On Saturday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m., the Belfast Unitarian Church on Miller Street will be filled with sparkling Yuletide music from the Celtic tradition played by Celtic harpists Julia Lane and Kristin Tescher. They will present both songs and tunes, playing their various instruments both solo and in duet.

Peaceful and joyous are words that describe a concert of holiday music played on the ancient Celtic harp. Here is music which reflects ancient traditions, arranged and played with spirit and sensitivity by two of the Midcoast’s finest harpers.

Tescher of Rockport plays the folk harp, guitar and fiddle. In addition to traditional music, Tescher has studied the therapeutic qualities of harp music. In recent years, she has added the double-strung harp to her collection of stringed instruments. This harp has two parallel sets of strings played simultaneously. Tescher’s luthier husband Nick Apollonio has designed and built many of her instruments. Together, they often perform as a duo and as members of the Celtic quartet Ballykelty (formerly known as Any Monday), playing and singing traditional folk and Celtic tunes for concerts, coffeehouses, and weddings in the Midcoast area.

Lane came to the Celtic harp through her life-long love affair with the ancient music of the Celtic lands. Also an accomplished vocalist, she accompanied herself with guitar for many years until she had the opportunity to play the Celtic harp. Her unique self-taught style has won several international competitions. She currently plays and sings with partner and harp builder Fred Gosbee as Castlebay, performing throughout the eastern seaboard and in the British Isles and Ireland.

The Celtic harp, ancestor of the orchestral harp, is one of the most venerable instruments of the British Isles. It has been used as a vehicle for musical celebration  for over a thousand years. Celtic harps were used by the bards and minstrels from at least the fourth century until the early 18th century. The sound of two harps played in duet is uniquely vibrant, weaving a shimmering tapestry of music.

Admission will be by donation of $10, $5 for children. For more information, call 783-6995 or send e-mail to castlebay@castlebay.net.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.