Thursday, March 24, 2016

Emily DeLia Bio

16-year-old Emi DeLia is an award winning harpist, vocalist, composer, and song-writer who has been making music for as long as she can remember. She premiered her first large work at the age of ten, an 8-part choral piece, That's What Christmas Is To Me, performed in three concerts by the renowned VOICES Chorale, and she gained worldwide recognition with her touching tribute to the Japan Tsunami/Earthquake victims, Touch the Sky. She has won numerous scholarships and awards for voice, harp, and composition since then, including the Paul W. Hofreiter Scholarship and the inaugural MATA Jr. In June 2016, she was invited to arrange a classic NYC song for PUBLIQuartet for Make Music New York. Andrew Chow of the New York Times noted the "genial dialogue and frenetic energy" of Emily's arrangement of Jay Z and Alicia Key's Empire State of Mind and how it captured the spirit of New York.

Most recently Emi was one of 8 featured young composers at the American Harp Society's Summer Institute in Northfield, MN where she performed her piece for solo lever harp, The Descent, an exploration of various modalities to represent a soul becoming human, descending to earth. Her piece, Never Doubt, for flute, alto flute, chamber choir, and electronic track, with text from Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2016 presidential election concession speech won an honorable mention in the Westminster Conservatory Scholarship competition and was performed at the Student Composers' Showcase. Then Emi was off to Rabun Gap, GA for the Young Artist Harp Seminar where she was Harp Intern for the Prep Division. There she worked closely with Prep directors, Kristie Shade and Katie Andrews of Duo Scorpio as their assistant, performed in the opening concert with them, and taught a class on Innovations in Lever Harp. She also had a chance to teach her piece, The Blue Dragonfly, to the Prep Division Ensemble and conduct the performance of it in the final concert. Next up for Emi, The Somerset Folk Harp Festival, where she'll perform in the Friday lunchtime concert a 40 minute set of originals and innovative covers.

She first came to the harp at the age of 7 at an Early Music Festival in Hamilton, NJ. After the concerts, the Guild for Early Music held an "instrument petting zoo". It was there that someone placed a tiny historical harp in Emily's lap, and she fell in love. After talking non-stop about it for months, she received a small 22-string for Christmas that year, and the rest, as they say, is history.

[Here's a story in Early Music America about that very day with Emily pictured playing a bass viol.]

Emily's 1st Harp
Both Emi and her harps have grown since then. She has been leader of the harps section in the Philadelphia Sinfonia, and performs as a singer-songwriter with her lever harp and various electronic pedals on a regular basis. In the spring of 2016 she was invited to compose a piece for harp and voice to perform alongside esteemed faculty at Westminster Conservatory for the Shakespeare Festival. Her first commissioned composition, Paix a Paris, for 3-part harp ensemble, was performed in July 2016 at the Young Artist Harp Seminar in Rabun-Gap, GA, where she also received a scholarship to attend. The piece and her newest harp ensemble piece Blue Dragonfly are available for purchase on Harp Column Music.

Camac Athena
Dusty Strings Ravenna 34

She's on a mission to innovate the lever harp through composition and non-traditional performances in unexpected genres. To achieve this goal she has recently completed her fully orchestrated "Concerto for Lever Harp", and "6TeenE", an experimental piece for lever harp with mixed chamber and percussion ensemble.

Emi released her first CD in September 2016, entitled "Lift", which is available on iTunes and CD Baby, as well as at all performances. A second album of all new original tunes is in the works.

Back to Press Kit

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Emi DeLia Press Kit

Emi DeLia, Greater Washington DC/Annapolis
Youtube Channel

A unique harper singer-songwriter living in the Washington D.C./Annapolis area.
Effortlessly intertwines gritty blues riffs with ethereal harp phrases, and equally at home with a chamber ensemble or Irish seisiún. Her style is a mix of Pop, soul, R&B, Celtic, blues, rock, and world music. 

"A heart of gold and the voice to match." -

"I felt like there was a different light in the room ... "
- Chiu-Ling Lin, Artistic Director, Mason Gross Extension Division Young Artist Program

Mesmerizing, virtuosic harpist with compelling, powerful vocals and songs not quite like anything you've heard before.

***New Music***

    Revolutionary                                   Dreamin'       

Announcing Emi's first CD 
Available Now!!

Screen grab from CD Baby 360 View

Selected tracks from Lift

Promotional Photos

Photo: George Sproul

All photo credits: Mary DeLia except where noted