Harpist/dancer discusses what inspires her

By Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent 


Angela Lee is November's featured artist. [Photo submitted

   Angela Lee, a 16-year-old high school junior in Cary, has been playing harp for 10 years, and has attended multiple harp intensives and competitions.
   Her current harp teacher is Jacquelyn Bartlett, who holds the Harp Department Chair at North Carolina School of the Arts. Lee also dances with Cary Ballet Conservatory’s professional division.
Teens & 20s took a few moments to speak with Lee about dedication, detail and art in society.
Teens & 20s: What inspires you most as an artist?
Lee: Music. It just makes me want to create something. I also love seeing other people’s work and their interpretations of something.
Teens & 20s: When do you feel you made the transition from hobby to passion?
Lee: Probably around the beginning of middle school. School started to get more important and I had to consider if I really liked ballet and harp. I immediately knew I could not quit ballet, I loved it too much. Harp was different. I hated practicing. I didn’t like being alone in a room hours on end finding and fixing subtle details. However, I did find that once I mastered a piece, I loved performing it to others and adding my own artistic touches.
Teens & 20s: What other form of art have you always wanted to try?
Lee: I have always have been interested in clothing and costume design. I have made small stuff like that in the past but I don’t really have time to do that now.
Teens & 20s: What is the most unusual or uncommon genre of music that you love?
Lee: I really like classical music and opera. I don’t really have a specific reason, I just think its nicer than other genres.
Teens & 20s: What message do you want to spread through music?
Lee: I usually just want people to enjoy the music. Sometimes I want the people to connect to the music and to feel it — it depends on what I’m playing.
Teens & 20s: What do you think is the most common misconception about music/harp?
Lee: A lot of people think that playing the harp is difficult, yet if you want to just learn it for fun it’s pretty easy. Perfecting a piece and trying to go professional is a lot harder, but I feel like that goes for a lot of things.
Teens & 20s: If you weren’t an artist, what other passion would you pursue?
Lee: I really don’t know. Art, both visual and performing, is a really big part of my life and I feel like I need a way to express myself. Maybe I would do something with engineering, When I’m making something I like the aspect of figuring out how to make it work. Engineering would let me do that.
Teens & 20s: Anything else you want to add?
Lee: I feel like art in general is underappreciated, especially in the United States. Overall, it’s being discouraged by our society. Art can be powerful and it’s something truly special. You can only teach a part of it — the rest of it is up to the individual.

Logan A. White is a Teens & 20s writer and a home-schooled high school graduate. She currently trains in Cary Ballet Conservatory’s professional program.


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