Harpists for Peace is an international organization of harpists, harpers and harp lovers who believes world peace is a possibility. The group started in 2009 with the idea of playing harp for an entire day, all over the world at the same local time. The goal is to surround the world with music directed toward peace for an entire day.
The dates have changed over the years in response to the needs of the world. One year it was held near Earth Day in April and another is was near Sept 11 for the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack. Most recently the selected date has been on International Day of Peace (as sanctioned by the United Nations), which occurs annually on Sept 21.
The objective of Harpists for Peace is “to use creative means, especially through the use of the harp-a soothing and relaxing instrument, to invite all people to discuss some of the most vital issues of our times.” Members participated in many different ways including performances, playing on the street corners, doing hands-on workshops and playing in private.
Local Harpists for Peace events
I normally offer a free performance at the library during this time. Usually I find other musicians to join the performance. Some perform solo pieces, some participate in small ensembles, while others join in on the large ensemble. This is always fun.
We select several pieces for an “Ensemble of the Whole” where anyone who wishes to participate can. As a group we only rehearse these pieces the day of the performance. Experience levels and age ranges of the musicians vary widely. We’ve had an 8-year-old and people in their 80s who are just learning. You will also hear from professionally trained harpists. Instruments also range from small instruments designed to sit on a lap with levers to large pedal instruments.
On Sun, Sept 19, 3pm the library will host me and a few friends to help create a day of peace through harp music. This year harpists from Lawrence, Kansas City, Wichita and Lindsborg will perform. Everyone is welcome to participate in the final piece “Let there be peace on earth.” You are welcome to stop in anytime during the show.