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Harpist to play range of music

Nancy Thym performs Saturday in Grass Valley.
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Harpist-singer Nancy Thym will present a journey through the centuries with songs and stories from Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany and Scandinavia Saturday in Grass Valley.

The songs are from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. Thym performs on a variety of harps used throughout the ages.



The harps range from the medieval Irish and Scottish clarsach with brass strings and a wooden sound box to the contemporary modern lever harp. Traditional tunes to rock ‘n’ roll will be performed.




Thym is intrigued with the harp’s role in history.

“The harp plays an important role in tales and ballads from all over the world and appears in a variety of different motifs,” she said. “The strains of the harp can rescue a loved one. They can lull people to sleep and move them to tears or laughter.

“At the sound of the harp, people can be forced to dance until the music stops or even to break out in a rage,” Thym said. “But harp music can also soothe the frenzied, as once David, the king of all harpers, soothed Saul.”

Thym received her master’s degree in folklore and mythology at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Since 1978, she has lived in Freising County in Germany. She provides information on historical harps for harp builders, performers and libraries at Freising’s Museum and Archive for Harp History.

She is a faculty member of the Historical Harp Conference and Workshop at the Amherst Early Music Festival in Massachusetts every summer. Thym lectures year-round on the harp at European and American festivals.

Thym has made three recordings. She can also be heard playing various medieval harps on Margie Butler’s “Magic of the Celtic Harp II – Lure of the Sea Maiden.”

Know and Go

WHAT: Harpist Nancy Thym in concert

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley

ADMISSION: $10 adults, $5 for children under 12

INFORMATION: 274-8384


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