Cynthia Wyatt, or Cindy as some may call her, has devoted her life to the arts and family.
“I write poetry. I’m published in lots of journals nationwide, and I’ve won some prizes,” said Wyatt. Here’s one of Wyatt’s poems posted on “Verse Daily.”
She’s also an accomplished harpist. “I moved to Nashville in the middle 70s and I worked in the recording industry with every country star you can think of in recordings. I played the harp,” said Wyatt.
Wyatt has spent her entire life playing music.
Here is a podcast of bits and pieces of an interview with Wyatt.
“My mother is a musician. She started me on violin when I was four, piano when I was five or six. I took piano lessons until I was about eleven, and then I switched over to the harp,” said Wyatt.
She said playing instruments was never a matter of interest. Her mother brought her up doing it, “I don’t think it was a matter of being interested. I was four years old. [Her mother said] this is what you’re going to do. It turns out I was good at it.”
“I grew up in Queens,” said Wyatt, “It was different then. … I could be a child growing up in New York and get on the subway by myself. I could go to Greenwich Village at night and come home alone. The world was just full of peace and sweetness. I don’t think there’s any place like that now.”
“I went to Juilliard, which is a very fine music school in New York. I also went to Queens College and got a master’s in English. So, my career has been kind of back and forth between teaching English and playing music for a living, sometimes both,” said Wyatt.
While still in Queens, Wyatt married a songwriter, “He wanted to try his luck in Nashville. So, I gave up a teaching position in Boston to come down here to Nashville. When they found out that there was a harpist in town who didn’t need music, you know, I can just listen and I can play by ear, whatever they want me to play, I really started working. It was totally unforeseen, but something I always wanted.”
“I’ve been married three times, and the third time is the charm,” said Wyatt. She met her current husband almost 30 years ago, “He played the flute for the Nashville Symphony while I was doing recording work. So, our paths crossed.”
Now, Mr. Wyatt writes literary fiction novels.
“We get together every day at 4 o’clock, … and we play. He plays different kinds of flutes and whistles. I do my little harp and we do Celtic music together for roughly an hour before it’s time to start cooking dinner,” said Wyatt.
“[Sometimes] we do concerts at places like Cheekwood,” she said.
Wyatt now primarily plays Celtic music. “I had some friends in North Carolina who were getting in to it, and I loved it so I started playing it. We would get together on porches and in living rooms and have Celtic sessions and just play and drink,” said Wyatt, “It’s just so infectious. It’s very spirited. Sometimes, it’s extremely sad. It’s never boring. Like you know, sometimes a folk song is boring. Irish music is never boring.”
I visited Wyatt playing the celtic harp with some hammer dulcimer players that she jams with at a retirement community on Sunday, May 5, 2013, and took some video.
Wyatt was asked if she preferred music or poetry to which she quickly responded, “Do you prefer your children? You don’t. You’re grateful you have them both.”
“What I find so fascinating about music is that it’s another completely different language, and we all speak it whether you know it or not,” said Wyatt.
Here is another video of Wyatt playing a larger harp.