Craig resident Charleah Firestone sits with her harps in her home. She will be giving performances at 2 p.m. December 1 and 6 p.m. December 3, at the Moffat County Public Library in Craig.

Photo by Darian Warden

Craig resident Charleah Firestone sits with her harps in her home. She will be giving performances at 2 p.m. December 1 and 6 p.m. December 3, at the Moffat County Public Library in Craig.

Craig harpist to perform at Moffat County Library

Video

Craig's Charleah Firestone plays celtic harp

If you go ...

Watch Celtic Harpist Charleah Firestone perform Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English, American and Christmas music at the Moffat County Library in Craig, 570 Green St. at:

2 p.m. December 1

6 p.m. December 3

— Refreshments provided and CDs will be available for purchase

After her sixth hernia surgery resulting from playing the trumpet, doctors told Charleah Firestone she should quit playing.

After her twelfth hernia surgery she finally made the decision to stop.

A trumpet major in college, a performer in the Yampa Valley Brass group and a musician all her life, the decision was difficult.

So her mom bought her a violin.

"I told her to take it back," Firestone said. "I had no desire to play it."

After a coworker told her about a hospice harpist who played by her father’s bedside and created the most beautiful music she’d ever heard — and attending a harp concert in Grand Junction — Firestone said she was totally enthralled with it.

Firestone talked to performer David Hauze, who gave the concert, and he helped her decide to start playing.

“He told me to sit down at every harp in the store and then I’d know which one wanted to come home with me,” Firestone said.

That was fifteen years ago.

A retired music teacher after 32 years, Firestone spent years accompanying kids on the harp during their recitals and playing for her church. She’s also done solo performances before, and Firestone is ready to take the stage again this holiday season.

She will perform at 2 p.m. December 1 and 6 p.m. December 3 at the Craig Branch of the Moffat County Libraries, 570 Green St.

The performances will feature Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English, American and Christmas music.

Firestone said the Celtic pieces are her favorite to perform because they are a part of her heritage. Her new Celtic CD available for purchase for $10 after the performances, along with her other CDs.

Refreshments will be provided.

Firestone made her first CD of herself playing the harp when her daughter moved to Atlanta.

“She said, ‘mom, I really miss hearing your harp music.’ So I made a Christmas CD for her,” Firestone said. “It’s been fun doing it. My friend Steve Ghirardelli retired the same year I did and bought all this recording equipment. So I’ve had a blast working with him to make this Celtic CD.”

Although she said she sometimes misses the trumpet, Firestone said the harp is pretty cool.

“It’s hard to compare them. I loved playing the trumpet when I could,” Firestone said.

Firestone taught herself to play the harp and said it’s similar to playing the piano, saying instead of pushing on a key, you pluck the strings to play.

Firestone said she would love to have community members come to her performance, and said she continues to perform because she believes people enjoy hearing the harp.

“I think most people haven’t heard a harp. When they hear it it’s really beautiful,” Firestone said. “It’s not so loud you can’t stand listening to it. It’s soft and relaxing.”

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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