Winter Harpist

by Kate

I play the harp.

harpist fantastic hat

My harp is a Troubadour. It’s a lever harp about five feet tall. Tall enough to make a dramatic statement- but small enough for a six foot tall farm girl harpist to heft and carry hither and yon.

troubadour harp red barn asparagus

After the golden fronds of asparagus have bowed beneath the frost and autumn turns to early winter is my favorite time to play the harp. Advent, Hanukkah, and Christmas music is made for the harp. This is quite literally true, as much of the music I am playing was written with harps or similar instruments in mind. The pieces I am playing are haunting and holy and lovely.

christmas harpist pittsburgh kate stapleton

Of course I rarely (er, never) really play my harp in a frosty field or forest full of holly berries. This year, with a three month old and two year old and demanding schedule of dancing and caring for elderly people and maaaybe doing my laundry someday, I purposely avoided taking any additional Christmas gigs beyond my regular bimonthly visit to the Alzheimers and Dementia unit up the hill. However, a couple grocery store gigs fell into my lap, and I took them. I’m glad I did.

I love grocery store harp gigs. After spending a good ten years of my life in or directly around the grocery business, the aisles of a grocery store feel like home, but to be honest I prefer to descend upon those aisles in a sweeping ballgown with a harp. My favorite thing about grocery store harp gigs, though, is the reaction of the customers. No one expects to see a harpist when they trudge into a grocery store, so there is often a magical sense of wonder when they come around a corner and find one.

Giant Eagle harpist Pittsburgh, PA

And so in this early winter season I was to be found with my Troubadour harp playing haunting, regal, holy harp music… right next to a huge display of Steelers Merchandise near a pharmacy at a local Giant Eagle Grocery store. And it was lovely.

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5 thoughts on “Winter Harpist

  1. Eliza

    Nice photos! I own a grand concert pedal harp; even though it looks amazing and has a rich, great sound, it becomes such a pain to carry it around. I would love to own a troubadour harp like yours one day! I’ve never done gigs in supermarkets, but that sounds like a great idea, even though I find it a bit dangerous for the instrument itself. What with the crowd and kids …

    Reply
    1. sweetridgesisters Post author

      Thanks! A troubadour really is great for carrying around. I would love to own a concert grand…. but the idea of transporting it is pretty overwhelming, and it would be WAY scarier to have out in public, for sure. Or in my tiny house with a toddler, come to think of it. Some day, though, I hope. Thanks for commenting! -kate

      Reply

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