Winter Harp 2015 Media Kit

Celebrate Christmas and the holiday season with the Winter Harp Ensemble.

Glorious music and song combine with festive stories to warm your heart and wrap you in the Christmas spirit.

Winter Harp is a Christmas masterpiece. Velvet gowns, golden instruments, candles, and backdrops of cathedrals and snow combine to transport you to another time and place.

Classical and Celtic harps, flutes and rare medieval instruments, percussion, poetry and song envelop you in the silken cloak of Christmas. Familiar carols, along with songs ancient and rare, celebrate the season and set your heart singing.

Don't miss this journey of pure magic! Winter Harp -- where Christmas begins.


(Vancouver Area Concerts)

Winter Harp

Saturday, December 19, 7:30 p.m. – St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, Vancouver

Wednesday & Thursday, Dec. 16 & 17, 7:30 p.m. – BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts at Capilano University, North Vancouver

Sunday, Dec. 20: 3:00 & 7:00 pm – The ACT in Maple Ridge

(see full tour schedule below)

"With its medieval instruments, period costumes, and centuries-old melodies, Winter Harp has the ability to transport audience members to another time and place."

- Shawn Conner, Vancouver Sun, 2014

In its 23rd year, and as popular today as ever, one of this country’s most joyous annual traditions returns to Vancouver this December. As part of an 11-city Western Canada Christmas concert tour, Winter Harp performs five times in three local cities to close out its 14-concert 2015 schedule.

Known for sold-out houses and standing ovations, the ensemble comes home to St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church on Dec. 19, in addition to performances in North Vancouver Dec. 16 and 17, and two shows in Maple Ridge on Dec. 20.

A "must-see" ticket on the holiday calendar, Winter Harp is a joyous concert experience that has captured the spirit of the season, and audience's hearts, for more than two decades. On stage, Winter Harp’s outstanding musicians and singers, clad in beautiful medieval attire, perform a collection of music that ranges from familiar carols to Celtic, medieval and world tunes. At the theatre performances, magical backdrops of cathedral and snow set a stage for the golden Celtic and classical harps, drums, tambourines, temple bells, flutes, and an assortment of beautiful ancient and rare instruments, including the ethereal-sounding bass psaltery (the only one like it in the world), theorganistrum (an early form of the hurdy-gurdy) and the Swedish nyckelharpa.

Winter Harp concerts have become destination events, having developed a loyal following from across Canada and beyond. Wherever they’re from, audience members end up in a similar place during the show.

“Christmas is about memories,” says Winter Harp co-founder and director, Lori Pappajohn. “We remember the beautifully-decorated tree, we remember grandparents, we remember the presents we received. At Winter Harp the carols we perform and the stories and poems we read take people into their memories. It’s lovely looking out at the audience. Everyone has their own memories of Christmas. That’s where we journey, and we welcome people of all backgrounds to join us."

This year's ensemble of outstanding artists welcomes a new voice in Krista Gibbard, a classically trained soprano whose repertoire ranges from light opera and oratorio to ancient and Celtic music. Krista has performed as a soloist for groups such as the Vancouver Bach Choir and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

“We were delighted when we found Krista,” said Lori Pappajohn. “She has our exact sound -- a crystal-pure voice with a lovely mixture of ancient and Celtic colourings.”

2015 Winter Harp Ensemble artists include:

Kim Robertson: Celtic harp, voice

Janelle Nadeau: Pedal harp, voice, psaltery

Krista Gibbard: voice

Lauri Lyster: percussion, voice

Jeff Pelletier: flute, alto flute, bass flute, wooden piccolo

Joaquin Ayala: nyckelharpas, bass psaltery, symphonie, organistrum

Adam Henderson: narrator, percussion

Lori Pappajohn: Winter Harp Director

Tickets for Saturday, Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church:

Tickets Tonight 604-684-2787,

Other Vancouver area concerts:

Dec. 16 & 17: BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts at Capilano University: 

Dec. 20: The ACT in Maple Ridge (2 shows): 

Full information at:

Winter Harp 2015 Tour Schedule


Sunday Nov. 29, 2:30 p.m. Raven's City Theatre


Friday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. Pantages Theatre


New Westminster 

Sunday, Dec. 6, 2:30 p.m. Massey Theatre (8th Avenue & 8th Street)

Joint concert with the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir


Thursday, Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. Sid Williams Theatre


Friday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m. Alix Goolden Performance Hall


Saturday, Dec. 12, 3:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Port Theatre


Sunday, Dec. 13, 2:00 p.m. Cowichan Theatre


Tuesday, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. Chilliwack Cultural Centre


North Vancouver

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. & Thursday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.

BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts at Capilano University


Saturday, Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m. St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church (Burrard & Nelson)

Maple Ridge 

Sunday, Dec. 20, 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. The ACT



Winter Harp 

One of this country's most glorious annual concert traditions -- harps, flute, medieval instruments, percussion, songs and stories combine for a magical celebration of winter and the Christmas season.

Saturday, Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m.

St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, 1012 Nelson at Burrard Street, Vancouver.

Tickets: Tickets Tonight 604-684-2787 /

The Winter Harp Concert Experience

(Short Description)

For more than 20 years, and as popular today as ever before, audiences across western Canada have thrilled to the beauty and joy of Winter Harp. This extraordinary concert experience features harps, medieval instruments, flute, percussion, poetry and song. Join this company for a concert of heartwarming carols, songs and stories in celebration of winter and the Christmas season.

The ensemble of musicians, singers and storyteller, garbed in gorgeous medieval attire, perform a collection of music and songs ranging from well-known carols to Celtic, ancient medieval, world music, and more. Breathtaking backdrops of cathedral and snow at the theatre concerts set the magical stage for the golden Celtic and classical harps, drums, tambourines, temple bells, and intricately-carved medieval replica instruments. Winter Harp takes audiences on a magical journey deep into the heart of Christmas.


The ensemble’s instrumentation includes: harps, flute, alto flute, bass flute, wooden piccolo, medieval instruments, hand drums, bells, chimes and voice. Some 300 strings must be tuned before each performance and during intermission.

Winter Harp features a number of unique instruments made especially for the ensemble.

Medieval Instruments

Bass psaltery: Built by former Vancouver luthier Edward Turner, the five-foot-tall bass psaltery is the only one of its kind in the world. It has a haunting, ethereal sound.

Organistrum: The grandfather of the hurdy-gurdy, this guitar-shaped instrument requires two people to play it. Ornately carved, it dates back to 12th Century Spain and produces deep, resonant drones. The only other one like it in Canada is in Ottawa’s Museum of Civilization, also crafted by luthier Edward Turner.

Nyckelharpa: A Swedish medieval instrument, a cross between a hurdy-gurdy and a violin. Instead of using fingers to fret the strings, there are a series of keys. It has a wistful, viol sound.

Symphonie: This is a forerunner of the hurdy-gurdy.

More information on these instruments can be found by clicking here.


2015 marks Winter Harp’s 23rd year. It all started in 1993 in a small chapel in Vancouver, and since then has grown to include up to a dozen cities in its annual December tours of Western Canada.


Media previews and reviews (excerpts)

“ . . . the West Coast’s answer to Loreena McKennitt.” -- Boulevard Magazine

"an enrapturing event that plucks at your heart strings." -- The Province

"Winter Harp's annual Christmas concerts are a treat." -- CBC Radio

“And Winter Harp ... is definitely magical. Under the direction of acclaimed composer/arranger/harpist Lori Pappajohn, Winter Harp’s estimable players -- who specialize in Celtic, medieval and classical music -- make one feel as though they’ve stepped into a pre-Raphaelite painting. Candlelight flickers off golden harps played by angelic musicians clad in velvet gowns, their ethereal music shining like a silvery moon in the darkest nights of December. Flute, percussion, medieval instruments, vocals and readings complete the experience.”

-- Winnipeg Free Press

From audiences

“One of the most beautiful concerts I have ever been to.”

“Christmas would not be complete without Winter Harp.”

“I was mesmerized.”

“Your performance brings the spirit of the season to life. Thank you.”

“I’ve been to Christmas concerts all over Europe. None are as profound as yours.”