Dedicated to performing the varied and rich repertoire for high voice and harp, the duo DoubleAction formed in 1999 as a collaboration between tenor Thomas Gregg and harpist Emily Laurance. Because of their common interest in research and performance practice, they have from their inception specialized in harp-accompanied songs published between 1780 and 1830. For these performances they use an 1829 single-action harp made in Dublin by John Egan, and restored in 2000 by Howard Bryan. DoubleAction has presented historical programs for the Society for American Music, the American Antiquarian Society and the Boston Early Music Festival.
DoubleAction also presents art song programs with modern harp. In 1999 the duo had the opportunity to coach and perform with Osian Ellis, the definitive interpreter of Benjamin Britten’s harp music, at the Florida International Festival. On that occasion the Daytona Beach News-Journal called them “ . . . a charming duo, blending the 20th-century art song with folk roots.” In 2003 Classical Voice of North Carolina hailed their imaginative programs as “well planned, well crafted, and well performed. Somehow the artists routinely manage to find obscure gems that the listener is glad were brought out for inspection.”
DoubleAction also enjoys performing concerts of traditional and modern settings of folk songs, especially from the British Isles. This repertoire includes both well-known and more unusual songs from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Hebrides. The Irish songs are performed with a smaller, traditional Celtic lever harp. Audience sing-a-longs in these concerts are a fun way to get everyone directly involved in the music-making.