“How many Juilliard harpists does it take to move a harp to an audition in the middle of a blizzard?” asks Caroline Bembia. “Two—one to do the heavy lifting and one to document the struggle.” Here Bembia is behind the camera, while her classmate Emily Levin is behind the harp.
You don’t have to live in Alaska to battle the snow and ice, as Texas harpist Gisele George will tell you after moving her harp in a winter storm last year.
It’s that time of year again. The trees are bare, the air is crisp, and flecks of white are falling from the sky. Winter can be a magical time of year—ice skating, hot chocolate, and warm fires. But for harpists it can also be a treacherous season full of difficult harp moves over ice and snow, precarious driving conditions, and dry and cracking fingers.
While most people change their wardrobe and maybe their snow tires at the onset of winter, harpists are faced with a range of seasonal challenges. You have to “winterize” your harp life—from your studio, to your harpmobile, to your body.
Don’t be left out in the cold; find out from the experts how to protect yourself and your instrument from the harsh winter elements.
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Angela Schwarzkopf is a professional freelance harpist and teacher in the greater Toronto area. President of the Toronto Chapter of the American Harp Society, Angela is the first harpist to pursue a Doctorate of Music in Harp Performance in Canada. Angela is a course instructor at the University of Toronto, and a regular adjudicator at the Glenn Gould School of Music. This season Angela can be seen performing with Orchestra London, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony, and the Talisker Players, among other orchestras and ensembles. In her spare time Angela enjoys writing for Harp Column.