Monday, January 24, 2011

The Modern Harp Quartet

The Founder's Room of The Players Playhouse provided the perfect setting for a mid-winter Sunday afternoon concert by The Modern Harp Quartet, composed of alumni from the harp studios of Cass Tech, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. The afternoon was augmented by a delightful selection of teas and sweets, presented by Donna and Greg Ridella, Sally Van Deventer and Marianne Shrader.

Maurice Draughn, arranger and composer of music for the harp, voice and choir, is currently a freelance harpist performing with several orchestras in and around Michigan.

Amy Ley is principal harpist for the symphony orchestras of Flint, Ann Arbor and Windsor, performing regularly in concert and in education and outreach events.

Anne Brege has performed with the Wayne State Symphony Orchestra, the WSU Wind Symphony and the Detroit Civic Symphony. She also is a regular freelance harpist in Mackinaw City during the summer months.

Lydia Cleaver has performed with many orchestra and choral ensembles throughout the Midwest, and has worked with Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Eartha Kit and Mickey Rooney.

This wonderful group of harpists is a testament to Patricia Terry-Ross and the harp department of Detroit's Cass Tech High School, with Maurice, Anne and Lydia being introduced to and falling in love with the harp under her tutelage.

The program, titled "Dance", included

  • Sixth French Suite (J.S. Bach)
  • Malaguena (Ernesto Lecuona)
  • Suite of Eight Dances (Carlos Salzedo)
  • Le Tombeau de Couperin (Maurice Ravel)
  • Maple Leaf Rag and Bethena (Scott Joplin)
  • Juba (R. Nathaniel Dett)

Each piece held the audience spellbound, culminating in a standing ovation and a wonderful little encore.

Special thanks to Joshua Blenman for the event photography.