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In our time, the harp has become a cliché for ethereal dreaminess—an instrument that you’d find in the heaven of cheesy romantic comedies. Look a bit deeper, however, and the much-maligned and misunderstood instrument turns out to be a bedrock of poetry and culture. (It is, for instance, on every bottle of Guinness and Harp brand beers.) These ruminations bring me to the rather more plain-spoken fact that there are keepers of the harp right here in D.C., at the Washington Area Folk Harp Society, and their annual benefit concert might just be the best introduction to the joys of the instrument you’ll find this year. The headliner is internationally renowned folk harpist Sue Richards, and the concert will conclude with what might best be described as a “harp jam,” featuring what organizers promise is a “multitude of harps.” You can get your string on at 7:30 p.m. at University Baptist Church, 3515 Campus Drive, College Park. $10. (410) 875-0855. (Richard Byrne)