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Virginia Schweninger, Harpist: Bio


Virginia Schweninger - Harpist


Virginia Schweninger has been playing the harp professionally for over 35 years performing in orchestras, for weddings, in films at charitable events and in the recording studio. Her CD, "Somewhere in Time" recently received a Third Place "JPF" Indy Award for "Best Solo Instrumental CD" for 2006 to 2009.

Virginia at Omni Hotel, Charlottesville

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 have performing throughout Central Virginia. A fifth "Harps of Gold Concert" is being planned for the near future.

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.

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 for eight years sat on the board of the Nelson County Community Fund which raises funds and disburses grants to Nelson County charities.

Wedding Harpist & Special Events


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 selectionsand will accompany soloists if needed. Virginia works regularly with other musicians and can add a flute or violin 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 Camp Virginia

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.

This summer, Virginia will direct the fourth "Harp Camp Virginia" which takes place at the Acorn Inn in Nellysford, VA. Here, harpists will gather again this summer from July 8th through the 12th for the workshops, ensemble rehearsals, private lessons and the country life!

Previously Virginia enjoyed her work as Adjunct Harp Instructor at Sweet Briar College and Lynchburg College. She exclusively teaches Harp at the Music Emporium in Charlottesville, and has a very busy harp studio at her home in Nelson County in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Her students, age 6 to 82, play the harp for a million reasons . . . to play in hospitals or for hospice; to prepare for college, or to earn a degree in music. Many play at church, private events and 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 make a purchase.