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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Artist Next Door: Tenacious Hall makes harp dreams come true

    Fine arts senior Agnes Hall practices on her harp Oct. 13 with the HarpFusion group in preparation for their Takin on the World concert on Oct. 18 at Crowder Hall at the UA School of Music.
    Fine arts senior Agnes Hall practices on her harp Oct. 13 with the HarpFusion group in preparation for their “”Takin’ on the World”” concert on Oct. 18 at Crowder Hall at the UA School of Music.

    “”It’s actually kind of a funny story,”” said harp performance senior Agnes Hall. “”My parents have this very eclectic friend who used to give me gifts for St. Agnes day. One year he gave me two harp lessons with this harp teacher, and that’s how I got started.””

    Hall went to those first two lessons more than 11 years ago. Although they were filled with tears of frustration, Hall left knowing she wanted to play the harp.

    “”I’m a very tenacious person and something about the instrument just connected,”” she said. “”Honestly, since I was 12, I’ve just always thought that I would be a harpist. I sort of willed it into being.””

    Hall enjoys playing the harp for many reasons.

    “”It’s a practical instrument to play,”” she said. “”As long as people are getting married and having parties, I’ll have a job, and there’s definitely sort of an exotic novelty element to being a harpist. It’s the most interesting, beautiful instrument and I can make a living doing it.””

    While studying with the UA music department, Hall has learned about several aspects of the world of music.

    “”It has taught me so much about group dynamics, working with public relations and differing personalities, and I’ve learned how to compose and arrange my own music on computer programs,”” she said.

    Hall has benefited from international touring opportunities, as well.

    “”I have gone on tour with HarpFusion to Mexico, Belgium, Holland, Lichtenstein, Austria and Switzerland, and we’re going to Rio de Janeiro in May,”” she said.

    Hall has also been featured outside of the group ensemble.

    “”I was invited as a solo artist as part of the music festival throughout the entire state of Sonora last January. That was definitely an experience,”” she said of the tour in a 1988 Ford van without air conditioning.

    “”When they tell you they’re going to show up with a driver in a car, you think of this great air conditioned, black SUV. It wasn’t exactly that,”” she said with a laugh.

    Hall’s most recent performance was the Oct. 11 HarpFusion concert, “”Taking on the World.”” The concert featured music, instruments and costumes from around the world.

    “”It’s kind of like walking into like a big supermarket or grocery store,”” Hall said. “”There’s something for everyone.””

    Hall composed one of the featured pieces.

    “”I am arranging a ‘Jambalaya on the Bayou,'”” she said. “”One of the harpists … will sing and we have a drummer and a guitarist that kind of give it a Cajun zydeco feel.””

    The Louisana native understands her state is not a country, but justified its place in the internationally based concert.

    “”I know people that moved in from out of state, and they think it feels like it is (its own country),”” she said with a laugh.

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