gigging harpist need help w/ weddings

Posted In: Young Harpists

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    unknown-user on #168137

    I realize that it seems stange, but all the wedding’s I’ve done,
    there’s been some sort of keyboardist there to tell me when to play
    things. But, I’ve been asked to play at a wedding ALONE in a few
    weeks. Could someone tell me (in detail) when certain things happen
    at weddings and the order of them….. desperate help, please~!

    marta-cook on #168138

    Hi Steven,

    A lot depends on what kind of ceremony it is–what religion, what denomination, etc. If it’s some kind of elaborate religious ceremony where they want you to replace the keyboardist and play the whole liturgy, it is certainly possible and most of what I have seen is easily playable on the harp. However, a few caveats about thsi type of service: it is a lot of music and you will have to go through it all adapting it for harp and pedaling it, which is going to be a good chunk of time (for which you should charge.) Also, if you’re not very familiar with the liturgy, you’re going to have to make sure you understand how all the responsorial singing works so that you can help “lead” the musical portions of the service. It’s also good to keep in mind that it’s not unheard of for the couple who hires you tells you to do one thing and then finds out weeks later from the church, when they bother to check, that it’s not allowed. A lot of ministers/priests (“officiants”) would be highly skeptical about hiring some random musician that they’ve never worked with with no special qualifications in liturgical music to play the liturgy.

    Joyce White on #168139

    It’s a good idea to check with the church music director about what music is acceptable. The bride and groom may not be aware of what these regulations are.

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #168140

    I played at two very traditional Catholic weddings this summer. I thought that
    the Communion was over when the last person went back to his seat, so I
    stopped playing the Bach Ave Maria, then I realized the priest was still wiping
    off the cup and doing his own communion! It took a few more minutes and I
    was really embarrassed.
    The other one was even more traditional, and the priest was very concerned
    that the music be appropriate. I hadn’t been told what was okay or what
    wasn’t, so I played lots of Bach and Mozart and other obscure classical
    composers, and they seemed happy. Of course, Bach was Protestant and
    Mozart was a Freemason, and the other composers were probably
    outrageous reprobates, but the music was lovely.

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