Grammy-Award Winning Celtic Harpist, Anne is one-of-a-kind! Anne has played for dignitaries, including the Lord Mayor of Dublin Ireland. Her performances at concerts, corporate events, wineries, festivals, and weddings are in the thousands. Anne Roos has played her eclectic mix of music on the Celtic harp for more than 30 years.
Listen to an early episode to NPR's "How to Do Everything", and you'll hear co-host Ian Chillag play Anne's version of "Stairway to Heaven", saying "Anne plays what is without a doubt the finest Celtic harp version of 'Stairway to Heaven' ever made.’" Funny, because there may be no other recorded versions of this tune on the Celtic harp out there.
Anne's live TV performances receive thousands of views on YouTube. Anne's good-natured versatility on the harp has won the hearts of TV anchors, who seem to find great delight in placing Anne in odd situations to play the harp. She has played inside an elevator for live elevator music, and inside a shower (no water running!). When Anne asked Cody Stark, the host at Good Day Sacramento, if the station had a helicopter where she could play, he retorted, "Don't tempt me to put you on the roof of the TV station next time!"
Anne is comfortable playing the harp just about anywhere--on stage in front of large audiences and for small, intimate gatherings, such as house concerts. Not the picky diva, she can perform with a finely crafted wooden harp, or a state-of-the-art lightweight, ten-pound carbon fiber harp, which can go places that no harp could go before. "I'm waiting for someone to ask me to play harp in a hot air balloon!" she says.
Anne's love of music dates back to childhood, when her father would take her to the Hollywood Bowl to experience the L.A. Philharmonic perform their annual summer programs. "I remember those magical nights, where I'd lie my head down on my dad's lap and watch airplanes zigzag far above overhead while listening to classical music." Anne loved it so much that years later, while attending UCLA, she worked in the Hollywood Bowl Box Office as her summer job. "My favorite part of that job was spending lunch break watching rehearsals."
Here attraction to English and Celtic music blossomed as a child and young teen at the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Fair, the nation's first Ren Faire. She sang in madrigal groups, performing period music in period costume. And then came the Celtic harp...
While employed at an incredibly stressful job, Anne serendipitously met the foremost harpist and arranger Sylvia Woods at a booth filled with little Celtic harps at a Winter Solstice Festival. "I needed an outlet. That job was driving me crazy." So, Anne signed up for a rental harp and began taking private harp lessons as a creative outlet. Next, she took music theory courses at UCLA, and Anne eventually taught music for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Anne continues to teach: She offers Celtic harp lessons to anyone in the world via Skype.
Her ability to play a wide variety of music on the Celtic harp is what sets Anne apart from other musicians. Her repertoire ranges from the expected--traditional Celtic, Early, Renaissance, folk, world and classical music--to the unexpected--modern popular music, including Broadway standards, movie themes, country, and Disney themes. Then there's the uber-unexpected tunes that often cause jaws to drop when Anne plays them: tunes by the Beatles, Metallica, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Sting, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and more. Her skilled renditions and flexibility make Anne a popular and much sought after musician for all types of events. She particularly enjoys being challenged with audience requests.
Anne's six commercially available albums are unique--Several of them are packaged as little books with CDs tucked neatly into the back page. She recognizes that her listeners enjoy reading about the background of the music on her CDs. Anne also collaborated with an ensemble of musicians on these albums, and she looks forward to playing with other musicians on stage. "It's fun to hear the creation of music organically, just for a specific performance. I love to see how the Celtic harp will blend with other instruments."
Anne is also a published author and considered a wedding music specialist with her book "The Musician's Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings", published by Hal Leonard Books as a manual for any musician who wants to keep their calendar filled with weddings and receptions. This user-friendly guide includes hundreds of tips for both the professional and novice musician. Anne also counsels and mentors musicians and entrepreneurs to help them make a living by gigging.
Anne Roos authored another book, too—This one for brides. “The Bride’s Guide to Musicians: Live Wedding Music Made Easy and Affordable”, also published by Hal Leonard Books, is the book for brides who want to include live music in their wedding plans while saving money. This book is also available as a Kindle Book on Amazon.com.
We are so proud to have Anne as part of our organization. She is so talented, so kind and someone we cherish!