After four wonderful years, my time as Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales has come to an end. I feel incredibly lucky to have been appointed to the role in 2015, especially at such a formative moment in my professional development. My time in the post started almost immediately after I graduated with my Master’s degree from the Royal Academy of Music, and since then it has led to many wonderful experiences.
The most important part of the role has of course been performing for official events. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute a small part to such poignant occasions as the Royal Opening of the Fifth National Assembly for Wales (2016), the 40thAnniversary of the Aberfan Disaster (2016), the Welsh National Service of Remembrance for the 100thAnniversary of the Third Battle of Ypres in Langemark (2017), the wedding of TRH’s The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (2018), the Service of Thanksgiving for the 70thAnniversary of the NHS (2018), and the 50thAnniversary of the Investiture of HRH The Prince of Wales (2019). The role has also led to many other opportunities, and I have greatly enjoyed all these experiences.
I have endeavoured to fulfil the three main motivations behind the role of Royal Harpist: to promote the harp as an instrument, to promote Welsh culture, and to support a young artist near the beginning of their career. I am a passionate advocate for the versatility and power of the harp as an instrument and have enjoyed giving recitals and workshops attempting to expound its virtues to a broad range of audiences and composers. I have also been honoured to showcase this wonderful instrument as the national instrument of Wales at national and international events. I made a commitment to learning numerous new works for solo harp by Welsh composers and including them in my recitals, where they have always been very warmly received! I have also done my utmost to invest in my career and make the most of the opportunities afforded by the role. Finally, it has been a pleasure to utilise the platform of the role for charity work, including raising over £1,600 for the Prince’s Trust, and over £850 for Live Music Now.
I will always treasure the memories of the last four years and am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity! Congratulations to Alis Huws, the new incumbent – wishing you all the very best!
Photo ©Julian Dodd