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Portrait of a Young Artist: Marilinda Garcia

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2003

Updated: Sunday, August 17, 2008 15:08


A student plays her harp.

This week's Student Artist is Marilinda Garcia. She is in her second year as a double-degree student at Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studies harp with Ann Hobson-Pilot of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has played the harp for nine years. Since beginning her harp studies with Stephanie Curcio of Stratham, NH, she has accrued an impressive performance resume. Overall she has more than 300 public performances to her credit.

While in high-school, she was Principal Harp for the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Senior Orchestra, Boston, MA, for three years, after previously being Principal Harp for the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Repertory Orchestra. She was Principal Harp in the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 New Hampshire High School All-State Orchestras, and has been a guest soloist for the Timberlane Regional School Orchestra in Atkinson, NH, the Lakes Region Philharmonic Orchestra in Concord, NH, the Gordon College Symphony Orchestra and the Merrimack Valley Symphony Orchestra in Andover, MA.

Through Marilinda's participation in various orchestras she has had the opportunity to tour many foreign countries and perform under the baton of conductors, such as, Federico Cortese, Keith Lockhart and Stephen Lipsitt, in venues, such as, Boston's Symphony Hall, Wang Theatre and Esplanade Hatch Shell, New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, and Harvard University's Sander's Theatre. The Daily was able to catch her for an interview.

Daily: Why did you first start playing harp?

Really the only reason I started the harp was as an alternative to the piano -- which I quit because my older brother was better at it than me.

Daily: Normally, when you play harp, do you get a lot of blisters on your fingers? Or is it only when you rock out?

I have calluses (not hideous ones, pretty unnoticeable), so I typically only get a blister occasionally, from over practicing or "rocking out." It can be bad though, once I was doing a concert series, got a blood blister the first performance and ripped it every concert consecutively. It hurt and I had to clean my harp off afterwards -- pretty gross. Makes you get pretty creative with the "Liquid Band-Aid" stuff, too.

Daily: Personal question: can you play "Stairway to Heaven" on the harp?

It is possible to play "Stairway to Heaven" on the harp, so I can. I just haven't [yet]... sorry!

Daily: What is your favorite type of music to play? And to listen to?

I most enjoy playing classical and Celtic music on the harp. I must say I like listening to music of most every genre. I go through these cycles though. Recently, I've been on a Andrea Bocelli, Vertical Horizon, Bach, Lauryn Hill kick (that's what's currently on my playlist, anyway).

Daily: Is it your goal to play professionally in an orchestra?

That is most assuredly my goal right now. I love playing with orchestras. Period.

Daily: At the end of a great concert, do you ever get the urge to pull a Pete Townshend and just smash your harp to pieces? Or a Hendrix, and light it on fire, and then smash it?

I have never, ever had that compulsion after a great concert. Now, after a not-great concert, I have indeed entertained the thought.

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