Mandy’s Story

About 3 or 4 years ago I asked my mum and dad for a letter for Christmas. Just that – no gifts. They both wrote explaining the decision they had made many years ago about my choice of musical tuition. Violin or harp. It had to be transportable – therefore no harp. (My father was in the RAF and moved from country to county regularly which is why the instrument that I chose to learn had to be transportable.) 

Unbeknown to me, in addition to the Christmas letter they also commissioned to have a harp made for me. Due to pandemic delays it took longer than expected to arrive. My dad never got to see it.

I began learning the harp via Zoom two years ago and continue to learn. Eight weeks before our spring concert, our conductor called me to say he had arranged a piece to include a harp part in our next concert. Was I up for it?

Two weeks later, I adopted a full-sized harp from a dear and faithful friend in the orchestra. In that time I have learnt to replace strings (no easy task), tune and re-tune, use pedals and I have learnt the piece note by note bar by bar. This is not to mention moving the harp and shoe-horning it into my car!

Our spring concert was only the third time I have ever played in front of real people, and the first in front of an audience.

I have been supported by my dear friends (and uncomplaining husband!) through every step/note of this journey and I’m so grateful. What a journey, what an orchestra, what a concert, and what a special group of people. This was for my dear dad!

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