Donal Hinely

A Touch O' Glass

Music of the Glass Harmonica

"powerful, passionate, intricate, gorgeous music...definitely the highlight of the festival!" --DAVE HIGS, NPR

"Displays the amazing range of this ancient folk instrument...tasteful and extraordinarily beautiful"--AMAZON.COM




"A lot of Bach for the buck...a musician who combines talent and touch." --TERRY BULGER, WSMV-TV, NASHVILLE                             




Listen to the instrument:

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For lots more videos, go to the Donal Hinely YouTube channel





"How does he do that??"

The musician begins and almost instantly a large crowd gathers around him. The music is lilting, ethereal, inspirational. The tones are almost haunting, bringing to mind the sound of a violin, a flute, an organ, or even at times a steel drum. Some in the audience smile in recognition of a rare instrument they have heard about or seen in the distant past. Others simply gaze in open-mouthed wonder. Excited children get as close as they can and ask aloud the question on everyone's mind: "How does he do that?!"

This is the typical scene anytime Donal Hinely plays his homemade instrument, the glass harmonica. With a little water, an agile touch, and an odd assortment of wine glasses and brandy snifters purchased at thrift stores, he has entertained and delighted groups like this one at festivals, street fairs, coffee houses, special events, private parties, weddings, and art shows throughout the southern and mid eastern United States. He learned this obsolete art--which dates back to the days of Mozart-- from his older brother Terry Hinely, a self taught glass harmonica player. Together in 1988 they formed Glasnots, a group which played traditional Irish and original music and featured Terry on the glasses and Donal on guitar and vocals. Glasnots primarily played Renaissance festivals in Texas and were successful recording artists producing 6 CDs over an eight year span.

Since Terry's untimely death in 1997, Donal has carried on the glass tradition pioneered by his brother, playing an eclectic repertoire of traditional tunes from the British Isles, classical music, original compositions, and holiday favorites. Now based in Tennessee, he has been the subject of many local news features and NPR programs and even performed for the Governor of Tennessee at the opening of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in downtown Nashville. As a solo artist, he has produced 3 albums of traditional and original glass music.


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Current performer at:

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Texas Renaissance Festival

Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival

Medieval Fair, Norman, OK

Alabama Renaissance Festival

Dickens on the Strand, Galveston

Dickens of a Christmas, Franklin, TN


Past performer at:

Florida Renaissance Festival

Georgia Renaissance Festival

North Texas Irish Festival

Gulf Coast Renaissance Festival

Uncle Dave Macon Days Festival

South by Southwest Music Conference

NXNE Music Conference, Toronto, Canada

Midpoint Music Festival


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