While playing for the Mother’s Day tea party this afternoon, I contemplated how blessed I am. (My mind wanders when I play certain songs that are thoroughly embedded in my brain.) Yes, I have to haul this giant oven mitt around.
But then I play music for an hour; my audience compliments me, my client pays me, and in some cases they feed me!
Today, Monday, my work day consisted of practicing for two hours, teaching two harp lessons, playing at the Mother’s tea (one hour of playing, but two additional hours of moving the harp, schlepping my stuff in and out of my house and the tea room, and making myself presentable), practicing a bit in the evening, and finishing with two hours of working on my final report for the State Arts Board grant I received last year. (A rather symmetrical-sounding day.)
Rehearsal this evening with the South Metro Chorale for their spring concert. LOVE this group!
Earlier in the day I spent a great deal of time attempting to perfect “Cantique de Jean Racine,” an absolutely gorgeous choral hymn on the concert program. It also happens to require many, many pedal changes and consists of constant triplets for five minutes.
I like it when I have a chance to wear something other than black, and a gala is a perfect opportunity. Around 5pm I donned my new red dress and headed off with my little harp. Normally I’m relegated to a corner somewhere, but they asked me to set up in the very center of the room.
One of the things I love about my Musicmaker’s Gothic harp is that I can fit my electronic tuner on the shelf inside the soundboard. I can tune in a really loud room without using a pickup. (It’s also convenient at the Renaissance Festival for a quick once-over in public. No one is the wiser; they just think I have perfect pitch.)
I spent the morning working on my Christmas album (ETA November ’15). I’ve discovered that I can save time by working directly with the digital copy rather than scribbling everything down in pencil. I feel rather as if I’ve betrayed a stubborn old-fashioned corner of my soul.
Evening consisted of another rehearsal with the South Metro Chorale.
Concert with the Choral! One of the advantages of working as a professional musician is that I am given free admission to all the concerts I’m performing in (I know, astonishing, right?). Last week I was able to hear a live performance of Faure’s “Requiem,” as well as an entire other hour of quality choral music, at least four times. Nothing beats good live music.
Unfortunately a Friday night concert in the south metro means a long commute for me. Must remind myself to never take 35W through Minneapolis around 6pm.
Saturday I had a fun gig down in St. Anthony Park at the Finnish Bistro. A couple of friends came, the Bistro fed me delicious food, and the clientele appreciated the music. All in all, a good use of a Saturday noon hour.
Last concert for awhile, the second performance of the Friday night show with the SMC. I can’t wait to put away my harp cover, my harp dolly, unpack my gig bag and do my laundry!
Stephanie Claussen is a professional harpist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She performs on her harp throughout Minnesota in various concerts, recitals, and collaborations with other musicians. Consider signing up for her e-mail newsletter to be notified directly of upcoming performances and important announcements.