Hello, harp world! I’ve decided that since I’ve started playing harp again after a 2-year hiatus, I would start a blog. And what better place to have it than on a site with other harpists?
Today’s post is going to be mostly about my audition to the University of Ottawa’s Pop Orchestra, since it was pretty great.
First of all, I auditioned with the Cup Song from Pitch Perfect. Since my harp is tiny, I can easily sit on the floor and play which made it ideal for doing the cup song. While my left hand was busy tapping out the cup rhythm on the cup and my soundboard, my right hand was in charge in chords, and I was singing as well. (If I get a chance, I’ll post a YouTube video soon)
I went into the room and the first thing I hear is exclaims of “Oh, it’s a baby harp!” which is a lot better than when I auditioned for Talent Nation (apparently they didn’t want someone who could play the harp and sing, even though they were looking for, and I quote, the “next generation of Canadian talent”. Ah well, their loss.). Then all three of us; the conductor, the president, and I, proceed to look for a table or something I can play on. I spot the conductor’s box and sit down, much to their surprise. I pull the cup out of my hoodie pocket and begin to play the rhythm, first with both hands, then with one hand with the harp. It went very well, and I only messed up a couple chords. The best part about being nervous and singing is that, for me at least, it gives a very nice unintentional vibrato. After I finished, I got comments of “so you can multitask”, and “that was very nice”, along with “do you have a full size harp?” Dammit! They found my kryptonite: a lack of funds required to re-pursue my harp interests (my parents are helping me pay for my artistic interests, and currently ballet exams and pointe shoes are more of a priority). Nevertheless, they continued with their spiel until I interrupted them… even though I had given them sheet music for Safe and Sound (the Sylvia Woods arrangement), they thought the Cup Song was the only thing I was going to audition with. Since it took me a while to get Safe and Sound down pat (everything’s harder an octave up it seems), I played it anyway and was accepted right away.
This was a great audition because it cured my harp PTSD from Talent Nation (which did not go well, at all), but that’s a story for a different blog post.