The day after taping Show #228 in Athens, GA, our Education Team traveled with performer and harpist Angelica Hairston to the Clarke Central High School. They met with twenty orchestra students, ranging from 9th to 12th grade, and teacher Eunice Kang in the school’s orchestra room.
Angelica is the recipient of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. She performs regularly as a member of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Greenforest Community Baptist Church Orchestra and Choir. She also plays the violin in several quartets, and as concertmaster with the Chamblee High School Orchestra.
Angelica opened Monday’s presentation with the “Third Dance” of Andres’ 6 Autumn Dances for Harp to demonstrate her instrument’s range. She then shared why she first became interested in the harp, and demonstrated the basics of how it works: why the strings are different colors, how the pedals are used, etc. Angelica performed two other pieces for the event: Impromptu Caprice by Pierne (from the radio taping) and “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Angelica also shared the importance of focus and dedication, and how music has forever changed her life.
At the end of the presentation, the students had a number of excellent questions and feedback. The class then presented Angelica with a vase of flowers and a Thank You card. Some of the students shared the following with their teacher the next day:
- “We should have performers visit us much more often”
- “She was amazing! I have never had the opportunity to hear a harp live and up close like that”
- “Why can’t we have a harp in our orchestra?”
- “I can’t believe she was such a great musician AND such a cool person!”
- “Is she coming back sometime soon?”
Teacher Eunice Kang was thrilled and expressed her thanks to our Education team: “Thank you so much for all your wonderful work and support of music in the schools. I feel frustrated much of the time because the fine arts are often under appreciated and overlooked by much of society (financially and otherwise), but your visit with Angelica was the highlight of the year for my class!”
Angelica shared the following about her visit to Clarke Central High School:
“Sharing my music and my experiences with the harp at Clarke Central High School was both exciting and rewarding. The students seemed really interested in what I had to say and I truly hope I was able to inspire them the way that they inspired me.”
Read more powerful stories about musicians making a difference by visiting our Arts Leadership Map!