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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St. Louis Funeral Musician ~ Harpist

Playing for a memorial service is an honor, and I’m so glad this family included me in their plans.  The visitation and service took place at the United Hebrew Congregation in St. Louis.

St. Louis Funeral Musician

The family – musicians themselves – requested that I play ambient music that wasn’t sad or recognizable for the visitation.  The harp is perfect for this type of music, and can create a peaceful and uplifting atmosphere without being obtrusive.

St. Louis Funeral Music

Some of the pieces I played included “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Faure, “Bois Solitaire” by Godefroid, and “Reverie” by Grandjany.

St. Louis Harpist

For all life events, the harp can provide peaceful music for reflection or celebration.  Please contact me via my website ~ St. Louis Harpist ~ for details.

St. Louis Harp Player

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Christmas Eve Harpist ~ Music for Church Services in Bloomington-Normal

Bloomington-Normal Harpist for Christmas

Nothing is more beautiful than harp music on Christmas Eve!  This year, I played prelude music for two services at College Park Christian Church in Normal, Illinois.

Christmas Eve Harp Musician Illinois

The sanctuary was beautiful and peaceful, and the sound of harp music playing familiar Christmas carols was a welcome respite from the mad dash that always seems to lead up to the holiday!

Central Illinois Christmas Eve Harpist

I played for a half hour prior to both services, with different music for each.  Some of the pieces included “Still, Still, Still,” “Joy to the World,” “O Holy Night,” and “Away in a Manger.”  They loved the harp music so much, they’ve already hired me again for Christmas 2017!

For church services or private/corporate parties, the harp is the perfect way to bring elegance to any holiday gathering.  You can find more information on my website ~ Bloomington-Normal Harpist ~ or contact me for a quote for your event.

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Peoria Harpist – Christmas Music for an Open House in Washington

Peoria Harpist - Open House Music

Morningside of Washington held an open house and Christmas party for their residents, families, and the community, and harp music greeted everyone upon their arrival.  The harp was set up on the balcony overlooking the front door, and Christmas music filled the lobby.

Peoria Christmas Music

Throughout the rest of the facility, they were giving tours and enjoying a special holiday dinner.  Several families spent time sitting in the room with the harp, just relaxing and enjoying some of their favorite Christmas carols.

Peoria Christmas Musician

From assisted living facilities to churches to corporate parties, the harp is an excellent way to bring live music to your holiday celebrations!  Please visit my website ~ East Peoria Harpist ~ and contact me for availability and a quote.

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