I was honored to be a guest musician for Advent Lutheran Church's "Cantata" Sunday, which included the Festival Choir's performance of Oratorio de Noel by Camille Saint-Saëns, as well as musical offerings by the Advent Children & Youth Choir.
Conducted by Hunter Birkhead, accompanied by the Juan Seguin High School Orchestra (directed by Melina Shaffer) with other guest musicians Beverly Howard, Maggie Armand, Maddie Breedlove, Robert Leland, Dorian McCall, and Emma Bruce Birkhead, it was a joy to participate in this cantata service. I look forward to more spiritual opportunities with the musicians at Advent Lutheran Church!
Oratorio de Noel by Camille Saint-Saëns (starts around 31:00)
My brother Andrew and I performed for live in the parking lot for the Easter Sunday service at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Arlington. We also recorded a few of the pieces for the online service including the Easter Hymn in the video above. You can watch the entire online service on Facebook here.
I was honored to perform for the Fourth Sunday of Advent on December 13, 2020 at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, SC. I hope you enjoy this online worship service!
On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry from Three Pieces for Advent by Charles Peery - Kela Walton, harp; Brennan Szafron, organ (starts at 2:40)
Savior of the Nations Come from Three Pieces for Advent by Charles Peery - Kela Walton, harp; Brennan Szafron, organ (starts at 4:35)
Music for Communion
Ave Maria by Franz Schubert - Lindsey Brakhage, soprano, Kela Walton, harp (starts at 1:02:45)
Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers from Three Pieces for Advent by Charles Peery - Kela Walton, harp; Brennan Szafron, organ (starts at 1:12:20)
I was honored to perform for the Third Sunday of Advent on December 13, 2020. I hope you enjoy this online worship service!
Les Petits Pas no. 1 / O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by Bernard Andres & arranged by Megan Metheney
Les Petits Pas no. 12 / Still, Still, Still by Bernard Andres & arranged by Megan Metheney
Ribambelle no. 1 / The First Noel by Bernard Andres & arranged by Megan Metheney
Lessons and Carols:
Quem Pastores arranged by Patrick Hawes (starts at 37:05)
Angel's Carol by John Rutter (starts at 42:05)
Jesus, Jesus, Rest your Head arranged by Bob Chilcott (starts at 50:05)
Away in a Manger arranged by Michael Higgins (starts at 54:45)
Performed by The Quarantine Quartet: Valerie MacPhail, Lisa Cunningham, Reel Robertson, & Paul MacPhail; Directed by Andrew Holt; accompanied by Kela Walton, Harpist; Marcia Andrews, Organist
Three members of the Sparkle City Harp Ensemble: Anne Elizabeth, Sally Frick, and I joined a handful of other socially distanced musicians and clergy for this service live streamed from the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, SC on September 20, 2020. The other harpists and I hope you enjoy this online worship service!
Prelude in C by J.S. Bach - Kela Walton, solo harp (starts at 1:20)
Dyades No. 5 by Bernard Andrès - Sparkle City Harp Ensemble (starts at 4:05)
Be Thou My Vision Irish Hymn arranged by Laura Zaerr - Sparkle City Harp Ensemble (starts at 47:25)
I was so honored to be invited to perform for this livestream service on June 7, 2020, and it was my first time performing in person with other musicians since the pandemic began. I hope you enjoy this online worship service!
Opening Voluntary: Balm in Gilead - African American Spiritual arr. Rhett Barnwell (starts at 1:30)
Offertory: Be Thou My Vision arranged by Alice Parker (starts at 41:40)
Performed by The Quarantine Quartet, Directed by Andrew Holt; accompanied by Kela Walton, Harpist; Marcia Andrews, Organist
Communion Music: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need - Appalachian hymn arr. Erin Hansen (starts at 52:50)
Together SpARTanburg - Episode 39
This episode of Together SpARTanburg is all about harp! Principal Harpist Emily Waggoner and I discuss the harp's history, its place in the orchestra, and perform from our homes. Music featured includes a duet version of Jupiter from Gustav Holst's The Planets based on arrangement for two harps by Janet Witman, as well as the harp variation from The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten, and the Waltz of the Flowers cadenza from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.
Thank you to the Spartanburg Philharmonic for including harps in this wonderful online series!
Naxos released the Respighi: Roman Trilogy recording by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra today! In May and June of 2018 during my brief time as acting principal harpist with the BPO, the orchestra recorded Respighi's trilogy of tone-poems celebrating Rome. My sweet friend Catherine Case flew to Buffalo to play second harp for the concerts and the recording sessions. Catherine and I met in graduate school, and I've always been in awe of her amazing harp skills. Not surprisingly she is also supremely gifted at playing in a section, which is an art we harpists don't get to practice very often. Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome) tracks 5-8 and Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome) tracks 9-12 includes Catherine and I playing both my new and my old Salzedo model harps! Respighi did not include harp in Feste Roman (Roman Festivals). I suppose he didn't think the harp was raucous enough for the revelry at festivals, and perhaps he decided between the piano, organ, mandolin, strings, and three or more of every type of wind and brass instrument there just wasn't room for harp?
It is interesting how life moves in circles. My husband, conductor Stefan Sanders, and I spent most of our honeymoon in Rome. We rented a Vespa and spent a week scooting around looking at the very trees, roads, and fountains Respighi so eloquently captures. We even joked about hearing his music in our heads as we saw the sights, and sang the themes together while we ate gelato. When I first met Stefan he was a member of the BPO trombone section, and who would have thought that all these years, one honeymoon, and a few jobs later I would get to record Respighi with the same orchestra? I'm so grateful to Music Director JoAnn Falletta for inviting me to play with the BPO and be a part of this project.
The recording is available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify or your favorite music streaming service.
I'm pleased to share another article I've written for the Harp Column!
Rules for Relocating: A harpist’s guide to setting up shop in a new city
Transitions in life, like transitions in music, can be tough. Whether you are just out of college and building your harp business, or a new job takes you away from your established harp life, relocating is not easy. I know! I’ve moved twice in the past five years, and have some ideas that may help your next transition go more smoothly.
Harp Column Subscribers can read the full article here: https://harpcolumn.com
During my brief but action packed tenure as the acting principal harpist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018, the orchestra recorded a brand new trumpet concerto which is included in the latest recording released today from the Beau Fleuve label. Jaakko Kuusisto's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra was composed for BPO principal trumpet (and my dear friend) Alex Jokipii. Alex spent a year studying at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where he became acquainted with fellow student Jaakko Kuusisto. In 2015 the pair reconnected when Kuusisto came to the BPO for the American premiere of his violin concerto, and the idea for the trumpet concerto was born. I had the pleasure of meeting Kuusisto and recording the trumpet concerto live with Alex and the BPO in May of 2018.
I was not performing with the BPO when the other two concertos were recorded, but I'm a big fan of both of the other soloists featured: Feng Hew and Anna Mattix. Composer Rob Deemer and I were in school at UT Austin together, and he is now the director of the Institute for Composer Diversity at SUNY Fredonia which is doing amazing work promoting music created by composers from historically underrepresented groups. I also enjoyed working with composer Caroline Mallonee during my time in Buffalo on one of her chamber music pieces, Curtains of Light, which coincidentally cellist Feng Hew and I premiered along with our fellow musicians from the Buffalo Chamber Players in 2017.
The recording is available from the Kleinhans Music Hall box office or the BPO online store.
Blog and Noteworthy News
Stay tuned for the latest news and musings from Kela Walton.