About Kari Gardner - HarpistKari Gardner is a talented professional harpist who performs primarily in the greater Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI areas. Her amazingly extensive repertoire includes a broad range of styles, for example: classical (from Medieval and Renaissance to French Romantic and Contemporary), Celtic, Christian, Jewish, Chinese, Broadway, and popular (from the Phantom of the Opera to Enya, and from Sinatra to Metallica). She has had the pleasure of arranging music for the harp specifically to suit her client's requests. Some examples include Indian Bollywood movie music, 80's metal, current R&B hits, and Romanian hymns. For December events she can perform a mix of Christmas, Hanukkah, and secular seasonal music in order to be inclusive of all of your attendees, or narrow her repertoire to one category to suit your specific tastes.
Background: Kari began studying music at the age of 2 1/2, starting with violin. By the age of 11 she was also taking harp and piano lessons. She went on to complete both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in harp performance from Northwestern University, where she studied under Elizabeth Cifani, Lyric Opera principal harpist. Other teachers include Minnesota Orchestra Principal Harpists Joan Mainzer (retired) and Kathy Kienzle (current).
Experience: Kari has been freelancing part-time since she was in highschool and full time since obtained her Master's degree in 1996. She has performed as principal harpist for many orchestras, composes and arranges music for harp and various folk harps, and held steady background music gigs. Her longest running background music engagement was as a Sunday brunch harpist at a hotel in Deerfield, IL--every Sunday for six years as well as major holidays. In her work as a musician for weddings she has played for many types of ceremonies, including Christian, Jewish, Islam, Hindi, Zoastrian, multiple faith, non-religious, and various themed weddings. Wedding size has ranged from just the bride and groom, the minister, and Kari (she was even asked to sign as a witness!) to hundreds of people. She has the experience and professionalism necessary to make her part of your event smooth and worry-free.
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