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Harpists are relatively few and far between, but when they do meet, they have an instant bond because of their shared love of this remarkable instrument. I’ve heard it said that harpists are part of a special global community, and that playing the harp makes you an automatic member. This isn’t just a pretty saying … it’s the truth!
Last month, Michael and I visited southern Utah on vacation. We were staying with relatives, and our hope was to find a rental harp so I could play for our family and friends. It seemed like a long-shot to find a harp in St. George, UT, but I posted a request for information on the forums of Harp Column, an online harp community. Within a short time, someone replied with the name of a harpist and harp-builder in St. George: Paula Vance of Comfort Harps.
It made me a bit nervous to call a complete stranger and explain my request, but I had no reason to worry. Paula was delightful. None of her rental harps were available when I contacted her, but she graciously invited me to bring my family and friends to her home so I could play for them on one of her personal harps. What a gift!
Steve and Paula Vance welcomed us into their home, provided chairs for our mini harp concert, and made sure the harps were tuned and ready when we arrived. Our family and friends were so surprised by this hospitality from people we’d never met. Paula just smiled and explained that harpists are a special group. I couldn’t have hoped for better proof of the warmth of the worldwide harp family!