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Harp program one of the highlights of GCS magnet options

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Guilford County Schools is hosting its GCS Choice Showcase this weekend.

It’s an opportunity for parents and students to learn about magnet and specialty programs offered through the district.

A program unique to Guilford County Schools is the harp program at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts.

It’s the only school harp program in the state.

“I started playing harp in 2006, so as a guitar teacher I brought my harp to school basically to feed my own harp habit,” said Mike Connors, guitar and harp director at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts. “Naturally they got interested and asked me to start showing them how to play the harp.”

It went from being a school club to becoming part of the curriculum.

Over the years, Connors would take a harp to magnet fairs and the interest grew.

As the community became more aware of the program, it helped increase harp donations so that more students would have an opportunity to play.

“I'm not thinking about studying it in college or majoring in music in college, but I would like to invest in a harp and be able to play gigs and make a little bit of money on the side,” student Carina Moreno said.

“I can't wait for more people to support this program. I want it to be so widespread. I want to pass it on to future students, middle schoolers coming up. I want them to know how amazing this is,” student Tori Danielik said.

Guilford County Schools has 45 choice schools offering 54 programs across a variety of areas of interest.

The 2018 GCS Showcase is Saturday, Jan. 20, from noon to 3:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center located at 1921 West Gate City Blvd.