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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Music of the 1960's on the Harp

With a request that came in this week for a wedding that focused on music of the 60's, I went through some of my books and have added some new pieces to my repertoire.  Sylvia Woods has  relatively new book of harp arrangements from this decade, and they provide a starting point for me to expand upon them and make them my own.  Some of the new pieces include:
  • 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) by Paul Simon
  • Happy Together by The Turtles
  • Venus in Blue Jeans by Jimmy Clanton
  • Windy by The Association (also on the Drew Carey Show when Craig Ferguson's character harp-syncs)
  • I Love How You Love Me by The Paris Sisters & Bobby Vinton
  • A Groovy Kind of Love by Phil Collins
  • Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan
  • In My Room by The Beach Boys
  • Downtown by Petula Clark
  • Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues
Check the Popular & Jazz Repertoire List on our website for other contemporary music that can be played on the harp!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Open House Music - Columbia City Indiana Harpist

I've played for three harp solo concerts at the Peabody Public Library, but this event was different - it was an open house and celebration for the construction of a new addition onto the library.  This included meeting rooms, a computer classroom, offices, and an auditorium.

I played outside of the auditorium as guests toured the new facility, both before and after the dedication of the addition.  It was a very appreciative crowd, and I played a wide variety of music - from Beethoven to Styx!  It's always so much fun to watch little children seeing a harp for the first time.  They are always somewhat timid (after all, the harp is three times their size!), but excited when I can play them some Disney or popular songs they recognize.

The harp is not just limited to weddings - it can enhance any event from a retirement party to a trade show!  Visit http://www.theclassicharpist.com/ for more details

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Miami Florida Wedding Harpist ~ Crandon Park Beach

We love destination weddings ~ and there's nothing better than playing for a ceremony on the beach and escaping a snowstorm in the Midwest!  Jeff and I took the opportunity to extend our "vacation" and spend a couple of days in Key West before the January 8th wedding.


Chris and Joy worked with Forever in Love ~ Elegant Beach Weddings to officiate and coordinate their wedding on Key Biscayne.  I was thrilled to be a part of their ceremony!  It took place on the beach of Crandon Park, a beautiful and serene escape from the much busier Miami Beach.  Their colors of coral and mint were displayed in the chair covers and the flowers that decorated their arch.


They brought their families in for the weekend, and had about twenty guests for their ceremony.  Everyone arrived in a pair of stretch Hummer limousines!


As the guests were seated, I played "Sheep May Safely Graze" by J.S. Bach.  The bridal party entered to another Bach piece, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", followed by "Canon in D" for the bride's processional.  "Serenade" by McDonald accompanied the unity sand ceremony, and the recessional was "Reverie" by Grandjany.


Yes, you can have a harpist for your beach wedding!  When the harp will be placed directly on the sand as was the case for this ceremony, we use the BlevinSong harp pictured here.  This harp is very portable, and we can use a battery-powered amplifier to boost the volume as needed (it depends upon the waves and the wind!). 


If you are planning a destination wedding in Florida, please contact us about providing harp music for your ceremony and reception:

Miami Florida Wedding Harpist

We are available anywhere in the US (especially in Florida in January!), and will also travel internationally for weddings and events.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Auburn, Indiana Harpist ~ Duesenberg Museum Wedding

On New Year's Eve, Jeff & I were the harpists for a wedding reception at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana.


For the cocktail hour, we were set up in the showroom of the museum, surrounded by classic cars.  The harps looked (and sounded) amazing in there!


The music we played included popular songs from the 1950's to today.  We always try to play something that guests of all ages will recognize and appreciate!  We moved the harps inside the banquet center to provide music as everyone enjoyed their dinner. 


On New Year's Eve, it's not just a wedding, it's a party.  They were ready for the celebration with a balloon drop!


Planning a wedding or event in Northeast Indiana?  Contact us for more information about harp music and how we can fit in with your plans.

Northeast Indiana Harpist

Monday, January 10, 2011

Central Illinois Harpist ~ Jacksonville, IL Bridal Expo

Since opening up our second "home base" in Central Illinois, we're looking forward to playing the harp for more events in the area!  If you are considering having a harpist for your wedding or party, a great opportunity to meet us and hear our music will be the Jacksonville Main Street Bridal & Prom Expo on Sunday, January 30th, 2011.  The show will be at Hamilton's 110 North East in downtown Jacksonville, IL, and will run from 1:00 - 4:00 PM ($8 admission at the door).

We will be offering a 10% discount to brides who book at the show, and we will have a drawing at our booth for free cocktail hour music.  Stop by to enter and receive more information about having a harpist add elegance to your wedding.  We'd love to meet you!

More information on the Jacksonville Main Street Facebook page.

TheClassicHarpist.com

Northern Indiana Harpist ~ Goshen College Wedding & Plymouth Church

I love December weddings!  Our last wedding ceremony of the year was on December 19th - a Sunday afternoon.  When all of the students have left for the semester, college campuses are so peaceful, and even more so when they are covered with a light blanket of snow.

This ceremony was held in Rieth Recital Hall in the Goshen College Music Center.  You can't ask for better acoustics than that!  I was set up in the balcony above the stage where the ceremony took place, on the same level as the organ.   


They had the stage decorated with white draping, candles, and vases filled with silver branches.


During the prelude as the guests arrived, I played a variety of classical and Celtic songs, including Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze", "Down by the Salley Gardens", and "Carolan's Welcome", a song by the blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan.

As soon as the groom and groomsmen entered, I began playing the traditional "Canon in D", which served as the entrance music for the families of the bride and groom as well as for the wedding party.  For the bride's processional, she chose "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera.


During the lighting of the unity candle, I played a song made famous by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli - "Con te partiro" (Time to Say Goodbye).  For the recessional, "Fields of Gold" by Sting.  You might be surpirsed how well that one fits the sound of the harp!

Once the ceremony was complete, the guests headed to the reception in the lobby of the Goshen College Music Center.  With the floor to ceiling windows, it was the perfect location to look out over the winter landscape.  Their colors were royal blue, purple and silver, and the centerpieces were magnificent ~ purple orchids and hanging crystals! 




That morning, Jeff was in Plymouth, Indiana, playing harp at the New Song Community Church.  They have a coffee/cafe hour before and after their service in a separate part of the building, so people had a chance to sit, relax, and enjoy some Christmas harp music!


Planning a wedding or event in Northern Indiana? Contact us for information about live harp music: Northern Indiana Harpist


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Chamber Music for Your Wedding

As you consider the music for your wedding, you not only have to decide upon the specific songs you would like to have played, but also the musician or ensemble that will be responsible for performing them.

Your first step should be to determine the type of music you would like to hear at your wedding. It is easier to find a group that already plays your favorite music, rather than book your musicians ~ only to find out later that they don't play the music you prefer.

Once you have a general idea of the type of music to fit your wedding, start looking at different instrumental options. Classical and traditional? Consider the harp, violin & cello trio. Do you want variety from "Canon in D" to "All You Need is Love"? Maybe the solo harp or the harp & piano duet is best. Delight your guests with something they have never seen before? Go for the harp duet!

You can also mix and match, using different instruments for your ceremony, cocktail, and dinner hours. If you'd like a combination of instruments not listed, we can likely arrange that for you, too! Contact us with your ideas, and we'd be glad to help you come up with the perfect group to complement your vision.

Here are some of the most popular ensembles we offer ~ contact us for rates and more options!

1. Harp solo ~ The majority of our weddings are for harp solo. The harp is a versatile instrument by itself, and doesn't take up very much space. It can be amplified, and works beautifully for most weddings.



2. Piano solo ~ If your venue has a piano, we can provide a piano soloist. Music ranges from traditional wedding classics to popular songs.

3. Harp duet ~ One harp is great, but two harps are impressive! We are one of the only harp duets in the country who specialize in weddings, and this is becoming a more popular choice for our couples. It gives you a fuller sound, and looks amazing in your pictures. This is something your guests will always remember!



4. Harp & Violin duet ~ This is our most popular ensemble. The violin takes the melody and the harp accompanies, resulting in a more sustained sound than the harp can create alone. This duo works well for classical and Celtic music.



5. Harp & Flute duet ~ One of the most traditional pairings with the harp, the flute carries the melody. This pair is also ideal for classical music.



6. Harp, Violin & Cello trio ~ Adding a cello to the harp & violin gives you a deeper, fuller, and more resonant sound. As the groups get larger, keep in mind that you need to have adequate space for setting up. The trio works well for classical, popular, and Celtic music. You may also substitute a flute in place of the violin or cello.

7. Harp & Piano duet ~ This group is ideal if your church requires use of their resident pianist or organist. We're happy to work with them! With this duet, music ranges from classical to jazz.




8. Harp & String Quartet ~ The largest and most impressive of our ensembles, this group consists of the harp, two violins, one viola, and one cello. It's ideal for large and formal ceremonies, and can be split up to provide continuous music in different locations.


Wedding Musicians