Topic: "Harpo Speaks"
The Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School may not mean much to you dear reader, but it might if Frodo told you that it is "Foxfire." It is the famous school in the mountains of North Georgia which is dedicated to the preservation of the arts and crafts of America's past. The series of books, entitled "Foxfire," have won world acclaim and are found in almost any library not managed by the Christian Coalition, the State of Texas, or Karl Rove.
Frodo noted that the annual harp camp was held this past week at "Foxfire" for the members of the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble. The 23 students, who range in age from 12 to 17, generally use one of the 11 harps owned by the Ensemble. Three of the students however have harps at home, and since even a used harp costs more than $2,500 that is not a small matter. What is neatest is that those three harps were paid for by the "Chasing the Dream" Foundation of Mr. Hank Aaron. That's right, the guy who hit 755 home runs.
Teacher Remy Johnson has as her main focus the reading of music, as opposed to memorizing each tune. The repertoire of the Ensemble includes classical selections by Bach and the pop song "Stand by Me." Ten of the students are boys, and they are helping to break the stereotype that the instrument is for girls.
"We stay to it," said Master Devon Boyd, 13, "To sit down and strum it, it's amazing. It is such a soothing sound." The time that these halflings spend devoted to the harp at camp is more than a semester of practice would yield in the school year.
An instrument as old as time itself, the harp represents the finer, more genteel aspects of music. Frodo is disappointed in himself that he never paid closer attention.