Playing for the Pope

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Every once in a while you get called to play a really cool gig.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday Sept. 23 in Washington D.C. (photo by Alan Holdren/CNA)

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday Sept. 23 in Washington D.C. (photo by Alan Holdren/CNA)

A different kind of gig.

One you will tell your grandkids about.

Wednesday Sept. 23, I had one of those gigs. I had the distinct honor to perform for Pope Francis in Washington D.C., during his historic visit to the U.S.! While I was absolutely thrilled to accept the engagement, the practical harpist in me thought—how is this ever going to work out logistically?!?! As the media hyped the visit, reported on numerous road closures, and all federal workers were advised to telework, my anxiety level of simply getting myself and my harp to the performance rose through the roof! I truly needed not have worried. Except for the point when the Secret Service accused me of having the weapon of a ninja in the form of a tuning key, everything went off without a hitch. The weather was perfect, the music was sublime, and the experience of being in the presence of Pope Francis and the effect that he had on the crowd of 25,000 people was once in a lifetime.

Stay tuned for the upcoming Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Harp Column when I’ll give you the full low-down on this unforgettable gig.

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