Vendor Spotlight- Phyllis Sparks, Harpist
Today we're taking a look at the beautiful music stylings of Nashville's own harpist, Phyllis Sparks! What made you go into the business of harp playing?
I played several other instruments and was drawn to the beauty of the harp. Once I started playing I didn’t want to stop. It became my passion. I can’t imagine doing anything else!
Do you only play weddings?
I am a full time professional harpist. My work includes playing harp for the recording sessions for the Nashville String Machine in Nashville, TN. I perform on many people’s recordings including artists such as Martina McBride, Dolly Parton, and Richard Marx. I’m featured playing Celtic harp in the major movie release “Soul Surfer” on a song called “Fire Within” sung by Natalie Rogers. As an orchestral player, I have performed with the Nashville Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony among others. I’ve been fortunate to work with artists such as Any Grant, Josh Groban, Dennis DeYoung, Kip Winger, Ray Charles, Donna Summer, and Wynonna. I played for H.R.H Prince Edward on his visit to Nashville and the wedding of Natalie Cole. Every year I play former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s Christmas Party. I simply like performing for weddings. Each experience is different and unique!
What are some of the options you offer?
I enjoy performing for rehearsal dinners, bridesmaid luncheons, receptions, corporate events and banquets. Whether it’s background music or a concert, it’s fun to play lots of different styles of music depending on the event. I often work as a solo harpist but am also available with my light classical group “HeartStrings”. It consists of a small ensemble in various combinations depending on the size of the event (harp & flute; harp & violin; harp & piano or organ; flute or violin, harp & cello trio;. My elegant pop group is called “The Dream Machine” (harp with soprano saxophone & upright bass). My music repertoire lists are available upon request for clients. I can perform on pedal harp or Celtic harp. Outside events generally require a smaller harp. My favorite harps are my 23KT gold Salvi Minerva (handmade in Italy) and my 23kt gold Venus Aria. Both provide beautiful pictures with the bride! My Celtic harp is a “firewood” maple. It has an intricate wood grain that also shows up beautifully in professional pictures. My website, phyllissparks.com, contains pictures of my different harps along with musical samples of my music.
What are the normal types of weddings or events that you play?
I consider myself to be an “all occasion” harpist for orchestras, church services, weddings, corporate events, and even funerals. There are many occasions that require an elegant touch. That is always going to be what the harp does best. I enjoy performing a variety of classical music, popular music, and light jazz.
We asked Phyllis a couple of personal questions and here's what she said:
Mac or PC? MAC
Tea or Coffee? COFFEE
iPhone or Blackberry? iphone
Favorite Song Right Now That changes daily. Favorite classical: Rachmaninov Rhapsody #18; Pop standard: When I Fall In Love (Nat King Cole) Pop: Crash & Burn (Savage Garden)-I love the positive lyrics!
Definitely someone to keep in mind when looking for something unique at your Ceremony or Reception! Check out her website for more info at phyllissparks.com.