In January, Rockport Music lost a great friend, a generous patron, and a respected Trustee Emeritus with the passing of Flora “Mimi” Harper at age 97.
Mimi and her husband Bob Harper began spending summers in Rockport in the early 1980s, traveling each year from their home in Washington, D.C. to their beloved “hut,” as Mimi referred to their converted apple barn on Brooks Road. Bob and Mimi, a former Fulbright scholar and knowledgeable music lover, quickly became regular attendees — and champions of contemporary music — at Rockport Chamber Music Festival (RCMF) concerts.
In the 1990s Mimi joined RCMF’s Development Committee, where she shared the expertise she gained during her distinguished career as a college dean and fund-raiser. From 2004 to 2013 she served three terms as a Rockport Music Trustee, flying from Washington to Rockport— well into her 80s and despite chronic back pain — to attend board meetings.
Mimi was a kind and gracious hostess with a delightfully wry sense of humor. A popular figure at annual Rockport Music galas and receptions, she also invited friends from Rockport to her home in Washington, where she loved to introduce them to performances at the Kennedy Center, international embassies, and the Phillips Collection.
When declining health prevented her from spending summers in Rockport, Mimi, a member of the Linden Tree Society, donated her Rockport house to Rockport Music, an extraordinary gift that symbolized her love for the organization and its mission. She and Bob also included bequests to Rockport Music in their estate plans, helping to ensure the organization’s future.
The memory of Mimi’s kind heart, keen intelligence, and generous spirit remains very much alive at Rockport Music. In celebration of her life, a special chamber music broadcast concert is planned for August 28, 2020, featuring the renowned David Finckel and Wu Han performing in memory of Flora “Mimi” Harper.
Tribute gifts to Rockport Music in Mimi’s memory can be made online (Click here), by contacting Lori Correale at email@example.com or 978-546-7391 x.103 or mailed in care of the Development Office, 16 Main Street, Rockport, MA 01966.
For more information on becoming a Linden Tree Society member by making a bequest through your will or trust, please visit Rockport Music’s Planned Giving website or contact Kathy Urner-Jones at 978-546-7391 x.132 or Kurnerjones@rockportmusic.org.
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Top photo: Mimi Harper at the Dave Brubeck Gala.
Credit: Paul Cary Goldberg