About Teifi Harps

Making harps is an ancient tradition in Wales, indeed, Wales is known as the land of the harp. We make harps using skills that have been handed down from from harp makers to their apprentices. Our not-for-profit community enterpise was founded in 2004 by harp maker Allan Shiers. Allan has been making harps for over 40 years and was an apprentice to the late renowned harp maker John Weston Thomas. With help from funding from the European Union we purchased an old Victorian school by the River Teifi in Llandysul and converted it into our workshop.

Our ambition is to secure the harp making traditions of Wales for future generations as well as innovating and improving the sound and construction of the instrument. We combine traditional craftsmanship with innovative technology utilising materials such as titanium and carbon fibre. By marrying the old and the new we hope that our harps represent a step forward whilst maintaining and supporting time old traditions.

Retaining Skills

Keeping harp making alive in Wales: our Community Enterprise Business reinvests all profits to sustain the future of harp manufacturing in Wales.

Quality

We aim to ensure that all our harps are made to the highest possible standard and with the best possible materials.

Community

We strive to support the harp community by providing information, knowledge and support for everyone from beginners to professional harpists.

An interview with Allan Shiers

by BBC Radio 3 Music Matters

What is a Community Enterprise Business?

Teifi Harps was set up in 2004 as a not-for-profit Community Enterprise Business. Sometimes known as a ‘Social Enterprise’, our company is a little different to others. With the help of Ceredigion County Council and the European Union, Teifi Harps purchased an old school in Llandysul and equipped it to develop a range of harps. We now employ a small team of harp makers and sales/office staff who all live in the local area.

We involve the local community in many different ways. Our voluntary board of directors consists of local people who share their business knowledge and time with Teifi Harps. We also receive advice from the economic development department of Ceredigion County Council. We also work with local schools by providing work experience for both pupils and teachers and provide recording facilities for their exams. We also provide members of the local Stroke Association with work-based rehabilitation.

Throughout the year we organise and attend concerts locally and nationally.  We are part in the local tourism initiative to encourage visitors to Llandysul as well as West Wales. We are also happy to provide workshop tours by appointment for groups and individuals.

Above: Teifi Harps on ‘Escape to the Country’