When I first started playing classical pedal harp as a teenager I had no idea of the adventures that lay before me. It wasn’t until discovering the Celtic harp in the late 70‘s that I became truly smitten. My life and career path unexpectedly changed and since then the harp has led me to many new friends and adventures in different corners of the world. I discovered a delightful new corner last year when, out of the blue, I received an invitation to the Harp on Wight festival taking place October 2015 in the town of Ryde. I live in north-central USA and had only heard of the Isle of Wight, like most Americans, from the Beatles song & famous rock fest. I was touched by the personal email from the director, Anna Sacchini, who said it was her dream to have me come to their second festival. By coincidence I was booked for a festival in France the very next weekend, so I accepted her invitation. I’m so happy I did!
Harp on Wight turned out to be a very special festival and a wonderful week. Some personal highlights for me were meeting some lovely new harpists and harp makers, the relaxed pace and intimacy of the classes, the stellar concert performances in historic churches, the delicious meals at Ristorante Michelangelo, my first ride in a hovercraft and finally, the few extra days I stayed to see the rest of the beautiful island, complete with local guide (thank you, Vic!). Perhaps my favorite moment of the week was playing an impromptu duet during my concert with Anna Sacchini, who unexpectedly turned out to be a Master Sitar player. It was such a surprise and an honor to be able to play with her. What fun!
We are all drawn to the harp for different reasons but for each of us, no matter what age we discover it, the harp can become a catalyst for connection and change. Whether it’s meeting other supportive harpists, performing for our communities or simply finding selfexpression, playing the harp connects and transforms us all, leading us to a place of peace, inspiration and joy. You’ll see. Until we meet again, may you enjoy your adventure at Harp on Wight as much as I did!