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by Greta Yeoman

Celtic tunes, baroque music and compositions by a New Zealand composer will entertain Geraldine audiences next week.

Helen Webby, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s principal harp player, is leaving an orchestral setting behind to tour the small towns of New Zealand with support from Arts on Tour NZ.

She will play at St Mary’s Church in Geraldine on Tuesday, at 7.30pm.

Webby has done solo Arts on Tour events before and will bring a new set of harp-based tunes to audiences around the country during her tour next month.

Her performances will include traditional music from Wales, Ireland and Scotland, baroque compositions from J.S. Bach and Parisian tunes from Claude Debussy and Gabriel Faure.

The first half of the show will comprise a mini history of the pedal harp, showcased through a variety of selected tunes.

The second half will comprise Celtic music, jazz pieces, a harp rendition of Blue Smoke – the first piece of music recorded in New Zealand – and music written for her solo CD Pluck, written by New Zealand film composer Mark Smythe.

The album was nominated for Best Classical CD in the 2013 New Zealand Music Awards.

Webby is bringing two harps – a concert grand made by her brother, harp-maker Kim Webby, of South Island red beech, and a blue carbon-fibre Celtic harp made by luthier Davy Stuart.

Tickets for Tuesday’s show can be bought at LOUK Clothing in Geraldine.