Man Builds Healing Harp from Stand-Up Wheelchair

Published: March 12, 2012  |  Source: care2.com
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Using a stand-up wheelchair that allowed him to build, calibrate, and tune at the highest places of this tall symphonic instrument, George Flores created a one-of-a-kind 47-string harp called The Healing Harp.

“I thought about the fact that harps are known around the world as being a healing instrument. I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring that same healing power to the world and all people with disabilities, including people with spinal cord injuries and disorders,” said Flores, who was paralyzed is a motorcycle accident in 2004.

The custom-built Venus Aria model Grand Concert Harp has a natural finish with hand painted soundboard, handpicked special veneers, and a new technology no other harp in the world has, which strengthens the overall structure and enhances the acoustic properties of the wood.

Flores built the harp, valued at $40,000, with the support of the Venus Harp Company. The National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA) is auctioning The Healing Harp, with proceeds going to benefit people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders. Flores chose NSCIA because of their support in navigating doctors and helping him successfully advocate for a stand-up wheelchair during his rehabilitation, as well as their ability to help others lead full and independent lives with spinal cord injury or disorder.

“This gift is clearly the most creative and unique donation we have received in our 65 plus year history,” said K. Eric Larson, United Spinal Senior Vice President of Membership and Chapter Services.

“The funds generated through this auction will directly support our mission of enabling people living with spinal cord injury and disorder (like George Flores) to achieve the highest possible quality of life,” he added.

World renowned professional harpist Merry Miller has been playing the Healing Harp at various events. Donations to NSCIA are also being accepted in recognition of the Healing Harp, and as a separate “thank you gift,” a copy of her Favorites from the Harp CD will be given for donations over $100.

Photo: United Spinal Starts Auction of Grand Concert Harp Built by Master Harp Artisan With Spinal Cord Injury: A World Class Harp Built From a Wheelchair. (PRNewsFoto/United Spinal Association, Richard Oles)

Ann Pietrangelo