Harp & Holly is a five-piece Celtic-Baroque-Roots group that celebrates Christmas with song and story in a fun and inclusive way. Their signature sound is created by interweaving ancient carols with fresh rhythms, lively jigs and reels, tight vocal harmonies and ever-changing instrumental combinations.
With song and story, our concerts toast the Christmas season in a fun and inclusive way. Our goal is to express and celebrate the full range of emotions we all feel during the holiday season, regardless of religious beliefs. We find humour and inspiration in family traditions, childhood memories and historical customs.
With Celtic-Roots and Baroque influences, we interweave ancient carols with fresh rhythms, tight vocal harmonies and ever-changing instrumental combinations. We showcase each member’s musical artistry and storytelling craft throughout our performances, creating a wide variety of textures and moods that celebrate joy, hope and togetherness.
“An exceptional concert with great stage presence, intriguing vocals and brilliant musicianship. This group is amazing. Not only was I enthralled with the musicianship of their performance – I never stopped smiling throughout the concert.”
Louise Dockstader, Clinton United Church Music Series
The group’s members come from all across Southern Ontario. Each performs with other musical groups throughout the year but makes a special effort each Christmas season to come together like a family. They share a special chemistry that audiences feel immediately.
The centrepiece of their sound is the virtuosic flair of Sharlene Wallace, one of Canada's most prolific and influential Celtic harpists. She is joined by former Tanglefoot bandmates Terry Young on fingerstyle guitar, Rob Ritchie on keyboard and Sandra Swannell on fiddle and viola. Singer Juanita Wilkins adds her powerful contralto voice to their exciting four-part harmonies.
“An extraordinary evening of musical magic, weaving traditional Christmas and holiday fare with timeless Celtic rhythms along with some warm personal tales of Christmas. Harp & Holly is very special group of musicians all of whom complement each other’s talents wonderfully.”
Rev. Dr. J. Peter Holmes, Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, Toronto