Harp Masterclass with Claire Jones

06 Feb 2012

Young musicians at the Royal Hospital School were treated to a Masterclass with internationally-renown harpist Claire Jones on Saturday 21 January.

Sally Watson (Grade 5), Harriet Pope (Grade 8), Joe Barraclough (Grade 1) and Katherine Brown (Grade 3) were selected to take part in the Masterclass. They each chose a piece of music which they performed in front of Claire and staff and pupils in the Music Department. Claire gave useful tips on performance dynamics, practice techniques, posture and even how to announce their piece confidently to an audience.

Claire is the former Harpist to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, and has performed regularly for the Royal Family and distinguished guests at the Royal Palaces. She has performed solo concertos with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and the Royal Academy of Music Soloists, National Youth Strings Academy, the Welsh Sinfonia and throughout the UK at all major music festivals and concert venues.

In 2010, she released 3 albums, including a concerto album with the English Chamber Orchestra and the ‘Highgrove Suite’ recorded at HRH’s residence and she has also appeared on TV and radio. Engagements in 2011 included a personal invitation to perform at the Royal Wedding at Buckingham Palace for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This made her a household name and raised the profile of the harp internationally following broadcast interviews on over 700 media channels worldwide.

Peter Crompton, Director of Music at the Royal Hospital School, said “performing to your peers and welcoming constructive criticism is hard enough for any musician but for these young people to do so in front of such a talented world-famous musician, it can’t get more daunting. They did tremendously well and I am sure that Claire’s tips on how to give a ‘show-stopping’ performance will stand them in good stead in the future.”

Claire followed her Masterclass with a public performance at 7.30pm in the Burns Recital Hall at the Royal Hospital School.

Masterclass Participants
Joe Barraclough,12 years,Grade 1
Katherine Brown,15 years,Grade 3
Sally Watson,12 years,Grade 5
Harriet Pope,17 years,Grade 8