Frequently Asked Questions
"Do I need to provide anything for you?"
Nope! I'll bring my harp, bench, music stand, and music. However, I will need to be there thirty (30) minutes in advance to tune and set up.
"Do you need amplification?"
Short answer: I do have battery-powered amplification available upon request.
Long answer: The acoustic, concert pedal harp is roughly comparable to the piano in volume, though a little quieter. For ceremonies/services where there will be silence during musical portions, the harp can be heard loud and clear!
For social gatherings where people would be conversing (cocktails, dinners, parties, etc) larger than 75 people, amplification is recommended for the ideal experience. While a standard microphone works, I do have amplification equipment specifically designed for the harp!
It's available upon request as an add-on for a very low fee.
"Do you take music requests?"
If you give me at least fifteen days' advance notice, I'll probably be able to work something out! However, with less than that, I'll have to take it on a case-by-case basis.
"I don't know anything about harp music!"
No worries! I do!
The harp repertoire is quite vast and has a LOT of good music! If you want instrumental music but are at a loss for what to select, please ask me! While the harp CAN play just about anything, I can also recommend some wonderful pieces that were composed and specifically intended to showcase the harp!
Whether you're looking for a genre or a specific style of piece - or even a musical piece that "sounds like ___, but isn't!" - consider me your talking library!
"Will you need to take any breaks?"
Due to the physically demanding nature of harp-playing, I will need to rest for five minutes per fifty-five minutes of constant performance, with a thirty-minute rest after four hours. Requests for blocks of more than four hours of playing will be taken on a case-by-case basis.
"How do you figure out how much to charge?"
Good question! There are a couple factors:
- Average Pricing: I primarily take into account the prices of my colleagues to make sure that I am neither drastically over-pricing or under-pricing them with the average event. So, I establish a reasonable ball-park price.
- Harp & tool/vehicle upkeep: There are certain factors that will cause more wear-and-tear on the harp or my mini-van than others, and I adjust pricing accordingly. Concert grand harps start at around $24,000, and a new set of strings is $500+, and the yearly regulation fees are around $500. Not to mention vehicle wear-and-tear & gas fees! So, for example, an event 100 miles away will cost more than one 5 miles away!
- Background work: The practicing, the transportation, the extra time to unload and unpack AND account for traffic, time to let the harp adjust and tune it several times, etc!
- Quality & Length of time: When you book me to play for your event, you are hiring a Master of Music. You are receiving not only consistent quality and playing endurance, but the ability to have your cherished song brought to life on the harp, adaptability to the circumstances, and, of course, all the skill of having played since 2002 at some of the best music schools in the nation.
My quotes account for all of this. I do my best to give you a fair and - above all - consistent price while being able to maintain the level of professional quality I offer.
"What sort of conditions does the harp need in order to be played?"
The harp, while certainly heavenly-looking and -sounding, is very earth-bound. Wear-and-tear on the harp occurs every time it is moved. It is a primarily wooden instrument (expansion/contraction), with internal metal parts (rust and wear), under a huge amount of tension (2,000 lbs!)! So, some conditions - such as being in direct sunlight, exposed to extreme/direct sources of heat/cold/(lack of) humidity, etc. - will cause it to age more rapidly. I try to avoid that!
I've heard it said, "If you're comfortable, the harp's also comfortable," and that's fairly accurate. The harp needs to be kept between between 60°F and 85°F, and kept away from direct sources of temperature (such as a heater), precipitation (like rain or gusts on a beach), and sunlight. If playing outdoors, the harp must be protected from outdoor elements by overhead shade and being on a flat surface.
If inclement weather (precipitation, temperatures outside the specified ranges, gusting winds, etc) threatens, I'll need to stop playing and move it to a safe location for the harp. Along those lines, I ask that whenever I play, I'm provided with a safe venue (wheelchair accessible) with a clean solid level surface on which to perform of at least 4'x4'.
Other than that, we're good to go!