Chicago Harpist for Weddings – Ceremony & Reception Harp Music

Devin and Michael had a beautiful wedding!  On such a rainy day, St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Hinsdale was especially welcoming.  A gorgeous sanctuary with wonderful acoustics, I played as the guests arrived to the Nuptial Mass.

Chicago Catholic Wedding Musician

After the families were seated, I played Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” for the wedding party processional.  Devin entered to “Canon in D” by Pachelbel.

Chicago Catholic Wedding Ceremony

The church’s music director played the organ and piano at various times during the service, and accompanied the sung portions of the Mass.  During the presentation of gifts, I played “Hymne,” followed by another Bach work, “Sheep May Safely Graze,” during Communion.

Ave Maria” for the presentation to the Blessed Mother and “Ode to Joy” for the recessional were also on the organ, then back to harp for the postlude as guests exited the sanctuary.

Chicago Catholic Harpist for Weddings

Following the ceremony, I took the harp to the Oak Brook Hills Resort for the reception.  I played for the cocktail hour in two of their adjoining banquet rooms until the guests made their way to the Marquis Pavilion for dinner.

Harp Music for Cocktail Hour

The room was elegantly decorated in blush pink, gold, and lace, with vintage furniture.  As guests mingled and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, they listened to jazz, popular, Celtic, and a few classical harp pieces.

Oak Brook Hills Resort Wedding Harpist Chicago

I am a Chicago wedding harpist, and would love to provide music for your ceremony and reception!  Downtown or in the suburbs, harp music is an elegant addition to any wedding event.  Please visit my website – Chicago Harpist – to inquire for availability, rates, and music selections!

Chicago Wedding Harpist Chicago Wedding Reception Harpist

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St. Louis Harpist – Awards Night Musician in De Soto, MO

On a Friday evening, the residents of De Soto, Missouri, packed the Knights of Columbus Hall for an awards banquet.  The Chamber of Commerce honored local graduates receiving college scholarships, as well as area business leaders and volunteers.

Missouri Harpist for Events

I provided harp music throughout the social hour and dinner.  They had no special song requests, so I got to play some of my favorites that aren’t often requested but people love (and are surprised!) to hear on the harp – like “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses and “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie.  Lots of variety, and something for guests of all ages to enjoy!

Harp Musician for Awards Night

For corporate events, private parties, and weddings, the harp is the perfect musical accompaniment!  I am available throughout the greater St. Louis area, or anywhere in Missouri or Illinois, and love to travel.  Please visit my website – South St. Louis Harpist – to contact me for availability and a quote!

South St. Louis Harpist

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Harp Music for Mother’s Day – Central IL Harpist

This was my second Mother’s Day since gaining the name “Mama,” and it was such a pleasure to spend it with the mothers and daughters at Centenary UMC in Jacksonville!  My own mother (who spent countless hours on the road driving me to harp lessons) and daughter were able to come along.

Central Illinois Harpist

The church held their mother-daughter banquet on the Monday after Mother’s Day, with a dinner in the basement of the church, followed by the program in the sanctuary.  After honoring the oldest and youngest mothers in attendance, I began the program playing “Great Day” by Nancy Gustavson.  Filled with glissandos, this is a piece that really shows off the harp!

Honoring the harp’s Celtic heritage, I played a set of Irish songs (Fanny Power, Carolan’s Welcome, Brian Boru’s March, and Danny Boy), followed by the wedding classic “Canon in D.”  I told the audience a couple of my favorite wedding stories (no, I won’t post them here!), and continued with a group of older pop songs – “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by  Elvis, and “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles.

Jacksonville Illinois Harpist

I love playing music that people don’t expect to hear on the harp!  That’s especially true of my Bollywood repertoire.  The film music of India is something that isn’t heard much in Central Illinois, much less so on the harp!  I played one of my personal favorites, “O Re Piya,” and followed that with a set of Disney songs for all generations – “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella, and “Let it Go” from Frozen.

The concert concluded with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a song I sing to my daughter every night at bedtime.  I loved sharing the harp with the ladies of Centenary!  Please contact me or visit my website (Jacksonville IL Harpist) to schedule a concert or program for your organization!

Harp Program in Central Illinois

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Wedding at Allerton Park – Central Illinois Harpist

My second Allerton wedding of the year!  Sarah and Mike had a perfect spring day for their outdoor ceremony in the Sunken Garden.  As guests assembled, I played a variety of classical music.  For the wedding party processional, they chose the theme from “Jupiter” from Holst’s The Planets.  Sarah’s entrance music was the Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond.”

Allerton Sunken Garden Wedding Harpist

They both love Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” so even though it isn’t a traditional, fanfare-like recessional, it was a beautiful send-off after their personal ceremony.  Guests gathered for a group photo, and I loaded up the harp to head back to the mansion!

Central Illinois Harpist at Allerton Park

With only a short time between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception, I did a partial set-up in the mansion before taking the harp to the gardens.  As that was ready to go, I just needed to drop off the harp, park my van, and start playing!  Harp bench, music stand, and my sound system were already waiting for me.

The bride and groom didn’t have any specific requests for the cocktail and dinner hours, just a mix of classical and popular songs.  This ranged from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” to “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles!  The harp is versatile enough to provide music for your wedding covering genres that will appeal to all of your guests – classical, jazz, Celtic, rock, popular, and more.

Wedding Reception at Allerton Mansion

I’ve played for dozens of weddings at Allerton Park, in the mansion and throughout their many gardens.  If you are planning a wedding there (or anywhere in Central Illinois), please contact me about providing music for your ceremony and reception.  Check my website – Central Illinois Harpist – for details!

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Harpist in Northern Alabama – Wedding on a Farm

Kimberly and Sean planned their wedding ceremony and reception at her family’s farm in rural Elkmont, Alabama.  They had their ceremony set up underneath a willow tree, with old pews and (new!) hay bales for guest seating.

Huntsville Harpist

Their buffet line went down the middle of a newly-constructed horse barn, that I heard was finished exactly one day before the wedding!  The reception was held under a tent on the lawn.

Huntsville AL Wedding Harpist

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate.  It looked like the rain would pass to the east of us, so I went ahead and set up the harp outside.  I began the prelude music, and close to the starting time of the ceremony, the first drops fell.  The harp is wood, and it can’t get wet!  With the help of their wonderful wedding planner, I got the harp to the safety of the barn, where the wedding party was waiting to make their entrance.

Alabama Wedding Harpist

I kept playing, including a harp version of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” which inspired an impromptu sing-along!  The rain started to clear, and the bride and groom decided to go ahead with the outdoor ceremony.  Fortunately, I was able to keep the harp safe and dry in the barn and still play all of their wedding music!

The mothers entered to “Clair de Lune” by Debussy, and the wedding party processional was “Bless the Broken Road” by the country group Rascal Flatts.  Kimberly chose “Canon in D” for her walk down the aisle.  During the knot tying, I played the Welsh song “Serch Hudol.”  The recessional was a surprising one – “One Love” by Bob Marley!  I love weddings that are a mix of the traditional and the unexpected!

Alabama Harpist

When planning an outdoor wedding, having a back-up plan is key!  Their wedding planner, Jeannie, was extremely helpful in moving guests around and helping the couple work through all the last-minute decisions that the weather prompted.  She was fabulous!

If you are planning a Northern Alabama wedding, I’d love to provide harp music for you!  Visit my website – Huntsville Alabama Harpist – for song lists, pictures, and more.

Northern Alabama Wedding

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La Crosse Wisconsin Harpist – Wedding at Justin Trails Resort

My first outdoor wedding of 2017 – it was chilly, but at least it wasn’t raining!  Justin Trails Resort was a beautifully rustic setting for Allena and Greg’s wedding ceremony and reception.  In rural Sparta, Wisconsin, it is surrounded by rolling hills and quaint small towns.

Sparta Wisconsin Harpist

The ceremony took place on the grounds of the resort.  I played popular love songs as guests were seated, then “Canon in D” for the entrance of family members.  The bridal party processional was “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts, and Allena chose the traditional “Bridal Chorus” for her entrance music.  The ceremony concluded with Mendelssohn’s traditional recessional, “Wedding March.”

Harpist in Wisconsin

On their walk back to the barn for the reception, the guests all gathered together for a group photo with the bride and groom.  Once all the guests had exited the ceremony site, I moved the harp up to the barn to play for the reception.

Western Wisconsin Wedding Harpist

The music for the reception was a mix of pop and country love songs, including “I Swear,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “At Last,” “All You Need is Love,” and “You’re Still the One.”  I played through the cocktail hour and dinner service, then the DJ continued with music for dancing.

Barn Wedding Music - Harp

As a professional wedding harpist, I provide harp music for all types of weddings anywhere in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and beyond.  Please visit my website – Western Wisconsin Harpist – to inquire for availability and a quote for your event!

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Elkhart Harpist – Celebration of Life

Being able to play harp music for those who have just lost a loved one is such an honor.  The music of the harp can be anything – soothing, joyful, uplifting, somber, or reflective.  The family chose to really celebrate Jean’s life, with a gathering at Greenleaf Health Campus in Elkhart, Indiana.

Harpist for Celebration of Life

Guests filled the dining room, and I played a variety of pieces from hymns to show tunes.  Several Sinatra tunes were also featured!  When a trio of little girls approached the harp for a closer look, I played “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”  I loved watching their faces as they realized that they knew the song I was playing!

Elkhart Indiana Harpist

From memorials to church services to parties to weddings, having a harpist play for your guests adds beautiful ambiance to any event.  Please visit my website – Elkhart Indiana Harpist – to contact me for availability and a quote.

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Harpist in Central Illinois ~ Allerton Park Wedding Ceremony & Reception

One of my favorite things about being a wedding harpist is when another musicians chooses me to provide the music for her wedding.  I loved working with Bethany (and her mom, Heidi) to put together the perfect soundtrack for the big day!  She chose classical pieces for the ceremony, but not the traditional wedding music.

Allerton Park Wedding Ceremony

The prelude music as guests arrived at Allerton Mansion included “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Faure, “Reverie” by Grandjany, and “Sheep May Safely Graze” by J.S. Bach.  When the families were ready to be seated, I transitioned to “Arioso,” also by Bach.  The wedding party processional was “Air” from Handel’s Water Music.

Bethany knew she didn’t want one of the traditional pieces for her own processional.  As a musician, she knew her guests would have high expectations and listen to her choices!  Ultimately, she chose “Clair de Lune” by Debussy for her entrance.  It is a soft and delicate piece, and it worked perfectly for her and in that beautiful setting!

Allerton Park Monticello IL Wedding

The mother of the bride and another singer provided the music for the unity candle lighting.  The recessional was “Great Day” by Nancy Gustavson.  This piece is becoming a frequent request from my brides!  It shows off the harp to its full potential, has lots of glissandos, and is an exciting way to conclude the wedding ceremony.

Harp Music at Allerton Park

During the postlude, as Bethany and Rick dismissed their guests, I played upbeat classical music, including the “Finale” from Music for the Royal Fireworks by Handel and von Gluck’s “Gavotte” from Iphegenia in Aulis.

Central Illinois Harpist at Allerton Park

The guests exited the hall where the ceremony took place, and the staff quickly turned the area over for dinner.  I continued to play during the cocktail hour and dinner service, and included these special requests from the couple’s families:

Allerton Park is a beautiful venue, with lovely indoor and outdoor options for your wedding.  I’ve played for several weddings there – many in the mansion, but also in the Sunken Garden, Fu Dog Garden & House of the Golden Buddhas, and the Avenue of the Chinese Musicians.

If you are planning a wedding at Allerton Park, or anywhere in Central Illinois, please contact me or visit my website ~ Wedding Harpist in Central Illinois ~ to discuss including harp music in your wedding plans!

Allerton Park Wedding Reception

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Funeral Music in Central Illinois

It was the greatest honor to play for the funeral of the 102-year-old Dr. Bone.  I grew up in the house next door to his, and Jacksonville lost a kind and generous soul with his passing.  He was much-loved, and a great singer in his own right.  It was quite fitting that his funeral service featured an array of local musicians – harp, organ, chamber choir, and brass trio.

I played prelude music as the church filled to capacity.  The music included hymns and classical pieces, with the final selection being “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel.  This is a piece I remember Dr. Bone singing, with an unforgettable stage presence, even into his late nineties.  The service concluded with the brass trio playing “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

Dr. Bone was a gift to Jacksonville, especially its medical and academic communities.  He was a gentleman and a scholar, a true Renaissance man, and an avid supporter of the arts.  He will be missed, and I was blessed to have known him and play for his service.

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Indianapolis Harpist – Wedding at Laurel Hall

Indianapolis Wedding Harpist - Laurel Hall Ceremony

Laurel Hall is such a beautiful wedding venue.  It just doesn’t seem possible that this historic mansion is located in Indianapolis!  You are truly transported to another era of opulence and grace when you enter the building.

Laurel Hall Indianapolis Wedding Venue

Cyndi and Mark were married on a Sunday afternoon on the main level, in a room just off the solarium.  I played prelude music as guests arrived and were seated, including “Winter” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and “How Beautiful” by Twila Paris (the clip linked is a harp, violin, and cello trio, but for this wedding, it was performed as a harp solo).

Indianapolis Harpist - Wedding at Laurel Hall

The bride’s mother was seated to “Amazing Grace,” which was sung by a vocal duet to harp accompaniment.  The wedding party processed to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach, and Cyndi chose the traditional “Here Comes the Bride” for her entrance music.  After a welcome by the couple’s pastor, a band and singer led the guests in a few praise and worship songs.

The couple participated in a foot-washing ritual during their ceremony, during which the vocalists sang and I played “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love.”  The recessional was the harp solo “Great Day” by Nancy Gustavson.  It’s not traditional, but a very exciting send-off to conclude your ceremony!

Indy Harpist - Wedding at Laurel Hall

Following the ceremony, guests made their way to the solarium for the cocktail hour.

For weddings anywhere in Indianapolis, please contact me about providing harp music!  On my website, Indianapolis Harpist, you can find venue and music listings, more audio clips, and pictures.  Please contact me to check availability and receive a quote!

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