No one ever asks Julia Seager-Scott if she wishes she played the flute. Not as she muscles her Lyon & Healy concert harp (47 strings, 82 lbs) backstage at the National Ballet of Canada, or at symphony gigs across Ontario, or opening for Feist with Charles Spearin and The Happiness Project (Juno Award winner, 2010).
It doesn't happen as she wheels her harp into the pit at the Stratford Festival for the 1000th time, nor when she draws the short straw between the other two harpists in the Soaring Harp Trio and they get to say hello to fans while she schleps the bloody great things across the parking lot.
Harps can fall over in the wind, you know. They're dangerous. But, no. People never say anything like that. That's why she decided she needed more harps, like the baroque, wire-strung Gaelic harp called the Clarsach (34 strings, 15 lbs), so she can more accurately play the music of the Irish blind harper Turlogh O'Carolan (who at least had a guide and a horse when he was on the road). And that's why she got an Italian triple harp (93 strings 28 lbs). It was David Fallis and the Toronto Consort who encouraged her to get that one, and she's since played with them and with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, both as a continuo accompanist (to Dame Emma Kirkby, among many others) and as a featured soloist. She also played the Handel Harp Concerto all the way across the country in Calgary, with the Rosa Barocca Ensemble. All those burly handlers at the airports in Toronto and Calgary? Nope. They never said a thing.
Julia even played for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. After she had finished, he looked her right in the eye as if there was something he wanted to ask, but, being a man who knows what's good for him, all he said was "Thank you very much."