Strange But True Harp Stories—Spa Day

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I received a call from the owner of a new spa asking if I could play for its grand opening. The owner told me she wanted the event to be relaxed yet elegant, and that harp music would be just right for the day. The new spa was located in Greenwich, Conn., one of the wealthiest towns in America. The date worked for me, and we agreed on a fee.

The day of the grand opening had beautiful, crystal clear weather, and I played amidst the spa’s peaceful surroundings with its neutral colors and tasteful over-stuffed chairs. The low tables were stocked with fitness magazines and there were lovely planters with live grass floating in water in clear glass containers with artful stones at their bases. Waiters passed out food to the well-dressed crowd, and the owner was pleased with the day, the music, and the turnout.

She told me that at some point she would be giving some welcoming remarks and there would be a special surprise for the guests.  I played a relaxed variety of music and awaited her signal. The owner was quite laid back, though, and several hours had gone by, the sun had set, and the waiters had lit the little votive candles before she finally told me she would begin the announcements.

She gathered the guests out on the patio, and I listened as she talked about the spa, thanked various people, and then gave a nod for the special surprise to take place—a releasing of doves! But the owner seemed to be unaware of the fact that doves do not like to fly in the dark. The birds were confused and frantic. They began flapping madly and trying to find a place to roost—splashing into the grass and water in the displays on the tables, circling around and then heading toward the awnings by the guests’ heads! It was pandemonium—the guests were ducking and shrieking and trying to cover their heads as they ran for cover, and I ran to protect my harp!  It was quite a scene. The owner had indeed prepared a surprise, but not the type she had expected!  It turned out to be a day at the spa that I’ll never forget. •

—Wendy Kerner
Wilton, Conn.

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