HomeNewsHappy anniversary to Lyra Society

Happy anniversary to Lyra Society

Photo credit: Peter Blaikie at Bachrach Photo
Photo credit: Peter Blaikie at Bachrach Photo
Photo credit: Peter Blaikie at Bachrach Photo

The nonprofit Lyra Society recently celebrated its 20th anniversary during a Harp’N Hoedown at BLDG39 at the Frankford Arsenal.

Founded in 2004 by Elizabeth Hainen, Principal Harp of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Lyra Society provides harps, harp lessons and harp presentations at no cost to students in the School District of Philadelphia.

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“My goal in founding Lyra was to reignite music education in schools, despite the limited resources available in many city schools,” Hainen said.

Lyra also provides college and financial aid guidance, which has contributed to 100% of Lyra graduates – many of whom are first-generation, low-income students – continuing their education in colleges, universities and conservatories.

Executive Director Helen Gerhold, a professional harpist and longtime contributor to Lyra, said. “I want to share with students the magic we feel every day when we play in an orchestra or collaborate with other musicians. Our programs bring that feeling into ‘underserved’ communities.”

The anniversary celebration featured live bluegrass-classical music from The Philadelphia Orchestra. Proceeds from the sold-out event will fund Lyra’s programs. ••

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