2020 Harp Judges
Sue Richards is an internationally known performer, teacher, composer and author. Sue has recorded dozens of CDs, and has entertained audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe. After first studying the concert harp in Ohio with Lucy Lewis and Jean Harriman, Sue turned to the Celtic harp and the Irish and Scottish traditional music of her heritage. Since then, Sue has performed numerous times for the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC, has twice played for President Bill Clinton, and recently added Queen Elizabeth II and President and Mrs. Bush to her list. Sue has sat in with The Chieftains and has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. She has performed in Scotland at Celtic Connections in Glasgow and at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, and she recently toured Norway and Sweden with the harp ensemble. Sue can be heard on dozens of recordings, both solo, with Ceoltoiri, and with Grammy-nominated Ensemble Galilei, a group of five women performing Celtic,
Early, and Original music. As a member of EG, she has written music and performed in two multi-media shows, A Universe of Dreams and First Person: Stories from the Edge of the World, the latter sponsored by the National Geographic Society.
In addition to multiple Wammie awards, Sue has won the American National Scottish Harp Championship four times, and is now a Scottish Harp Society of America (SHSA) Distinguished Judge. She has also served as president of SHSA, as well as of the Washington, DC, Folk Harp Society.
Sue has taught at the Alaska Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, currently teaches at the SummerKeys Adult Music Workshop in Maine, and teaches and directs the harp program at the Ohio Scottish Arts School in Oberlin, Ohio. She offers private lessons the Asheville, NC, area.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s finest exponents of Scottish Harp (clarsach) playing, Rachel is a prominent performer in the Traditional Music scene and having toured extensively throughout Europe, the US and beyond, she has released 5 critically acclaimed albums.
Her most recent release SPARKS, with duo partner acoustic guitarist Ron Jappy, sees her return to her Highland roots with an eclectic mix of jigs, reels and marches from Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man, paired alongside her own compositions.
Now based in Glasgow, a Scottish city renowned for its melting pot of musical and cultural style, Rachel is passionate about promoting the harp, Scotland’s most ancient of instruments. She strives to open up fresh horizons for it, removing it from its stereotypical, stuffy ballroom image, whilst always remaining true to her Highland roots.
A world renowned soloist and teacher, Rachel has performed and taught at harp festivals in the USA, Japan, Russia, France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany and Scotland. She has published 4 books of harp arrangements and compositions, and her music is currently featured on the syllabuses of both the Trinity College London and RCS Scottish Harp exam syllabuses.
Rachel has adjudicated at several International harp competitions, including the Trophée Camac (Festival Interceltique Lorient) and is a qualified judge for the Scottish Harp Society of America.
For information on the Turner Scottish Harp Scholarship awarded annually please visit www.turnerscottishharpscholarship.com.