Grace Filled Nights
The music of a harp needs to be shared. While I am out performing for others, I am often asked how I began playing an instrument as unique as the harp. The answer comes quickly. The moment I fell in love with this instrument is solidly etched upon my heart. When I was just six years old, I attended a band concert for my older brother at a middle school. That is where I saw a harp for the first time. The harpist was very kind and shared her love of the instrument with me by allowing me to pull a couple of strings. That was all I needed. From that moment on, I wanted to be a harpist. Being from a musical family and enjoying music, I studied a number of different instruments throughout my childhood: piano, flute, saxophone, oboe and guitar. At the age of twelve, I moved to Northfield, Minnesota with my family. It was here in Northfield that I had my chance to study harp. I met a harp instructor who rented small harps to her students. With my parents' blessing, I began the adventure of learning about the joy that harp music can bring to me personally as a musician, and to so many others who enjoy the soothing sounds of this amazing instrument. Here I am, years later, living back in Northfield with my husband, Eric, and my two small children, Grace and Simon. As a wife, mother, and full- time high school social studies teacher, my life is full. But never too full to slow down and enjoy the fruits of my passion. Now my harp is a trusted friend that accompanies me as I play at weddings, funerals and other special events. My harp rescues me when my children are restless since the sound never fails to calm them. I have always wanted to make a CD of my harp music, but like so many other things, life seemed to always get in the way. However, one day I realized how convenient a readily available form of my music would be to soothe the children when nothing else will. At that point, I had all the motivation I needed to get the CD ready. While listening to this CD, I think you will understand that my children were on my mind as it was made. I chose soothing and simple tunes that calms them as they drift off to sleep. I want Grace and Simon to feel peaceful and loved as they hear the last sounds of the day. Now I hear from many parents that they use the CD during those same precious moments. In addition, the music is also being used in yoga studios and hospital care rooms for patients in need of comfort. Whenever or wherever you listen, I hope that you will enjoy the music and that it will bring some peace and joy into new moments of your life. Wishing you joy, Sarah Swan McDonald.