southern harmony | JUNE CALDWELL
“A song is a gift. It’s handed to you.” June Caldwell
Heavenly Sounds By Andrea Brown Ross | Photography courtesy of June Caldwell
The sounds of a harp are heavenly, but in the hands of storyteller and harpist June Caldwell the music becomes magical – especially for weddings. As a storyteller with the Mississippi Arts Commission for the past 20 years, June Caldwell had an impressive repertoire of musical instruments she could play including the piano, guitar, dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, and Native American flute. But when an opportunity presented itself nine years ago to learn how to play the harp, Caldwell couldn’t pass it up. Her music now provides the soundtrack for couples walking down the aisle and opening the next chapter in their love story. “I’ve always loved the sound of a harp. It’s just magical,” she explains. “When I had a chance to buy one locally, I couldn’t resist.” She began to teach herself how to play by using a 78 DeSoto
book. After six months, Caldwell traveled to North Carolina from her home in Pontotoc, Mississippi, to take a weeklong instructional class. She would later take a follow-up class. “From there,” Caldwell elaborates,” I actually skyped lessons from a well-known harpist in Seattle, Washington.” Crediting her parents’ love of music, she has always been immersed in some type of music. “My mother was musical,” remembers Caldwell. “She played piano and sang in the church choir. She must have taken us to every concert within a 50-mile radius growing up. “And my father…he couldn’t sing very well, but he loved music, too. Our parents really nurtured and encouraged
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