PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Off of the busy street of Broad, listen carefully, and you’ll hear sounds from above.
They’re coming from inside the Philadelphia High School for Girls where students are plucking their fingers on an instrument so unique, it can only be the harp.
The sound of the harp at Girls High has been asleep for years, until 2004 when Elizabeth Hainen, the principal harpist for the Philadelphia Symphony and founder of the Lyra Society, woke up the strings and eventually added a group harp class two years ago, making it the largest in the city.
She said, “When I learned the of the history of the harpist who went to school at the Philadelphia High School for Girls that impressed me. So certainly, you feel like, boy, if there’s anything you can do personally to make sure the next generation has that same opportunity to follow in those footsteps, you’re going to do it.”
Philadelphia philanthropist Gerry Lenfest also added 15 new Lyon and Healy lever harps to the class. With now world-class instruments and educators, the sky is the limit for these high school sisters.
“Some of our students who have graduated here have received scholarships to a school that they’ve would have never gotten in so I believe we’ve given them a key to the future.”