An Irish harpist will perform Ed Sheeran's "Little Bird" at the summit of Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.
Siobhan Brady, a harpist from Limerick, is attempting to break a world record by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and playing a twenty-minute concert at the summit of 19,000 ft. If she succeeds she will break her own record of playing the harp at 16,000 ft on the Himalayas in 2018.
Brady will be accompanied by a team, which will include Caroline Heffernan from Galway, a person with cystic fibrosis and CF Advocate with Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, and Pat Falvey, a mountaineer and lead climber.
The team began their climb on Thursday, July 20, and aim to reach the summit on July 25, at 5 am Irish time.
📢UPDATE📢 The #HighestHarpConcert team arrived in Tanzania yesterday to a warm welcome by Tanzanian dignitaries. Today, they are meeting their guides ahead of the epic challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for their world record attempt to play the Highest Harp concert ever 🏔 💪 pic.twitter.com/1sX9qzTmPz— CF Ireland (@cf_ireland) July 19, 2023
The entire journey will be filmed by cinematographer Shane Joyce, also from Limerick, who plans to release a documentary in the future.
In support of the challenge, President Michael D Higgins has presented the team with his poem, ‘The Prophets Are Weeping’ which will be read by Caroline, and Siobhan will play ‘Little Bird’ with permission from Ed Sheeran.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system, with Ireland having the highest rate of cystic fibrosis per capita in the world.
Incredibly grateful to have inspirational CF Advocate Catherine Heffernan with us every step of the wayhttps://t.co/94FVnMBaDf#CysticFibrosisIreland #GuinnessWorldRecord #Kilimanjaro pic.twitter.com/xRTD7AXBPA— Highest Harp Concert (@HighestHarp) July 21, 2023
“Cystic Fibrosis Ireland would like to wish the Highest Harp concert team the very best of luck on their amazing Kilimanjaro record-breaking challenge," said Fergal Smyth, CFI Fundraising Manager.
"Thank you so much for taking on this mammoth challenge which aims to raise €100,000 to help support people with cystic fibrosis in Ireland. We can’t wait to see the live concert all going well on Tuesday 25th July from the summit of Kilimanjaro.”
The team has also been collecting resources to donate to The Plaster House, a local charity that aims to improve the lives of children living with treatable disabilities across Tanzania.
“Living with a chronic condition all my life, I understand the challenges faced by children with disabilities, so I felt it was important to support the local community while we are there. We have collected fifteen suitcases of arts and crafts materials, underwear, school jumpers, GAA equipment and importantly PPE, which have been generously donated to us by family and friends to hand over to the hospital,” said Caroline.
Donations can be made at JustGiving.com.