6 November 2017

Conservatory Traditional Music Ensemble

Yesterday, I met the Traditional Music Ensemble at the Conservatory to teach a couple of tunes to the group. This expanding and dedicated ensemble, led by Jennifer Publicover, was a delight to work with and they perform in a variety of venues throughout the year. You can find some information about them here: maritimeconservatory.com/music/classes-ensembles-music/ They are currently working on a music video which will be released soon!

the ensemble in performance last year

4 November 2017

Best of Local Fundraiser

Last night was Autism Nova Scotia's big annual fundraiser: the Best of Local 2017. I was pleased to play for the dinner portion of the evening, following an amazing performance by the Maritime Bhangra Group. You can learn more about ANS and their events and services here: autismnovascotia.ca/

26 October 2017

Tabla concert with Shawn Mativetsky

Shawn Mativetsky performed an incredible tabla solo last night at the Music Room, and I was very fortunate to accompany him. Shawn recently released a solo album entitled Rivers which you can listen to and order here: shawnmativetsky.com/rivers. Looking forward to performing with him again in March!

photo and video thanks to Caroline Tabah

21 October 2017

Alys Howe Workshop

I had a great time attending Alys Howe's excellent workshop today at Re-jigged Festival!

workshop participants with Alys, left

16 October 2017

Back at the Henry House

Erin, Colin, and I are back with tunes at the Henry House! Come on by for a cozy pint.

Sunday afternoons, 2:30-4:30pm
1222 Barrington St, Halifax

15 October 2017

West Dublin Hall with Mark Currie

Mark and I had fantastic time last night playing a show at the West Dublin Hall! Mark played bodhran, bones, foot percussion, and didgeridoo and we chose a variety of our favourite tunes to share with the very enthusiastic and kind audience. Charlie and Jude (of Pennybrook: www.pennybrook.ca) joined us at the end for a few sets. Many thanks to them and to the community of West Dublin for the invitation and warm welcome. 

2 October 2017

New Hermitage Website Launch and Lucky Penny show

It's an exciting time for New Hermitage, with a few new things on the go! The band has a shiny fresh website! https://www.newhermitage.com/

Last night we played a fun and cozy show at Lucky Penny cafe. Thanks to Barb for hosting us there, and to Taylor Ackerman for opening.

Here is one of our newly released videos:

27 September 2017

New Hermitage - one

New Hermitage has released some tracks this week - some from our greenhouse concert in Wolfville, and some of Andrew's solo work from the White Rabbit artist residency. This music will be available on cassette at our Oct 1 show, but can also be found on bandcamp!

18 September 2017

Ragged Robin at Halifax Celtic Festival

This past Saturday, Erin and I played at the 5th annual Halifax Celtic Festival, at the Halifax Forum. This event brings together musicians, dancers, language groups, vendors, and community members from a variety of Celtic nations!

13 September 2017

Burnwater: Alchemy at Alderney Landing

Tonight is the opening night of Burnwater: Alchemy, Dartmouth edition! After three years of working on this show in Shelburne, Mocean Dance and Hear Here Productions are presenting the piece at Alderney Landing. I was fortunate to be involved in this piece as a set and lighting designer. Seats are limited at 30 tickets per show, and performances will run from September 13th-17th.

Step inside Burnwater:Alchemy, a performance installation at the crossroads of place, memory and the natural world. Weaving together percussion, dance, poetry and the extraordinary iron sound-sculptures of Nova Scotia blacksmith John Little, the audience is immersed in a delightfully imaginative world, suspended in time and place."


12 September 2017

Music Nova Scotia Award Nomination!

Ragged Robin received some exciting and surprising news today - "Deep in the Tangled Wood" has been nominated for "Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year"! Click here to see all of the Music Nova Scotia Awards nominees for 2017.

2 September 2017

Dusty Keleher at HUFF

My second night at Halifax Urban Folk Festival was with Dusty Keleher at the Wooden Monkey. We opened for Kris and Dee, a fantastic duo from Kingston, Ontario. Dusty and I played some songs from his new record, which will be officially released soon!

31 August 2017

Heavy Blinkers at HUFF

Last night, the Heavy Blinkers were part of a beautiful show as part of the Halifax Urban Folk Festival. Along with Tyler Hache, the Blinkers opened for the incredible Leif Vollebekk at the Company House. Read a review of the show here. The festival continues until Sunday!

5 August 2017

Albert Herring with Halifax Summer Opera Festival

Tonight is the opening night of Albert Herring! Under the direction of conductor Nicholas Gilmore, Danbee Ko (piano), Trevor Brandenburg (percussion), and myself will be joining singers from across the country for this comic opera by Benjamin Britten. There are four performances with two different casts: August 5, 8, 11, and 13. More information about the production can be found here: halifaxsummeroperafestival.com

photos by Tobbi Dyer

3 August 2017

Boxwood Festival 2017

I spent a wonderful 4 days in Lunenburg last week, attending workshops with the brilliant Irish harp player Michael Rooney as part of Boxwood Festival. I am very grateful to the Conservatory for the professional development fellowship supporting these studies!

2 August 2017

Best of Halifax nomination

Such a nice surprise to see that New Hermitage got nominated for "Best Experimental Band" in the 2017 Best of Halifax awards by The Coast! Voting happens here: http://thecoast.secondstreetapp.com/l/Best-of-Halifax-2017


30 July 2017

Ragged Robin at the Celtic Tea Room

Erin and I spent another delightful evening at the Celtic Tea Room in St. Ann's Bay, Cape Breton! The audience was so warm and engaging, and it was great to have the chance to play a couple of sets with Paul Cranford at the end of the night. Delicious treats and beverages were served, and we were made most welcome by everyone at the church. We were so pleased to be invited back for our second year with this excellent summer series.

 this summer's lineup

a photo of the church from its facebook page

28 July 2017

New Hermitage Greenhouse Concert

On July 18, New Hermitage played a concert in my new favourite performance location - the KCIC Greenhouse. Surrounded by plants and an intimate audience, we captured a live audio and video recordings. Stay tuned for those!

11 July 2017

Turn Styles

Around this time last year I did some recording in Shelburne with Naming the Twins. The album, Turn Styles, is out now and you can give it a listen or buy it here: namingthetwins.bandcamp.com/album/turn-styles! The harp makes an appearance on The Marriage, Somewhere Near, and The Last Song. They've got quite a few performances coming up in Nova Scotia this summer! Visit their website for more information: namingthetwins.com.

10 July 2017

Carole King Cover

Yesterday, Erin Costelo released a new video from the same shoot as Quiet the Bombs - a beautiful rendition of Carole King's "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?. She kindly invited me to play along, so there are a few little harp sounds in there! This song is one of my favourites, and I love Erin's version. Check it out below!

9 July 2017

Ragged Robin at Tuesday Night Tunes

This was Ragged Robin's third year playing at Tuesday Night Tunes. We were so happy to be back and to have such an enthusiastic audience, most of whom stuck around despite being rained on partway through! Many thanks to the Museum for having us and for organizing such a fun free concert series. You can see the list of programming for the rest of the summer here.


Thanks to Noelle for the photograph!

4 July 2017

Harp Celebration Concert

This year, as a fundraiser for Boxwood Festival, Chris Norman organized a harp-themed concert. Cheryl Reid O'Hagan, Alys Howe, Lydia Maksym, and myself all performed at the Lunenburg Academy concert hall on Friday. It was a treat to be joined by Mark Currie on bodhran and I really enjoyed playing with Alys her arrangements for two harps! It was a super fun evening - so great to hear everyone and help bring yet another amazing harpist to Boxwood (Michael Rooney this year).
Mark and I

3 July 2017

Train station wedding

This week I had the new experience of playing a wedding in a train station. Congratulations Jenn and Andrew!

warming up

29 June 2017

Zuppa Fundraising Concert

Last night was Zuppa Theatre's annual fundraising concert at the Music Room. Every year they bring together a big variety of local performers for a sold-out show centered around a theme. This year's theme was summer or sunshine. Melanie Stone and I played two songs together, Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, and Boys of Summer by Don Henley! For more information on Zuppa and their amazing work, click here.

27 June 2017

New Hermitage at Art Bar

On Saturday night, New Hermitage played as part of a new series called Open Form, hosted by Art Bar on Granville St. Also playing were Sam Wilson and Cutting the Argus. New Hermitage is a new improvisational ensemble comprising Andrew MacKelvie, India Gailey, Ross Burns, and myself. Ross couldn't be there on Saturday but the full band will be playing for the first time on July 18th in Wolfville!

a short clip of New Hermitage at the show, thanks to Matt Reid

22 June 2017

Recording with cello

On Tuesday, India Gailey and I headed to Wolfville to record Lucas Oickle's beautiful piece A Foreigner Walks Between Towering Chords Hundreds of Years Old, written for India. Ken Shorley recorded us in his beautiful studio. Look out for this piece on India's upcoming solo EP!

18 June 2017

Deep Sea Conundrum in Halifax

Last night was the third and final show (for now) of Deep Sea Conundrum. It took place at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in the small craft gallery, where we were surrounded by old wooden boats. There were some great characters among the kids in the audience and the show was more rowdy and participatory than the last two. Jack's Inner Space volunteers had made goody bags to give out to the kids along with the colouring books, and there was a fun reception afterwards.The Maritime Museum were excellent hosts! I had such a good time working with this fantastic DSC creative team.

13 June 2017

Student Harp Recital

This past Saturday we marked the start of summer break at the Conservatory with a student house concert. Six students with a wide variety of musical interests performed and we all tried a few things together at the end!

some of the harps waiting for the concert to begin

29 May 2017

Better Together Harp Workshops

This weekend, 15 or so harpists got together in Bedford for some workshops organized by Anne Crosby Gaudet. It was great to catch up with everyone and to have a chance to all play together! Katherine Fitch Loza and I led different parts of the afternoon, which included some tips for warming up, tips for sight reading, learning a tune, and a little bit of improvisation at the end.

23 May 2017

Deep Sea Conundrum in East Dover

On Saturday, Jack, Susanne, Courtney, and I went to the East Dover Community Hall for the second performance of Deep Sea Conundrum. The audience was amazing - although it was a show aimed at a younger age than those who attended, they were just as enthusiastic as the kids in Lunenburg! We're so grateful to the community of East Dover for welcoming us so warmly.

12 May 2017

Quiet the Bombs Music Video

Erin Costelo released a new music video this morning for her beautiful song Quiet the Bombs, from her recent album Down Below, The Status Quo. It was very cool to be part of this project - check it out below.

10 May 2017

Melville Heights

Today at Melville Heights Retirement Residence I played during afternoon tea, sharing the stage with this guy - the Duke of Melville (according to his name-tag).

6 May 2017

Deep Sea Conundrum - Lunenburg

This afternoon was the premiere of Deep Sea Conundrum, a chamber music show for kids about ocean creatures and habitats. With Jack Chen on flute, Susanne Chui dancing, and Courtney Johanna Spencer narrating, it was an awesome collaborative creation. Musique Royale generously presented us at a Cookie Concert, which took place at the Lunenburg School for the Arts. The kids were super enthusiastic and I had a blast from start to finish. We're looking forward to doing this show again soon in East Dover on May 20, and at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax on June 17.

a short excerpt of the White Shark Cafe shared on facebook by Musique Royale

5 May 2017

Professional Development Fellowship

The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts has very generously awarded me a teachers' professional development fellowship for this summer, to help me go to Boxwood festival and attend workshops with legendary harpist and composer Michael Rooney! I'm very grateful to the Conservatory for all its support this year and am looking forward to my studies this summer.

3 May 2017


Last night I attended India Gailey's mesmerizing show "Nucello" at 1313 Hollis St which featured mostly new compositions written for her and by her for solo cello. India is a beautiful cellist, composer, and visual artist. At the end of the progam, there were two duos: Norm Adams joined her for a cello duo, and then we played a great piece together that Lucas Oickle recently wrote for us. 

India's painting for the show poster

30 April 2017

Enescu Rhapsody with SNS

This week I joined Symphony Nova Scotia for the spirited Romanian Rhapsody no. 1, by George Enescu, presented as part of the Festival week of concerts. With Karen Rokos on first harp, it was a very enjoyable short whirlwind of a piece!

28 April 2017

Harp-playing iris

In a very short little session today, Rich Aucoin recorded some harp sounds inspired by the harp-playing iris from Alice in Wonderland. Excited to see the finished album project!

17 April 2017

Easter Brunch

Here is the harp all ready to go at the Waegwoltic Club's Easter Brunch!