What is your name / where are you from?
Kathy DeAngelo from Voorhees, NJ USA.
How did you start playing the harp?
I came home from work one night in 1984 and found a Caswell harp sitting in the living room, a gift from my husband Dennis. I had expressed an interest but back then the hardest thing about playing the harp was finding a harp to play. There were few people making folk harps. I played a lot of other instruments but that harp changed my life’s trajectory!
What does the harp mean to you?
I love playing the harp and playing with other people is my thing.
There weren’t too many harpers back when I started—at least not near me. I reluctantly started teaching because it occurred to me that the only way to have more harp players to play with was to create them. What a door opener! We created the Harpers’ Escape in 1993 with a goal of building a harp community that could have a common repertoire that we could all play together. Nothing more joyful than a lot of harps playing together. I took over the Somerset Folk Harp Festival in 2009 and that became a springboard for creating an even bigger harp community and linking together players from all different genres. Through the magic of the internet we are even more global than ever before now. I have made so many friends all over the world through the harp.
What do you like most about Lá na Cruite | Harp Day?
As if I really need an excuse to play more harp! But yes, it’s yet another reason for me to try to collect a variety of harpers together and just share the music we all have in common. I’ve usually hosted events at my own house but this pandemic year I’ll be hosting a Harpers’ Escape Play-Along on Zoom, drawing in the regular attendees from our regular Monday Play-Along group with myself, Grainne Hambly and Debbie Brewin-Wilson anchoring the tunes. Anyone is welcome to join us and you don’t even have to play harp. The Zoom ID and the playlist are at http://www.harpersescape.com/playalong.html . The whole rest of the day I’ll be enjoying the cornucopia of harp videos and online concerts that Harp Ireland has on tap.