James Dronenburg, Harpist
Description of Services: First, a note about my harp. You will notice from the pictures that I do not have a concert harp, but rather a Celtic (Irish, Scottish, Welsh, folk) harp. Although the harp is smaller than a concert harp, the sound is large and I can “fill” a large space (including out-of-doors) easily. However, the Irish harp does not have pedals. This makes it somewhat less chromatic than the big “gilded ladies”. I have sharping levers on each string, which allows me to change keys, but highly chromatic music is sometimes impossible due to the nature of the instrument— I would find it hard to play something from the “Phantom of the Opera” score, for example, as written. However, I can adapt and simplify arrangements for most music. And my harp can be taken- and played- in conditions where a concert harpist would refuse to take their instrument. I regularly perform at outside weddings.
I normally charge $300 for a wedding. This clears my calendar for the day; I find that travel tends to be the bulk of the time spent, so within the day, the fee covers as much time as you'd like. The only time I'd charge more is if I had to make a trip on a separate day to practice with someone else-- say, a singer or another instrument. Practice on the SAME day-- no charge. The fee for a party or other event is negotiable, depending on date, time, and travel.
For myself—I can play the harp alone, or sing with it. I am both a note and an “ear” player, which means that I don’t have to have sheet music in front of me. I will cheerfully learn new music, if I judge that it is within the capability of my instrument (see above), and take on-the-spot requests. I can go without noticeable breaks for several hours, and will not repeat myself in that time unless requested to do so. For wedding ceremonies, I visit you, audition, and we select music for specific points in the ceremony. For prelude music, I usually don’t have a set order of things to do; instead, I consult with you in advance, get general guidelines as to what you want, and then choose things on the spot based on audience reaction.
My repertoire is eclectic; I have a special interest in British and American folk songs. I can play and/or sing things from the period 13th C. on, through Elizabethan, 18th C. English and American, a fair bit of Civil War, and some things from the 1900’s-1930’s. Plus all the usual “classical”instrumental pieces and some show tunes.
I live in southern Frederick County, MD. My normal travel range extends to all of the Baltimore and Washington areas, south to hunt country Virginia, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and southern Pennsylvania. I will cheerfully travel three hours each way to a performance. Intrigue me and I'll go farther.
Background: I studied voice, bel canto, 3 years under Deborah Kieffer. I held the brunch spot 1.5 years at Ireland’s Own (now Pat Troy's Restaurant) in Old Town Alexandria; was 6 years at the Catoctin Inn in Buckeystown, MD, and have done weddings and other functions throughout the tri-state area over thirty years.
AND FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: I'm also a keyboardist. I don't have a traveling keyboard but if there is a piano on your site, I can also play that at no additional charge. If you want me for the keyboard alone, the rates above apply.
For more information, please contact: email@example.com or telephone (301) 834-6515. Mailing address: 3536 Cemetery Circle, Knoxville, MD 21758
Photographs and Website Design Copyright 2022 by Daniel Weil
Samples of Music Performed by James Dronenburg