Jemma McMonagle

ARTFORMS: Music , Harp


Fourteen-year-old Jemma from Glasgow got involved in playing traditional music at the age of six.  She demonstrated a fine musicianship from the start  and has the ability to play a number of instruments with stunning sensitivity and maturity for her age.

Jemma is a talented fiddle player, having gained notable competitive success including several All-Britain titles in both solo and group competitions and a coveted All-Ireland gold medal in the Under 12 section. For the past two years, as part of 'The Southside Fiddlers' and at the invitation of well-known Irish fiddler, Liz Doherty, Jemma has performed at the Buncrana Festival in Co. Donegal.

It is on the small harp, however, that Jemma shines, her playing has been described as ‘magical’. Within a year of starting to learn the harp, she came second in the Scottish championships which qualified her to represent Scotland in the 2008 Great Britain championships. Since then, Jemma has played at many Celtic and Scottish traditional festivals and concerts, wowing the audiences with her talent.

How the Award Helped

The only barrier to her development is the lack of her own harp. The Dewar Arts Award will enable her to purchase a good-quality instrument.

Jemma and I were absolutely delighted to receive your letter informing us that [she] has been successful in her application to purchase a harp. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the trustees for making Jemma a very happy girl! (Eileen McMonagle, mother)