World on a string
A young harpist prepares for college.
Kailynn Jones has played the harp for nearly nine years. The Bishop Kelley senior will perform Feb. 21 at Dillion International’s Lunar New Year Dinner.
Ask most high school students to describe their favorite instrument, and the general answer will be guitar or keyboard. But Bishop Kelley senior Kailynn Jones prefers the harp. She has studied the unusual instrument half her life and plans to continue lessons when she enters The University of Tulsa next fall.
Jones, who was adopted from China, will perform at Dillon International’s Lunar New Year celebration Feb. 21.
How did you begin playing the harp? I’ve been playing the harp for almost nine years. The harp was not an instrument that I personally sought out, but my mom knew the family across the street, and all the girls played the harp, so she asked one of them to teach me. My first teacher was Lisanne Krautter, and I worked with her until she graduated college. My present teacher is Lorelei Barton, and we’ve been working together for two years.
Tell us about some of your special performances. During the summer, I attend the Midwest Harp Festival, which is like a harp camp. A lot of harpists come from many states to perform as a huge harp ensemble. I’ve performed at my grandparents’ assisted living center and at weddings. During the school year, we (a small group of student harpists) perform informally at The University of Tulsa with a recital at the Lorton Performance Center.
Describe your practice schedule. What is the most challenging aspect of playing the harp? I usually practice 45 minutes to an hour a day; sometimes not at all, depending on how much homework I have that night. I used to play the lever harp, which is usually for beginners, although that is not always the case. I later advanced to the pedal harp.
I think the most difficult thing with the harp is learning new music, but it always gets easier when I familiarize myself with the piece.
What type of music do you most enjoy playing? What are your long-term goals for music? I don’t specifically have a favorite type of music to play. It is just when something sparks my liking.
I will play harp through college, and I will probably join various ensembles that TU has. But at this time, my harp playing is more of a hobby, and not a career choice.
Do you have any ideas yet for what you might like to do as a career instead of music? What do you hope to study at TU? I think I may go in the direction of computers, but I still need to experience some tracks of study that TU has to offer.
Feb. 21 — 20th annual Lunar New Year Dinner
6-9 p.m. Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st St. The event celebrates the accomplishments of Dillon International adoptees, including Kailynn Jones. $100, adults; $20, children’s party tickets. Benefits Dillon International. Call 918-749-4600 or visit www.dillonadopt.com/lunar-new-year.