Stories from My Career

The night my harp was dropped at Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta

In 1970 I was playing harp with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Shaw. We had Friday night and Sunday afternoon concerts that week

Chick Corea was playing there on Saturday evening. After the Friday night ASO concert, the stage hand left my harp on the moveable pit which was lowered 15 feet to allow Chick Corea’s production crew to set up (normally the harp would have been moved to back stage).

I attended the Chick Corea concert. Afterwards, I got a call at home at 2:30am from the stage hands at Symphony Hall. The message: I HAD to come to Symphony Hall immediately, my harp had been dropped.

Apparently, the long cables for the monitors on the stage got wrapped around my harp. When I saw what happened, looking at my harp was like looking at a corpse. The upper part, the neck, was hanging off, there were large cracks all the way down the board. I started crying hysterically, and the stage hand said “Do you want a whiskey?” Of course, I said no….

There was a long legal battle between the Woodruff Arts Center and Chick Corea’s production company. My harp was sent to Lyon Healy in Chicago for repair and came back one year later. Chick Corea’s recent tragic death reminded me of this story.