Frequently Asked Questions

How did you first become interested in the harp?

 

It’s a long story! When I was four years old, my aunt won a competition in Wilkes-Barre, PA called the Mary from Dungloe. It is an Irish heritage competition for young women of Irish descent. Her prize was to go to Ireland on an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the international competition. My mother took my sister and me along to support her. While there, I saw a harpist perform, and I got it into my head that I had to learn how to play. Upon our return, my parents appeased me by getting me piano lessons, but ultimately, I wouldn’t budge from my deep desire to learn to play the harp. They were finally able to find a teacher for me at a local music camp and her name was Gulnara Mashurova, current principal harpist for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. My amazing parents took me to New York City every other week for eight years to continue my studies with her. After completing my Bachelor’s degrees at Peabody Conservatory and my Master’s at Temple University, I discovered that Philadelphia, where I was residing, also sponsored the Mary from Dungloe Competition. I decided to enter it, and in keeping with my family tradition, I won! For the talent portion of the competition in Ireland, I knew that I had to play the harp in the place where my passion for it was born. I performed the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria, and I was lucky enough to win the international title. You can read my full biography here.


 

How long have you been performing for events?

 

I have been performing for parties and events since I was 12 years old. I started my full-time business as a harpist and vocalist shortly after receiving my Master’s degree in 2010. I have performed for hundreds of special events. I love helping to create custom-tailored events for my clients. Contact me today to inquire about my availability!


 

Do you have references from other clients?

 

Yes. You can find them on my testimonials tab. You can also find reviews of my performances on the following websites where I advertise:

Wedding Wire

Gig Masters

Gig Salad


 

How much do you charge for an event?

 

My fees vary depending on certain specific factors. Please contact me with the date, time, and location of your event for a customized quote!


 

When should we book you?

 

As soon as possible. I can be booked up to two years in advance, so the earlier, the better! This is especially true if your event is on a Saturday between April and October.


 

Do you require a deposit?

 

Yes, all events require a non-refundable 50% deposit to secure your date. The deposit must be returned with your signed contract for your date to be reserved.


 

When is the balance due?

 

The balance is due two weeks prior to my performance.


 

How do you transport your harp?

 

Carefully! I drive a sports utility vehicle, which fits all of my harp equipment with room to spare! When outside of the car, I use a harp cart that enables me to move the harp around fairly easily on even surfaces.


 

Can you play outdoors?

 

Yes, I am happy to play outside, as long as the temperature is moderate, and there is a level surface for the harp. Favorable conditions for the harp and performer are similar to conditions that would be favorable to you and your guests. It is a good idea to have a backup plan for inclement weather just in case!


 

Will I be able to hear the harp?

 

The harp is quite loud and can be heard very well in most circumstances; both indoor and outdoor. It is an acoustic instrument that sounds best without amplification. For the vast majority of performances, amplification is not needed. Rare exceptions might include venues that are near noisy rivers, waterfalls, or fountains, as well as a guest list in excess of 300 people, who are spread out over a very large area. In these rare cases, check with your band, DJ, or venue to see if they have amplification capabilities.


 

What does the harp require for set-up?

 

The harp requires a space of about six square feet and a level surface. It is ideal if the temperature near the harp is fairly constant; for example, away from fireplaces, open doors, and drafty open windows. This will prevent the harp from going out of tune due to temperature fluctuations.


 

How far do you travel?

 

I live in Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC, and I will travel up to three hours one-way. Travel fees apply for any event that is farther than one hour round trip. If the commute requires me to drive more than three hours each way, I would ask that the client provide overnight accommodation. I would also consider flying for your event if my schedule allows, and if a rental harp could be procured.


 

What kind of harp do you play?

 

I play a beautiful Lyon and Healy style 85 concert grand pedal harp. It is slightly over 6 feet tall, and has 47 strings and 7 pedals. I also have a smaller Salvi Donegal style Celtic harp, which has 34 strings, and levers instead of pedals.


 

Can you move the harp up stairs?

 

In most cases, a few stairs will not be a problem. However, a whole flight would require the pedal harp to be carried upstairs, which poses a risk for the instrument. In the rare event that a venue does not have an elevator or ramp, and transporting the harp up or down an entire flight of stairs is required, I can either charge my equipment moving fee, or I could play my smaller Celtic harp, which can be carried up the stairs much more easily. Both harps sound and look gorgeous, so you can’t go wrong either way. 


 

Do you sing at every event?

 

I do not sing unless my clients specificly request vocals. Not every event is ideal for singing. For example, it can be difficult for the voice to be heard during a lively cocktail hour without amplification. Also, some clients prefer instrumental music. If, however, you would like me to sing at your event, I am more than happy to do so. You can listen to audio and video samples with and without vocals here!


 

Do you offer a military discount?

 

Members of our armed forces and their families sacrifice every day for our freedoms. I would like to extend my heartfelt and sincere appreciation to them. I am pleased to offer a 10% discount to all active and former military personnel and their immediate families. Thank you for your service! 


 

Can you play modern music on the harp?

 

Absolutely! I have an eclectic collection of music, which you can peruse on my repertoire tab. I perform everything from Bach to Beyoncé , and from Mozart to Maroon 5. If I don’t currently play your favorite song, I can arrange it myself for a small fee. I really enjoy arranging new songs. I particularly love the looks on my clients’ faces when they hear the arrangement that was created just for them.


 

I bet you wish you play the flute, right?

 

While transporting a flute is significantly easier, I absolutely love playing the harp and wouldn’t trade it for the world. It is incredibly versatile because it is beautiful and self-sufficient as a solo instrument, and it pairs wonderfully with other instruments, such as the cello. You can hear me play both solo and with the cello here.


 

How can we book you for our special event?

 

You can call me at 570-574-7966 or use the contact form to inquire about my availability. I hope that we can work together to make your special event unforgettable!

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