importance of bringing your own bench

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    This week, I decided to leave my harp and bench at home and use the university’s equipment for a short piece at the end of a recital. The elevators weren’t working, so a student informed me that she would leave a harp in a certain room on the same floor as the recital hall. The harp was not where it was purported to be, but when I did find it in a different room, the bench did not appear to be there. Having used up most of my tuning and warm-up time looking for the harp, and then replacing a broken string, I decided to try using a piano bench which was backstage. It was a bit too low, but I thought it would do. However, since there was already another piano bench onstage, I decided to use that one for the performance. Here’s where the cautionary tale comes in: it was not as high as the other bench, and was already as high as it would go. As I sat down, accelerating through where I usually sit, I knew this was going to be a very long 3 minutes. My abs were working hard just to keep me upright, and the pedal changes were an adventure. Let’s just say it was the most cautious performance I have played in a long time. Moral: always bring your own bench or be very sure that an adjustable, harpist-friendly chair will be there for you!

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