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Q: What types of events do you perform for?

A:  I have a formal academic musical education as a university-trained classical harpist, and I have over 20 years of musical experience performing for various musical events, including wedding ceremonies and receptions, general receptions, church services, corporate events, and holiday or other special events, and in local symphony orchestra concerts.  

Q: What styles of music do you perform?

A:  I perform primarily classical and sacred music, contemporary music, and Celtic and world music.  The pedal harp is very a versatile instrument, when compared to the organ, woodwinds, brass, or other stringed instruments, and lends itself quite well to most musical genres.

Q: Can you perform harp music for the entire wedding ceremony?

A:  Absolutely!. My fee includes performing the prelude music, the processional music for the bridal party and the bride, any special music during the ceremony, the recessional music, and the postlude music for a wedding ceremony.  I will begin playing the prelude music to greet your guests while they are arriving and are being seated, approximately 20-30 minutes prior to the ceremony.  The processional music begins when the wedding party walks down the aisle, and a different piece is often played specifically for the bridal processional. There are often opportunities for special music during the ceremony, depending on the length of the ceremony and the particular religious denomination.  Next, the recessional music is played as the newly married couple, the wedding party, and the officiant walk back down the isle at the conclusion of the ceremony.  Finally, postlude music is played as the guests depart the wedding ceremony. The pedal harp can also be used as a lovely compliment to your church organist, providing a beautiful harp prelude prior to your ceremony as well as soft interludes or solos during the ceremony service, which provides a delightful contrast with the organ processional music.  I also have worked in duets with flutists and violinists for various events, and can arrange a duet ensemble, if the client is interested in this particular arrangement.

Q: How do I go about booking a musician for my event, and how far ahead is it necessary to book a musician?

A:  The date and my services are contracted and reserved in my calendar on a first-come, first-served basis only once I receive payment of the required deposit amount and a returned signed and completed contract.  A $50.00 non-refundable minimum deposit, which is a partial payment for the reservation of my services, and a completed musical services contract are required to book a specific event date and time period well in advance – this deposit is applied to your total fee.  

Q: Will you help me select the music for my event?

A:  Absolutely!. I have repertoire lists, free harp music audition demo CDs, harp music planning demo CDs, and example wedding ceremony formats available to assist you with your preferred selections, and I also offer a professional in-person consultation.  My harp music planning demo CD (which is included at no additional charge with your booking fee) has over 80 brief harp music clips which will give you a feel for what various traditional harp musical selections sound like.

Q: Will you play my favorite song at my event?

A: Yes!, generally it is quite possible to prepare special music not listed on my current repertoire lists. I welcome inquiries, so please contact me with your special requests well in advance to learn whether I might have the appropriate sheet music.  Special music needs to be stylistically appropriate for the harp and easily transcribed for my instrument.  In some cases the client might have to purchase and provide the harpist with the sheet music for particular unusual special requests well in advance of the event, but arrangements of any special music is included in your total fee.  Your own choice in harp music can be as unique as you dream and as unique as you are!

Q: What types of venues is the grand concert pedal harp suitable for?

A:  Almost any venue appropriate for a wedding or reception will accommodate a grand concert pedal harp. These include any size churches or chapels, reception ballrooms, tearooms, garden terraces, and various outdoor settings (with the appropriate overhead cover).

Q: How far will you travel for an event?

A:  Travel fees are included in the standard fee for events which are located within the general southern and eastern Maryland/Chesapeake Bay/Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. metro region.

Q: Will you play for outdoor wedding ceremonies?

A:  Absolutely!, as long as the daily weather and seasonal temperature conditions permit (generally from April through mid-October), and the required outside ceremony accommodations are available. There is also a $25.00 surcharge included for outdoor wedding ceremonies. Playing the harp outside rapidly adds to the wear and tear on the instrument. The harp is a very delicate instrument and cannot be subjected to extreme weather conditions (rain, direct sunlight, excessively strong winds, etc.). Also keep in mind that harps are made out of wood and must be treated with the same respect as a very fine piece of antique furniture.

Melanie Young