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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Harp Music for Lent | Church Service in Jacksonville, IL

Central Illinois Harpist

March 5th was the first Sunday of Lent, and I was invited to play for the service at the First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Illinois.  For the first time, my daughter (now nearly 2 years old) was able to accompany me to “mama work.”  With so many surrogate grandparents around, I knew she’d be in good hands while I was playing!

Lenten Harp Music

For the prelude, I played “Breathe on Me, Breath of God.”  The special music was a harp solo version of “What Wondrous Love is This,” which is one of my personal favorites among Lenten hymns.

I accompanied the offertory with “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” and communion with “When Peace, Like a River.”  The service concluded with the postlude voluntary “Just as I Am, Without One Plea.”

Harpist in Jacksonville, Illinois

The music of the harp is the perfect addition to any worship service, for any season of the church year.  My sacred repertoire includes Lenten, Easter, Advent, Christmas, and general hymns, and I am happy to work with your church choirs, vocal soloists, and instrumentalists in ensembles or as an accompanist.

Please visit my website ~ Central Illinois Harpist ~ for music lists, sound clips, and pictures, and to contact me for availability and a quote.

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Lebanese Wedding Music ~ Detroit Harpist for a Wedding Reception

Detroit Wedding Harpist - Lebanese Wedding Music

Dima and Nassim planned a spectacular Lebanese wedding in only six months!  The setting was the Dearborn Inn in the suburbs of Detroit, where I provided harp music for the cocktail hour and dinner.

Dearborn Inn Wedding Reception - Lebanese Harpist

Arriving guests were greeted with the sound of harp music as they arrived in the lobby of the historic hotel, and then proceeded through the receiving line.  More than one person stopped for a photo with the harp!  Shortly before the grand entrance, I moved the harp inside the ballroom to play for dinner.

Dearborn Michigan Harpist - Lebanese Wedding Music

The ballroom was stunning!  From the cake to the chandeliers to the wall of flowers behind the head table, the whole room was breathtaking.

Detroit Harpist for Weddings - Lebanese Harpist

This was the first Lebanese wedding I had played for, and what a delight!  I didn’t have the best vantage point behind the speakers, but the Zaffa was quite impressive.  The wedding march included a woman dancing and playing the tambourine, drummers, and men dancing with swords!

Lebanese Wedding Reception Entrance - Detroit Harpist

Following that excitement, I played for the dinner service, starting off with some new additions to my repertoire – songs by the Lebanese singer Fairuz.  These included “Aatini el-Nay,” “Shayif el-Bahr,” and “Bektob esmak ya habibi.”  I love the challenge of learning new songs and adapting a culture’s music to the harp!

Dearborn Inn Wedding Music - Lebanese Harpist

For weddings in Detroit and throughout the suburbs, I’d love to be the harpist for your ceremony and reception.  Special song requests, especially of culturally-significant music, are always welcomed!  You’ll find more information on my website ~ Detroit Wedding Harpist ~ and you can contact me there for date availability and a quote.

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Home Harp Concert in Springfield, Illinois

Home concerts are a special treat, and this one was to celebrate the birthday of a lifelong local supporter of music and the arts.  It was arranged by the guest of honor’s daughter who lives in New York, and I spend the noon hour playing harp in their Central Illinois living room.

They requested a variety of pieces, mostly classical, but also included a couple of Broadway favorites and Irish folk songs.  The program consisted of:

Home concerts are a wonderful way to get up close to the harp and see the intricacies of playing the instrument.  I love being able to demonstrate and explain what the harp is capable of doing – most audience members even get up the courage to pluck a string or two!  I’m always happy to answer questions about the harp, harp music, and being a harpist.

To arrange a private concert to celebrate any occasion – or no occasion at all! – please visit my website {Central Illinois Harpist} and contact me for date availability and a quote.

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New Owner of Musikgarten Studio

The Music Factory - Musikgarten Classes in Springfield, IL

I am so excited to announce that I am the new owner of The Music Factory  ~ a Musikgarten studio in Springfield, Illinois, offering music and movement classes to children from birth through age 10!

Summer Music Camp in Springfield, Illinois Music Class for Babies in Springfield, Illinois

My daughter Menai is attending classes there (we started last summer when we moved back from Nigeria), and I am very excited for what the future holds at the studio.  This Spring, we have approximately 250 students enrolled, and I have big plans for Summer (art class is back!).

Art Classes for Children in Springfield, IL Dancing with Hoops in Music Class Drum Circle in Music Class

We offer parent-child classes for babies and toddlers, group musicianship classes for children from preschool through age eight, and piano classes for children age seven and up.  Private harp and piano lessons are also available, and we will be expanding offerings in the summer and fall to include group harp classes.

Harp Lessons in Springfield, Illinois

Preschool Music Class in Springfield, IL Baby Music Class in Springfield, IL

If you are interested in seeing what we do and learning more about the Musikgarten philosophy, please contact me to arrange for a free preview class.  We have a few openings left for this semester, and Summer registration will begin in late April/early May.

Springfield IL piano lessons Music Class for Elementary Students Music Classes for Preschoolers in Springfield, Illinois

More information about The Music Factory can be found on our website, http://www.springfieldmusicfactory.com, our Facebook page, or by calling 217-502-4958.

Preschool Music Classes in Springfield Illinois Piano Classes in Springfield, IL Parents and Children in Music Class Together

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Hotel Blackhawk Wedding Music | Quad Cities & Iowa Harpist

Quad Cities Wedding Music

Tim and Torie had an elegant and sophisticated wedding at Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport, Iowa.  The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception were all held in the hotel.

As guests entered the ceremony room, the first thing they saw was the harp!  The music of the harp is beautiful, and the visual element of the instrument adds an extra “wow” factor.  While the family and friends of the couple were finding their seats, I played a variety of classical harp music.

Iowa Harpist for Weddings

The first part of the processional, which included the parents and some of the wedding party, was to Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”  The remaining members of the wedding party and child attendants (including one very reluctant ring bearer!) entered to “Concerning Hobbits” from Lord of the Rings.  Torie chose the traditional “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner for her processional.

Quad Cities Harpist for Weddings

During the lighting of the unity candle, I played Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”  The ceremony concluded with the traditional recessional, “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn.

If you are looking for a wedding musician in the Quad Cities, please contact me!  On my website – Davenport Iowa Wedding Harpist – you’ll be able to see pictures from other events, listen to additional audio clips, and read about the wedding services I provide.  Happy planning!

Wedding Musician Quad Cities

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Grand Rapids Harpist ~ Wedding Ceremony & Reception Music at CityFlats Ballroom

 

Grand Rapids Harpist

On Sunday, February 5th, some people were watching the Super Bowl.  Others, however, were getting married!  Paul and Yunseo held their ceremony and reception at the CityFlats Ballroom in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Grand Rapids Wedding Harpist

What an outstanding venue!  A beautiful setting for the wedding, and the staff members were very helpful and attentive.  I played as guests arrived and found their seats for the 4:30 ceremony.  As the families entered, I played “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach – a favorite of the groom’s mother.

Yunseo and her father entered to the traditional “Bridal Chorus” – also known as “Here Comes the Bride.”  When the couple lit the unity candle, I played another selection by Bach, “Arioso.”  The recessional was Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” following which all of the guests gathered for a group picture taken from the balcony.

Grand Rapids Wedding Music

Harp music continued into the evening, through the cocktail hour and dinner service.  Some special requests for this time included “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “Hallelujah,” “You Raise Me Up,” and “Fields of Gold.”

The uplighting changed throughout the night, from white to pink to blue.  Very dramatic!  After dinner, the bride and groom changed into traditional Korean attire to honor the bride’s family and heritage.

Grand Rapids Wedding Musician

For weddings in Grand Rapids and throughout West Michigan, I love working with couples to provide music that is meaningful for them.  On my website, Grand Rapids Wedding Musician, you can review my song lists, see additional pictures from other weddings, and contact me to request a quote for your ceremony and reception.

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Missouri Harpist ~ Grand Opening Music in Festus, MO

I love it when people I’ve worked for before hire me again for other events!  Last November, I played for the grand opening of the La Quinta Hotel in Effingham, Illinois, and over the weekend, I played for the same group at their new hotel in Festus, Missouri!

Festus Missouri Harpist

This La Quinta Hotel is just off I-55, about thirty miles south of St. Louis.  The evening began with a welcome from the developers, ribbon cutting, the presentation of a donation to a local charity, and a tour of the renovated rooms.  The party also featured a slight-of-hand magician.

East Missouri Harpist

As guests and community leaders enjoyed the new facilities, they were treated to pop, jazz, and Bollywood harp music.

St. Louis Harpist

As a St. Louis harpist performing throughout Missouri and Illinois, I love working with party and event hosts to enhance their gathering with live harp music!  On my website ~ Festus Missouri Harpist ~ you can find more performance venues, song lists, and services.  Please contact me for availability and a quote!

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