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Saratoga Harp Colony lets musicians focus on their craft in a serene setting

As the colony's popularity has grown, so has its ability to give out scholarships, Hainen said. Stewart's has donated money for scholarships, as have some local families.

"We're really, really thankful for the support," she said.

She's called on personal friends to help fill another need at the colony. In its early days, almost every student brought his or her own harp, Hainen said. But since the colony is drawing an increasing number of international harpists, the colony needs to have several of the massive harps on hand for students to rent. Those come from private collections around the region -- Hainen has a colleague in Boston, for example, who made four or five harps available this summer.

As intricate as harps are, Hainen said it's easy for musicians to get caught up in the instrument's technical aspects. She hopes her students leave the colony having learned to focus more on the harp's music.

"I want these younger musicians to open their ears," she said.

She also wants to introduce the public to the beauty of the harp with the colony's concerts.

"It's not just some wallflower instrument," she said. "The sound is completely embracing."

She promises a varied repertoire at the colony's shows. The Aug. 16 concert will be in Skidmore's Filene Recital Hall at 3 p.m. The Adelphia Hotel performance is also at 3 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.

For information, visit www.saratogaharpcolony.org.

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