Coe's Thursday Forum studies the harp

Extra: Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8613 or

2009-01-08 14:34:37 - General

Coe College's Thursday Forum will conclude January with a two-week exploration of one of the world's most ancient instruments - the harp.

Gretchen Brumwell, principal harpist of the Cedar Rapids Symphony, will explore the rich heritage of the harp: its history, development and music.

The first session will lay the historical foundation. Brumwell will touch on the harp's place in ancient societies, then focus on the centuries-long quest to make the harp a chromatic instrument and how that quest influenced the harp music of the day. Attendees will discover how Sebastian Erard's solution to the chromatic problem paved the way for the harp to take its place on the modern concert stage.

The second session will focus on the world of the modern harp, including great harpists of the 19th and 20th centuries, the heritage of the harp in America, and unexpected and emerging aspects of modern harp music.

Each session will combine lecture, visual presentation, and live performance. No music background is needed to enjoy this whirlwind tour of the world of the harp.

The lectures will be held Jan. 22 and 29 in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins at 9:15 a.m. and lasts until about 11:30 a.m. The course is open to all adults and registration is on-site. The cost of the two-part series is $10 per week.

For more information, call (319) 399-8561.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "The World of the Harp" - Jan. 22, 29
  • "The Catalan Case: Past, Present and Future of a Nation Without a State" - Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26
  • "The Photographic Truth" - March 5, 19, 26 and April 2
  • "Four Musicals that Have Helped 'Save' Broadway" - April 9, 16, 23, 30