Harp Strings Eternal

1617377_10205929173249266_3831900375687360238_oBoth travel and music can bring you to new worlds and open your mind. That’s exactly what has happened to MRU Conservatory Harp instructor Gianetta Baril.

Gianetta has returned from a life-changing trip which took her to many places including Rio and Nepal where she personally donated three harps and taught local children how to play them.

One of the reasons these regions don’t have emerging harpists is that the heavenly instrument costs a princely sum. “A harp is about $3500,” she reveals, “They can buy twenty violins for the cost of one harp.”

When this self-proclaimed ‘Crazy Canadian,’ garnered interest from the locals, she recalled, “You can’t audition per se, you just have to see who’s interested.”

Across the two programs, fourteen students signed up for her tutelage. One boy, a bored violinist, needed a new challenge. At age twelve, his attention was divided between music and beach volleyball. “We wrote a simple harp part for him.” Baril explains, “He got to the end of the first run through of (Breinschmid’s) the Typewriter and the conductor and ensemble gave him such a huge applause.” Catching his reaction, she relayed, “his smile just exploded!”

That has been a common reaction whether playing or listening to the harp. But Baril herself has grown as a result of her travels, “I feel much freer to make music; the freedom to communicate what’s inside. That’s what’s really changed. I think,” she continues, “it was the experience of letting go…. To know that whatever I’m going to be faced with, I can handle that and it’s all going to work out fine.“ She describes being on stage now, “where in the past I might have been maybe inhibited by the fear that I was going to get a pedal wrong… which is pretty dramatic on the harp when that happens, I just don’t worry about that anymore. If it happens,” she concludes, “I’ll just solve the issue.”10360782_10206235269421479_6732763555709696666_n

The concert is called Wayfaring – Gianetta Baril & Friends. It’s at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, a new venue for the Instrumental Society of Calgary, on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 3:00pm.

Open your mind and expect to experience some other worlds.

To hear Gianetta play, click here.


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