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Harp and Singer

Steph West

Born with a giant finger, the profession of musician was an unlikely bet. However Steph is now a freelance harper: performing and teaching traditional and contemporary folk music, influenced by an introduction to the Edinburgh International Harp Festival. Involved with the Irish and English traditional music communities, Steph has run projects for EFDSS and Comhaltasas as well as youth folk arts project Shooting Roots. She regularly plays for private functions and events and is building a reputation as a performer in the public eye with a variety of projects.

Having studied classical violin, voice and composition to A level, she went to university to study early music. Offered an early music instrument, she took up the harp. This new instrument suddenly made sense in her hands and audiences reacted positively from the first performance. Also a new music method, working by ear, freed Steph’s ability to play, and the music began to make sense in a new way.

Working with harp teacher Michelle Cressida in London, with her newly functional hand following an eventual amputation of her finger, Steph studied for a year before realising that her right hand wasn’t going to cut it as her melody hand. A year later she swapped hands: now playing left hand for melody and commissioning a left-handed harp. An engaging performer and confident teacher, all that remains is to enjoy the music and her instruments. She recently acquired an adapted flute by Millyard Molem. Her flute and tunes memorised over a decade are coming to life.

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