I am finally coming to the end of a VERY busy summer.  June started off with memorizing and practicing as many pieces as I could for my harp marathon. The week after that, I was in the choir for a performance of Carmina Burana. That was a full week of final rehearsal and two performances over the weekend.  Next, I work for a music festival two weeks every summer.  NOW, Ive just finished a week of rehearsals and a choral performance of Mahler’s 8th symphony in Chicago. (That’s coming in the next post.)

During all this insanity, my sister was kind enough to offer her spare bedroom with her in Chicago so I wouldn’t have to drive back and forth.  This meant a ton of walking around and sight-seeing.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Chicago River Walk  downtown at night, I highly recommend it.

The day of the performance was the first day in awhile where I didn’t have to take a train or be anywhere before noon.  After visiting the gym (and meeting my sisters personal trainer)  we decided to visit the Lyon & Healy showroom.

The harp I play now is a Lyon & Healy Folk harp.  I think the model they have now that is the closest is the Ogden . Ive had this instrument for longer than I care to admit.  It was the first harp I owned and while I rented a pedal harp for a few years, I never had the chance to have one of my own.  Our visit would be wishful thinking and window shopping more than anything else.    Ive played my lever harp for years, I’ve been thinking of moving up to a pedal harp.  It would give me greater versatility and repertoire for performing and recording.

First, we arrived after lunch.  I hadn’t thought to call ahead for an appointment. We walked into the foyer and the guy at the desk called for someone to take us up to the showroom.

When we arrived, the elevator opened to a room FULL OF HARPS. I squeaked.  (I don’t do that very often. People give me funny looks.)  It was amazing.  Every harp you could think of was in the room.  They had smaller rooms off to the side where you could try the instruments.  A woman in the next room was playing.

Then I saw THE HARP.  It was the harp that I had been obsessing over online for at least a year.  Not only was I interested in a pedal harp, I wanted an electro-accoustic model.  (See the photo at the top)   I didn’t even think that Lyon & Healy would have a floor model of the harp I wanted. It was the first one I saw as I came in the door.  A very pleasant woman greeted us and soon, I was sitting happily at the harp I wanted to take home.

It’s the Salvi Rainbow 40.  It was 40 strings instead of the 47 that the larger models have.  It is also a few inches shorter than it’s larger versions with a straight soundboard that doesn’t flair at the bottom.  I told my sister that it was my harp.  We looked at a few other models (She prefers the wood finish without the pickups on each string).

That’s me hugging my harp before I leave.  Now I just have to find a way to afford it.  My sister suggested some sort of fundraiser.  I brought up getting a second job.  Either way, it’s mine, eventually.  I’m setting a goal of one year.  By then, it will be mine.

The whole trip was great.  It was worth the hour-long walk to get there.  We did so much walking over the week.  Soon, we had to leave Lyon & Healy and head back to my sister’s place so I could get ready for the concert at Ravinia.  That’s my next post.  🙂


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