What is your name / where are you from?
Hi, I’m Rachel Hair and I’m originally from Ullapool, a fishing village in the North of Scotland and I’m now based in the amazing city of Glasgow.
How did you start playing the harp?
In all honesty, the reason I first wanted to play harp was because one of my best friends played the harp… although it was nearly the bagpipes! When I was 10 years old I got the chance to go to Feis Rois, a Gaelic trad holiday school, where I got to pick an instrument to learn. One best friend was a piper and the other a harper, so I kept swapping what I wanted to choose. Looking back I’m (and my parents) are relieved I chose the harp! On the first night of the school, I remember being mesmerised by the harpers playing at the tutor’s concert, watching their fingers dance over the strings – I was hooked from that moment! The tutor (Corrina Hewat) must have said to my folks that I did well as they arranged for me to have weekly lessons. For the first year, my best friend shared her harp with me before I hired one from the wonderful Clarsach Society in Scotland.
What does the harp mean to you?
It’s my life, it’s really part of me. I wouldn’t be who I am without it. I love that I can use it to soothe my soul and the soul of others, whilst at the same opening up doors for me to travel, meet others and share my passion of both it and it’s music, whether that’s through performance or teaching.
What do you like most about Lá na Cruite | Harp Day?
It’s a day all about my most favourite in the world which is just fantastic! I love getting to hear harp players throughout the world play, it’s just a great way of bringing our community together.