Musical life leads harpist to conduct Snowbird Singers

Katie Ott
Contributed Photo
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013 at 02:05 PM.

MIRAMAR BEACH — At the age of 8, Katie Ott of Miramar Beach fell in love with the harp.

“It was my first instrument, and I completely fell in love with my teacher,” said Katie, daughter of composer/conductor David Ott of Destin. “The first song I played was ‘Moonlight’ by Susann McDonald, and I still teach it to my beginning harp students.”

Katie Ott has been principal harpist of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Mobile Opera and Pensacola Opera since 2006, and principal of the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra since 2007. She also was a principal harpist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Northwest Florida from 2002-2008 and the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra from 1998-2001.

“My forte is orchestral playing,” she said. “My favorite type is 20th Century French music, and I love opera — anything written by Puccini or Ravel is on the top of my list. I would hope my harp playing would be described as passionate yet controlled, and I want it to seem effortless but still rhythmic.”

With more than 10 years of experience playing for wedding ceremonies, receptions, holiday parties and corporate events, Katie is in demand. She has played for hundreds of weddings — mostly on the beach.

“I love performing everywhere, but I especially love small, intimate concerts where I can talk to the audience and let them see the harp up close and personal,” Katie said.

Performing at her church, Point Washington United Methodist, about once a month, in recitals and at special appearances, Katie has performed major works as a soloist, including “Angel’s Harp” by her father, “Concerto for Flute and Harp” by Mozart, and “Sacred and Profane Dances” by Debussy.

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