Last Friday I found myself at Lake Phalen in St. Paul, playing harp for a wedding. Everything was lovely: the sun was shining and the air was warm, but not too hot. A huge willow tree at the shore provided shade for the guests. And a slight breeze…
Well, there is no such thing as a slight breeze when there is sheet music to be kept on a stand. I learned long ago that it does not work to clip your music to the stand when you have page turns! (Rips in several pages of my music books bear witness to early lapses.)
Knowing that this particular wedding was an outdoor wedding, I had taken precautions by taping my loose sheet music into stiffer file folders. Unfortunately even a file folder can’t help with a five-page piece.
I warmed up before the ceremony began, attempting to discover what angle worked best relative to the wind so that my pages had the highest probability of staying put through the prelude. Eventually I decided that it might be possible to enlist help and I walked over to two ladies who were preparing a table nearby. I shared my dilemma with them and they responded, “Oh, Kate will help you. She had been assigned to be your official harpist’s helper.” Sure enough, minutes later Kate materialized out of the blue. Not only did she hold my music to the stand, but she turned all my pages for me!
Kate, thank you so much for assisting me! And thank you to the bride and groom who were so thoughtful in arranging for a wedding harpist’s helper. You made my day.
A note for couples planning their outdoor wedding:
In general a wedding harpist doesn’t need too much help (unless the ceremony is in a location involving stairs, or other tricky logistics) but for an outdoor ceremony on a breezy day, take a cue from this couple and appoint a friend to help keep the harp music from blowing away.
Stephanie Claussen has been playing for weddings in Minneapolis & St. Paul since 2000. Consider hiring Stephanie to provide lovely harp music for your ceremony.