Royal Harpist enchants locals
Schoolchildren to adults thrilled to the sound of the harp when Claire Jones, who recently played for the Royal Wedding reception, visited Somerset College in Taunton as part of a special community tour in the South West.
Nearly 400 people packed the College’s Conference Centre yesterday (May 19) as Claire, who is Harpist to Prince Charles, gave workshops and performances at the special event, which celebrated a new joint venture between the College and Superact, a community arts organisation now based at the College.
Claire, a graduate of the Royal College of Music, who caused a huge media stir when she played for the Royal Wedding recently, was appointed Royal Harpist after being selected by Prince Charles in 2007.
She is used to playing at prestigious venues for audiences from 80,000 people to private performances for the Queen, and her recent exposure has meant hundreds of media interviews and concerts around the world.
Playing a part in the Royal Wedding was “absolutely the most sensational thing I’ve ever done,” she said during her Somerset visit. “I’ve had 150 engagements during my time as Royal Harpist, and to play personally for the Royal family at the wedding, and have Prince William, Catherine and other members of the family come and speak to me, was sensational.”
Claire is passionate about the beauty and healing power of harp music, and was touring community and hospital venues in Bristol, before playing at Somerset College for the public, College students and schools including Parkfield Primary, Bishops Hull Primary, North Town Primary, Castle School and Courtfields. She also visited residents of Abbeyfield Residential Home in Taunton.
Claire was invited to visit the area by Live Music Now, an organisation that takes classical music into the community. The event was promoted by Superact, the community arts venture based at Somerset College.
Caption: Royal Harpist Claire Jones with Somerset College Principal Rachel Davies and Superact Director Nick Smith.