Meet Megan, her sisters and her dog, and hear her play this Wednesday at The Schlafly Tap Room! (concert details at the end) My name is Megan Stout. I have loved the harp for as long as I can remember. I moved to St Louis a few years ago and have been so fortunate that Chamber Project has asked me to play with them. It is such a rewarding musical experience with marvelous musicians and people.
People ask me why I chose the harp. I, honestly have no idea. I was always taken with the idea. When I was a little girl (about 5) we lived in a house with a pool. The hollow metal pool railing was shaped like a harp and I would hit it until it would ring then pretend to play. It combined two of my favorite things, water and the harp!
I FINALLY got lessons when I was 9 years old. When my mom told me that my teacher accepted me and that I was going to start lessons I fell to the floor crying. I was an ecstatic little girl. :)
As we all know, the harp is heavy and awkward to carry. It took me a little time to be able to get a harp dolly but luckily, I had the older neighbor boy, Jake, to help me and my mom get it into the old family suburban. When I got my harp dolly I named it Jake after that patient and strong boy. Jake (the cart) and I have been together for 20 years and it currently resides at Powell Symphony Hall!
I have two sisters who are also musicians. My older sister is a pianist and my younger sister is an oboist. We are very close and love to play duets and trios together. These are pictures of me and my sisters after a few recitals we played together.
My older sister and I did our undergraduate studies together at IU [Indiana University] and then my younger sister and I overlapped at IU for our Master's degrees. We confused a lot of teachers as we all look so much alike.
I loved my time at IU. It is such a big school! The harp department usually had about 23 harpists in it each semester and I learned so much from my fellow harpies. This is a picture from my freshman year recital.
After IU I spent some time in Indianapolis and Cincinnati. I have to say that I was thrilled to move here to St Louis to play 2nd harp for The St. Louis Symphony. I love St. Louis and feel like my friends and colleagues give me such a full and rich life. This year I am playing as the Acting Principal Harpist of The St. Louis Symphony, which has been such a fun and rewarding experience. This year brings to fruition everything that I dreamed of as a little girl.
I couldn't talk about myself without also mentioning my practice buddy, Oliver! He is an adorable terrier schnauzer mix whom I rescued 2 years ago. There was a period of time where I was working particularly hard for an upcoming concert and practicing long hours. Oliver likes being in the room with me when I practice (I have to push him off of my feet pretty often as he blocks me from using my pedals!). At one point he got up, went to the other room, grabbed his doggy bed, and pulled it into the harp room to lay it directly on the legs of my music stand. He curled up and looked at me like, "OK, I'm comfy! Go ahead!"
My time in St Louis has been the happiest of my life. With great people, a great job, and great musicians, (and great dog!) how could it not be?
Megan is featured in our concert this Wednesday at The Schlafly Tap Room! Sit back and enjoy the amazing sounds of the harp with your favorite local brew. Come early and enjoy dinner in downstairs.
program ROCHESTER YOUNG Song of the Lark MOZART Duo in B-flat Major K.424 DONIZETTI Harp Solo from Lucia di Lammermoor JOLIVET Petite Suite
musicians Jennifer Gartley, flute Hannah Frey, violin Laura Reycraft, viola Megan Stout, harp
Dana Hotle, remarks