Harp & Holly weaves a tapestry of yuletide magic with their poetic blending of Celtic, New Age and Baroque sounds. Sharlene Wallace (harp), Sandra Swannell (violin, viola and vocals), Terry Young (acoustic guitar and vocals), Rob Ritchie (piano and vocals) and Juanita Wilkins (vocals) bring their annual concert celebration of Christmas to the Southern Ontario region. Audiences are drawn into an enchanted world of Christmas reverie by the group's stirring arrangements of ancient carols, jubilant seasonal favourites and poignant storytelling.
Toronto based harpist Sharlene Wallace is one of Canada's most prolific and influential Celtic/lever harpists. Playing both Classical/pedal and lever/Celtic harps has led Sharlene to many diverse musical influences and opportunities. Winner of two international competitions, the Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Lever Harp Competition (Tucson, Arizona) and the Concours d'Improvisation de Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique (Dinan, France), Sharlene has created 7 independent CDs, and tours internationally giving concerts, workshops, masterclasses and adjudications. Sharlene is on the music faculties of Wilfred Laurier University, University of Guelph and York University teaching both Classical and lever harps. Her own performance degree is from the University of Toronto where she studied with the eminent Judy Loman, O.C.. Sharlene is Principal Harpist with the Guelph, Kingston, and Oakville Symphonies.
More at Sharlene's website.
More at Sharlene's website.
Terry Young's fingerstyle guitar wizardry has astounded audiences across Canada, USA and Great Britain. BBC critic James Harrox calls his playing "virtuosic", while FATEA magazine describes it as "jaw dropping". Terry tours extensively with the contemporary ragtime band "My Sweet Patootie" and is a Canadian Folk Music Award winner. He teaches advanced fingerstyle guitar clinics and has written about his techniques for Chicago's Plank Road Folk Music Society Magazine. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist who toured for more than a decade with the swashbuckling roots group "Tanglefoot", performing on guitar, mandolin, banjo and whistle. He is a classically trained tenor who holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario.
Sandra Swannell is a violinist, violist and singer-songwriter from Woodford Ontario. Before joining the award winning Canadian roots group "Tanglefoot" in 2005, she was the principal violist of the Georgian Bay Symphony and fiddler with the Celtic art-rock band "The Shards". Sandra has taught violin/ viola clinics for festivals, schools and community orchestras as well as in her own private studio. Since 2009 most of her year is spent touring with "My Sweet Patootie", performing in a vintage ragtime/swing style. She has a diverse musical life that ranges from writing a series of musical sketches for string orchestra to recording with Canada's legendary Stompin' Tom Connors.
A storyteller fluent in many genres, Rob Ritchie has been a contributing songwriter for folk/roots bands Tanglefoot and RPR (rprmusic.com). He also released a solo CD Five O'Clock Shadow (2004), and has had two literary novels published (Orphans of Winter, 2006; In a Company of Fiddlers, 2011). In addition, Rob works regularly as a commissioned composer for the Wiarton Concert Choir (wiartonconcertchoirs.com).
Juanita Wilkins is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Clifford, Ontario. She has released two full-length recordings of original material, Stronger and Four Corner Town. 2019 brings Wilkins’ warm and humourous stage presence and her powerful, beautiful voice to the Harp & Holly stage for the first time, creating a performance you won’t soon forget.