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    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.

Bon Voyage and Welcome to Ireland


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.



Playing Harp over the Cliffs

It’s not often that Mario and I get to do a wedding together so this was really special as it was a destination wedding. With the Ocean as a backdrop, the harp was the perfect combination for their wedding.

Charmaine and Nicol, asked me if I would be willing to play  harp for their wedding ceremony and for the cocktails while they were having their wedding photographs taken.

There were two possible solutions. Either we drive down with my harp which would effectively add two days to our journey or alternatively I could source one from one of the Cape Town harpist’s. We opted for the latter option. Many thanks to Roelien Grobbelaar for the use of her harp.

Nicol had a special request and asked me to play him one of his favourite songs “ Here I am ” from Bryan Adams while he was waiting for Charmaine to arrive. Other favourites that were played was Greensleeves for the bridesmaids as they made their way to the front. Charmaine made her entrance to the Pachelbel Canon in D. Other favourites that were played was the Theme from Love Story , Close to you by the Carpenters and the Trumpet Voluntary for the exit. Here are some images from there wedding.







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 Beautiful Memorial Service in the Forest 31 March 2012