Harp Twins close out Dogwood Fine Arts Festival
DOWAGIAC — Wearing matching, glittering white and silver outfits, twins Camille and Kennerly Kitt sat behind two six-foot harps on a stage at Southwestern Michigan University in Dowagiac Saturday as they played the opening strings to rock and roll classic “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult.
“This is one of our favorites,” Camille said to the crowd, each member of which had bought tickets to watch the twins perform. “We hope you will like our spin on it.”
Saturday evening, the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival closed out its 2018 season with a performance by the Harp Twins at SMC. The Harp Twins, a musical group consisting of twins Camille and Kennerly Kitt, is known for playing pop culture music on classic acoustic harps, in addition to electric harps. On their popular YouTube channel with more than half a million subscribers, the duo can be seen decked out in a number of video-specific outfits as they play everything from Metallica to Led Zeppelin to the “Star Wars” theme song.
In between songs, the pair spent Saturday evening joking around with the audience as they played a wide variety of music that spanned decades and genres, taking time to explain how the two classically trained harpists came to find their niche in pop culture music.
“There are a lot of stereotypes we are trying to break,” Kennerly said.
“When people think of harps, they think of angels or heaven. … We wanted to play music we liked, that was our taste in music. This is a different kind of harp music, so you don’t have to do things you would normally do at a harp concert, like sleep,” Camille added with a laugh.
With each song, some taking on a rock and roll quality thanks to the electric harp, Camille and Kennerly’s fingers glided over the harps in an elegant fashion, almost making the audience believe that what they were doing was easy. While the twins made it clear that playing the harp is, in fact, incredibly complex, it was because of their love of the music that they were playing that made them enjoy every second of the performance.
“There are seven pedals on the harp, so even if you have the right string, you can’t get the right pitch if you have the wrong pedal. So, that’s really fun,” Camille joked. “But we love what we do, which is creating music for our audiences.”
Dogwood Fine Arts Festival organizers said they were happy with the Harp Twins’ performance, adding that they felt the duo was the right act to close out the 2018 season.
“From top to bottom, the talent we’ve had this year has been top notch,” said Mark Herman, who sits on the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival Board. “I think this has been one of our best lineups yet.”
Dogwood Fine Arts Festival President Jim Benedix said he has been happy with the way this year’s festival has turned out and that the board will soon reconvene to begin planning the 2019 season.
“[The festival] has been great,” he said. “You’ve got to stay tuned for what is next.”
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