The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

‘Harp and Soul’ Siobhan Brady breaks World Record for highest concert on Mount Kilimanjaro

Irish Harpist, Siobhan Brady has managed to strum the strings for 18 minutes at the highest point on the African Continent, the Uhuru Summit of Kilimanjaro.

She played an assortment of songs, including local Kiswahili tunes as well as the summit highlight number, which is Ed Sheeran’s ‘Little Bird.’

All of the highest concert teams with the exception of one ‘Stephen’ managed to reach the highest point of the Kibo peak and hit notes from there.

Siobhan Brady, the harpist from Limerick, could have just broken her own world record in dragging her Scottish harp to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro and playing a close to twenty-minute concert at the 19,000 feet elevation.

She previously set the record of strumming the harp strings at 16,000 feet height of the Singla Pass in Little Kashmir’s Himalayas in the year 2018.

It seems she has just broken the Guinness World Record on Kilimanjaro, July 25.

Siobhan was accompanied by a team, which included her own father, Sean Brady and a person with cystic fibrosis and CF Advocate with Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Caroline Heffernan from Galway.

In her team there was also Pat Falvey, a mountaineer and lead climber and the Highest Concert Orchestra.

Mauly Tours handled the logistics part of the arrangements.

The musical entourage started their Kilimanjaro hike using the Machame route in the Morning of Thursday, July 20, 2023

The group managed to reach the highest summit on July 25, where they played music from the roof of Africa.

And just like her previous outing, in the Himalayas, this new Kilimanjaro record was specially broken in aid of those living with cystic fibrosis.

In fact all funds raised for the climbing are going to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

Mount Kilimanjaro’s music program for the highest concert included the Kiswahili number ‘Ahsante Tanzania,’ which translates as ‘Thank You Tanzania,’ forming one of the local tunes on her set list.

The Tanzanian Song was strangely requested by an Irish composer Anne-Marie O’Farrell.

The other song is of course Ed Sheeran’s Little Bird.

Little Bird is said to be connected to Caroline Heffernan, a patient advocate at Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

Ms Heffernan came along with Siobhan’s team to Tanzania and climbed Kilimanjaro as well.

She explains that the Ed Sheeran song, ‘Little Bird’ was a tribute to the late Triona Priestley, a lady who died from cystic fibrosis in 2014.

Caroline Heffernan met Triona Priestley’s mother, who told her that when her daughter was being hospitalized she wrote several letters to Pop Star Ed Sheeran.

One day, Ed Sheeran made a direct call to Triona, while she was at the hospital and sang to her the song ‘Little Bird.’

Little Bird was Triona’s favourite song, but as soon as Sheeran finished singing it, the doctor announced that she was dead.

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