the TG4/BBC Alba series Sruth (2021) and ILBF/TG4/BBC Gaeilge Beart Bunting, Lauren has been invited as a performer and teacher to festivals throughout Ireland, Europe and North America, such as: IMBOLC, Music Generation’s annual Harps and Pipes Tionól, Harps Alive and Celtic Colours.
Lauren has toured Europe as a member of the Irish harp orchestra and in 2019 performed Seán Doherty’s commissioned works with Benyounes String Quartet, as well as Michael Rooney’s Famine Suite. As recipient of the Master Apprentice Scheme in 2016, her interest in exploring the parameters of traditional harp performance have taken primary inspiration from Scottish harper Catriona McKay. Lauren is a director of both the Derry and Inishowen Harp Ensembles and is a member of the Cruit Éireann/Harp Ireland Advisory Group which promotes traditional Irish harp music internationally.