Lyra During COVID

Click here for our stories on 6ABC and in The Philadelphia Inquirer

The afternoon of March 13th, 2020 our Executive Director received a startling call. A teacher had heard the news that all schools would be closing in three hours, not to reopen for the foreseeable future, and the Lyra Society’s harps were going to be trapped. Our team of Teaching Artists and staff made a heroic effort and retrieved fifteen harps from five schools in under three hours. Two additional harps were extracted from the Kimmel Center after many urgent calls and begging. We are deeply indebted to the teacher who alerted us; now seventeen of our students are able to continue their lessons over Zoom, free of charge.

Thanks to the Lyra Family, we continue to work with our students by delivering harps to students’ homes and teaching weekly lessons virtually. Lyra teaching artists have given over 400 virtual lessons and classes since the start of our lockdown! This has kept not only our students, but also our teaching artists grounded and has given them something to look forward to. We have continued to pay all our staff in full. For almost all of our teaching artists, Lyra’s pay has been their only income, so we are grateful to all of you that have contributed to us. 

During 2020 summer, Glissando students virtually participated in the Curtis Summerfest Harp Colony in partnership with the Curtis Institute of Music and All City Orchestra Summer Academy in partnership with The Mann Center! Students had masterclasses from world-renown harpists Elizabeth Hainen and Judy Loman, and learned how to compose and write their own harp parts for orchestra. Students were so inspired from their composition workshops that they wrote and played their own transcription of Sleigh Ride in December! You can watch that here!

Students are continuing to receive their lessons virtually throughout the 2020-2021 school year with Lyra’s harps in their homes. Watch the video produced by the Philadelphia Inquirer below for a sample of our our virtual lessons!

Lyra Society sample lesson filmed by the Philadelphia Inquirer