Funerals/Memorial Services

Posted In: Performing

  • Participant
    Julietta Anne Rabens on #212047

    I looked for a thread on this topic, but didn’t find one yet. What are the standard fees for playing harp at funerals and memorial services? I know there are distinctions if it is outdoors at the graveside, during a formal service, and/or background music during the viewing. I’m interested in doing this on a regular basis and would like to get an idea of how it compares with weddings and background music gigs. What have you charged?

    Participant
    Sylvia on #212054

    Good luck w/finding regular work for this. I’ve tried, but no success. It is the family, not the funeral home, who hires the music, so it gets sticky.
    I usually get this work only when someone already knows about me, or I’ve played for the family before….and I have sent my info to all local funeral homes. Maybe it’s different in your area.

    Participant
    balfour-knight on #212301

    Hi, Julietta and Sylvia,

    Just read your posts and agree with Sylvia about “it is the family, not the funeral home, who hires the music.” This is certainly true for our area in Western North Carolina. Once in a while, a local funeral home hires me because the family of the deceased wants a harpist, but usually it is folks who know me. An example is that I played a wedding a few years ago and got two funerals as a result–the bride’s grandmother told the family at the wedding “when I go, get that man to play the harp at my funeral,” which they did. Then, the bride’s uncle died unexpectedly and they got me to play for his funeral.

    When I do not know the family, my charge is usually around $200. depending on how much I need to play, usually 30 minutes of prelude music before the service and any music needed during the service. If it is a friend, then I usually say “contribute something toward my harp string fund,” which generally gets an honorarium.

    Hope this is helpful!

    Harp hugs,
    Balfour

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