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Beloved harp of Salem women donated to Manchester Community Music School


For more than 50 years, Diana Kolben of Salem captivated audiences playing the harp her parents gave her when she graduated college with a music degree.


“I’ve played a lot of weddings” with the secondhand 47-string Lyon & Healy Style 23 Gold harp, Kolben said. She also played it during the high-profile funeral of a former Massachusetts congressman.


But the 6-foot, 1-inch tall instrument became tough for the 74-year-old widow to transport between practices and performances. After recently trying to sell the 82-year-old harp online, she decided to donate it to the Manchester Community Music School to improve access for young musicians.


The same model harp, known for its Victorian-era floral designs, is also used by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.


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