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The Darien Arts Center has announced the addition of accomplished Scottish harpist Eilidh McRae to its popular music program, which offers private and group music lessons to all ages. McRae will be teaching a small group class, the Happy Harps Course, to grades 1-3 and 4-6 on Sunday mornings, starting in October. Find out more and sign up at darienarts.org.

Scottish harpist Eilidh McRae began playing the Celtic harp at the age of seven, and went on to win the gold medal at the Royal National Mòd two consecutive years. She graduated from Trinity College of Music, London and then attained a postgraduate diploma in performance from the prestigious Royal Academy of Music. Her busy freelance career included performances for royalty, on TV, and with artists such as Sir Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli. She also recorded for the award-winning Scottish band Travis. Eilidh held residencies at the Park Lane and Langham Hilton hotels, and also toured the UK with a flautist on the ‘Live Music Now’ Scheme (founded by Lord Yehudi Menuhin), taking performances to audiences that would not normally have access to live music.

In 2003 Eilidh was invited to be the resident harp teacher at the Tamnak Prathom Harp Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. She went on to be the principal harpist with Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as touring the region to perform with Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Eilidh moved to Singapore in 2009 and firmly established herself as a leading harp teacher, offering private lessons and founding harp programs at three international schools. She frequently performed with Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Lyric Opera and for luxury events and weddings. Prior to the pandemic, Eilidh trained as an Elementary teacher and went on to hold positions as an elementary music teacher at three leading international schools.

After 19 years in Asia, Eilidh moved to Darien last year. She is the 2023-24 artist in residence at the Suzuki School of Music in Westport, performing for their pillow concert series. Eilidh is enjoying sharing her music and teaching experience with the community, while also working as an early childhood music teacher at Landmark Preschool in Westport.

The Happy Harps Course at the Darien Arts Center is taking place on Sundays from October 6 through December 10th. The class for Grades 1-3 is from 10-10:45am and Grades 4-6 can attend from 11-11:45am. This introductory harp course offers the opportunity to explore this beautiful instrument in a fun and engaging small group class of 4-5 students. As well as learning about the instrument and basic technique, students will develop ensemble playing skills, improvisation through storytelling and explore the different elements of music. No instrument or prior experience is required. Fee for the class is $300. Register at darienarts.org . Email Music Director Juanita Bosee at juanita@darienarts.org or call (203) 655-8683 with questions.