David Ice

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    David Ice on · in reply to: Chrysler Pacifica Harpmobile Issues!! #238337

    I had a Chrysler Town & Country (actually, two of them) and decided to go to the Pacifica in 2016. I had ZERO issues with the Town and Country/Dodge Caravan (essentially the same vehicle) BUT after Chrysler’s “up yours” attitude to me (and one of their flagship models they heavily advertise) I was not about to reward them with another car purchase. I don’t know how much longer the Dodge Caravan will be available, but to quote W: “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice……..well, can’t get fooled again.”

    Plus I have no idea if the parts availability problem extends to Dodge products as well!

    David Ice on · in reply to: Chrysler Pacifica Harpmobile Issues!! #238334

    I did a lot of research before I went to the Chrysler dealership. I wound up going to a Ford dealer and buying a Ford Transit Connect Wagon. It’s a LOT smaller than the Pacifica–but I could fit my concert grands in along with my caddy, my amp, chair, music stand, etc.

    I did buy and cover with fabric a 1/4″ plywood sheet (I had it cut to 46″x 60″) and also did the same with a 46″ 4×4 piece of lumber. The former was to lie on top of the fold-down seats (to further reinforce the harp) and the 4×4 was at the tail end of the floor. There is a gap there between the tailgate and for me to use my dolly and roll the harp in, there was that 4″ shelf I had to get over. This way the harp is totally supported and getting things in and out are a lot easier. I have a custom dolly that wheels in and out, and this is what I did to make things work.

    I do miss the extra room of the Pacifica–it’s still the ideal harpmobile–but just after this happened Consumer Reports issued their reliability ratings, and the Chrysler Pacifica was nearly dead last on their “Most Unreliable” rating!!!! And you know, NOBODY from Chrysler ever reached out to me, despite my attempts. Their attitude was literally “sucks to be you” and they could not have cared LESS.

    At least my experience with Ford has been the total opposite. I did have a very minor issue (it was a plastic AC vent) and they fixed it pronto, no questions asked. And Ford has sent me a detailed questionaire asking for my opinions about the vehicle and what changes I would make. So at least they are listening!

    In the past I’d always used a Ford Taurus Wagon as a harpmobile, but those are no longer in production. When it’s time to replace my Ford Transit Connect Wagon, I’ll DEFINITELY look at Ford or Toyota. Chrysler, you are DEAD to me!

    David Ice on · in reply to: Do you let others touch/play with your harp? Why or why not? #235024

    I usually try to accommodate somebody who wants to try to play a string or a glissando. Alas, what I’ve also found is that nowadays, so many people feel they are ENTITLED to do anything they want. Just a couple of weeks ago I was at a resort, and playing an outdoor wedding by their huge pool/water park setting. I loaded in my harp, and while I was off for a moment to take care of other details, two adult grown women, who were wearing bathing suits and SOAKING WET, sat down at my harp and began playing it—-not miming playing, but soaking wet fingers playing the strings. My harp mover accosted them and told them “Do. Not. Touch. The. Harp!” And they waved him off with an arrogant “what—EVAH” and took more selfies. These were basically entitled rich women who were sober. I’ve decided that if I ever encounter such a person again, I’ll tell them “I hope you have $40,000 worth of insurance! And I want your car keys.” If they protest, I’d tell them “My harp costs as much as your car, so if you can play around with my private property, then I want to take your car for a joy ride too. And if you caught me sitting behind the wheel of your car, fiddling with the controls, you’d certainly call the police.”

    It’s one thing to have the curious kids try to climb up the column and stand on the base…but lately for me it’s been the ADULTS that I want to throttle! And being polite or discrete gets you nowhere. Another woman came up to me and asked if she could try my harp, that she was a “student of the harp”. I said sure, who was her teacher? As soon as she grabbed a string I could tell she had never touched a harp in her life! I pointedly asked who she had studied with, and the mumbled “Oh, I dabble” and put the harp down and walked away. Again—-if she had ASKED if she could take a picture or try a string, sure….but don’t LIE to my face and tell me you have studied harp. It’s getting increasingly difficult to remain gentlemanly or polite when people diss you like this!

    David Ice on · in reply to: Anxious Bride #225383

    Gretchen, I am so bad….I didn’t see your question until well over a year later!

    But to answer your question: in a word, NO. I have decided they will never be graced with my talents again.

    (And for those who are wondering, I had signed contracts to play in the orchestra for a huge megachurch’s Christmas Extravaganza….something like 17 performances, 3 rehearsals, etc. Two months before starting I got a call from the music director who said, “We don’t need you…we got in the new orchestrations and there’s no harp part.” I protested that we had a signed contract with no “back out” clause, and I could prove at minimum 12 gigs I had turned down.

    (Long story short, I played 12 performances with them…and found out that out of 26 or so tunes, fully 24 of them had printed, published, orchestrated harp parts. In other words, to save on budget overruns, they decided to cut the harp and LIED to me; no misunderstanding or miscommunication—they LIED.

    (And the experience there was awful. Short of calling security on me every time I played, I couldn’t have been made to feel more unwelcome. The music director NEVER made eye contact even once. And if all the other players got notes or cards on their stands…Guess who didn’t? Even down to having to hunt down a chair and music stand for each performance.

    (So, after playing three seasons of shows with them, I vowed to never darken their doors again. So much for the Christmas spirit…)

    David Ice on · in reply to: When to say no #225370

    I had a situation once where I was contracted (with an orchestra and a conductor I know well) to play a vanity recording of a work a local composer wrote for Soprano, Harp, and Orchestra. The harp part was impossible.

    I tried right hand alone, then left hand alone. Still didn’t work. Enharmonics didn’t work. I tried splitting it up in sections so I could “punch in” in the recording studio, meaning recording the part in bits and pieces. Still didn’t work. It was just nuts–like 4 pedal changes per beat.

    I went through about 4 versions, and spent about 12 hours. Each time what came back from the composer was…..he put every single *$(@#&% note back in.

    My conductor even counseled him, “you have the change to have a good harpist edit your part so it will be playable in the future with other orchestras.” Nope. He was going to have EVERY SINGLE NOTE.

    I ultimately gave up. I sent a bill, and was paid $20 an hour for my time and rewrites.

    Ultimately they played it on synthesizer, and it had to be programmed, because no keyboard player would tackle it. Another classic case of “It plays just fine on my computer!”

    And the soprano later told me, “He left no room for me to even breathe, and I had to ‘punch in’ all over the place to get the lyrics out.”

    Yes, it was his nickle, but he’ll never get me–or that conductor or orchestra or soprano–to do anything with him again!

    David Ice on · in reply to: Cancellation policies? #212941

    I say deposits are non-refundable–BUT if the resceduled date is open and available the deposit can transfer over. If the date is already booked, too bad…

    David Ice on · in reply to: Anxious Bride #212939

    I had a groom recently who wanted all French Impressionistic music…starting with the entire Debussy SUITE BERGAMASQUE, the Faure IMPROMPTU, Saint Saen’s CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS, etc. I told him that he would be lucky to find anybody in this hemisphere who could play all of this with 2 week’s notice. He was inflexible….he didn’t want “just” CLAIR DE LUNE…he wanted the whole suite. And for a 1 hour ceremony. I ultimately told him I had a solid hour of impressionistic music I could play, but no way was I trying to fit in decades of work in 2 weeks for a one hour wedding. He went away and don’t know what happened. He probably played a mix tape for his ceremony….


    It looked like our violinist was using a piano book…there very well might be a piano reduction book with a “treble instrument” part in it. I just know it had a blue-ish cover.

    David Ice on · in reply to: Open Warning–Wedding Scam "John Alberto" #207623

    I’ve also gotten inquiries from a “Edward Carter”….who apparently is being married in Phoenix and Washington DC the same day. I hope he has a non-stop flight and plenty of rest before the big day! So exhausting!

    David Ice on · in reply to: Open Warning–Wedding Scam "John Alberto" #207367

    Wow–what a crock of hooey that “buyer” is. I think I will copy that out, reverse a couple of things, and send that out in response to all future “clients” who want to hire me for their weddings. I.e.

    I am okay with the price for providing music for your daughter’s wedding. I’m in need of it and i want to paid as soon
    as possible, I anticipate that a cashier check or certified check will be sent to me via express mail or usps or Fedex as the mode of payment, concerning the pickup of the harp on the wedding day, i will be responsible for that, where my harp mover will come for the pick up at my location upon my confirmation of receiving the payment and i want you to not contact any other musical vendor now. So i will be sent the payment which will include the pick up charges, in which you will make payable to my harp mover via his account immediately after he has received the payment and you will be compensated with $150 extra for your running around to the
    Bank outlet to avoid the delay. And I would really love to come
    for the wedding rehearsal dinner but due to my work frame that might not be possible.

    David Ice on · in reply to: Open Warning–Wedding Scam "John Alberto" #201164

    Wow Brenda…he’s been a very bad boy!  I also just got another The Knot lead–from a “Crystal Diana”.   99.9999% sure she’s a fraud too, if not the same person!   I don’t say this lightly, but I hope there is a special place in Hell for people who do this sort of thing!

    David Ice on · in reply to: Sunday In The Park With George #200833

    Thanks for your kind words, Gretchen!   This SITPWG harp part is just mind-bogglingly hard to read.  Honestly, 3 weeks into it and suddenly I realize it’s an A and not a C….because the sloppy ledger lines have the A on the same level as the C–that sort of thing.  It’s hours of work, but I find that I can virtually sit there and sight read it, as opposed to taking educated guesses on every pass!

    The Lord’s Prayer has an interesting story.  It’s based on the handwritten manuscript copy that Marjorie Call gave me eons ago.  I had wanted to learn it, and had purchased the Salzedo version.  To my utter astonishment she said, “Oh, throw that one away.  It’s awful!”  I asked why.  She told me, “All the beats and accents are in the wrong place.  I could never figure it out, until one day I asked Carlos, ‘were you thinking in English or in French when you arranged this?’  He said, ‘why French, of course.’  That’s why his version is so awkward…..the syllables and rhythms are all French!”


    David Ice on · in reply to: Ok, here's a first…. #192636

    Hi Gretchen! At least for this wedding I’m contracted through the venue–and they are great They know me and I’m first call for their package weddings, and I know they have my back. I will do a consultation with the bride about what professionals, etc., she wants….but I’m sorely tempted to play all “show-stoppers” for the wedding and make sure Mom knows I am stealing the thunder! No, I’d never really do that, but I’m tempted do play something like Queen’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY or something equally flashy and gaudy. Obviously it’s a Mom who thinks the whole world stops because it’s her daughter’s most important day ever–and the Universe is supposed to just somehow KNOW and worship this fact.

    And speaking of worship, I’ve not been back to the “tiger in a cage” church, and won’t be. They out-and-out LIED to me, barefaced, and I’ve never been treated like that. I will never grace them with my talents again, and from the scuttle I hear they have certainly lost their focus over the past year or so. Not only have they totally changed the church name–something like “Dreamscape HopeCity” or something equally weird–but they are now doing FULL OUT Broadway productions like MARY POPPINS–complete with sets and flying. They tried to get out of their contract with me because “the new orchestrations came in and there’s no harp part”–for a Christmas show?–but I found that out of 28 tunes, there were official printed, fully orchestrated harp parts on 24 of the tunes! They just wanted to save money–and lied to me. And they were very unhappy with me because I insisted they honor their signed contract with me, which was executed in May! So, you live and learn. But somehow, the weirdness always finds me!

    David Ice on · in reply to: Professional Ethics of What to Charge #190258

    Sylvia and Balfour, I’ve gotten gigs in the past when I’ve told a bride, “I can absolutely guarantee that I will NOT be prettier than the bride on her wedding day!” I’ve been hired on the spot!

    David Ice on · in reply to: THE FANTASTICKS harp parts #188463

    The usual around my area is a minimum of $75 per service. Sometimes more, as there are usually only 2 musicians used.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 520 total)