The benefits of hiring a harpist

Helen performing at a wedding We’d love some live music at our drinks reception, but don’t want anything too intrusive as guests will want to chat and catch up. We’re considering a harpist, but what are the benefits?

"Having live background music at a drinks reception can really help set the atmosphere and put people at ease, so that they can feel relaxed while chatting to family and friends.

"Something non-intrusive and not too loud would allow for conversations to be enjoyed without having to raise voices. I have played the harp at many drinks receptions and found it to be the perfect instrument for setting the scene, while not drowning out normal exchanges between the guests.

"Amplification can be useful in some circumstances, and all of my harps have electric pick-ups, but unless the number of guests is above 100, I have seldom found it necessary.

"It’s worth considering the space you’re using and how many musicians can be accommodated. Obviously, a harp takes up less room than a group of instruments and can generally fit in a corner quite well.

"Outside drinks receptions can be really spectacular in the right setting, and once again the harp comes into its own. I have a lightweight carbon- fibre harp which I can carry in one hand, making it ideal to easily pick up and move into whichever part of the garden you are using. It also has the advantage of being impervious to sun or rain, so there will be no panics to run inside if a shower should appear. It’s sound is easily equal to that of my larger concert harps and carries well in an outdoor space.

"Repertoire on the harp and many instruments can be varied and tailored to the genre of music you desire. A wide selection of styles will ensure that every guest will hear music to suit their tastes at some point.

"When choosing an instrument, it’s worth considering access, drop off points and parking before booking to assist your proposed entertainer in deciding the logistics."

Helen Barley

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