"What got you started playing the harp?"
This is the most asked question I get when performing.
I've always wanted to play the harp ever since I knew what a harp was. When I was little my Mom
took me to the "Syracuse Symphony" in New York as part of our home school field trips. I always
had my eyes glued to the harpist that played. My Mom noticed, through the years of home schooling me,
that I had a interest in music. She asked me what instrument I would like to play and I said the
harp. Well at the time she was unaware of how to go about it and thought that it was out of the
question. So she bought me a violin and paid for lessons for about 2 years. Then we moved from Oswego,
New York to Luverne, Minnesota. Well, unable to find a new teacher, my violin kinda got put aside.
So she bought me a keyboard and paid for piano lessons for about 2 1/2 years. In the mean time
I self taught myself to play the recorder while I took lessons in piano.
My family started going to concerts at the Old City Court House Museum in Sioux Falls, SD. It was there that we met a
dulcimer player. A young harpist was there too. When it was over my mom asked
if I could play on the harp. She said that I always wanted to play the harp but we could never
afford a harp or find a teacher. They told us that if we know someone who works with wood
there is a kit that you can buy for only 500$. Well my Dad works with wood and this idea was very
doable. Then they introduced us to Anna Vorhes who is a harp teacher. And by my 13th birthday
I had my first lesson and became a harpist. My dream was made!
About a year an a half later my teacher said that I had to get a bigger harp if I was going to
improve. So we called my Grandmother in New York for some help and we purchased a Lyon & Healy
prelude lever harp. I started performing at different weddings and parties. I did over 20 concerts
a year free for community services at churches, hospitals, and nursing homes. Also playing in many groups,
such as the Assemblies of God worship team in Luverne Mn, Outpost ministries in Brandon SD, Assemblies
of God Christmas band in Brandon SD, Multiple harp concert in Sioux Falls SD, Augie music camp
in Sioux falls SD, and sat in once with the Shaky Jake Newman band. Also I'm blessed with a talented Mother who plays
the Cello with me at home and at some of my concerts I've done over the years.
I had worked at various jobs through out high school, But had to stop because my performances were conflicting with work. I was
making more money than I ever did at my jobs and I was enjoying what I was doing. Wanting to pursue this new love that I have found, My teacher said that in order to go to a music
school or even join an orchestra I would have to purchase a pedal harp.Several friends and relatives gave me
private scholarships and I took out a loan from
the bank and leased my prelude out to another harpist. Then I bought a Venus Protege pedal harp and
got accepted with a scholarship into Augustana College in Sioux Falls South Dakota. Which brings
us to present day. So there's a little about how I have become a harpist.