Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Harp for a Wedding?

A harp at a wedding....what do you think?

As a professional harpist, of course I say have a harp at your wedding! I love the instrument and it adds a serious touch of class! :)

Here are some pro's and con's to having a harp at your wedding...maybe you can add a few more!

  1. It's a beautiful instrument
  2. It has a unique and romantic sound
  3. It adds a wonderful *wow* effect for your audience
  4. Live music has a special appeal
  5. Can be used indoor or outdoor
  1. It can be *expensive*
  2. The harp needs room for harp, bench & stand
  3. If an inexperienced musician is hired there could be *issues*
  4. If you are having a theme wedding that doesn't work with the nostalgia of the harp. For example, if you are having a *cowboy* wedding...a guitar, fiddle, or other country instrument would fit better!

Why would hiring a harpist be potentially expensive?
  • Training....a harpist spends some major time & money to learn to play the harp. Professional harpists need to practice daily...usually for 3hrs or more. When you are hiring a harpist, you are hiring them to practice for several hrs to make sure your event is as perfect as possible!
  • Instrument costs.....Harps range from $5,000 for a small lever harp to $20,000+ for the fancy concert harps. They need new strings every year or so, ranging from $75 (for the small harp) to $400+ (for the concert harp). Regular maintenance cost can range greatly with repairs, regulations, and other extra costs. Harp insurance and a vehicle large enough to haul the harp are not cheap on the harpist!
  • Wedding location....Outdoor weddings, usually, cost more than indoor weddings because of the added stress to the harp and harpist. Outdoor conditions can cause lost strings, mechanical issues, and tuning problems....not that this is a concern for the bride...the harpist will manage these issues, they will just charge a bit more to cover for them.
How can I keep costs down?

  • Have an indoor wedding
  • Keep the wedding ceremony simple with minimal vocal accompaniment (some harpists charge per song)
  • If having a smaller wedding, consider hiring a lever harpist...they are usually a bit cheaper with the harp cost and maintenance being lower. Keep in mind that the lever harp doesn't have the *wow* effect of the larger concert harp though.
  • Consider hiring the harpist for the reception too...most harpist offer a discount if hiring for both ceremony and reception!
  • Hire a harpist in your area to keep mileage fees low.

Not sure if you want a harpist? Then I would suggest you call your prospective harpist and ask to hear them play live. Most all harpists are more than happy to do this for a nominal fee...and may waive the fee if you do hire them for your event. By doing this, you can asses the skill of the harpist and look at the harp itself to see if it's design, look, and sound is what you are wanting. Nearly all experienced wedding harpists are very helpful with music selection and ideas to make your day special!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Celtic Harp Recordings

Lever Harp CD's anyone?

Do you love harp music? Check out the "For The King" CD! Released in 2004, It's performed on my handmade Horse Tara harp that I finished when I was 18yrs old. The CD has old hymns that I arranged under the guidance of my instructors. You will love this soothing lever harp recording. It has 2 harp and cello tracks and 1 harp & voice selection. Get one while you can...it's a limited edition!

Do you love Christmas Music? "Christmas Blessing" will be your favorite Christmas harp CD! It was released for the 2006 Christmas season.
With this CD I've added another harp and harpist to create 3 harp duets for this recording. Professional harpist Alice Keene played on another handmade Tara lever harp of mine. She was the second harpist. Carol of the Bells was done with 2 harps and a glockenspiel...a really awesome combo! There are 3 harp/cello tracks and 3 harp/voice as well.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


My new "harpmobile" is a 2007 Honda Element EX, 2 wd, manual transmission. "Elly" fits my concert harp, 36 string lever harp, 2 stands, stools, gig bags, and 2 boxes of CDs all at one time!

Many thanks to O'Hare Honda in Chicago, IL for such a great deal and awesome service with this vehicle purchase!

Why did I choose an Element? It was a good deal cheaper to buy, own, & maintain than a van, plastic interior for easy cleaning, no seat removal needed, and it has a look at me attitude! Basically, a billboard on wheels!

I column load my Venus Classic on a 'slide' that I made. I cut a wedge to put in front of the cup holder that is between the front seats so the harp's slide, slides up and over easily. There are D rings on the interior sides so I can strap the harp down.

Loading is very easy, I can do it on my own. The tail gate makes the perfect 'starting' point for loading the Classic on her column. Works very nicely. The only thing that would make it easier is the removal of the cup holder....with my wedge, I have no problem. Without the wedge, it would be a good deal more difficult!

The detailing was done by Dever Designs in Sullivan, IL. They did the sign on the back windows, pinstriping and treble clef on the end. They did a fantastic job!


Saturday, April 7, 2007


I will be performing on my brand new Venus Classic Pedal Harp in Sullivan, Il.

It is free to the public so bring all your friends!

April 27th, 2007 7pm at the Southern Baptist Church (just off hwy 121)

Not only will I be having the debut recital with my Classic, I will also bring my handcrafted lever harp, Tara.

Come have a wonderful time listening to beautiful harp music!

CD's will be available after the concert!

Come Join the FUN!!

NINA Marshall, Harpist
Bethany, IL 61914

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Welcome to my new Blog!

My previous blog had some technical difficulties so I decided to delete, move, and restart!

I'll post about my studio, music, instruments and sometimes a post or two about my horses.

Come on over and visit my website www.ninasmusic.com