Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Owens College concert to highlight 'Harp Week'


Denise Grupp-Verbon, front, and Jennifer Meehan will perform tomorrow with other harpists, part of Harp Week at Oewns College. Northwest Ohio has had a chapter of the Harp Society since the 1970s.


folk, popular music, opera tunes scheduled

Jennifer Meehan is looking forward to fulfilling a passion of hers tomorrow: Playing her harp in concert.

The 21-year-old Point Place resident, who recently graduated from Siena Heights College in Adrian, is one of 23 area harpists participating in an annual event called Harp Week at Owens Community College in Perrysburg Township.

They'll be featured in a free concert tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the college's Center for Fine and Performing Arts Mainstage Theatre.

For Ms. Meehan and her fellow harpists, the week has been filled with ensemble rehearsals and workshops. "But the concert is the highlight. It's the best part of a very good week," she said.

The harpists who appear on stage will range from beginners to professionals. The program will feature folk and popular music and opera, including The Sound of Music, "Danny Boy," The Swan, and a selection from Carmen.

Harp Week is sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the American Harp Society and the Owens Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

It is open to harpists who have been playing for at least a year.

"It's officially called Harp Week, but we joke that it's really 'Harp Camp,'•" explained Denise Grupp-Verbon, an adjunct faculty member at Owens and a co-director of Harp Week. "Our youngest player is around 12 or 13, and our oldest is 60-plus."

The American Harp Society was founded in 1962 to meet the needs of harpists as performers, teachers, and students.

Its mission is to encourage the enjoyment of the harp and the composition of harp music and advance the quality of harpists.

The society has more than 3,000 members and chapters throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The Northwest Ohio Chapter was established in the mid 1970s. The chapter has been a co-sponsor of Harp Week since the event began in 1998.

Besides Ms. Meehan and Ms. Grupp-Verbon, Harp Week participants include Linda Ashton of Lawton, Okla.; Denise Buenger of Holland; Maribeth Burns of Maumee; Emily Corey of Sylvania; Sande Corfman of Fremont; Elaine Covert of Northwood; Andrea Jeanette Darmahkasih of Sylvania; Gloria Heacock of Rossford; Alexandra Hogan of Defiance; Brianne Hogan of Defiance; Margeaux Leighton of Lambertville; Hannah Ludwig of Maumee; Nancy Lendrim of Sylvania (co-director); Jo Lynn Messer of Tiffin; Sarah Modene of Perrysburg; Brigid Parent of Toledo; Coleen Powell of Defiance; Laura Smaling of The Woodlands, Texas; Ashley Smith of Maumee; Karen Svanoe Westgate of Fremont, and Matt Wurzel of Northwood.

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