With a set list of over 400 songs, Shelley's wide-ranging repertoire and refreshing approach to the harp offer versatility in planning weddings & events. Whether you want Bach, Beatles, wedding classics, Celtic dances, Latin American tunes, or jazz improvisation, Shelley plays it all, and her gentle manner will make you feel at ease. With nearly ten years professional experience, Shelley has performed at weddings, business functions, coffeehouses and concerts throughout New England, France, and South America.
Love the harp but want something more? Shelley plays piano & organ, and collaborates with a network of musicians who can mix the harp with violin, cello, flute, bass, or percussion.
Shelley was very helpful. Met with us a few times over the phone, even playing some songs to help us decide. Our ceremony started late but it was really nice to have her playing for our guests while we all waited. Her playing was a perfect touch to the day!
Guests all enjoyed Shelly’s harp music. I enjoyed it so much, I had her and the percussionist stay an extra hour. If you are looking for professionals, do yourself the favor and hire Shelly. You will be amazed at how much people enjoy having such beautiful music during cocktail hour and through dinner.
Shelley has been exceptionally accomodating to our needs. Very talented, professional and my fiance and I are looking forward to our ceremony where we are confident she will impress our guests.
Shelly's playing added a special note to our retirement reception (which usually has piped-in music). Many commented on this and noted they would very much enjoy having a performer such as Shelley at other College events.
Played for my mom's celebration of life and I couldn't be happier. Played my mom's favorite songs even though I wouldn't think they were traditional harpist hymns. Arrived on time and played until we were all gone. Great warm caring person. Very happy 😊
Shelley was wonderful and very professional. My guests raved about her. She has a lovely voice. Highly recommend. I will be checking checking her availability for next year.
Shelley performed a full two hours of lovely soft selections. She provided a truly beautiful and relaxing backdrop to a retirement reception held at one of the busiest hospitals in the world. Almost all of the guests were stopping by between serious, and often stressful, medical responsibilities Many, many guests expressed appreciation to us for the calming musical interlude that Shelley had provided.
I can't recommend Shelley and her percussionist enough. The music was enchanting. They would be the perfect act to have at a cocktail party, shower or at the start of a wedding reception. Everyone was thoroughly impressed and loved it!
Shelley was a wonderful addition to our nonprofit's spring fundraiser. She played a fantastic assortment of songs and was flexible with little tweaks in our schedule. Thank you!
We used Shelley for our wedding at the Biltmore in Providence and she was wonderful! I think having a harpist made the ceremony extra unique and elegant :). Shelley provided great professional service and beautiful music! She also provided mics for my officiant and Spanish interpreter which was super helpful.
On 11.06.16 Shelley performed at our wedding ceremony in Brookfield, MA
We found her through GigSalad and were immediately impressed with her thorough communication, friendliness, ease with working with us to show what she was capable of, her repertoire, suggestions, along with being completely flexible with our requests. She set us up with an online meeting (Google Hangout) and demonstrated her very impressive skills.
At the wedding she arrived, started exactly when she stated she would and played beautifully to everyone's delight.
I highly recommend Shelley Otis to anyone looking for a talented harpist (traditional or contemporary style) who is a very accommodating.
- Carl & Debbie
Shelley was fantastic at our open house. She payed a wide range of music that was the perfect back ground for the event. I will definitely use her again.
Ms Otis with her "tour of the harp" along with her lilting folk-like voice charmed the audience with a variety of pieces. At the reception following her performance several people approached me to ask her to return.
Shelley was the harpist for my October 2, 2011 wedding in Old Saybrook, CT. She is a truly a gifted harpist and I would HIGHLY recommend her! I received so many compliments on her from my guests. She is professional and such a pleasure to work with. Her music before, during, and after our ceremony was beautiful!!!
Price Range: $250-$500
Languages: English, Spanish
What to Expect
If you are looking to book music for a private event, at any time you can set up a meeting with me in person or via FaceTime to go over music options and see if my music is the right fit for your event.
Once you book, I ask for a deposit to hold the date, and will send you a form to fill out with all the basic event information. From there, I'll write up a performance agreement.
Whether you are booking a wedding, private event, or public performance, I am committed to finding just the right music for your event!
As a performer and arranger for the harp, Shelley plays covers of new releases, jazz standards, traditional Celtic tunes, and original compositions. She has been featured in concerts both as a soloist and with the Celtic band Ulster Landing, and provides music at more than 90 private events per year. She has also traveled in Mexico, Chile, and Ecuador, interviewing and collaborating with harpists from the arpa llanera tradition.
Shelley discovered the lever harp after graduating with a degree in classical piano performance from Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. After years of classical study, she discovered the incredibly rich world of folk music, developed a love for jazz and blues, and found her musical voice on the harp. To round out her harp education, Shelley has studied with teachers of various harp traditions, including Julia Jamieson (classical), Maeve Gilchrist (celtic/jazz), Grainne Hambly (Irish), Sunita Staneslow (Jewish/world), and Nicholas Castenada (Columbian harp).
Highlight of performances
Music Haven - Schenectady NY
AS220 - Providence, RI
Evohe - St. Etienne, France
Boston Early Music Festival - Boston, MA
Westin Hotel - Cancun, Mexico
Boston Recorder Society Concert Series - Boston, MA
Ritz Carlton - San Juan, Puerto Rico
South Shore Folk Music Club - Kingston, MA
Joe Davies Concert Series - Middleboro, MA
over 90 private events per year
Awards and Achievements
Maintains a 5-star rating on Gigmasters, WeddingWire, and the Knot
Bride’s Choice award recipient from Wedding Wire five years in a row (2012-2017)
Best of Gigmasters Award award recipient five years in a row (2012-2017)
Additional Booking Notes
A lot of people ask if the harp can be played outside. Yes! I have a battery-powered amplifier that will help the sound carry. I can also play on the beach as long as I can put down a cloth to protect the harp from the sand. The only place I can't play is outside in the rain or snow!
I play over 400 songs from a variety of musical genres including popular, jazz, blues, classical, Celtic, international folk, and original compositions. If the song you want is not something I already play, I enjoy adapting any kind of music to the harp!
All of Me (John Legend)
Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
I'm Yours (Jason Mraz)
Ho Hey (The Lumineers)
Going to California (Led Zeppelin)
First Day (Bright Eyes)
Marry You (Bruno Mars)
You Look Beautiful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
Beautiful Disaster (311)
Rockin’ Me Baby (Steve Miller Band)
You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban)
Ruby Tuesday (Rolling Stones)
Here Comes the Sun (Beatles)
Funky Town (Lipps Inc.)
I Will (Beatles)
When You Wish Upon a Star (Disney)
Sea of Love (Phil Phillips)
Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper)
Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis)
Fields of Barley (Sting)
Love Will Keep Us Alive (Eagles)
Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
I Knew I Loved You (Savage Garden)
Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
Grow Old With Me (John Lennon)
Wouldn’t it Be Nice (Beach Boys)
If (David Gates)
Kiss the Girl (from the Little Mermaid)
White Flag (Dido)
Moon River (Henri Mancini)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (IZ and original versions)
If I Were a Carpenter (Tim Hardin)
Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell)
Last Dance (Sarah McLachlan)
Alleluia (Leonard Cohen)
Spanish Harlem (Leiber & Spector)
Hawiian Wedding Song (Charles E. King)
Wipe Out (Surfaris)
All you Need is Love (Beatles)
Come Go With Me (Del Vikings)
Labamba (Ritchie Valens)
Paint it Black (Rolling Stones)
Power of Two (Indigo Girls)
Angel (Sarah McLachlan)
Walk With You (Edwin McCain)
My Girl (The Temptations)
Love Story (Taylor Swift)
I Do (Colbie Caillat)
Classical, Renaissance, Medieval Songs:
Canon in D (J. Pachelbel) Click to listen
Trumpet Voluntary (J. Clarke) Click to listen
Ode to Joy (Ludwig v. Beethoven)
Joy (Francis Cutting, live recording) Click to listen
Alman (Thomas Morley) Click to listen
Bransle (Pierre Attagnant)
Prelude in C (Johann Sebatian Bach) Click to listen
Jesu Joy (Johann Sebastian Bach)
Gymnopedies (Erik Satie)
Jazz/Blues/30′s & 40′s
In the Mood (Glenn Miller)
Linus & Lucy (Vince Guaraldi)
Peace Piece (Bill Evans, live recording)
New Blues (Deborah Henson-Conant, live recording)
Jazzy Joy (Beethoven, arr. Shelley Otis)
Shah Jahan (Paul Horn, arr. S. Tapper)
Song for Deborah (Steve Tapper)
La Vie en Rose (Edith Piaf)
Blue Moon (Richard Rogers & Lorenz Hart)
‘Bout Time (Louis Armstrong)
St. Kilda Wedding March (Trad. Scottish) Click to listen
Mairie’s Wedding (Trad. Scottish)
Wexford Carol (trad. Irish, with Dan Meyers and Karen Burciaga)
King of Laois (Trad. Irish)
Gartan Mother’s Lullabye (trad. Irish, with Dan Meyers and Karen Burciaga)
I Gave My Love (Trad. American)
Down by the Sally Gardens (Trad. Irish)
Skye Boat Song (Trad. Scottish)
Be Thou My Vision (Irish Hymn)
Eleanor Plunkett (Trad. Irish)
She Moved Through the Fair (Trad. Irish) Click to listen
Fanny Power (Trad. Irish)
Sharon Shannon Reel (Contemporary Irish) Click to listen
Wild Mountain Thyme (Trad. Celtic)
Chacacera (Trad. South American)
Carnavalito (Trad. South American, live recording)
Joropo (Trad. South American, live recording)
Llegada (Trad. South American)
La Feria de las Flores (Chucho Monge)
Pata Pata (Miriam Makeba)
Erev Shel Shoshanim (Trad. Jewish)
Tum Balalaika (Trad. Jewish)
Omal (Greek Dance)
Mo Li Hua (Trad. Chinese)
Bamboo Flute (Trad. Chinese)
I bring my own sound system and have a battery option if there is no access to electricity. I can also bring my own chair. I'm basically self-sufficient...I just need a place to put my harp so I can make music for you!
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