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Harpists

Harpist Marissa Knaub

Harpist Marissa Knaub

See Marissa play "Jesu, Joy Of Mans Desiring" by Bach

See Marissa play "All I Ask Of  You"

The Harp may be the most elegant of all instruments. Visually stunning it creates an impact simply by sitting there but combine that with the "heavenly" music it produces and you can see why it is so often depicted being played by angels. The Harp does have a fairly wide range of repertoire which can include Classical music, Religious standards, Popular favorites, and a few special "harp" pieces.

The standard Wedding Ceremony performance includes 20-30 minutes of Prelude music, plus the Processional, selections during the service, the Recessional, and one or two Postlude pieces. It does very well in a Ceremony setting because people are quieter than they are at a Reception. Although it is primarily a solo instrument we have successfully matched the Harp with Flute or Violin. The Harp may also be able to accompany a Vocalist on a very limited basis and often there is an extra charge for a separate rehearsal or for an early arrival for a Pre-ceremony run through.

The Harp can also be quite an attraction at a Reception, Banquet, or Party where guests can get up close to the instrument and be totally amazed at the dexterity and precision of the performers fingers dancing across the strings. Having a chance to talk with the Harpist and make requests is also very appealing to many guests. We have not, however, perfected the Strolling Harp, so if a move from location to location or even room to room is needed make sure you allow adequate time between it takes to move such a large instrument and it needs time to resettle and touch up the tuning. Some harpists do carry amplification which can be helpful in a very large room and/or for a large number of people. We have also been able to amplify the Harp with microphone into the House PA system.

There are only a few harpists with whom we work at all and two who do almost all of our performances. They are fine players and very experienced having done hundreds of Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions, Private Parties, and Corporate and Special Events of all kinds. They have the talent, experience, and professionalism to make your Special Event ... Extraordinary.

                                              Harpist Beth Pifer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harpist Beth Pifer

 

Trumpets

The Trumpet makes for a "Grand Entrance" and "Grand Exit". It certainly gets everyone's attention in a way other instruments simply can't. For Weddings it works best for the Processional (Bride and/or Bridesmaids entrance) and the Recessional (Groom and Bride's exit). You may also wish to use the Trumpet for a Prelude song or two before the service or even during the service itself. The most popular accompaniment for a Trumpet is an Organ, Piano/Keyboards, or String Ensemble. In a perfect world the String Quartet (or Quintet) would be the best group to match up to the volume the Horn makes. We have done it successfully with a String Trio and even a String Duo. Everyone adjusts their playing to fit the situation and it turns outs fine.

                                                      Trumpeter Stephen McGough

                                                               Stephen McGough

You may not have noticed this but there are actually 3 different horns which can be used for a Wedding Ceremony performance. The Piccolo Trumpet is a slightly smaller version which has a higher crisper pitch and is the horn for which the most famous horn processional, the Trumpet Voluntary, is written. It is more difficult to play well but the results are brilliant. The standard Trumpet or Cornet gives a broader warmer sound but still stirs the soul with its brassy magnificence. All of the most popular horn pieces can be done on this instrument.

                                                                            Resounding Brass
The Herald Trumpet or Long trumpet is the horn most associated with the Robin Hood-era royalty . Whenever it was played it meant that something of importance was about to happen. Beautiful sound but more for show you would want to make this/these player(s) visible to the crowd for that eye-popping look. Some of these performers even have costumes that will help fit that Renaissance theme.

Bagpipes

Having a Piper as part of your day event makes for a dramatic impression. Used mostly for a Wedding ceremony, Pipers can be part of any or all of the following -

15-20 minutes of Prelude music as the guests arrive. Usually outside of the Church/Ceremony location.
Lead the Groom's Processional
Lead the Bridesmaids Processional
Lead the Bride's Processional
Lead the Bride and Groom Recessional back up the aisle after the service concludes.
Play 10-15 minutes of Postlude music as the guests depart.

Full traditional attire
Irish, Scottish, and American music available.

Piper George Balderose


George Balderose, a piper with over twenty-five years of performing experience, plays Scottish and Irish pipe music, as well as hymns, on the Great Highland Bagpipe and various types of other pipes from Ireland and Scotland. He has played for wedding services and special events at many of Pittsburgh's churches.

During the 1990's he performed as a soloist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, at the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, and four times as a guest artist in concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony at Heinz Hall. He has also appeared in concert with Tom Chapin and John McCutcheon, The River City Brass Band, 'Brigadoon' with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and others. A New York Times reviewer described George as having a "virtuoso's gift" and in the words of another he is a "virtuosic piper".
In 1978 George founded and continues to instruct and serve as Director of the Balmoral Schools of Highland Piping, a non-profit corporation that produces educational sessions at four to five Universities across the USA and which serve over 250 students each summer. Since 1989 he has been a member of the Pennsylvania Governor's Heritage Affairs Commission's Traditional and Ethnic Arts Touring Program.

 

Piper Bill Fife

 

Pianists

We offer an amazing variety of Pianists and Keyboardists for all types of events.  John Garrick (see Keystring Duo), Jack Nicolette, Craig Zinger, Lee Alverson, Dave Faith, John Burgh, and David Crisci are a few of the highly qualified professional performers we represent.  Some specialize in certain styles while others do a broad repertoire from Classical to Jazz.  Let us know if there is a certain style of music you want to emphasize and we will select the best person available for your needs.

Yes,  all of our pianists have electronic keyboards and sound systems so we can perform anywhere there is a power outlet.

Many of our people can also add other musicians to make a Duo, Trio, or larger group for listening or dancing.  Adding a Female Vocalist, a Violin, Sax and Bass can increase the impact of the music exponentially.  However, if all you want is some light background music then that is what we'll provide.