Wow, June has sped by.... lot of gigs this month, but one of the loveliest gigs I did was a rather bizarre but brilliant educational event I took part in as part of the Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield.
It was an ingenious introduction to instruments of the orchestra, set in Macclesfield library. There were groups of string and wind players spread out on the ground floor of the library, with brass and percussion players upstairs and the harp in the corridor.
There were tours every half hour with a stream of visitors to each group of musicians. As the tour party arrived at your spot, you played your cadenza from Britten's Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra. After each tour party had heard all the cadenzas from the various instruments they could then go off and have a go on the various instruments. After playing the first cadenza, there was a steady stream of children wanting a go on the harp throughout the morning.
Luckily I had my lovely teenage daughter with me as my official roadie that day, as well as someone who had volunteered to help fend off little fingers from the harps as I was playing, and boy did I need them both!
I took my little harp for everyone to have a go on, and it was a pretty full on morning of playing YPG cadenza lots of times and then supervising lots of very young children having a go on the lever harp.
The pictures make it look a lot more relaxed and sedate then it actually was, as it was usually at least 2 children having a go on the lever harp at the same time as there were just so many of them wanting a go. It was a brilliant event and lovely to introduce the harp to so many young (and not so young) people.
Never have I been as in need of a restorative cup of tea, as after that gig.
A brilliant concept of an educational event and I was very glad to have been a small part of it.
Well, I'm a bit of a harp nerd, and it's the quirky more unusual side of harping that usually catches my eye and ear!
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