Wedding #1 of 2013

Yesterday, I played my first wedding of 2013, and what a wonderful way to kick off the wedding season! Spring came just in time (we had been seeing snow flurries the week before) and the venue was a gorgeous farm in Candler, NC.

 
The bride requested a lot of modern songs for her ceremony, and I had a great time learning them. Songs like "At Last," "Can't Help Falling In Love," and "Just the Way You Are." 

Unfortunately, my camera has broken, so I had to resort to my iOS camera, which is not so great, but regardless, here are some pictures before the wedding!

Update

Well, it certainly has been quite a while since I last posted! I never imagined how busy I could be - so much has happened!

September = Twas the month of background gigs! I had the pleasure of playing at the Monte Vista hotel, Grove Park Inn, and the Peace center (for a Bausch and Lomb event) in Greenville, SC.

October = Light in the Piazza round #2! All different musicians (thankfully the same conductor!) at HART in Waynesville, NC. I also got to play for a couple of friend's weddings this month. Weddings are always fun, but even more so when I've known the Brides for so long! 

I spent the week before Thanksgiving in NYC, which was an eye opening experience. Can you say 'welcoming music crowd?' It was incredible, to say the least. I'm sure it helped that some of my friends are very well connected there, but everyone was really friendly (despite what most people say about New Yorkers!) Spent my time with friends, at jazz clubs/jams, and just wandering around the city. A truly incredible place. Thanksgiving was spent with family and a few close friends from home, a nice, peaceful holiday!

After Thanksgiving vacation, I jumped right into a week of rehearsals with the Asheville Choral Society for their holiday concert. We were playing "Carols and Lullabies from the Southwest" by Conrad Susa. I had never heard of him before, but this suite is really lovely. Not to mention a very involved harp part and no glissandi :) Accompanying a choir was a relatively new experience for me and really hope to be able to play with them again. There is something so powerful about multiple human voices.

This past week, I played with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra for their holiday concert ('tis the season!!) They had joined forces with the Greenville Chorale, another fantastic choir. This was much more of a 'fun' concert - included things such as audience participation and fake snow falling from the rafters. Another group of welcoming musicians! Now, if only there were some cooler weather, maybe I'd be in the Christmas spirit! 

End of Summer

As the musicians summer season comes to a close, I can't believe how busy I've been this year. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I've had, and all the reviews I've received in Asheville this summer! This is my last weekend of the summer busy season, and Stringsense has a gig Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! If only this is what every weekend of the year looked like!

Today we'll be playing at the Deerfield retirement home. 

Tomorrow, Saturday, we're going to be at the Mast General Store on Biltmore ave from 3-5! It's a great store with something for everyone! I'm excited to see my friends there, too. 

And finally - on Sunday, we'll be having our 2nd house concert at the Kenilworth Inn apartments, 3 PM! I am most looking forward to this. The last time we played there was so much fun, and everyone was incredibly nice and easy to talk to! Not to mention the cooking was delicious.

Also, our gig at Biltmore was great. I was surprised and happy that it wasn't too hot out, and didn't thunder (much!) The coolest part was that some people who came to our concert in Hendersonville in April just happened to be at the Antler Hill VIllage that day. what are the odds?! They came and listened to us some more, and we had a nice chat with them. Afterwards we spent most of our earnings eating at Cedric's Tavern, where Dan plays every week. Probably should not make that a habit for the high end places we're going to be playing!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Mountain Area Health Education Center - Aging with Grace Symposium

 

I am very happy to share that I'll be providing music for the Thursday night reception for the Aging with Grace Symposium for MAHEC! It will be so great to share music with people who spend their lives helping others (as well as for the participants for the conference!!) My set list will likely include the standard classical and celtic music from my repertoire, but I think I'll throw in a few popular solo jazz tunes since there are going to be some older people there, too. "Fly me to the moon," and "Moon River" generally go over well! 

On a side note : Stringsense is going into a recording session this Sunday morning! I'm not sure how much we'll be able to get done since the huge and loud Bele Chere street festival will be happening this weekend, but we sure are excited about it! I keep dreaming up different ideas for CD covers and liner notes (or these days, for online images/text)

Harpist Update

 

 The July 4th Stringsense concert was an absolute blast! The people who attended were lovers of music, and jazz. It's always amazing to play for people who are into the music you're playing! Of course there was a lot of explaining about the harp and how it works, and a lot of talking with the guests. They were all very friendly, too, and one was even from my home town! Small world. We were told about the WNC Amateur musician meetup, and the hosts booked us for 4 more dates! They are very kind and hospitable, and the husband is an amazing cook. Dan had arranged a swing version of Star Spangled Banner, because even though jazz is the most patriotic art form (and the best art form in my opinion!), we wanted to do at least one patriotic tune. 

The musical is going well, we got the first weekend out of the way! On opening night there was lots of tension (perhaps just from my nerves), but we survived. It's becoming more fun every show (especially now that we can hear the singers!!). I think most of the kinks that are bound to happen when getting a large group of people to perform something together for the first time are out of the way, and all the musicians are settling into their respective parts.

July 7th wedding was a great time, too! It was a beautiful setting, though rather hot (thankfully I was in a gazebo shaded area, and had bought a very quiet mini fan!) I was actually able to speak with the bride in person on the day, even if just a little bit. I'll be posting pictures of that wedding soon! I was asked to play a few modern pop songs (I'm Yours by Jason Mraz, Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol). I really enjoyed learning I'm Yours, and thought it was a great song for a recessional. Hopefully I can get a recording of my arrangement up soon!

In other news, the weather has been strangely cool here in Asheville, which my harp and myself are loving! Have a great weekend :) 

July 4th Stringsense Concert!

I can't believe it's July 4th already (and I also can't believe I am soon to be a quarter of a century old!)

If you still don't have plans, and are stuck for ideas for the holiday, come see myself and Dan Keller (aka Stringsense) play a house concert! We're playing from 6-8 pm at the Kenilworth Inn apartments, so you'll still have time to view the fireworks after the concert. 

Please feel free to email or call me for access information, it's a little complicated since it's someone's living space, but it's a gorgeous and spacious apartment. Tickets = by donation (suggested $20).

And if you can't make it to that, the opening night for The Light in the Piazza is the very next day! It is funded in part by the state of NC and the National Endowment for the Arts, and I am so grateful that even in today's economy, there are still people supporting performing and visual art! 

The Light in the Piazza @ Southern Repetory Theatre

I'm very excited to say that I'm going to be playing harp for the Southern Repertory Theater's production of 'The Light in the Piazza"! I played for a production of this at Berklee, and I have to say, the harp part is really cool (and challenging at some parts). This musical and Stravinsky's "Firebird" have hands down been my favorite things to play in an orchestral setting, and I can't wait to play at least one again very soon! 

Opening night is July 5th, and it goes for 3 weeks, until the 22nd of July. Here's the link to the SART website : SART .

If you're thinking of coming, do! If you're unsure, here's a video found on YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdGkLp4N94I&feature=relmfu
 

What I Learned in Tennessee

1) Fabric softener can be used as a bug repellant. I also learned to always pack bug spray of some sort.

2) If you're 2 hours away from home and forgotten lipstick, eyeshadow and chapstick can work as lip gloss. 

3) Always pack sunscreen in your gig bag.

4) Tennessee is called the Volunteer State for a reason.

Last night, I played for a birthday party of a 75 year old woman who had always wanted to play the harp in Tennessee. The client and the guests were extremely kind. There were actually a lot of musicians in the party, so there was much interest about how the harp worked, especially from the guest of honor. They were all very appreciative and I was happy to bring a unique element to the party! 

Summer...

is officially here! Two days in and 2 broken strings already! 

The strings always seem to break a couple of days before a gig, perhaps they have stage fright?! Yesterday one of the very low wire strings broke while I was changing a pedal. The noise it makes is so frightening, and I had never experienced one of those low strings snapping like that. I remember one night during college at Berklee sleeping peacefully in my Boston apartment. In my dream, I had heard what I thought was a gun shot. I woke up startled and scared and immediately called my best friend. It wasn't until the next day when I sat down to practice that I realized it was just a broken string! 

It's a good thing I'm booked as much as I am because the strings are unfortunately very expensive, and harpists can only order them online. I envy guitar players/any other non-rare string instrument player for that reason! I tell ya, these harps are pretty high maintenance! If my four year old self knew how much work it would be just to get the instrument to play well, I might have chosen otherwise. Thankfully, I was completely oblivious :) 

And also thankfully, the harp string company I use ( Bow Brand ) has beautiful sounding strings and top notch customer service!

I hope you all had a lovely Father's day and a great start to the summer season!

Harpist's Wedding Season

As a harpist in wedding season, I can tell you that spring and summer are busy seasons! That said, my fall schedule looks to be the busiest it's ever been (outside of my college days), and rightly so! 

Majestic weddings at the Biltmore Estate overlooking multicolored trees of the blue ridge parkway ... 

Small, intimate weddings with the beautiful mountain backdrop ...

I have to say, fall is my favorite season, and I can see why so many brides want to get married in Asheville in the fall! It's positively gorgeous, and I can't wait for it this year! My harp and I are booked for weddings and concerts almost every weekend in September and October! And then Christmas season starts. I have a feeling I'll be carting that harp around everywhere I go from September to December 24th, and I wouldn't have it any other way.