Lauren O'Neill

What is your name / where are you from?
Lauren O’Neill, Glenullin, Co. Derry.

How did you start playing the harp?
I attended tin whistle and fiddle lessons at a local traditional music school, and always heard the sound of the harp being played through the corridors. Turns out that the Hampsey Harp School was situated within that same building, and when I was waiting on my parents at the end of every whistle lesson, I used to pick out the tunes that I was learning on the harp! That was a good indicator at a young age that I was keen to learn the harp, so I began lessons and was lucky enough to have great teachers who gave me a real love for the instrument and its music.

What does the harp mean to you?
The harp and its music is something very personal to me, it’s like a narrative to my life! For the most part however it is a hub of creativity and enjoyment and I think when you love making music, you find it difficult to pull yourself away from your instrument!

What do you like most about Lá na Cruite | Harp Day?
I love that we have a full day devoted to celebrating the harp across the world – why not! Harp Day is a celebration that includes, inspires and motivates harpers all across the world, no matter how young or old, and I think that the importance of it is seen in the excitement that we all feel in the lead up to the day. As well as that, given that we haven’t been able to play together during the pandemic, it’s amazing to be able to come together whether online or in person to celebrate the harp!