Masters of harp in concert at Mendelssohn

At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (415 N. Church St.) three masters of the harp without pedals will perform.

The concert is the highlight of a weekend of harp study emphasizing liturgical music for the harp presented by Great Lakes Harpers.

The lead presenter for the classes and the concert is Ray Pool of New York City. For many years, Pool was harpist at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Since mastering the lever harp, he has been in increasing demand on the harp festival, conference, and workshop circuit. In particular, his arrangements of classic popular melodies have made him the leading interpreter in this field.

Pool’s college degree is in liturgical music, and this weekend his harp workshops and concert segment will feature his arrangements of Celtic hymns and creative accompaniments for well-known hymn tunes. He will also present a section of classic pop arrangements.

Two area harpers will open the concert program. Julianne Rabens has her college degrees in both composition and harp performance. She is devoted to the double-row harp, and composes haunting arrangements for this instrument. Rabens will also include creative arrangements of hymns in her program. She will be followed by Annette Bjorling. Bjorling was trained in classical harp in her native Germany, and has expanded her scope in her study of Jewish, particularly Klezmer, music. She is billed as the world’s first Klezmer harpist, and appears with her spouse Kurt and others in programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe. For this concert, she will present a group of Jewish sacred melodies arranged for harp.

A donation will be requested at the concert to offset expenses.

From the Oct. 5-11, 2005, issue

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