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Anne's harp story unfolds

Back in early June, I shared the remarkable story of how a special Dusty Strings FH34 harp found its way back to me through a series of serendipitous events. Now that several weeks have passed, you may be wondering what unfolded next. When we last spoke, the harp was making its way from the Virginia Harp Center to Nova Scotia. It arrived safely on June 7 and patiently waited in its box, unopened, for four days.

My new Dusty Strings FH34 still in the box

During that week, life took a challenging turn. On June 5, my husband received the heartbreaking news of his father's sudden passing. Just a day later, my own father was admitted to the ER, and on June 9, he also passed away. It was an emotionally overwhelming time as we mourned the loss of our beloved fathers.

Finally, on June 11, I felt ready to meet my harp. I carefully unboxed it, filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension. It was undeniable—the harp was most certainly the same one I had played and loved at the Somerset Harp Festival in 2018. Every detail matched perfectly, and as I plucked the strings, its voice resonated just as I remembered. I knew deep in my heart that serendipity had brought this harp back to me, I decided to name her Serena.

Anne unpacking the new harp

Serena and I spent a wonderful week practicing together, and our journey took on a greater purpose. I took her with me to play at my father-in-law's funeral, where her melodies expressed the love and sorrow we felt. I played Fading Memories, Mermaid's Tears, Mavillette, Hope for Tomorrow, God's Way, Be Still and Know, Home to New Glasgow and Nearer My God to Thee.

Dusty Strings FH34 at the funeral service

You may have noticed my absence throughout June as I took a break from creating new music and videos. It took time for me to find my way again amidst the whirlwind of emotions. I am immensely grateful for all the kind thoughts and well-wishes I received from you, my readers. My students were incredibly understanding as I had to cancel lessons and take some time off from teaching.

Stepping away from teaching for the month of July allows me to create space for creativity. I am delighted to share a new song with you, composed in loving memory of my father. The night before my dad passed away, my brother was by his side in the hospital, and my father said, "Geoff, this is God's Way."

This recording is Serena's first video, and I believe she sounds absolutely beautiful. In this composition, I've incorporated my father's gentle, kind voice, so that every time I play it, I feel as though he is speaking to me. The sheet music for "God's Way" is available here.

My new harp, Serena has quickly become a source of healing and inspiration.

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  • My heart goes out to you and your family and your great loss of both patriarchs of your family…Keeping you & those experiencing this loss in my prayers. Hope that Serena keeps helping you to embrace those wonderful memories.

  • Anne,

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your loved ones. I am so thankful, though, that Serena found her way to you when she did, and I hope she continues to provide you with peace and understanding during this difficult time.

    I am thinking of you and praying daily that you find peace and comfort in your memories and in your music.


    Cynthia Phillips
  • Anne, I cannot comprehend the strength that you have found to deal with the compounded loss for you and your husband. You have been my inspiration to learn harp to share with others, that i believe brings an awareness of God to every space. I wish i could bring you comfort right now, I love your new harp she is so lovely, an extension of yourself right now. take care , and i am praying for your healing of heart.


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