Aimee Berends (MMT, BMus) is a music therapist and freelance musician. She has held the position of principal oboe in the Guelph Symphony Orchestra and played with several other groups including the Elora Festival Singers, the Spiritus Ensemble and Myaudia (Peter Hatch). As a music therapist, Aimee’s clinical focus is on mental health and addictions. She has published articles in Music and Medicine, Music Therapy Perspectives and The Canadian Journal of Music Therapy. Aimee enjoys teaching adults as a continuing education trainer and has been a sessional instructor in Wilfrid Laurier’s music therapy department. She is eager to be part of Huron Harp Fest 2019!
Dominique Dodge is a harper and singer who grew up in the White Mountains of
New Hampshire, and now divides her time between Vermont and Cape Breton.
She has a passion for melody-driven dance music and responsive, rhythmic
accompaniment, as well as for songs, airs, and 18th-century harp tunes. Her sound is
firmly grounded in the traditional music and song of Cape Breton, Scotland, and
Ireland. A former Fulbright Scholar and a 2012 graduate of the University of
Limerick with an MA in Irish Music Performance, Dominique also holds a BA
Honours in Scottish Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.
Dominique is a dedicated learner of Scottish Gaelic, a profound influence on her
music which continues to shape her sense of rhythm and phrasing. She has
extensive experience in traditional arts education and maintains a busy and vibrant
teaching practice. She has been performing, recording, and teaching traditional
music on both sides of the Atlantic for over a decade.
Duo Niro formed at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2016. This harp duo consists of Rose Soenen (BMus Wilfred Laurier University, 2016) and Nicole Lancaster (BMus, Wilfred Laurier University, 2018). The duo is working to change the perception of traditional classical harp music through exploring a variety genres and techniques ranging from traditional classical music to contemporary pop covers. Nicole and Rose currently reside in the Waterloo-Cambridge area and regularly perform throughout the Waterloo, Wellington, and Guelph region. Head over to their Instagram page @duoniro for more information about upcoming concerts and events!
Robin Grenon & Gisele Guibord
Formed in 1996, the Robin Grenon – Gisèle Guibord duet seduces different audiences with its astonishing versatility, presenting its creations and a very varied repertoire of South American, Celtic, Classical and popular music.
In harp duo, they accompanied the soprano Natalie Choquette in the shows: Diva Latina with I Musici de Montréal, The Queen and the Pearl at the Quebec City Summer Festival, Enter the Dance at the Orford Festival. They also participated in the Terra Mia and Terra Bella discs.
As performers and teachers, they were invited by the organizations: Celtic Harpers of Detroit and Windsor, The Toronto HarpFest, The Canadian Music Showcase, Ottawa’s The Northern Lights Harp Fest, and the CAMMAC Music Camp.
Co-founders of Harpissimo-Québec, they contribute greatly to discovering and loving traditional harps in Quebec. They have also been awarded the 2010 Desjardins MRC-Roussillon Career Scholarship for their outstanding contribution to the vitality of regional culture.
Sharon Johnston, B. Mus., is a well-established musician in midwestern Ontario,
performing frequently on harp and piano. She runs a busy studio in Goderich,
where she directs the Huron Harp School, which has over 35 students ranging from
6 year olds, to seniors. She is a composer, arranger, and recording artist, the most
recent being a 2015 solo harp CD entitled Stone and Sand. Sharon is equally at
home with classical music in concert settings, organizing harp circles with student
performers, or jamming with folk musicians in local pubs.
Sharon is, above all, a teacher, whose mandate is that all students, regardless of
musical experience or training, can make music together. She has nurtured a
vibrant harp community where students can be found at weddings, churches, pub,
sometimes even on the beach.. Thanks to Sharon, Huron County boasts more harps
per capita than anywhere else in Canada!
Ailie Robertson from Edinburgh is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s leading young traditional musicians. A five-time National Mod Gold Medalist and a BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist, Ailie also won first prize at the inaugural London Harp Competition, was judged best overall musician at the Edinburgh Competition Festival and won the St Albans New Roots award. Her debut solo album ‘First things first’ won the ‘Live Ireland’ award for ‘Best Instrumental Cut of the Year’. She has performed and taught all over the world, released 3 solo CDs and published 7 volumes of harp sheet music.
Kim Roberston is a renowned performer, arranger and recording artist who has stretched the boundaries of the harp for a new generation of performers and audiences. As a pioneer in the American folk harp movement, she combines an improvisational spirit with a passionate sense of tradition, bringing a contemporary touch to a centuries-old instrument.
Born in Wisconsin, she is classically trained on piano and orchestral harp. In the mid-70’s, Kim’s discovery of the Celtic harp grew into a profound love for the instrument, setting her upon the path of exploration for which she is now widely known. Kim has traveled with her harp from concert halls to grassroots folk clubs, from luxury cruise ships to remote mountaintops; she has performed concerts by candlelight, delivered singing telegrams and played herself on an episode of “Beverly Hills 90210.”
She regularly tours the USA, Canada, and Europe, and is still recognized as one of the most popular fol harpists performing today. Her work encompasses numerous recording projects, published harp arrangements, and an international itinerary of workshops and retreats.
Canadian harpist and composer Sharlene Wallace is a diverse musician performing, recording and teaching on both lever and pedal harps.
Winner of the Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Lever Harp Competition (USA) and the Dinan Concours d’Improvisation de Rencontres International de Harp Celtique (Brittany), she has given concerts and workshops across Canada, the United States, France, and Italy. Sharlene tours with bass player George Koller, the Winter’s Eve Trio (with George Koller, bass and Joseph Macerollo, accordion), The Soaring Harp Trio (with harpists Lori Gemmell and Julia Seager-Scott) and the Christmas trio Harp & Holly (with Sandra Swannell, vocals, fiddle and viola and Terry Young, vocals and finger-style guitar).
Sharlene’s seven CDs express journeys of rhythm, spaciousness, the Canadian landscape, Celtic, Classical, South American and original music. Sharlene’s most recent CD, In Night’s Deep Silence, is a spacious, tranquil album for harp and bass (George Koller).
Sharlene has composed many pieces for harp and harp ensemble as well as commissioning numerous works for harp by Canadian composers such as Evelyne Datl, Loretto Reid, William Beauvais, Kirk Elliott, Rodney Sharman, Bruce Mather, John Beckwith etc.. Sharlene’s mentor, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, wrote Niagara Moon for her to perform at the World Harp Congress in Vancouver, BC.
Sharlene has taught harp workshops across North America and regularly for CAMMAC in Quebec and Island Mountain Arts in Wells, BC. She also teaches both lever and pedal harps at York University, Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Guelph. Her own harp performance degree is from the University of Toronto where she studied with the eminent Judy Loman. Sharlene has also been guest soloist on both lever and pedal harps with orchestras in Kingston, Belleville, Timmins, Sarnia/Port Huron, Stratford, Oakville, and Guelph. These performances have included orchestrations of her compositions. Sharlene is principal harpist with Kingston, Oakville and Guelph Symphonies.