Frances comes by her musical talents, honestly. Descended from John Roberts – the Royal Harper, she has a musical family. Her great, great grandmother was a gifted singer and harpist, her great grandmother sang on the London stage. Her cousins performed in musical comedy at London’s West End and her great great uncles played the Welsh Triple Harp for Royalty when Queen Victoria visited Wales in 1889. Her father was a Welsh tenor who performed at London’s Sadler’s Wells and in lead roles in many of Verdi and Puccini operas with amateur operatic societies in the U.K. and U.S.
Frances began her musical training on the piano at the age of 7, on the flute at the age of 40, and the celtic harp at age 52.
She studied classical harp with Julie Umbrico, daughter of eminent Judy Loman (Toronto Symphony); taken Celtic harp master classes with Sharlene Wallace, international Celtic harp recording artist; and Welsh harp with Robin Huw Bowen, recording artist and leading exponent of the Welsh triple harp and with Elinor Bennett the internationally recognized Welsh harpist.
Her stories about her gypsy ancestors and her harp playing have entertained audiences in Guelph, Ontario, Kitchener, Toronto, St. Petersburg, Florida and on CBC Radio’s First Person Singular segment.
Please visit the John Robert Welsh Romany Harpist page on Face Book