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Virginia Schweninger, Harpist: Bio

BIO

Virginia Schweninger - Harpist

Harps of Gold Concert 2008Virginia Schweninger has been playing the harp professionally for over 35 years performing in orchestras, for weddings, in films and recording studios and for many famous entertainers.

Her CD, "Somewhere in Time" recently received a Third Place "JPF" Indy Award for "Best Solo Instrumental CD" for 2006 to 2009.

Virginia has a very busy studio with students studying both pedal and lever harp. She is Founder and Director of Harp Song of the Blue Ridge, an ensemble of harpists all of whom are her students. They are performing throughout Central Virginia.

Virginia received a BFA Degree in Harp Performance from Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri where she attended on a full scholarship from the Samuel Mosher Foundation. There she studied with acclaimed classical/jazz harpist, Mimi Allen. She later studied with Dr. Carrol McLaughlin who guided Virginia into the study of popular music and improvisation.

As an orchestral harpist she has performed with legendary entertainers Sammy Davis Jr., Tina Turner, Jerry Lewis, Melissa Manchester, Carmen Dragon, Rudy Friml, Kenny Rogers and Sandi Patty. She was Principal Harpist with the Burbank Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Monica Symphony in California.

She now enjoys performing for her brides, play solo lecture concerts, has performed as Guest Principal Harpist with the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra and the Lynchburg Symphony, as well as with ensembles, church choirs and for special events.

Virginia is a member of the American Harp Society, is on the Board of the Charlottesville Music Teachers Association, the Wednesday Music Club and is a Nelson County Master Gardener. She is a very proud member of the Nelson County Community Fund which raises funds and disburses grants to Nelson County charities.

Wedding Harpist & Special Events

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Virginia is available to provide harp music for wedding ceremonies . . . prelude music, formal processionals and postlude. She is happy to assist the bride by recommendations of musical selections and will accompany soloists if needed. Virginia works regularly with other professional musicians, and can add a flute for a little extra sparkle.

Locations where Virginia often plays for weddings includes Pharsalia Plantation, The Homestead, Pippin Hill Vineyard, King Family Vineyard, The Clifton Inn, Oakridge Estate, Wintergreen Resort, Veritas Winery, Del Fosse Winery, Farmington Country Club, Glenmore and the Boonsboro Country Club, the UVA Chapel, UVA Alumni Hall and Ash Lawn . . . to name a few.

Harp Instruction

One of her greatest joys now is teaching a relaxed and joyful approach to the harp. Providing inspiration and performance opportunities is key to helping her students gain experience and self-confidence.

Annual Christmas Concert in Nelson County

Virginia is Adjunct Harp Instructor at Sweet Briar, and is a member of the teaching staff at the Music Emporium in Charlottesville. She is the Adjunct Harp Instructor at Lynchburg College and has been a guest instructor at Randolph-Macon Women’s College. She also teaches at her home studio in Nelson County.

Her students, age 6 to 82, play the harp for a million reasons . . . to play in hospitals or for hospice; to earn a degree in music; to play for church or weddings; or simply because they’ve always wanted to the play the harp.

Finding their first harp is sometimes difficult, so Virginia has a few rental harps to get students started. She will then help them locate a harp when it's time to buy.