Harp Concert Fills Mount Vernon Church With Music

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From left, Lois Colin, Maggie Skau, Karen Colin and Maggie Varenne of the Westchester Harp Ensemble perform at St. Paul's Historic Church in Mount Vernon on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Greg Maker

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Members of the Westchester Harp Ensemble filled the chambers of St. Paul’s Historic Church in Mount Vernon with traditional and holiday music Wednesday afternoon.

Harps are traditionally used in holiday music so it made sense to perform at the church this time of year, harpist Lois Colin said. Colin described harp music as “angelic” and “unique,” adding that the shape of the instrument draws people in.

“The acoustics in this church are just phenomenal,” Colin said. “It’s a little gem in an industrial area. It’s nice to play on an old wooden stage with our wooden instruments so we can feel the vibrations coming up from the floor. The music bounces off the walls so playing here is really a unique experience.”

The church always holds free concerts on Wednesday afternoons, St. Paul’s Church Site Manager David Osborn said, with music ranging from jazz to classical. With the holidays approaching, Osborn said it was appropriate to feature harp music in the church.

“The concerts help to bring people into the church who ordinarily will not come to historic lectures, which we include in the program,” he said. “People not only get to listen to great music but get to learn the history of the site. It’s a way to invite people to the property and with the acoustics in this old building, it makes wonderful sounds.”

This time of year is special to Colin, who said she loves playing Christmas carols. Playing holiday music in a church is the “perfect combination,” she said. 

“It’s a delightful and entertaining experience,” Colin said.

The Westchester Harp Ensemble will perform in White Plains on Sunday. Click here for more information.

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