Tag Archives: harp

Third Year Recital

As part of the performance major in the Bachelor of Music degree, third and fourth year students are required to put on a solo recital at the end of the year. Mine is in a week! If you’ve got some free time and would like to listen to harp music for a little while, feel free to come :)


When: Saturday, April 12, at 2:30pm

Where: Roy Barnett Recital Hall, UBC School of Music, 6361 Memorial Road

What: Pieces for harp by Bach, Smetana, and Debussy.

There will also be a reception afterwards. Who doesn’t like free food?

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Harp Covers

This is just a little project I’ve been working on for the last couple of months. I’ve been arranging popular music for the harp, and then recording it and putting it on YouTube. (So far I seem to be on a bit of a Zelda kick…)

My YouTube channel is here, and here’s my latest video:


(How do I have time for this? I don’t know! Probably by not practicing enough for band rehearsals…)

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Only Compete Against Yourself

Last Friday, some of my harp friends and I all played for one another.  We were playing some of our jury pieces which we’ll have to perform for marks some time in April (juries are what we call solo performance exams).  While I was listening to my two friends play, I couldn’t help but think, Holy smokes!  These guys are waaaaaay better than me! It discouraged me to see such a gap in skill between me and my friends, even though one is in the same year as me and the other is only a year ahead.  It was hard not to get depressed and think that I’ll never be a great player.

The thing that I realized though, is that our performances can’t really be compared as to who is the better harpist, and it isn’t a marker of how much either of us has learned this year.  I’ve been struggling with tendinitis since November (I still am), and that has seriously limited the time I can practice, whereas the others can practice for four hours a day.  So even though I want to practice my guts out so I can improve and play harder music and sound better and all that, I can’t – talk about frustrating! The other thing is that the other harpists have both been playing at least twice as long as I have.  That’s a big head start.

When I look back at September, I can see how far I’ve come over the last seven months or so.  I’ve come a really long way, especially when I consider the fact that I’ve be injured, too.  I am doing remarkably well, at least I think so, and I’m excited to see what I can do next year, when I’m not injured.  And the fact is, there will always be someone in the world who is better than I am.  If the only way I’ll be satisfied is to be the absolute best in the world, I’ll never be happy!  But I can be happy knowing that I’ve improved a lot and I’m giving the best performance I possibly can.  That is something to be proud of.

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Failure is a stinging slap in the face

Today was my first ever orchestra rehearsal.  I have played harp in a large ensemble before today; I started playing too late in high school to ever in be in the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra.

So naturally, I was nervous.  Very nervous.  After all, I’m a total newbie playing with people who are practically professionals, at least compared to me. I could feel my heart rate increase dramatically as the conductor stepped onto his podium, and the rehearsal went downhill from there.

I missed nearly all my entrances. I lost count countless times.  I’ve only had the part for two weeks, and since my hands are still a little injured I can only practice so much every day, and in trying to prepare my solo pieces as well, the orchestra part I got wasn’t quite learned for today.  Mostly, but not quite.  Well, it turns out that all the parts I can do really well are buried under mountains of double bass and brass, while the parts I’m not sure about are pretty much solos.  And all of them I screwed up today.

*head desk*

I felt so awful.  Embarrassed.  Ashamed. I should be better than this!

I know, I know.  There’s still an entire month til the performance (which is at 8 pm in the Chan on March 31, if anyone wants to come), and I’ll have it learned by then. I hope.  It was my first rehearsal ever, it’s okay, yadda yadda…

I just feel like I let myself down.  And that is much worse than anyone else.


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