News from SLHSO

Being a harpist in the Seven Lakes Orchestras (SLORK) has been one of the most interesting experiences that I’ve gone and still am going through. Since there is only myself and another harpist, Rhea Saini in SLORK, I’m often frustrated due to the fact that no one else in my orchestra understands my problems, such as tuning 47 strings rather than 4. Despite the fact that all of our instruments have strings, the rest of the orchestra will often talk about ‘string’ problems that is a completely different world from mine, such as getting a bad tone from the G string on the violin.

One thing that I have learned throughout the years that I’ve played harp is that most composers don’t know how to write a proper harp part, that is IF they even write a harp part. Because most composers don’t think of the harp, unless they want glisses, I’m usually off on the sidelines, watching the rest of the orchestra playing amazing music, such as the “Rienzi Overture.” But when a proper harp part comes along, it’s the best thing ever. This past year, we played the “Aria in Classic Style” by Marcel Grandjany and I just absolutely loved it. It was amazing, to be up there and just showing off what I can play, since the music that I usually play in orchestra is usually just chord, rest, rest, chord, rest rest, chord.

Recently the Katy ISD Fine Arts Department purchased a Salvi Daphne pedal harp for the harp section for Seven Lakes (a.k.a. Rhea and I). We decided to name her Ginny, and lemme tell you, she’s so adorable. Originally, I thought we were going to name her someone from Despicable Me, since we had named the harp covers Gru and Agnes. But I think the name Ginny fits her, since her color kind of reminds me of Ginny Weasley’s hair color!

After being in SLORK for only 2 years, I can confidently say that I’ve learned so much, despite not playing as much as the rest of the orchestra. I’ve learned to love the instrument I play; I wouldn’t give up the harp for any other instrument because I enjoy my own one-man section (and, occasionally, the ‘back row’ section, which includes the piano, bass, and harp). I’ve learned the proper concert etiquette. And I learned the most important thing of all- that we must SUBDIVIDE.

-Cathleen Zhang, Harpist, Class of 2017