—by LaVon Bridges
The first time I played in public with our Aurora Harp Ensemble proved to be quite an unusual experience. It was on a December day about ten years ago at the Anchorage Senior Center in Anchorage, Alaska. We were part of the entertainment in the lobby while senior citizen members were waiting for their turn to go into their annual Christmas luncheon.
We were playing an arrangement of “Arran Boat Song,” and I was a bit nervous and a little worried that I might miss coming back in on my part since I had a few measures of rests. After all, I was new to both the harp and playing in an ensemble.
When it came to my measures of rests, I felt a little lost in counting. Suddenly, I heard a female voice to my right say, “LaVon, it’s your time.” I came in right on time, following the advice I heard. I assumed it was the harpist next to me on my right who was playing the same part.
When we had finished our set and were back in the room packing up our harps, I thanked my neighbor for giving me the cue to come in. She said, “I thought you said it. I didn’t say it, but I heard it too.”
There was no other harpist to her right, and the person on my left was playing a different part, and she said she didn’t say it. Our director, who was playing several harps away to the left, said it must have been an angel or her departed harp teacher who we all knew and loved.
The mystery remains, but this was the encouragement I needed to keep me going on the harp!