Jersey Wedding Harper

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Julie Michelle Robinson BMus

Welcome!

This website is intended to help you decide your musical preferences for your special day.  I am an established professional musician in Jersey, Channel Islands, but so far my web presence has been geared towards my teaching business.  I wanted to create a separate page where those looking for a musician for their event would be able to easily find information such as repertoire lists (songs and tunes I play) and a rate card (how much I charge).  You can also contact me directly through the page by clicking "contact me".

I aim to provide you with a professional service, which means that I will endeavour to respond promptly to emails and telephone calls.  I will also help you to select particular pieces for your event.  My repertoire page will eventually include sound clips of various pieces to help you decide what you would like, but I am happy to correspond by email and for a small fee I offer an in-person consultation service. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose the harp?

  • The harp sounds great and can be played alone because one player can perform multiple lines - you only need to hire one musician.
  • The harp is much more portable than a piano and can be used in locations where a piano is not available.  Or at the top of a castle tower.
  • The harp has been used for important ceremonies for centuries; it is mentioned in the Old Testament and in Celtic and Greek legends.
  • The harp is visually appealing and makes for great photographs!

How do I choose the music?

Choosing music for your special event isn't always easy.  Maybe you have an idea of the kind of music you'd like, or even particular pieces, but don't know what they're called.  No worries.  My Repertoire Page doesn't include every piece I play - but it does contain audio samples of an increasing number of tunes.  I am always willing to suggest pieces or help you identify what you do and don't like, or which piece of classical music was featured in your favourite film.  Feel free to contact me even if you're not sure you want the harp as I play other instruments too (mainly violin and piano) and know other local musicians.

How much do you charge?

You'll find that hiring a harper is a lot cheaper than hiring a string quartet, because you are only paying one person.  Please consider that you are paying for a professional service.  I am a full-time musician and people tend to forget that we have to pay for instruments, strings, sheet music, advertising etc. as well as how much time we spend practising and consulting with potential clients.  All details are on the Rate Card.

What's the difference between a harpist and a harper?

They are both words for someone who plays the harp.  The term harper is older and mainly designates someone who concentrates on early and/or folk music; the word harpist is more modern and usually means someone who plays a large orchestral pedal harp, concentrating on classical repertoire.

So you play a baby harp?

Not really.  The famous Trinity harp (also known as the Brian Boru harp) which is the symbol of Ireland only has 29 strings, compared to the 47 strings you find on an orchestral pedal harp.  It also didn't have pedals, which are a very modern invention, or sharping levers like my harp.  There are other differences too.  Modern harps come in a variety of sizes, from about 19 strings upwards.  The lever harp is an instrument in its own right, requiring a slightly different technique to the pedal harp.  While it is true that most pedal harpists probably start learning on a lever harp, not everyone chooses to swap over.  The lever harp is suitable for the music I play, including most wedding requests.  It is also considerably more portable than a pedal harp would be, can be easily carried up stairs and fits neatly into my smallish car.

Can you do requests?
Given sufficient notice I can probably play your special request on the harp.  However, not every song is suitable.  This also involves finding sheet music for the piece and/or arranging it for the harp, so will probably incur an extra fee unless I already have the music.
Will it be loud enough?
My harp is loud enough for most indoor venues, especially if you are just wanting background music for a cocktail hour or similar.  In spring 2015 I am hoping to invest in an electroacoustic harp; however this will have to be custom made so I can't guarantee that it will have arrived by your special date.  If you are looking for Celtic music but need something a bit louder, I also play violin/fiddle.  And, of course, you can have harp indoors and fiddle outdoors, why not?