Why a not-for-profit project?
In a successful career spent crafting beautiful bespoke professional instruments, harp maker Mark Norris always felt that something was missing; a way in which he could produce an affordable, high-quality starter harp that would encourage many more new players to play Scotland’s oldest national instrument.
Over the years, professional players and teachers had often said that there was a need for good quality, yet inexpensive harps for teaching purposes. The investment required to buy or hire a professional harp was not only a challenge for new students but also limited the opportunities for professional players to supplement their income through come-and-try sessions and teaching.
Mark’s extensive experience and the collaboration of his many professional customers, combined with his design innovation has created a 27 string starter and instruments that meet the needs of both teachers and players. The entry-level model of the 27 string starter harp even being designed to grow with a player’s skill progression and available finances through the optional addition of semitone levers and string upgrades.
All this collaborative input and design expertise led to the establishment of The Nifty Harp Project C.I.C., a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. By getting more quality and affordable instruments into community groups, therapy organisations, schools, adult learning settings, local music clubs, art centre venues, teacher-led classes, festival courses and pub or café music sessions, we will help to bring the harp to a broader audience. With enthusiastic new players learning and progressing their playing skills, The Project will ultimately benefit all harp makers as new players eventually go on to choose a professional harp.
A 34 string Big Nifty Harp will launch in Summer 2020.