About & FAQ

When I was seven years old, I went to a Mexican Restaurant called Meson Ole in East Islip for my birthday and was absolutely mesmorized by a Colombian harpist performing during dinner (thank you, Edmar Castaneda!). Since I had been taking piano lessons from the age of four, and being that I was homeschooled at the time, I begged my mom for lessons on such a cool instrument. After that, I began studying harp under the instruction of harpist Jeanne Fintz-Goldstein of Long Island, who taught me following the traditional Salzedo method. In 2011, I was accepted to Hunter College and began my study with harpist and composer Alyssa Reit. I studied in a much different way, more closely aligned with the Grandjany technique, and began to delve into music in a wide variety of genres -- including all my favorite Zelda songs. In 2012, I was awarded my membership to Music Under New York, and began performing in subway stations all around NYC in an effort to get the harp out there as often as I could. My goal was, and still is, to show as many people as possible what an amazingly versatile instrument the harp is on a every day basis, and how it shouldn't be confined to the stereotype of being 'boring', exclusive, and purely classical. I have four different harps, two lever and two pedal, used for music therapy/meditation, orchestral work, studio recordings, theatre productions, wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours, church functions, and other special events.

How do I start the booking process?

Feel free to send me an email at HarpistEmily@gmail.com with details of your event and I will get a performance contract over to you as soon as I can! We can book everything 100% online, or we can meet in person at my studio to go over all the details -- whichever you prefer!

How much do you typically charge?

My prices range between $400 - $800, depending on the location, length of performance, and type of event. It's important to me to keep my rates as affordable as possible!

Do you require a deposit for booking?

I do require a refundable $100 deposit at the time of booking, which can be made virtually through the free Venmo app or mailed to my address along with the signed performance contract. Again, whatever is easiest for you! I always keep digital copies of everything and send deposit receipts for all payments made.

Can I meet you before signing a contract?

Absolutely! I would love to invite you to my studio where we can sit by the harp and listen to some samples. I do have pets, so please let me know if you have any allergies before stopping by! Meetings are scheduled based on availability, and are always free of charge.

Can you play for my outdoor ceremony?

Because the harp is such a delicate instrument, I do have to meet a few certain conditions, including only performing in temperatures between 55-85 degrees, and never in the rain. In such cases, I have other options available, and would never leave you without music!

What happens if it rains? Or the weather is too hot/cold?

In such cases, I keep the harp indoors, and either record your ceremony songs on my RC-30 loop pedal and play them manually for the pre-ceremony, bridal party, processional, and recessional, or I can play indoors and amplify my music outdoors with an extension cord.

Do you take any song request?

Generally, yes! Certain songs don't work as well on the harp, but if the sheet music for your special song request doesn't exist, I'll make my own "harp-y" version of it and send you a sample for approval. I like to have all special requests submitted at least two weeks prior to your celebration date.

Where have you performed?

I have performed in a wide variety of venues, including the Bourne Mansion, Vanderbilt Museum, NYIT de Seversky Mansion, Parrish Art Museum, Resorts World Casino, LongHouse Reserve, Oheka Castle, Oceanbleu, Watermill Caterers, Soundview Caterers, East Wind, Larkfield, Land's End, Swan Lake Caterers, Crest Hollow Country Club, Terrace on the Park, Sea Cliff Manor, and more.

How far in advance can I book?

I take any booking within 2 years! Once you put your deposit down, the date and time of booking is securely yours, and the deposit is refundable up until three months prior to the event. Nothing is confirmed until deposit is made. The rest of the payment is due no later than the performance date, and can either be made electronically through Venmo or by cash/check.

What do you wear to events?

Unless you have a specific color theme for your wedding or otherwise specified, I always wear all black, whether that means a black dress or black formal attire.

Do you take breaks?

No. If I am performing for 3+ hours, I may take a short 5-10 minute break at some point, but I really don't like to because I'm having so much fun performing! If a break is necessary, I use my loop pedal to keep the music going.

What if your harp is too loud?

I wouldn't worry! I always arrive at least an hour early to ensure a timely setup, sound check, and start time, and if amplification is not necessary, I don't use it. The great thing about my harp is that I can perform purely acoustically as well!

Can I make my payments over time?

Of course! You can make payments at your convenience and I will send you deposit receipts to keep track of the remaining balance. If you'd like to pay early as one less thing to worry about, that is also an option, but it's totally up to you!

Do you accept credit card payments?

Unfortunately no, not at this time -- but I do offer electronic Venmo payments.

What if my venue requires all vendors to have insurance?

My harp and I are fully insured, so if your venue requires a certificate of insurance, I will email a copy of my COI for your event directly to the management.

Do you have a mic for the officiant?

If you're booking me for your ceremony and you don't have a DJ service, I can provide the microphone and stand for the officiant. Please provide advance notice that you will be needing it so I can allot time to set up and sound check beforehand.

Do you attend the wedding rehearsal?

Typically, no. Before your wedding, I will have all of your ceremony song selections confirmed, and I will match the length of the songs to however long the walk takes, whether it be one minute or five, so you never have to worry about matching the processional length to the song.

What if you have to cancel my event?

I have never cancelled. If I have advance notice in an extreme case, I will either pre-record your music or arrange for a substitute harpist/musician. If I am prevented from being at your event due to an accident or emergency on the way, all payments will be refunded, but rest assured: this has never happened.

Will you accompany my musical friends/family members as they play or sing?

Of course! I love performing with other musicians, and they are welcome to schedule a rehearsal with me at my studio before the big day! I may need to charge a small rehearsal fee based on how long we need to prepare, but I try to keep it free of charge!

My ceremony is being held upstairs while my cocktail hour is downstairs! Is that a problem?

No, but please let me know if there will be a lot of stairs so I can mentally prepare myself for the workout! On rare occassions, I may need to bring help depending on the location, but if there are only a few stairs I usually ask the staff to give my harp a boost if necessary.

Do you require any special equipment/do you need anything from us?

Not at all. My amps are fully battery-powered operated, so I don't need to be close to an outlet, and I bring my own bench, music stand, and amplification (I bring two sets of equipment if you're booking me for ceremony & cocktail hour in different locations!)

Ready to book?

I know how stressful planning a wedding can get, so I do my best to make this part of the process one of the easiest!

Shoot me an email with the details of your celebration, including:

  • Date of celebration
  • Location of celebration
  • Celebration start time

  • and I'll get back to you as soon as I can with pricing information!

    Please allow at least 24 hours for a response.