The Rossini Festival

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Our daughter has been taking harp lessons for almost two years and her teacher takes some of his students to a couple of events around town. One is the Valentine Day’s Harp Concert at the Maryville Public Library. The other is the Rossini Festival, the largest street festival in Knoxville, TN.

Teenage girl playing the harp

Our daughter playing the harp on the Union Ave stage during the 2024 Rossini Festival

Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating that day, but we made do. At least the rain stopped before we got to the stage. Continue reading »

Valentine’s Day Harp Concert

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Our daughter has taken harp lessons for a year and a half. Every year, her teacher invites several of his students to the Blount County Public Library around Valentine’s Day, to perform in front of about 200 people.

A girl and a harp

Our daughter played on a Wurlitzer harp from the 1930s, on loan from her teacher.

This yearly concert started almost twenty years ago as the brainchild of Bill Robinson, a violinist and retired orchestra director from Maryville. Continue reading »

Graduating to a Pedal Harp

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Our daughter has been taking harp lessons for 11 months and her teacher decided she was ready to move from a lever to a pedal harp. In harp playing, there is something called “overpulling.” When the student has developed the muscles and technique of plucking the strings really well, it is time to go to a bigger harp.

Girl playing a pedal harp

Our daughter playing a pedal harp; you can see the lever harp in the background.

Of course, lever harps are different from pedal harps in a fundamental way, not just size. Lever harps have small levers on top of the strings to produce flats and sharps. Pedal harps have pedals at the base of the harp, which the player activates with the foot in order to produce flats and sharps. Continue reading »