Wedding requests for harpist Lizzie
7:00am Sat Sep 05, 2015
 
A teenage harpist who was introduced to the instrument at a workshop at her school is finding herself in demand to play at weddings.
Lizzie Higgins.
Lizzie Higgins.
Lizzie Higgins, 17, of Newark, started lessons while she was in the junior department at The Minster School, Southwell.

“They organised some taster sessions and asked if anyone would like to have a go. I was interested and after the taster sessions began to have lessons,” she said.

Lizzie started with a lever harp, which is smaller and has fewer strings than the pedal harp she plays now.

She spent the first two years mastering the techniques.

She has since passed the grade seven examination with merit and is working towards grade eight thanks to private lessons with Mr Brian Wilson, of Sherwood.

Lizzie practises little and often to avoid blisters.

“It is better to build up gradually,” she said.

The strings are like keys on a piano. Harpists use both hands but not the little fingers because they are too weak.

Lizzie said she was fortunate to be bought a harp by her grandmother, Mrs Carole Divall, of Great Gonerby, because they are expensive. It is heavy so she uses a trolley to transport it but manages to fit it into the back of the family car

She said she thought not many people played the harp because it was not an instrument commonly seen.

Growing reputation



“It is difficult for people to imagine themselves playing one. It’s not something you see being played every day and harp lessons are not widely available,” she said.

Lizzie plays anything from classical to jazz and more modern pieces. She says the instrument is versatile and can be used to accompany choirs and orchestras, as well as being played solo.

She has played with the Nottingham Youth Orchestra and was asked to play in its Christmas and Easter concerts.

Lizzie played at her first wedding when she was 14. Since then her bookings have come through word of mouth and demand is growing.

She said she was sometimes asked to play during the service but was happy to play at the reception too.

“I think people like it at a drinks reception as it is nice background music,” she said.

Mr and Mrs David Lees, of Walker Close, Newark, asked her to play at their wedding at St Giles’ Church, Balderton.

Mr Lees has a Welsh family and said it was traditional in Wales to have a harp played during the service so they were pleased to find Lizzie. She played Welsh folk music and traditional hymns.

“She really made the occasion special for us and everyone said what a lovely touch it was,” Mr Lees said.

Lizzie can be contacted at lizziehiggins97 @gmail.com


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