Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of harp does Ruth bring to an engagement?
I play on a gold Wurlitzer concert harp built in Chicago between 1920 and 1930. It is one of my cherished instruments and is rumoured to have once been owned by Harpo Marx!
What type of music does Ruth play and what lends itself well to the harp?
The harp is a very versatile instrument and I have an extensive repertoire that has built up over the years. It comprises of classical, light classical, film music, songs, musicals and some world music.
Please let me know if you would like me to email you a current list, it is updating all the time.
I see that you play regularly in the West End at "Phantom of the Opera", that's impressive, but how will you come and perform for me, do you have to get cover on these occasions?
Yes that is correct. I have a very reliable team of harpists that are delighted to stand in for me at the show. They are called deputies. If I get an enquiry to do another engagement, I pre book them and when my wedding or function is definite, I confirm their booking too. Simple. I like to generate work for other harpists.
How much performance space does Ruth need?
A harpist is suprisingly compact and can play in a space only approximately 1 x 1.5 metres.
Which areas will Ruth travel to?
I am specialising in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire however I will travel to the home counties and London.
How long will Ruth play for?
A function or birthday party would normally be a 3 hour booking which allows enough time for arrival drinks and lunch/dinner.
A typical wedding is made up of 3 sections: a ceremony ( up to 1 hour), drinks reception ( up to 2 hours) and wedding breakfast ( up to 2 hours)If a booking comprises of all 3 sections, the total duration will be 4 and a half to 5 hours maximum.
Does Ruth need to take breaks?
Yes. I usually take a break after 50 minutes to 1 hour of continuous playing. I will always try to take a break at the end of the ceremony and before I begin the drinks or between the drinks and the meal.
After a wedding ceremony would Ruth be able to move to a second venue or move to a different room at the first venue?
A split venue can be tricky but not impossible. A client would need to take in to consideration the time it takes to pack away, loading of the harp back in to the car, and arrival and setting up again at the next venue. I do make an additional charge for this.
If the harp needs to be moved within a venue this is not a problem. I simply strap the harp to my trolley and wheel it to wherever it is required.
Does Ruth play outside?
I enjoy playing outside, weather permitting and the sound of the harp carries well. I always make every effort to do so but ask my clients to consider the following:
The harp must not be placed in direct sunlight so I would require a shaded area in which to play. Clients sometimes provide a small gazebo or awning for me to play beneath.
In the event of rain or drizzle I regret that I would not be able to play outside and on particularly windy days this will not be possible due to music and my music stand blowing away.
At what time will Ruth arrive at my venue on the day of my event?
I arrive at least 1 hour before I am due to play. This allows me plenty of time to set up, change in to my performance clothes and make contact with you and/or your event management team.
What happens if Ruth is ill or injured on the day and unable to play at my event?
This is highly unlikely however in the event of illness or injury I would always notify you immediately to make you aware of the situation and make sure I found a colleague to cover for me. I work closely with other fantastic harpists that are also my friends and perform to the high standard I provide.
What does Ruth wear?
I have an extensive selection of cocktail dresses, coloured evening wear and glamorous black.
I would like a song or a piece of music at my wedding or function that is not on Ruth's repertoire list, is this possible?
Yes it often is. Let me know what the piece is and I will make every effort to learn something new provided it lends itself well to the harp. I do not make any charge for this service as I view it as helping me broaden my repertoire. I would need adequate notice for this please.
How do we make a booking with Ruth?
Please contact me with your enquiry here and I will respond with availability and my fee. Remember to include as much information as possible. If you would like to make a definite booking with me I will then ask for a deposit and the date is then confirmed!
What does Ruth require on the day the event at the venue?
Nothing really, I am very easy to please. Some water would be nice. I also may need a little help with the harp if there are numerous steps at a venue. I can manage a few steps by myself.