• Emily and her harp

    July 16, 2015

    It has been a few months since I last blogged and I do apologize but I’m back on the blogging train so don’t worry! For this post, I would like to feature the lovely Emily Barnes.There really is something to be said about hearing any kind of instrument live but the way Emily plays her harp is really something special. Even on a high quality set of speakers, nothing beats hearing a musician play their instrument live. The sound of Emily’s harp fills the room with clarity and the sound almost surrounds you. Her harp is a beautiful instrument and the sound she creates with it is incredible.

    Emily is a Las Vegas harpist and you can learn more about her by reading the interview below and by checking out her website: http://www.harpbyemily.com/


    Enjoy the interview and her portraits!

    • Tell a little bit about what you do

    I’m a harpist in Las Vegas, NV. I play at weddings and events throughout the Vegas valley, as well as symphony and chamber music performances. Every day is different, but a typical day always includes practicing, usually a rehearsal with other musicians, and often a wedding or other performance event. More unique occasions might be working with a composer on a new piece of music for harp, assisting in a recording, or playing in a show on the strip.

    studio harpist portrait

    • What inspired you to start doing what you do?

    Believe it or not, my inspiration came from the Excalibur casino when I was five years old. My Mom took me to the grand opening, and they had a harpist playing and singing. We never did find out who the harpist was, but she piqued my interest enough that I eventually started taking lessons. Over the years I have had the good fortune to study with excellent harpists, and their support and motivation has led me to where I am now.


    las vegas harpist emily barnes

    • What do you feel is the biggest appeal of what you do?

    The harp is such a beautiful instrument, I think it really takes center stage as the main appeal. It has a way of captivating people’s attention before the music even starts. People tell me all the time that they had never seen a harp up close before, and I love being able to show them around the instrument—all the mechanisms and how it functions. In addition to looking lovely, it produces a gorgeous sound, which definitely plays a role in its appeal. I love watching people’s heads turn as they realize I’m playing Stairway to Heaven on the harp.

    emily barnes harpist in las vegas

    What sets you apart from your competition?

    I played at my first wedding in Las Vegas when I was 11 years old and have been actively freelancing since then. There are few locations in the city that I am not familiar with, but more importantly I have a great sense for what the customer is looking for. In addition to my experience as a gig harpist, I studied classical harp at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. This unique combination of a classical background mixed with practical experience makes me a versatile harpist, always able to meet the request of clients.

    las vegas harp player portrait harpist emily barnes

    • What do your customers expect from you?

    Beautiful music! I provide a song request form for clients to use if they have specific songs or themes in mind. Otherwise, my typical song list is a mix of familiar classical and pop tunes. I always dress to fit the occasion, usually in a long gown but sometimes a specific outfit is requested. It takes about 15 minutes to set up the harp, so with that in mind I arrive at least 30 minutes early to account for any unforeseen obstacles. All in all, my clients can always expect a very professional experience, complete with beautiful music and a beautiful instrument.


    las vegas harpist harp player portrait emily barnes

    • What are you most proud of with what you do?

    I love working with brides to plan the music for their wedding. It’s a wonderful experience for me to play a part in such a special occasion, and as a former bride, I do my best to make the music planning as easy as possible.

    Thanks for reading! If you’re curious about event rates, harp lessons, or other harp related inquiries, please contact me at harp.by.emily@gmail.com or visit my website www.harpbyemily.com.


    las vegas harpist portrait emil barnes harp player





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