Beautiful costumes, unique instruments, and fabulous music: it’s Winter Harp. (Submitted)

VIDEO: The ethereal sounds of Winter Harp will start your holiday in style in Duncan

With instruments ranging through the ages, this unique ensemble is a Cowichan favourite

Winter Harp, the unique presentation that combines glorious music and song combined with festive stories and colourful costumes, is returning to Cowichan to celebrate 25 years of enchanting music.

They will be onstage at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, Dec. 9, starting at 2 p.m.

Winter Harp is as popular as ever with Valley music lovers. It’s a “must-see” ticket on the holiday calendar: an ethereal concert experience that captures the spirit of the season with many audiences returning year after year.

This year, Winter Harp’s outstanding musicians and singers, clad in beautiful medieval attire, will perform a combination of new music and fan favourites in an afternoon of festive carols and haunting Celtic, medieval and world tune arrangements.

The show takes the audience to another world.

Magical backdrops set the stage for the golden Celtic and classical harps, drums, tambourines, temple bells, flutes and assortment of beautiful ancient and rare instruments, including the ethereal-sounding bass psaltery (the only one like it in the world), the organistrum (an early form of the hurdy-gurdy) and the Swedish nyckelharpa.

Co-founder and musical director, Lori Pappajohn says, “Winter Harp traces its roots back to 1984 when, as a young reporter, I was told to write a feature on New Westminster Public Library’s chief librarian, Alan Woodland. I wasn’t thrilled at first, but within minutes of talking to Alan I was entranced by his love of books — and even more taken when we discovered a shared love of poetry, stories and music.”

She goes on, “We started by doing a small library Christmas show together, Alan’s poetry and stories and my music. That was the kernel of what was to become Winter Harp. I’m thrilled to be sharing our 25th year of Christmas-times performance with old friends and new!”

This year’s ensemble of outstanding artists includes Roger Helfrick (lead vocals, harp), Lauri Lyster (percussion, vocals), Jeff Pelletier (flute, bass flute, piccolo, penny whistle, hurdy-gurdy, vocals), Lani Krantz (classical harp, vocals), Amy Stephen (Celtic harp, vocals, penny whistle, accordion, psaltery), Bruce Henczel (nyckelharpa, violin/fiddle, viola, bass psaltery, percussion, vocals) and Adam Henderson (narrator, percussion, organistrum).

Tickets are $36 each so treat yourself and your friends. Reserve your seats in person at the Cowichan Ticket Centre, or by phone at 250-748-7529 or online at www.cowichanpac.ca.

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