Success of Atonement Harp Choir Prompts Interest in New Choirs

Student in Betty Jane Ruckman’s harp class.

The transition from most instruments to the harp is not an easy one for even the best musicians. Local piano instructor Betty Jane Ruckman is making it easier for students as she is encouraged by the first year of the Harp Choir she started at Atonement Lutheran Church in Florissant.

“Their ministry in the congregation worship has been very appreciated and loved by our worshipers,” said Ruckman who teaches a wide range of piano methods at her Florissant home.

Atonement Lutheran’s Harp Choir began last September with members Toma Ballenot, Johnny Hipenbecker, Meredith and Johan Koch, Becca Maniekis and Bronwen Wallace.

Ruckman said the congregation loved the new addition to the music ministry at Atonement so much that each Sunday they played, church members would ask when they will be playing again.

They took their harp choir to nearby John Knox Presbyterian Church and now are seeking new members.

The harpists play Folk Harps which weigh about three and a-half pounds and are very portable and can be taken to hospitals or Hospice locations. Information on Folk Harps is available from the distributor at

Meanwhile Ruckman ask anyone interested in joining or starting their own harp choir, or for lesson, to call her at (314) 831-0215.

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