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Millennium Harp Quest (part 2)

Harping for Harmony sponsors Millennium Quests for harpers. The concept is to declare a quest for a one-year period that will stretch your comfort zone as a musician and provide a community service to your locality.

Jo declared her own Millennium Quest on March 13, 2003.

10. Westminster Municipal Park, Westminster, MD

Jo playing in Westminster Municipal Park, Westminster, MD I stopped by the city park after going out to eat on Memorial Day, May 26th, and played for about a half hour. It was a very pleasant evening, and we watched the sunset as I played from the gazebo at the park. There were several people in the park, one working on paperwork in the gazebo, who tapped her foot along to my music, and several children and adults playing on the swings and toys in the park, and a couple of folks playing basketball. I didn't think my music was carrying beyond the gazebo until a couple with a young girl named Danielle came by and talked to me and my husband about the instrument and the music. They had heard the music from across the park at the playground. I offered to let Danielle try the harp, but she was too timid to try, although she was interested in seeing it played. Her father said she loves to strum his guitar.

9. Falls Church, VA

On May 17th, I went to a DC-area hospital to play for someone who was there for surgery. I had never met this person, but he had a direct impact on my life because he had been a part of the design and construction of my harp. I had discovered he was in the area for surgery, so I went by to offer to play for him on one of his creations. This was a total pleasure for me -- it was a joy to try to give back a little of the pleasure I had received from the instrument to one of the makers. I also found that he and his family were wonderful people, so it was great fun to talk with them.

8. Takoma Park, MD

Jo playing in Takoma Park, MD On April 28th I went to Takoma Park to the House of Musical Traditions to restock my CDs in their store. It was a beautiful day out, so I brought along my lap harp. I took the harp across the street from the store to a shaded park bench and played for about 20 minutes. This was an unusual time, since a number of people passed by, walking their dogs or getting some exercise or heading to a bus stop, but only a couple paid any attention to me at all. I don't know if the road noise prevented them from hearing me or if they were just in a hurry, but basically I had very little response. Two people did stop and listen for a minute or so, but then immediately proceeded on their way again.

7. Private home, King George, VA

I went to visit my family on April 20th in honor of my Mother's and Grandmother's birthdays. I brought the harp with me and as a "gift" played a selection of familiar pieces for them. Jo playing in Ging George, VA

6. Maundy Thursday Service, Westminster, MD

I direct a bell choir at my church, and we were to play at the Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service on April 17. The choir needed to set up and rehearse an hour before the service so that we wouldn't be rehearsing as people arrived. It occurred to me that the service has never had music as people arrive in the past, and that it might add to the ambiance of the service by giving folks a chance to be quiet and contemplative. I brought my harp along that evening and asked to play for the half-hour before the service, after our rehearsal. I selected the laments and quiet music from my repertoire and played throughout the time as people arrived. I think it worked well for setting the tone of the service. People leave this service in silence, so people didn't come up afterwards and tell me what they thought, but I felt that the music before the service changed the mood of the participants, allowing them to prepare for the service while they waited.
Jo playing in Rockville, MD

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Revised 9/14/03.
Jo's Millennium Quest
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