The College was delighted to welcome acclaimed glass harp virtuoso Brien Engel on Friday 26 March to give a novel glass harp performance online, organised by the Senior Tutor (Academic Affairs & Programmes), Dr Jo Ashbourn. The event was livestreamed from a studio in his home state of Georgia, USA. An online audience of over 100 joined to hear Brien perform some of the most popular film scores of all time played on the glass harp. Brien started by giving a brief history of the glass harp and a beginner's guide on how to play this intriguing and dynamic instrument. He then went on to perform a catalogue of favourites starting with the mystical "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter and concluding with "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid, which projected the Disney classic's calypso feel.
The full programme is below:
"Hedwig's Theme" (Harry Potter)
"Love Theme" (The Godfather)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Theme
"Rawhide" (The Blues Brothers)
"Where Do I Begin?" (Love Story)
"Unchained Melody" (Ghost)
Chariots of Fire Theme
"Moon River" (Breakfast at Tiffany's)
"My Heart Will Go On" (Titanic)
"Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head" (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
"Over The Rainbow" (The Wizard of Oz)
Star Wars Theme
Schindler's List Theme
"Under The Sea" (The Little Mermaid)
Brien has been playing the glass harp for nearly 30 years and his current instrument, which features 50 glasses each selected for their musical pitch, is one of the largest in the world. Brien has played across the US, Europe and East Asia. His extensive repertoire includes popular songs, jazz standards and classical music as well as his own original pieces.
The video of the glass harp performance can be viewed here.