Harp tradition goes as teacher resigns

4th July 2008 at 01:00
It is a great Welsh musical tradition

It is a great Welsh musical tradition. But harp-playing, recently made cool by international Royal harpist Catrin Finch, is no longer available to children with free tuition in Ceredigion's schools. The council has refused to replace the one peripatetic harp teacher there, who recently resigned.

Geoff Davies, head of Ysgol Gynradd Gymunedol Pennant, where one 10-year- old was taking lessons, said it was a sign of the times. He said: "It is a shame because the child was enjoying it, but I can understand the council's position."

But the pupil's mother is outraged and believed to be planning a protest, backed by Plaid Cymru. The party's parliamentary candidate in Ceredigion, Penri James, said it was a disgrace that the harp - a national treasure - had become a victim of cuts, especially as the county is to host the Urdd Eisteddfod in 2010.

Ceredigion council said the education department was forced to save pound;400,000 for the coming year, but other musical lessons would not be affected.

Photograph: Alamy.

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