Masthead header
gaylenonharp bio picture

    Gaylen – Rose Sales (nee Hendey) was born in Pretoria and started piano lessons at the age of six and harp lessons at the age of ten with Moya Wright and later with Rosalind Dunbar. She matriculated at the Pro Arte High School and later obtained a B Mus degree in Performing Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her main instruments were harp and organ which she studied under Kathleen Alistair and Prof. Henk Temmingh respectively.She has performed as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Pro-Musica Orchestra, Transvaal Philharmonic Orchestra and more recently with the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. As an orchestral player, has made appearances with NAPAC, PACOFS, NSO, CPO and toured South America with the Junior SABC orchestra. In 1983 she joined a Greek choir at the Athens Music Festival as the harpist.

    Gaylen has been the recipient of many awards and bursaries, including the Unisa Buy-Aid Bursary (1981), the SAMRO Undergraduate Music Bursary (1982-1984), the Olga Lipman Bursary (1982,1984, 1985). From 1986-1988 she worked as repetiteur and Principal Harpist for PACOFS. In 1993 she joined the Transvaal Philharmonic Orchestra (later known as The New Arts Philharmonic Orchestra of Pretoria) as Principal Harpist until its closure.

    She is married with three sons and currently serves as Principal Harpist for the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa. In 2010, she performed in Mauritius with the CPO for a production of the Opera Carmen as well as with various fellow musicians in Concerts at Classic FM and Northwards.

    Gaylen is actively involved in Backround music for functions such as Weddings, Corporate Events and Funerals. Together with the JFO, she has been fortunate to accompany various prominent overseas Artists including : Pavarotti, Josh Groban, St’ Petersburg Ballet, Khanye West and more recently Amaury Vasssili, Katherine Jenkins and Il Divo.

A Country Wedding

November 5, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Leona - Hi there,

Could you please provide me with more information for your prices and rates for a wedding function? Thank you.

Kind regards,
Leona Tsai

September 3, 2015 - 7:37 pm

Charné - Hello

My fiancé and I are getting married on 2 April 2016 at Zambesi Point. I would like to know what your fees are for a wedding and is it possible that we can come and listen to you play?

Kind regards

September 7, 2015 - 9:54 am

Lynn - We urgently need a harpist for.our wedding

Harp Concert

Brigit Rennie-Salonen and Gaylen-Rose Sales getting ready to perform the at tonight’s Classical Music Concert.

The Paz Consort

What a exciting concert, new works, great musicians and a fantastic audience. Write up here.


Faure Requiem at the beautiful Christ Church

Rehearsals for the Faure Requiem at the beautiful Christ Church Arcadia, (incidentally were Mario and I got married 25 years ago!!) I love playing this work and to do so in these surroundings makes it even more special. Thank you George!


Starlight Classics 2012

Starlight Classics is one of the highlights of the year on the musical calendar, and this year was no exception. In fact this year the event was really unique in that we had snow, hail, blizzards take your pick which had the crowds running for shelter. It was reminiscent of an air raid and will go down in the annuals of “ Do you remember the time that there was a foot of hail”, and as the years pass the foot will become two feet , then three. The stuff legends are made of.

The cast was tremendous with some awesome musicians and singers performing. This blog entry I have decided to concentrate much more on Behind the Scenes, so if you see yourself in an image please feel free to tag yourself.
Best wishes

p.s thanks to Mario Sales and Brendan Hohls for the hail/snow images


A Beautiful Memorial Service in the Forest 31 March 2012


The Planets

I recently had the privilege of playing The Planets by Holst with the TUKS Orchestra for the lunch hour concert. Afterwards there was this group of kids who were fascinated by the harp. This to the delight of the kids led to an impromptu harp demonstration. I just love the enthusiasm and interest that these kids showed in the harp. From questions ” How many strings are there? What are the pedals for ? and are those strings really made of gut?  I really enjoyed sharing my passion and love of the harp with these budding and aspiring musicians.


A Winter Christening

An early start to a crisp winter morning! Riana had two of her grandsons christened on their smallholding in Pretoria. The Family Minister mentioned that when he first started out with the family he clearly remembered that the tree under which they held the ceremony was a lot smaller and so was the family. Looking back now, the tree has grown and so has the family which was clearly evident this morning. With loads of kids running around this is what made this Christening so special. Just a short post with a few selected images.



Bon Voyage and Welcome to Ireland