Ingrid Schellenberg visits Princeton

It was a sound unlike any other that filled Riverside Theatre last Thursday evening. A harp stood solo on the stage as guests arrived. A spotlight profiled its magnificence. Basking in the light, the harp stood waiting.

Ingrid Schellenberg played for the residents at Ridgewood Lodge and then gave a special perfomance at the Riverside Theatre to kick off the walk for the Weekend to End Cancer fundraiser.

Ingrid Schellenberg played for the residents at Ridgewood Lodge and then gave a special perfomance at the Riverside Theatre to kick off the walk for the Weekend to End Cancer fundraiser.

Guests were soon treated to the magical musical talent of Ingrid Schellenberg.  The accomplished musician has more than a few shows under her belt.  She is first harpist for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and has been entertaining audiences for many years.

Schellenberg did not start out on the harp.  Her mother Anita who plays piano for personal gratification enrolled her daughter in piano lessons.  “I started playing the piano when I was very little,” stated Schellenberg.  “From piano, I went on to guitar, bass guitar and flute.”  Schellenberg is modest about her ability and shrugs much of it off to “practice, practice, practice” but those who have heard her know she has a gift.

Growing up in the wilds of Northern B.C. did not stop Schellenberg from following her dreams.  As a young adult she explored many things, but in the end music drew her back.  “Twelve years ago I got back into it,” said Schellenberg.  “I heard a harpist playing Greensleeves and I was totally mesmorized.  I fell in love with the harp right then and there and decided that I wanted to learn to play it.”

A woman who knows what she wants, Schellenberg, got busy.  She studied with Elizabeth Volpé from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and took some workshops to learn different genres such as Celtic, Latin and Jazz.  Before she knew it, her talent was in demand, “so I started performing,” Schellenberg stated.  Schellenberg shares her talent in other ways too.  She teaches 20 some students  the how-tos of learning the harp and keeps very busy teaching and performing.  When Schellenberg stepped onto the stage of Riverside two things soon became clear: 1) she is amazingly talented; and 2) she is not pretentious, but rather a down-to-earth musician who likes to make people speechless when she is playing and laughing when she is not.  Schellenberg’s ease on stage and light sense of humour transpired into a delightful evening for her audience.  From Ghostriders in the Sky which she had just learned before coming to Princeton, to Summertime and a piece of Gershwin, Schellenberg had no problems mixing it up.  She played a little something for everyone and a lot for all.

Schellenberg’s resume is impressive.  Besides playing for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, she has also played for the Calgary Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the youth symphony of the Okanagan.  She plays on a 40 year old harp that she bought from someone who wanted to see it being played.  When Schellenberg is sitting with the beautiful instrument,  the two soon become one.

“This is me,” said Schellenberg.  “I enjoy what I do.  I have a harp that I love and I like performing.  It’s the most fun ever.”

Schellenberg had come to Princeton to play for the residents of Ridgewood Lodge and was asked to do a special performance for Barb Gagnon and her fundraising efforts.  Schellenberg was pleased to help with Gagnon’s  fundraiser walk for the  Weekend to End Cancer.

“The people of Princeton were incredibly nice,” concluded Schellenberg.  “They were just lovely and I want to thank them for having me.  The whole day was just swell.”

Organizer Gagnon said, “Ingrid was just wonderful.  Everyone really seemed to be enjoying themselves and it was nice of her to stay around to help me kick off my fundraising campaign.  Ingrid deserves a big thank-you.”

To help Gagnon with her fundraising go to weekend to end cancer.ca and donate to her team Breast Friends.  Gagnon is joined by  Paula Anderson, Scott Greenlees and Tracey Quevillon.