Harpist in Rockford {Wedding at Kilbuck Creek}

Northern Illinois Wedding Harpist

First outdoor wedding of the year – and what a gorgeous day!  Jessica and Adam were married on the grounds of Kilbuck Creek in rural Monroe Center, Illinois.  Just a short drive from Rockford, and not too far from Chicago, this is a wonderful venue to have a natural, rustic wedding!

Rockford Harpist for Weddings

As guests were seated in the outdoor pews, I played several popular songs (like “Eyes on Me” from Final Fantasy VIII), along with the wedding favorite “Canon in D.”  The entire wedding party and bride entered to “Concerning Hobbits” from Lord of the Rings, with a short pause and a big harp glissando in the middle to announce the arrival of the bride.

Harpist in Rockford

 

During the ceremony, the couple performed a Celtic handfasting ceremony.  After they were pronounced husband and wife, they joyously walked back down the aisle to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.  I continued to play as guests made their way to the reception.  More popular songs for the postlude, including “Only Time” by Enya.

I am available anywhere in Northern Illinois (including the greater Chicago area), southern Wisconsin, and Eastern Iowa to play for weddings and events.  Harp music is always the right choice!  Find more information on my website – Northern Illinois Harpist.

Harpist in Northern Illinois

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St. Louis Harpist – Business After Hours Entertainment

Not every event I play for is a wedding!  Although that is the majority of my bookings, I also provide music for everything from holiday dinners to baptisms to corporate parties.  When Claywell Asset Management was hosting the Riverbed Growth Association’s Business After Hours event, they wanted to “wow” their guests with live harp music!

St. Louis Harpist

I played a variety of pieces, from well-known classical compositions to songs you might not expect to hear on the harp – like the theme from Game of Thrones or “All of Me” by John Legend!  Those types of pieces always get the best response from guests. Many come over to check and make sure they really heard what they thought they did!

A harp makes any event extraordinary, and is the perfect way to make a lasting impression on guests, clients, and colleagues.  Visit my website – St. Louis Harpist – to contact me for availability and a quote!

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West Chicago Wedding Harpist ~ Ceremony at Hotel Baker

Hotel Baker is a beautiful venue, and the historic Rainbow Room is the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony!  Located right on the river in St. Charles, there are numerous opportunities for stunning photo backdrops.

West Chicago Wedding Harpist

As guests arrived in the room decorated in red and black, I played a variety of classical pieces, including Bach’s “Prelude in C.”  My ebony harp fit in perfectly with the decor!

West Chicago Harp Player

For this ceremony, the couple chose all traditional wedding music.  The bridesmaid entered to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by J. S. Bach.  Sharon chose Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” for her processional.

Chicago Harpist for Weddings

The recessional to conclude the ceremony was the “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn.  The newlyweds exited and made their way upstairs for the cocktail hour, which was also accompanied by harp music!

Chicago Harpist

As the Rainbow Room was reset for dinner service, guests enjoyed cocktails on the upstairs balcony.  I played mostly popular songs – and things you might not expect to hear on the harp!  Some of these included “Clocks” by Coldplay, “Fields of Gold” by Sting, and “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran.

Even the DJ for the reception stopped over to make sure he was hearing what he thought he was!  The harp is not limited to just classical or traditional music.  Your wedding soundtrack can be absolutely anything you want it to be!

Chicago Harp Player

For wedding ceremonies and receptions throughout the Chicago area, please contact me about providing beautiful harp music to accompany the celebration.  You will find more information on my website – West Chicago Wedding Harpist.

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Northwest Indiana Wedding Harpist

A harp is the perfect music for a wedding on St. Patrick’s Day!  With its strong ties to Ireland and Irish music, even when playing classical and popular selections, a harpist for a March 17th wedding is an excellent choice.

Northwest Indiana Harpist

Amanda and Nicholas were married at the United Methodist Church in Griffith, Indiana.  The prelude music for guest arrival included classical and popular selections.  The seating of family members was to Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are,” and the bridal party entered to “Marry Me” by Train.

Harpist in NWI

The bride’s processional was “A Thousand Years” from Twilight: Breaking Dawn.  During the pouring of the unity sand, I accompanied a vocalist singing “When God Made You.”  The conclusion of the ceremony was the recessional “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.

Northwest Indiana Wedding Harpist

As a professional harpist, I provide music (Irish and otherwise!) for weddings and events throughout Northwest Indiana and the greater Chicago area.  Please visit my website – Northwest Indiana Wedding Harpist – to inquire for availability!

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Harpist in Chicago — Wedding at Jen’s Guesthouse

Roz and Kevin got their winter wonderland of a wedding!  The day before their February ceremony, several inches of snow fell.  It was still beautiful on Sunday afternoon outside the windows of Jen’s Guesthouse in Willow Springs.

Wedding Harpist in Chicago

They had an intimate ceremony, with just their immediate families and close friends in attendance.  As everyone arrived, I played the Irish song “Down by the Salley Gardens,” and the classical pieces “Pavane Style Renaissance” and “Canon in D.”

Wedding Musician Chicago

The bride entered to “Trumpet Voluntary,” and the ceremony began with the harp solo “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” during which they lit the unity candle.  Following the exchange of rings, I played “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.

Chicago Harpist

They chose the Irish song “Fanny Power” for the recessional, and the postlude included “Storybook Love” from The Princess Bride, “All of Me” by John Legend, and “All My Loving” by The Beatles.

Chicago Wedding Music

The reception followed in the same room as the ceremony.  If you are looking to hire a harpist for a wedding (or any other event on your calendar!), please get in touch!  On my website – Chicago Wedding Harpist – you’ll find song lists, more pictures, and audio/video clips.

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Memphis Harpist ~ Bridal Shower at The Peabody

Memphis Bollywood MusicanIt was a special delight to play for this bridal shower – I was able to play some of my favorite Bollywood music, and have guests actually recognize it!  After spending a couple of years in India, I developed a large repertoire of Bollywood music to play on the harp.  It was definitely not something they expected to hear me play, but they loved it!

Harpist at The Peabody Memphis

Neelam and her guests enjoyed the famous high tea at Chez Philippe at The Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.  They were served their choice of tea, along with sandwiches, scones, and dessert, all with elegant harp music playing in the background.

Memphis Harpist

In addition to the Bollywood selections, I played a variety of classical music and Western popular songs from the 1950s to the present.

Memphis Wedding Harpist

As a harpist, I play for events of all types, from weddings to showers to corporate parties.  Please visit my website – Memphis Harpist – and contact me to check availability and get a quote!

Memphis Harp Player

 

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Concert Review – Audience Comments

Following a Christmas concert I gave at the Romeo District Library in December, members of the audience were given comment sheets to review the program.  I loved seeing what people thought about the harp!  Here are a few comments from those in attendance:

“Very entertaining for the season.”

“Very much appreciated Devon’s willingness to explain her instrument after her performance.”

“Excellent program tonight – seasonal and sweet.”

“So relaxing.  Just beautiful music.”

“The harp was amazing!  Outstanding!  Let’s bring her back!”

I present concerts, lecture demonstrations, and workshops for all types of groups, from libraries to retirement communities to schools.  Please visit my website (Concert Harpist) and contact me to discuss the type of program you’d like to hear!

Detroit Harpist

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Central IL Harpist ~ Music for an Art Opening

Central Illinois Harpist

Each month, the Strawn Art Gallery in Jacksonville celebrates the start of a new exhibit with an opening reception and gallery talk by the featured artist.  They also have live music as guests mingle and view the collection.

Jacksonville Harpist

January’s exhibit is “Magic Realism” by Lou Zale.  I provided  harp music for the opening, and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces in the crowd – I think the last time I played here I was in high school!  The music I selected included classical pieces as well as more contemporary popular songs that people would be sure to recognize.

Although most of my work is for weddings, the harp is the perfect addition to any type of event!  Contact me via my website – Central Illinois Harpist – to check availability.

Harp Music Central Illinois

One very special visitor came by with her grandfather.  By her expression, it looks as if she thinks it should be her turn to play the harp!

The Classic Harpist

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Top Wedding Music of 2017

Rockford Wedding Harpist

It has been a few years since I’ve done a post like this – primarily because the intervening time was spent in India and Nigeria!  With over a full year back in the US playing the harp for weddings, it’s time to review the music the couples with whom I worked chose to accompany their wedding days.

Putting the list together surprised even me!  In past years, “Canon in D” has topped the list for family seating, the wedding party processional, and the bride’s processional.  This year, while still one of the most popular pieces chosen, it’s not the runaway favorite it has been in the past!

Indianapolis Wedding Harpist - Laurel Hall Ceremony

“I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz was popular the last time I did a list like this for 2012, but much less so now.  The Beatles are always frequently requested, especially for the recessional at the conclusion of the ceremony, and this year saw many couples choosing “A Thousand Years” from Twilight for some element of their ceremonies.  On the classical side, “Clair de Lune” by Debussy has been popular, having been played for everything from bridal processionals to recessionals.

Going beyond just a “Top 10” list, the listing below includes ALL of the music chosen by my brides and grooms in 2017.  Each list has the most popular pieces at the top, and the numbers in parentheses tell you how many times my couples have chosen that song for that particular moment of their ceremony.

Wedding Reception at Allerton Mansion

Click on the songs highlighted in blue to hear a sample of me playing those pieces on the harp.  I’ve included a few of my favorite wedding photos from 2017 as well, so you can see where the harp has taken me this year!

Covered Bridge Wedding Iowa

Bridal Processionals (entrance music for the bride):

Alabama Wedding Harpist

Family seating:

Traverse City Wedding Reception Music

Wedding party processional:

Princeton Wedding Harpist

Mid-ceremony interludes (for the unity candle/sand, etc.):

Harpist for a Wedding in Cleveland

Recessional:

Southern Ohio Wedding Harpist

Whether your musical tastes lean toward traditional or not, the harp can provide all of the music for your wedding ceremony!  If you are interested in having a harpist at your wedding, please visit my website:  The Classic Harpist.  I work with couples around the world to personalize their wedding music and would love to hear from you!

St. Louis Wedding Harpist

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Panama Destination Wedding ~ Harpist in Boca Chica, Chiriqui

“Never say no to an adventure!”

That’s my life motto, and it certainly extends to my work as a harpist!  I love that the harp has taken me all over the world, having performed at countless events across four continents, six countries, and hundreds of beautiful venues.  Last week, I escaped the frozen Midwest and traveled – harp in tow – to Panama!

The wedding was held at Pacific Bay Resort in Boca Chica.  The harp is always a hit making its way through the airports – and this itinerary involved four of them!  I left from St. Louis, and flew through Atlanta and Panama City before arriving at the David airport in Chiriqui, Panama.

Traveling Harpist on an Airplane

When flying with the harp, it can either travel as oversize/weight baggage in the hold, or it can fly in its own seat in the cabin.  Because of the luggage embargo over the holidays that restricts the size of checked baggage to some destinations, having it travel with me in the cabin was the best way for this event.  She’s a great seat mate!

Harp Harp Will Travel

The drive from David to the dock in Boca Chica allowed us to get a glimpse of the beauty of the Chiriqui highlands.  The final travel leg was a water taxi, as the resort is not accessible by road.  We were greeted on the beach by Ola and Kai, the bride and groom, and I entrusted the harp to the wonderful staff at Pacific Bay.  I was actually sort of relieved not to be in charge of it for a few moments!

Harp at Pacific Bay Resort

I arrived the afternoon before the wedding day, so had plenty of time to accommodate any travel delays that could have arisen.  Fortunately, there were none, so I spent that day getting the harp tuned and used to the more humid climate and rehearsing with the bride, who was singing for the reception the following day.

Boca Chica Panama Harpist

The resort itself is peaceful and stunningly beautiful.  With walks to and from the restaurant for every meal, I got to see the flora and fauna of this region of Panama, including monkeys, deer, iguanas, deer, and black squirrels.  The howler monkeys were a very effective alarm clock!

Harpist in PanamaDeer in PanamaPacific Bay Resort WeddingFeeding a Monkey at Pacific Bay Resort

The beauty of a destination wedding (besides the gorgeous setting!) is the flexibility you can have with your plans.  Although the ceremony was originally scheduled for 3:00, they opted to move it two hours later to avoid the hottest part of the day.  When all of your guests are already there, changes like that are easy to make!

Wedding Harpist in Panama

Panama Wedding Harpist

South Beach was the chosen site for the ceremony, and the centerpiece was a bamboo arch the father of the bride and designed, built, and brought with him from Boston.  We were set up in the shade of the jungle canopy, but still had the ocean view and the sound of the waves all around.  So, so beautiful!  The wind coming off the Pacific Ocean even played the strings of the harp – it’s an otherworldly sound, and fit in well with the setting.

Harpist in Chiriqui for Weddings

Destination Wedding Music in Panama

As guests arrived, I played “Marry Me” by Train and “Falling Slowly” from Once.  The processional, lead by the flower girl, was “Hymne” by Vangelis.  During the ceremony, all of the guests participated in a “hand on heart” ritual, with “Reverie” by Grandjany playing in the background.

Music for Destination Weddings in Panama

Panama Harpist for Weddings

No sooner than that completed did the first raindrops start to fall.  I knew we were in trouble when I saw the parade of hermit crabs heading for shelter!  I first moved the harp further away from the beach to get the harp under a thicker tree canopy, but we soon all moved inside the gazebo just steps away.  They even brought the arch along!

The ceremony continued in the more intimate space, including a ring warming to “Eyes on Me” from Final Fantasy VIII.  The recessional was “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn.  Ola said she felt as if she wouldn’t really be married if that particular piece wasn’t played.  It’s traditional in her native Poland!

Beach Wedding Music Panama Harpist

I hurriedly got the harp packed up, and took a golf cart back up to the restaurant.  Keeping the wooden harp dry is a must!  I was set up and ready to play for the dinner soon thereafter.  Music for the reception included “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “I’m a Believer,” “I Choose You,” a variety of classical pieces, and “Hallelujah” – which inspired an impromptu sing along!

Wedding Reception Harp Music Panama

The families are very musical, and most get-togethers include music-making of some kind.  The bride sang to harp accompaniment as the guests waited for dinner to be served.  Her first selection was the Spanish folk song “La Paloma,” followed by “A Time for Us” (sung in Italian).  Lastly, she sang “You Have Made Me Love” from the Broadway musical Cyrano.

Harpist for Weddings in Chiriqui Panama

No matter where your wedding plans take you, the harp can come along, too!  I perform for weddings around the globe, and would love to work with you and bring beautiful harp music to your celebration.  You’ll find details on my website ~ Harpist for Destination Weddings ~ and you can contact me there for a quote.  Happy planning and adventuring!

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