Music Department Expands Its Harp Program
May 9, 2012
Contact: William Baar, Orchestra Director, (847) 718-4500, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Elk Grove High School's harp music program, which started last November, recently acquired a third harp. Orchestra director William Baar decided to take another harp out of storage, repair it and put it to good use by allowing student musicians to play it. The newest addition, made by Venus, one of two harp manufacturers in the U.S., is a brown Grand Concert (full-size) pedal harp embellished with intricate flower designs on the wooden frame.
The harp music program lets students express their musical abilities by playing this unique instrument. Although the musicians must pay for lessons, any interested students may learn to play the harp.
Outside music teacher, Joanne Glover, said, "It's great that the school is able to provide the opportunity to learn to play the instrument. I don't think the school population is even aware that the opportunity exists to study the harp."
Elk Grove provides both the instrument and the teacher, more resources provided than any other District 214 school. Glover currently teaches three members: sophomores Sarah Schirmer and Olga Triantafilidis, and junior Grace Allen. Since EGHS now possesses three harps, this allows each girl to practice whenever she wishes, without accommodating her time to another player's.
Both Allen and Schirmer, who play other string instruments, believe that by learning to play the harp, it will be easier to learn how to play the piano because the harp requires players to read both the treble and bass clefs.
Originally, students at John Hersey High School played the harp, but interest waned in the years that followed, and the harps languished in storage. Today, Baar realizes the advantage that the harp brings. He introduced the harps to EGHS, and with it, the harp music program began.
"The harp gives a whole new sound and color to the orchestra and completes the music program," Baar said.
The students and both music teachers hope to see the program grow and the harp gain more popularity at Elk Grove High School.