Q and A with Katy Wong

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Hashtag, #dreamgigs. That’s pretty much the only way to describe New York harpist Katy Wong’s recent experience as a backup musician for pop superstar Katy Perry at New York Fashion Week. Even spin.com took note of the harp on stage. Check out their video to hear Wong in action. We couldn’t resist asking harpist Katy to give us the lowdown on what it was like working alongside pop star Katy…

So, tell us what everyone is dying to know: How did you score a gig with Katy Perry at New York Fashion Week?

Just a little bit of luck! I received a call asking if i was available for a couple days in September; I said yes, and I was told I would be performing with Katy Perry!

Katy WongDid you get to meet her and what’s she like?

She’s down to earth and such a sweetheart! We had a day in the studio with her, prior to the performance, where she personally thanked each one of us for playing with her.

What songs did you play?

“Teenage Dream,” “Dark Horse,” “I Kissed A Girl,” “Roar,” and “Firework.”

Any “Strange But True Harp Stories” you can share about the event?

I’m not too sure if this is more strange or unpleasant, but during her performance, the crew released live butterflies and others were placed on her dress. With all the lights, mist, and flying leaves, it made a spectacular stage appearance. However, when I started to pack my harp at the end of the show, there were a few stray butterflies, hardly moving, on the base of my harp which the crew helped take care of for me.

Now on to the harp…..tell us about your background, who you study with, etc…

I started on the cardboard lap harp at age 12 at a community music program. I didn’t know I would be pursuing music until last year after applying to over 20 colleges. It’s now my first year at Juilliard with Nancy Allen whom I’m so blessed to be studying with.

What are your plans?

To take every opportunity that Juilliard and New York has to offer! I’m not sure where I’ll be five or ten years from now but I’m happy to be doing something I love.

Anything else you want Harp Column fans to know about you?

I was a competitive figure skater until age 15 when I realized an injury wouldn’t allow me to skate anymore. You never know when doors will open or close.

Read more about harpist Katy at www.katywong.com.

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About Author

Kimberly Rowe is co-founder of Harp Column and served as Editor of the print edition from 1993–2013. She now serves as Web Editor. Kimberly performs and teaches in the mid-Atlantic region of the US. She is co-founder of the Young Artist's Harp Seminar, and on the faculty at Temple University, in Philadelphia.

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