While a spa experience does wonders for the body, there is another kind of treatment that does wonders for the soul. Okanagan Symphony premier harpist Ingrid Schellenberg is just what the doctor ordered anytime of the year, but on an especially gloomy rainy day, she is what the universe ordered too. Relaxation and serenity awaited the expectant crowd.
Schellenberg was back in Princeton Sunday afternoon to play to a crowded house at Riverside Theatre. Her presence was a delight to many who have heard the talented musician before and for those who had not, they were in for a very special treatment…better than a spa for a fraction of the price. Schellenberg was the final performance act in the three part concert series organized by the Princeton Arts Council. She was last, but by no means least.
Schellenberg has no dragon tattoo, but the girl has a harp and a gift. “The girl with the gift” quickly lured in the crowd with her amazing musical skill and quirky personality. Her own fun song introductions were deliciously intertwined with her obvious love of both music and the harp. With magical hands and a musical heart leading the way, Schellenberg pulled the crowd into a world where only angels play. Soon the weight of the world slipped away and was replaced with all that is good in the world. Schellenberg mesmerized, enchanted and hypnotized.
She found the Christmas spirit with Silver Bells and Silent Night, brought country to town, flamenco came too. Her ability to switch genres was as wonderful as all the sounds she produced with what appeared to be relative ease. Schellenberg’s gift was obvious just seconds into her first number.
With 47 strings on her magnificent looking 40 -something year old harp, Schellenberg was more than complimentary. Since learning to play piano at a young age, before moving on to other instruments…guitar and flute, one song…Greensleeves changed it all. A teenager soon to be woman, listened to a harp. “I fell in love with the harp right then and there,” Schellenberg said. “I knew I had to learn to play it and here I am. Little did I know at the time where my desire to learn the harp would lead me.”
Dressed in flowing gowns almost as beautiful as her music, Schellenberg, her harp and her talent united to create a cocoon of pure bliss. Her fingers moved confidently over her harp pulling, plucking and cajoling from the strings a kind of melodic glory. A harp is not just an instrument in the hands of Schellenberg, but rather a weapon of epidemic healing powers. One might have entered frazzled by the weekend of freezing rain and the weekly worries , but one left with a soul renewed. “I love Princeton,” Schellenberg stated.
Princeton loves Schellenberg too. She will be back. Schellenberg is booked to perform on June 23 on Princeton’s Bridge of Dreams for the second annual Dinner on the Bridge to raise funds for Two Rivers Park and an art project that is already more than a dream. Schellenberg will be back…until then…souls will yearn.