|Private Event Information
|"You were a pure professional.
Every detail was perfect. I've
received so many compliments
on the music you provided."
How to Book Marguerite for an Event:
All dates are booked on a first-come first-served basis. No dates will be held without a signed contract and deposit.
Simply inquiring if your date is available does NOT hold the date for you
1. Inquire if your date is available. Prime dates fill quickly, so do this as soon as possible, especially if your event is
taking place during the summer months or on a holiday.The prices listed on this site are guidelines only. Please
contact me for an exact quote for your event.
2. Request that a contract be mailed to you.
3. Return the contract, along with your deposit. The deposit is 50% of the contracted fee. If you do not return the
contract and deposit, the agreement is cancelled, and your date will be opened to other bookings.
4. Once I have received the signed contract and your deposit, the date and time is booked for you.
5. For wedding ceremonies, make an appointment for your consultation to select the music to be performed.
Why hire a Professional Musician?
On the day of your special event or wedding, every aspect needs to run as smooth as possible. When you hire a
professional to provide music, you can expect the highest quality of professionalism and performance. While I
welcome performing with a family member or friend for a special piece, I would not recommend using students or
amateurs for an important event. While there are many highly talented students available to play at private events,
they do not possess the years of experience that a professional musician will have. You may end up saving a few
dollars, but there is a major difference in the quality of performer you will receive. A professional musician makes
your day run more smoothly by providing their expertise and services. You can relax and be confident that the
professionals you have hired can adjust to your specific circumstances and provide you an excellent value.
When you hire me as your professional wedding musician you can expect:
A large and diverse repertoire. I have a long list of repertoire in many different styles - not just classical. For a
wedding ceremony, you can choose both traditional and non-traditional musical selections. The music chosen for
your wedding is a direct reflection of your personality, and I can guide your selections with several options that will
enhance your ceremony. You can browse my repertoire page for a partial list of the music I regularly play and to
hear music samples.
Special Requests. You should never be forced to pick songs only from a musician's pre-determined list. While my
repertoire is already large (over 3000 selections), I am constantly adding to it. Many of the new songs I learn are
from a client's special request. Just ask, and I will be happy to advise if your favorite song can be played on the
harp! There are no additional fees for special requests even if I need to arrange the music for the harp. All that is
needed is for you to supply me with piano or harp sheet music if the song is not already in my music library.
A personal consultation to select your wedding ceremony music. This allows you to meet me, and for me to
get to know your musical preferences and style. During your consultation, you will be able to hear a wide variety of
music, and pick your favorites. You get to hear exactly what the music will sound like before the big day, and with
my professional guidance you can make confident selections. In-person consultations are best, but they can be done
over the phone or through email if necessary.
Back-up equipment. Unfortunately, things can go wrong. A professional musician should have a back-up for
every piece of equipment they use. I have extra harps, amplifiers, music binders, music stands, and benches. The
last thing you should be worried about on your wedding day is your musician's instrument being damaged and
unplayable right before the ceremony. If a disaster like this happens, a professional musician has a back-up. You
and your guests should never know!
Familiarity with venues, vendors, and traditions. I have performed at many different venues throughout the
Midwest and have worked with hundreds of other wedding vendors. With this knowledge, I can advise you on
selecting other people to assist with your wedding and on the best way to incorporate the harp into the location you
have selected. I have experience with many different kinds of wedding ceremonies, and can help you plan the
service, whether you are having a full Catholic Mass or an intimate ceremony in your backyard performed by a
justice of the peace.
Professional appearance. I arrive at every event dressed professionally and at the appropriate level of formality.
Music Coordination I work with a group of professional chamber musicians regularly for weddings and private
events. By using the musicians that I perform with regularly, the performance will be of a higher quality. I am able
to arrange music for the specific ensemble that you select. Please inquire about what ensembles I would suggest
for your event. Examples of other musicians I work with include flute, violin, cello, clarinet, viola, harp (harp
ensembles) and Irish fiddle.
Amplification. You should be able to hear the music you are paying for, and for some events, this means that the
harp must be amplified. For wedding ceremonies, it is usually not necessary, as people are generally quiet and
paying attention to the music. When the harp is providing background music for a reception or other event, it needs
amplification. I have a harp that is a completely electric instrument, meaning that I can literally just plug an amp into
it and play. No microphone stands, no feedback, no unsightly and cumbersome soundboard or speakers. I have a
larger amplifier for indoor events, and a smaller amplifier that is battery-powered for outdoor events. There is never
an extra charge for providing my amplification systems.
Clear pricing. When you receive a quote from me, it always includes performance, travel, and any miscellaneous
charges specific to your event. This site also lists general pricing guidelines, so you can get an idea of what my
services cost. This should help you make an informed decision about the musicians for your event and your budget.
Public performances. You should be able to hear any musician you are considering booking. Sound clips on a
website are good if you are planning long-distance, but it does not replace hearing a live performance. I perform
regularly in various locations around Chicago, IL. I am also happy to meet you in my home studio, so please call or
email me to set up a private appointment.
Dedication to your event. I truly enjoy playing for weddings and private events. I believe that music can really
add the final touch to important events and love being involved with putting together a polished event.
A contract. Once you have made the decision to book, I will send you a contract in the mail. Returning it within
with your deposit books the date. A contract outlines the responsibilities and requirements of both parties, and
ensures that there are no miscommunications or misunderstandings.
Formal Education. I have been studying music since I was 5 years old and old enough to begin reading music. I
have several degrees in harp performance including a Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree and Performers
Certificate. I also hold a Business Certificate which has enabled me to not only be a performing harpist, but also an
excellent booking agent.
I am a professional full-time harpist in Chicago, IL performing at a wide variety of events and concerts. I perform
regularly in Illinois, Georgia, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Colorado as well as special engagements in
other locations. As a dedicated teacher, I have a private harp studio and have previously taught at the People's Music
School, the University of Chicago, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and was on faculty at the Frost School
of Music, University of Miami from 2006-2008. I am the co-founder of C.H.I, the Chicago Harp Institute with the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Principal Harpist, Sarah Bullen. It is my desire to pass on my gift for the harp to eager
young students, and to help adult students realize their potential and further their enjoyment of the instrument.
Having performed professionally as a harpist for over 13 years, my base of clients is extensive. I travel across the
Chicago area for engagements. For your convenience, I have over 50 sound samples on this website for you to listen
to. I have a current listing of upcoming performances listed on my site, please be sure to come see me play and don't
be afraid to ask me questions or request a special song!
The last thing you want to think about during your wedding or private party is telling the musicians when, how, or
what to play. I represent the most professional presentation of harp playing and am willing to work diligently with my
clients to make sure every possible detail is arranged prior to your event. I pride myself on customizing music for
wedding and commitment ceremonies to fit the style of the wedding as well as the couple's personal tastes. My
repertoire is vast, and I am always looking for new music to add to it through the special requests of my clients.
As one of Illinois' most recognized harpists by the American Harp Society as well as the World Harp Congress, I am
under great demand as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral principal harpist, as well as for private events and
functions. With over 13 years of experience as a professional freelance harpist, I have extensive experience that will
ensure your event is musically perfect.
The harp is the perfect instrument for weddings and private events. Its versatility enables it to be the most delicate
and romantic sound and at the same time it is possible to play upbeat jazz standards! I specialize not only in classical
music, but also in Jazz, Celtic, popular, and chamber music.
While the harp is most often played alone as a solo instrument, it also makes a beautiful ensemble with flute, violin,
cello, voice, and other instruments. I work with a group of top professional musicians in Chicago including musicians
from major performing ensembles in the Chicago area. I would be happy to inquire about their availability if you are
interested in an ensemble.
I have been involved with music almost my entire life, first starting on the piano and later switching to the harp. A lot
of people ask me how I got into playing the harp. My story has two sides: First, I was a little girl dancing in the
Nutcracker Ballet for many years and always seeing the beautiful harp lady down in the orchestra pit. Something
about her (maybe the big solo in the Waltz of the Flowers) attracted me and I instantly wanted to play the instrument.
The second side of the story involves my mother: When she was growing up, she knew some girls who played the
harp. Since her family could not afford the instrument she took piano lessons and grew up to be a very fine musician.
When her mother passed away, money was left in the will to buy her harp. My parents took me and my two sisters
to the American Harp Society's National conference to pick out an instrument with the full understanding that we
would all try it, and if we did not like it the instrument would be sold. From the minute the harp was uncrated and
brought into our dining room, I fell in love with the instrument. Unlike most kids who need to be reminded to practice
an instrument, my parents actually had to request that I stop practicing to do things like eat dinner with the family!
Since that time, I've been devoting my life to the harp. I moved to New York to attend music school where I received
a Bachelor's Degree, and Performer's Certificate while at the same time studying and receiving a Business Certificate
and Arts Leadership Certificate. After completely these degrees, I moved to Chicago for my Master's Degree
studying with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's principal harpist Sarah Bullen. After school I joined the ranks of the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, working in the administrative offices of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and at the
same time developing myself as a professional Chicago harpist and teacher. Recent performances include concerts
with the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Civic Orchestra, private events with Josh Groban and
a tour to Carnegie Hall with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim. I have recently been appointed
Principal Harpist of the Colorado Music Festival where I will be in residence performing for six weeks in the summer.
I was also named the Principal Harpist of the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida.
|Other Useful Information:
|Marguerite Lynn Williams
Chicago Harpist ~ Marguerite Lynn Williams
~ Professional musician in Chicago, IL~
Providing elegant harp music for wedding ceremonies and special events.
Harp Lessons, party entertainment, classical, jazz, Celtic and chamber music.