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Sherry Konkus

Name: Sherry Konkus
Photo - Sherry Konkus
Location: Owosso
United States 48867
Contact: (989) 472-3065

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Additional Info: Sherry Konkus is known as the Owosso Harpist who plays a rental harp and performs at outdoor markets, bistros, and small group concerts to raise money to buy a brand new Venus Classic Concert Grand Harp for my very own.

Sherry's Harp Story - "It all began back when I was a kid growing up in Michigan. I was reading a Bible story book featuring David playing the harp before King Saul when I saw the drawings of David playing his harp up close. That's when I knew that this is the musical instrument I want to play on whenever I'm in the mood for it. But since then, whenever I see a harp on TV, I would get real excited and hyperventilate to the point where I would turn myself away and not look at the harp and/or the person playing the harp on TV as if I'd rather hate the harp than love it. This caused me to develop an attitude of "do I want to love the harp, or don't I" all while being embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone about my dream of playing the harp.

I would look at pictures of people playing harps in books, whether in dictionaries or in encyclopedias, and fantasize about them. I would draw favorite cartoon characters of mine playing harps, even daydream about them, too. But that's nothing compare to seeing the actual person playing a harp, let alone have a equally strong desire to play and own a harp— A pedal harp, with its beautiful graceful shape, 47 strings, and pedals I can operate freely while I pluck the strings. This is the kind of harp I want to own badly regardless of how much money I have. A grand concert pedal harp I've seen in concerts, recitals, TV, books, in my mind, everywhere I go. But unfortunately, I came from a very low income family who just couldn't afford a harp. No matter how much money they have, they always come up short, and I find myself left with no harp at all. Over the years I felt only shame and embarrassment when the subject of the harp is brought up in public, yet I found it no problem talking about the harp to myself in private, and yet I was too ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone in public that I want to play the harp.

That was until 1989 when I became brave enough to tell others that I wanted to play the harp, and got real serious about it. I only want to play the kind of harp I've seen on TV and in books, not some old folk and Irish harps that I've seen in old medieval paintings and such. I began to pray to God for the harp constantly, always asking Him to grant me a harp to play on and own. Then, when I was 17 years old, it was in 1990 when I went with my high school counselor and saw for the very first time my harp teacher, Ellen Grafius and her harp "Nutkin" a Lyon & Healy style 17 pedal harp that cost about $17,000 at that time. I had a great time listening to her music and trying out her harp. I even impress her with how well I can play the harp— very well. I learn quickly the correct fingerings, which string to pluck, and where to put my hands on the harp after I'm done playing. But that doesn't mean I never made mistakes. Whenever I made mistakes, I had to go and start the song over again. Nevertheless I became a pretty good harp player and instantly developed a strong desire and determination to play the harp— and own one.

But one year later in 1991, I found out that East Lansing High School, in E. Lansing, Michigan has two harps available for rent, I thought my prayers were answered. But unfortunately, none of them are pedal harps. They were troubadour harps, harps with levers aligning the neck of the harp you move with your fingers in comparison with moving the pedals with your feet. I found myself at the receiving end of a lever harp which I called "Angel" the harp I had to put up practicing and playing in concerts and recitals with for 6 years, following the verse in the Bible (Luke 16:10) where Jesus said that if one is faithful to small things will also be faithful to large things. To me, when I look back at that verse today, everything about the verse is translated to "You're playing the lever harp whether you like it or not! For chances are, you won't be able to get the pedal harp at all. So stop complaining and be satisfy with playing what you have!" I despised it even when I tried to like it. Before I got "Angel", I made up my mind to play only on a pedal harp. Nothing else. That's the decision I made and that's the decision I'm sticking with no matter what.

I am extremely fussy when it comes to the harp. I want to play upon a grand concert pedal harp, not a lever harp! I would say, "I love this lever harp." But deep down inside, I hated it. I hated it so much that I tried to tell anyone that I'm giving up this harp and replaced it with the pedal harp. But whenever I did, everyone thought I was going to give up the harp completely. No, I wasn't! I want the pedal harp, not the lever harp! I don't want to play on the troubadour harp at all. Period! Finally about 6 years later, I finally was able to give up the lever harp for good. I brought the harp back to Ellen to be taken back to the high school where it came from. I was completely done with the lever harp! But not the pedal harp. No matter what, I will not give up the pedal harp ever.
My obsession for the pedal harp got real stronger over the years. Admittedly I should have finance a harp years ago when I first started playing the harp rather go around begging people for help in getting me a harp. Then I would've never wasted time going around and begging people for a pedal harp. But instead I choose to spend 12 years begging people everywhere for help in either buying, borrowing a pedal harp, even donating money to buy a pedal harp, only to face one disappointment after another. Still, I never gave up asking and seeking help to get a pedal harp and praying to God for a pedal harp along the way.

The day finally came when I got finally blessed with a pedal harp to play on. One of the church members, who used to go to the same church I went to, offered to take me over to a music store in another town where it sells harps. But the harps the store sells were all lever harps, the kind of harps I refused to play anymore, ever. So, I showed the church friend a paper advertising The Michigan Harp Center, a harp place located right near Detroit, Michigan where pedal harps are rented out as part of a rent to own program. I really wanted to head on over and pay that place a visit so I can check out the harps the store has over there. So the church member, my mother, and I went over there and saw the harps. They are mostly Lyon & Healy Style 15 pedal Harps with a straight soundboard. These harps are over 30 years old and doesn't have good sound quality than the newer harps. Still these harps are everything I been looking for and was willing to try them out.

So I went and played on the harps and fell in love with one of them. Months later, on the 25th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley in 2002, I was finally blessed with renting one of the harps I fell in love with. "Gilligan" the harp I chose to rent was completely everything I've been looking for in a harp except that he had major problems with buzzing noises being made every time I plucked the middle C string. It produced an unpleasant buzzing noise that's uncharacteristic for a harp. I had to replace it with another harp named "Mary Ann." which I also loved very much, but I would rather go for Gilligan because he was the first pedal harp I ever got. I had Mary Ann for a whole year until Gilligan was finally fixed — at least temporary — and I was able to get him back for awhile. But then sadly, a year later in 2004, I had to give the harp back to the Michigan Harp Center where the two harps came from because the rent-to-own contract has expired and I couldn't afford to pay for the renewal. To me, it was a real emotionally painful experience, giving up the harps. A very cruel irony I had to face— 6 years of playing an unwanted harp and two years of playing a pedal harp I'd rather keep. I show no emotion when I gave up the lever harp, and yet I show tons of emotion when I had to give up the pedal harp. I had to. We just couldn't afford to renew the contract anymore.

Both harps, especially Mary Ann, have done great wonders to banish the green monster of jealousy out of my life. Before Gilligan and Mary Ann came into my life, I used to get real moody during concert recitals. I bawl and cry and experience a few fits of jealousy to the point where I won't want to watch and hear any harpist perform at all. That changed after Gilligan and Mary Ann came into my life. I had Mary Ann when I went over to do an annual recital with Ellen. I haven't brought her along since she was really big and bulky to carry around, but was able to feel her presence when I went over to Ellen's house and perform the songs I learned to play on Ellen's Harp, Nutkin, as well as watch the other harpists perform. Not one instance of jealousy and envy ever occurred throughout the recital. I was able to sit through, watched the harpists, listen to the music, and thoroughly enjoy the concert! That's because they have a pedal harp and so do I. It was a awesome experience. Praise the Lord, I never have any jealousy at all. My jealousy is gone! :D

With those harps, I never had to experience and fits of jealousy and envy anymore. But when I had to give them up, I began to experience jealousy again every now and then. This makes me wonder, "When will it all end permanently?" and the only answer is get a harp of my own I truly loved as much as I love Gilligan and Mary Ann— and love that instrument forever! I believe I have found the kind of harp brand I really, really, truly want to have, to love, to cherish, and to own. And it's none other than Venus Harps, the only one harp brand that can't be beat!

I love the Venus Harp. Any Venus harp. To me, they are far more impressive than all other harp brands known. In my opinion, not even Lyon & Healy and all other harp brands can match up with the Venus Harps like the Encore and the Classic (my all time favorite), the Penti, the Paragon, the Cherub, the Prodigy, and the Seraphim.

I first discovered Venus Harps when I was first surfing the internet for harps and I wanted to look at lyonhealy.com because this is the very first site I ever visited when I surfed on the web for the very first time. And I've been wanting to get my hands on one of the harps and try them out ever since. Often times, however, I've gone ga ga over other harps, mainly some Lyon & Healy pedal harps like the 23, 15, or maybe 30 while I went after the Wurlitzer harps, certain lever harps shaped like pedal harps such as the Pratt Chamber Harp that I'm becoming interested in trying out, and much more. But now I greatly love and favor Venus Harps much more than any other harp brand. I will always favor the Venus Harps because #1. W&W only makes pedal harps which I greatly favor over lever harps like "Angel". Nothing more. And #2. all of what many harps like the Encore, the Classic, and the Prodigy says that they're everything I've been dreaming of. No exceptions.

So I'm raising up to $2,500 to finance a Venus harp for my very own and hopefully choose the Venus harp I can afford to make monthly payments on. Over the years I've put up a huge struggle in trying to buy a harp only due to the cost of buying one. Both new and used harps is priced within the $10,000 and a whopping $50,000 range. Coming from a low budget background, there's no way I can earn that much money alone. It'll take years and years for me to earn that amount. Only if I win the lottery will I be able to have that amount. But I'd rather choose a much better the option of putting some money down towards buying a beautiful sweet sounded harp than wasting $1.00 buying lottery tickets to achieve such a seemingly impossible dream that only God can otherwise fulfill. Putting money down to buy a harp is the best way to go rather than wasting money to chase pipe dreams through gambling and lottery tickets. I plan to raise at least $2,500 to put down towards buying a brand new Venus Classic Concert Grand Harp which costs $20,300 to buy from W&W Venus Harps in Chicago, ILL, and an additional $500 delivery and accessories. The harp I want to own is the Venus Classic Concert Grand. I love the instrument deeply. It has 47 strings, stands 6ft tall, and has beautiful floral and roses decorating the top and bottom of the column. Soon I'll afford to finance and own this beautiful harp and use it to 'Praise the Lord with the harp!' (Psalms 33:2) and give Him all the glory He deserves."
Additional Specialisms: Solo Performance, Early Music, Contemporary Music
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