I’ve been playing the harp since I was ten years old.
I first fell in love with the harp shortly after I changed school and met my new piano teacher, as it so happened that she was also a harpist. Her beautiful golden harp sat in the middle of the room, and each week I stepped past it as I took my seat at the piano.
Some of my school friends were learning the harp and I would sit with them as they practiced in break times. They taught me a couple of tunes and then a plan was cooked up to get my parents to agree to some more music lessons….
Fast forward through… playing my first professional gig aged 13 covering a wedding for my teacher, regular evenings doing corporate gigs after school to help pay for my harp and working in a supermarket at the weekend to earn money to buy my first motorbike, then giving up the harp when I was 18 to in order to study physics at university because I didn’t just want to be known as that girl who plays the harp, and I really was fed up of getting shouted at by conductors….
Keep going to… when I started up again aged 30 because I needed something safer and cheaper to do with my spare time than race motorbikes for fun (note to self – harps are much more expensive than motorbikes and I still managed to injure myself!)….
And here we are today, where the harp is just a small but unique part of my identity that gives me a way to share really beautiful music with other people, and to tell stories about my life.
People still know me as that girl who plays the harp, but these days they also know me as that girl who likes running, or that girl with the greyhounds.
I studied at Trinity College of Music in London and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.
As well as the usual range of concert halls and fancy hotels, I’ve been lucky enough to play my harp in places like:
- a jazz open mic at a former brandy distillery in the Netherlands that looked like the inside of the Black Pearl
- a wedding in a Norman castle in Essex where my dad and I carried the harp up many, many, many spiral staircases
- improvising with a DJ in a warehouse in Liverpool for a live dance performance/ life drawing session
- a children’s night-time cycle ride that stopped for a musical interlude at a school playground in Bearsden
- busking outside Shakespeare’s birthplace as a teenager growing up in Stratford-upon-Avon
My favourite music ranges from Debussy to Aphex Twin to the Spice Girls to St Etienne to Stravinsky to Kylie to Beethoven to Erasure to Gershwin to The Doors.
When I’m not playing my harp, you’ll find me running in the hills near where I live in Glasgow, or hanging out with my graceful retired elderly lady greyhound Wendy.
I'm partial to a G'n'T or a Corryvreckan, or failing that a large mug of Lady Grey.
My last meal on this earth would be pepperoni pizza washed down with plenty of red wine and posh crisps, and my favourite song constantly changes from Soul Kitchen by The Doors to Don't Stop Movin' by S Club 7.