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Christina is a second generation harpist,who began playing harp at the age of four. She received Music and Education degrees from the University of Vermont and also studied harp at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and at McGill University in Montreal. After her studies in Counseling/Psychology at the University of Vermont and training in Resonant Kinesiology under the tutelage of Susan Borg, she continued on to receive her Music Therapy training at Arizona State University under the directorship of Barbara Crowe. As an International recording and touring artist, she has concertized extensively. She is an active workshop organizer and has been instrumental in the revival of the folk harp since the early 1970″s. In 1982 she founded the Scottish Harp Society of America and is the Founder and Director of the International Harp Therapy Program established in 1994. Healing with sound, working in hospitals and hospices, the labyrinth, composing, teaching, and writing books round out her full life.
Christina Ruth Cooper Tourin grew up in the gentle rolling hills in Maine. She began her life listening to the beautiful sounds of her mother”s golden concert harp.
Her mother, Ruth Hersey Cooper, studied music with Marcel Grandjany, the grand master of the harp at the Juilliard School of Music in New York before settling in Maine.
It was not long before little “Tina” would sit on her highchair and start playing tunes of her own. Her life was full of Ravel and Debussy and she danced to the beautiful melodies that her mother played. Sounds rang forth also from her grandmother”s piano playing and the students that came for lessons.By age 8, Christina was performing frequently on YOUTH CAVALCADE, a television show.
At age 11, her father, Donald MacKay Cooper, changed jobs and the family, (Tina with her two younger brothers), moved to Branford, Connecticut. During her teenage years she and her mother were active in the American Harp Society and performed at numerous recitals throughout the Southern Connecticut area.Christina began playing in trio ensembles at Yale University and performed with various orchestras and off-Broadway shows around the New Haven area.
After leaving Connecticut she enrolled in the University of Vermont, studied Elementary and Music Education and received her B.S. degrees in 1982. In 1974 she was chosen to attend the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria for study under Marianne Oberascher. Upon returning to Vermont, she became the harpist with the Vermont Symphony, the Vermont Philharmonic and continued her harp studies by traveling to McGill University each weekend.
It was in 1975 that she first became interested in the small Celtic harp after traveling to Scotland and meeting harpmaker Ian Firth. Upon her return she was led to Robbie Robinson in Mt. Laguna, California who is known to be the father of the Folk Harp Revival in the United States. Christina became the east coast coordinator of the Folk Harp Society and continues to be active in the Society which is now the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen.
Meeting early music instrument maker, Peter Tourin, she soon became proficient and knowledgeable in the art of harp building and crafted 75 Celtic and Renaissance harps.
During the years that they spent together, she delved into Historical Harps; studying Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Style as well as Celtic Music. Their sons, Mischa and Jaime showed an interest in music at young ages. Now as young men, Jaime is a fine sushi chef, and Mischa is director of community after school programs. They both love all things Japanese (especially Sushi making!) and Mischa spent a year teaching English in Japan. They both enjoying making music with stringed instruments. Jaime and his family – Elysia and Jude Koa live in Maui and Mischa resides in Vermont. Four generations of a musical family are now becoming five – from Christina”s grandmother, to mother, to her, to her sons and now to her grandchildren! Picture are: Jude Koa Hendricks Tourin, Mischa Tourin, Jaime Tourin, Christina with Mischa and Jaime with son, Jude!
|Mischa Tourin||Jaime Tourin||Christina and Mischa||Jaime and Jude Koa|
In 1979, a very historical event took place in Duxbury, Vermont that Christina organized. It was one of the very first workshop gatherings for the Revival of the Folk harp in the country. Derek Bell of the Chieftains and Roslyn Rensch, noted historian of the book, titled The Harpwere invited to lecture to the group. (If you look closely, you will find quite a few “famous harp players” who went away from this workshop creating full time careers with the harp.)
In 1982, Christina co-founded the Scottish Harp Society of America, with Dr. Herb MacNeil, (Founder of the Scottish Clan Society of America). The Society quickly grew from three people in Vermont reaching out to over 8,000 people throughout the U.S., Canada and Britain. Through the summers of 1982-1989, Tina organized the Scottish Harp Course at Oberlin College where teachers, Alison Kinnaird, Sile Harris, Patsy Seddon, Mary MacMaster, Anne MacDearmid, Chris Caswell, Sue Richards, Kim Robertson and she would teach on the various aspects of Scottish Harping. Competitions sprang forth at Highland Games throughout the country and Christina continues to this day to adjudicate at these events.
Changes came over time as Christina devoted more time creating her own compositions. Collaborating with friends, Kim Robertson and William Jackson, her first celebrated album made its debut in 1991. White Rose
While in Vermont, Christina served as the resident harpist at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe for over 17 years. The Broadway music and movie, The Sound of Music is based on the true life story of the von Trapp Family. Their Lodge is open to the public and is a truly spectacular place to visit!
During the 1980″s and 90″s, Christina studied Waldorf Education. She taught music at a local Waldorf School and then moved to England to teach in The Orchard School, a small Steiner School in Bradford-on-Avon outside Bath.
While in England she created the album, the Emerald Harp, an album featuring music of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England Christina represented the United States along with harpers with Robin Williamson and Kim Robertson at the Edinburgh Harp Festival in 1995.
In 1996, Tina”s heart went out for the protection of the harp seals. She created an album to help bring the awareness of the brutality that harp seals were experiencing. When the administration at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida heard her music, they invited her to perform in their beautiful coral reef room where over 1,200 species of fish swim and scuba divers present educational shows. While people took a journey through the depths of our oceans, they heard the relaxing sounds of Christina”s electric crystal harp, built by Mountain Glen Harps, which lights up and changes colors in the dark. She performed there during the winter and spring breaks from 1996 to 2000.
Also at this time Christina had a vision of her future work with the combining of her experiences. Having served as a volunteer for many years in hospitals and hospices; having studied Counseling/Psychology and Resonant Kinesiology; participating at the National Colloquiam on Sound and Healing, Christina knew from then, that her energies would be going into bringing harp players and the medical community together to learn about the beneficial aspects of music and healing.
Thus, the International Harp Therapy Program was born. The program is now based in San Diego with many hospital affiliations including the San Diego Hospice, Planetree Hospitals and countless other facilities worldwide. Over the past years the Int”l Harp Therapy Program has held conferences and training programs in many countries including Australia, Holland, UK, Japan, Brazil, Asia and at many locations across the US and Canada
In 2010 the International Harp Therapy Campus opened its virtual doors online. The school is expanding at a rapid rate, using state of the art technology to facilitate study, practice and communication between students, mentors, teachers and campus administration. Students from around the world are actively working together and rapidly moving towards accreditation as Therapeutic Harp Players
Christina continues to travel, perform and speak at health organizations internationally. Harps for Health, Comfort, Relaxation
and Restoration continue to be the focus of her life, or one might say, Harps for Humanity.
Her new outreach project – A Rainbow of Sound Facilitators Career Package for people wanting to learn how to play harp and how to teach, combined with the exciting revolutionary Harp Circle COLOR MY WORLD program is bringing music-making to the hearts of those in a multitude of various facilities – schools, community groups, healthcare facilities and support groups!
|Training Harp Circle Facilitators||Color My World Harp Circles in Action|
What does she dream of for the future? Christina envisions a harp player for every hospital and hospice for the year 2020!. The Int”l Harp Therapy Program continues to grow and Certified Harp Practitioners are working in hospitals and hospices throughout the world due to her vision and skills, each adding their own love for the work and reaching out to humanity. To find one of our hundreds of graduates, go to this LINK
|Rainbow of Sound Harp Circles
(click on image to enlarge)
|Working Therapeutically with the Harp
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Christina continues to create teaching DVDs to expand the quality of harp playing. Her activities now including producing books as well as CD”s continues to conduct the World Harp Orchestra, an avenue for harpists to come together to perform in concert for the benefit of raising money for relief aid. Currently she enjoys lifein Mt. Laguna, California at the Harp Chalet Center and her annual tours in the Fall and Spring to various parts of the world. A great joy is helping her sons prepare for their life adventures and welcoming her grandchildren to the world!
| Jude Koa