Jess Hughes

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About Jess Hughes

Versatile harpist based in Somerset and Manchester, available for weddings, solo and orchestral work, corporate events and private tuition.
Public liability insurance of £10 million

Jess Hughes is an aspiring young musician who is passionate about the harp. She graduated from her BMus (Hons) from the Royal Northern College of Music with a First, studying with Anne-Marie O'Farrell (previously with Eira Lynn Jones), with her first year of study generously supported by The Waverly Fund. She is now continuing her studies at the RNCM for her MMus. Before arriving at RNCM, Jess was awarded a scholarship to attend Wells Cathedral School, where she studied with Ruth Faber. As both a soloist and orchestral player, Jess has performed in many venues around Somerset, including Wells Cathedral, Glastonbury Abbey and Strode Theatre. Her largest solo performance was in December 2017, where she performed as a visiting soloist for the Bath Bach Choir Christmas Concert in The Pump Rooms, directed by Nigel Perrin. In July 2018, she performed Holst's 'The Planets' with the Wells Cathedral School Symphony Orchestra in Wells Cathedral. In August 2018, Jess went on tour to Provence, France, with the West of England Youth Orchestra to play Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Scheherazade’. She has since performed with this orchestra playing challenging works including Ravel's 'Bolero' and Schreker's 'Prelude to a Drama'. Since arriving at RNCM, Jess has performed with the RNCM Brand New, Symphony, Opera and Wind Orchestras. Particular highlights include, performing Poulenc's 'Dialogue de Carmélites' with the RNCM Opera orchestra in December 2019; 'The Genesis Suite' with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in March 2020; Britten's Ceremony of Carols in Salford Cathedral with RNCM vocal students in December 2021.  Under the direction of former Head of Harp, Eira Lynn Jones, Jess has also performed extensively with the RNCM Harp Ensemble, including at the Salvi Showroom in London, and at Harp on Wight Festival in Ryde, October 2019. Jess has competed at the Mid-Somerset, Taunton and Bristol music festivals. In March 2017, she won the award for 'Most Promising Harpist' at Bristol Eisteddfod. In March 2018, she won the ‘Recital for Advanced Solo Harp’ class at Mid-Somerset Festival as wells as the ‘Advanced Solo Harp’ class at Bristol Eisteddfod.   Jess is grateful for the financial aid of the Royal Philharmonic Society, which has helped her to purchase a concert grand harp. This support will enable her to continue sharing the harp’s repertoire.  From prestigious performance platforms to charity concerts; from formal wedding soloist to corporate entertainer; from the camaraderie of orchestral musicianship to the intimacy of chamber ensembles, Jess is a versatile harpist whose love for the instrument shows in every aspect of her playing.

Jess Hughes
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5 out of 5
3 verified reviews
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Jess Hughes' Reviews

From Encore customers:

Sorina C
6 months ago
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5 out of 5

Jess is a very lovely and talented artist who is very passionate and professional in her work. Thank you so much Jess for making our christening party so special! The harp was perfect! Your music was more than we ever dreamed of! My guests are still talking about your beautiful harp music. Thank you for the most magical harp music!

From other customers:

Ashleigh R
1 year ago, for a Corporate event in 124 Oxford Rd
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5 out of 5

Jess performed background music during registration for our event, providing a welcoming atmosphere as over 350 visitors were guided through the registration process. I found her to be extremely professional and easy to work with, requiring minimal guidance to fulfil her brief, which she did perfectly. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Jess for future events and engagements.

John M
2 years ago, for a Corporate event in 510 Metroplex
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5 out of 5

Thanks Jess. We all really enjoyed the afternoon tea and your harp music was incredible and really helped to take the event up a level. Jess is friendly, reliable and personable and really easy to deal with. Plus clearly an incredibly talented musician but happy to fit in and ensure the right flow for an event.

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Jess Hughes' Song list

Choose what you would like to hear at your bespoke event from the repertoire lists below. Don't see the song/piece you want? I can learn or arrange it for you, just get in touch!
Pachelbel's Canon
Prelude in C - J.S Bach
The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba - G.F Handel
Wedding March - Felix Mendelssohn
Flower Duet from 'Lakame' - Leo Delibes
Morning from 'Peer Gynt' - Edvard Grieg
Finale from 'The Organ Symphony' - Camille Saint-Saens
La Rejouissance - G.F Handel
Duet from 'The Pearlfishers' - Georges Bizet
Trumpet Tune - Henry Purcell
Menuet in G - C.P.E Bach
Fur Elise - Beethoven
Moonlight Sonata - Beethoven
Ode to Joy - Beethoven
Lullaby - Brahms
Clair de Lune - Debussy
Humoreske - Dvorak
Pavane - Faure
Dance of the Spirits - Gluck
Jupiter - Holst
Meditation - Massenet
On Wings of Song - Mendelssohn
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Mozart
Barcarolle - Offenbach
O, My Beloved Father - Puccini
Trout Quintet Theme - Schubert
Blue Danube - Strauss
Brian Boru's March
Danny Boy
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
Scarborough Fair
O'er the Sea to Skye
Dros y Dwr i Draeth Llanstephan
Dafydd y Garreg Wen (David of the White Rock)
Llongau Caernrfon (The Ships of Caernarfon)
Sosban Fach (Little Saucepan)
O'Carolan's Concerto
Harp of Gold
Lands End - Michael Rooney
The Swan LK243 - Catriona McKay
Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn (Watching the Wheat) - arr. John Thomas
Calon Lan
Lisa Lan
O'Carolan's No. 180
Merch Megan
Make you feel my love – Adele
All you need is love – Beatles
Here comes the sun – Beatles
Hey Jude – Beatles
Let It Be – Beatles
Yesterday – Beatles
Stand By Me – Ben E King
Billy Joel – Always a Woman
A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Des’ree – I’m Kissing You
Perfect – Ed Sheeran
Photograph – Ed Sheeran
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis Presley
Songbird – Eva Cassidy
Better Together – Jack Johnson
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
All Of Me – John Legend
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
What a wonderful world – Louis Armstrong
L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole
When I Fall In Love – Nat King Cole
This Will Be (an everlasting love) – Natalie Cole
Fireflies – Owl City
Happy – Pharrell Williams
Angels – Robbie Williams
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
Africa – Toto
Misty - Erroll Garner
Moon River - Henry Mancini
My Favourite Things - Richard Rogers
All The Things You Are - Jerome Kern
Over The Rainbow - Harold Arlen
I Giorni - Ludovico Einaudi
Divenire - Ludovico Einaudi
Le Onde - Ludovico Einaudi
Songbird - Eva Cassidy (song by Christine McVie)
From This Moment On - Shania Twain
Tammy - Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
The Wedding Song (There Is Love)
The Prayer - Carole Bayer-Sager and David Foster
The Rose - Amanda McBroom
The Wind Beneath My Wings - Larry Henry and Jeff Silbar
My Own True Love (Tara Theme) - Mack David and Max Steiner
Lady - Lionel Richie
Rainbrops Keep Falling On My Head - Hal David and Burt Bacharach
And  I Love You So - Don McLean
Send In The Clowns - Stephen Sondheim
Moondance - Van Morrison
Evergreen - Paul Williams and Barbara Streisand
Sunrise, Sunset - Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock
With over 10 years of performing experience, I am happy to perform at any concert or recital, be it solo or orchestral! The lists below show just a selection of the wide range of repertoire I have previously performed.
Prière - Marc Delmas
Berceuse Russe - Marcel Tournier
Au Bord du Ruisseau - Henriette Renie
Sonata in C Minor - Dussek
Nataliana - Deborah Henson-Conant
Fire Dance - David Watkins
Prière - Alphonse Hasselmans
Chanson de Mai - Alphonse Hasselmans
Arabesque No.1 - Claude Debussy
Harp Concerto in B-flat major - Handel
Viejo Zortzico - Jesus Guridi
Toccata - Nino Rota
Automne - Marcel Grandjany
Sarabande from Violin Partita No.1 - Bach/Grandjny
Sonata for Harp - Sergiu Natra
Nocturne - Mikhail Glinka
Sonata No.3 in C Major - Naderman
Improvisations for Harp - William Mathias
Epices (collection) - Bernard Andrès
La Source - Alphonse Hasselmans
Au Matin - Marcel Tournier
Giga from Violin Partita No.2 - Bach/Grandjany
Chanson dans la Nuit - Carlos Salzedo
Prayer - Sergiu Natra
Harp Concerto in A Major - Dittersdorf
Sonata for Harp - Paul Hindemith
Impromptu Caprice - Gabriel Pierné
Anamorphoses - Bernard Andrès
Elegie pour la mort d'un berger - Bernard Andrès
La Strada - Nino Rota
La Valse (Harp 1) - Maurice Ravel
Carmen Suite No. 1 - Georges Bizet
The Planets (Harps 1 and 2) - Gustav Holst
Scheherazade - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Prelude to a Drama (Harp 1)- Franz Schreker
Violin Concerto No. 1 - Dimitri Shostakovich
Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture - Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Le Tombeau de Couperin - Maurice Ravel
Rapsodie pour Saxophone - Claude Debussy
On the Cliffs of Cornwall - Ethel Smyth
Bolero - Maurice Ravel
Crown Imperial - William Walton
Sospiri - Edward Elgar
Russian Easter Festival Overture - Nikolai Rimksy-Korsakov
Pavane pour une enfante défunte - Maurice Ravel
Concerto for Saxophone - Ronald Binge
German Requiem - Johannes Brahms
Dialogues des Carmélites (Harp 2) - Francis Poulenc 
Polovetsian Dances - Aleksandr Borodin
Murder on the Orient Express - Richard Rodney Bennett
Piano Concerto in G Major - Maurice Ravel
I have also performed orchestral music from the James Bond movie franchise, songs from many Broadway musicals including 'Sweeney Todd', 'West Side Story' and 'Carousel', and jazz orchestrations from 'The Ratpack'!

Jess Hughes' Prices

Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£100
Up to 1 hour£250
Up to 2 hours£350
Up to 3 hours£450
Drinks reception
Includes 2 x 45 minute sets during your drinks reception.
Wedding Breakfast
Includes 2 x 45 minute sets during the wedding breakfast.
Wedding ceremony
This includes music before the service begins, music during the bridal entry, music during the signing of the register, and music as guests leave.
Wedding ceremony + Drinks reception
- Music before the service begins, music during the bridal entry, music during the signing of the register, and music as guests leave. - 2 x 45 min performances at the drinks reception. - 2 x 45 min performances as dinner is being served.
Wedding ceremony + Drinks reception + Wedding Breakfast
- Music before the service begins, music during the signing of the register, and music as guests leave. - 2 x 45 min performances at the drinks reception. - 2 x 45 min performances as dinner is being served.


Song arrangement
Customer questions

What do your clients love most about your performances?

My friendly personality, my exceptional work ethic and values, and my punctuality and organisational skills.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester St James and Emmanuel Church, Didsbury St Chrysostom's Church, Manchester Wells Cathedral, Wells The Bishop's Palace, Wells St Cuthbert's Church, Wells The Pump Rooms, Bath Charlton House, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Hiatus Kaiyote Stevie Wonder Jacob Collier CHIC! Billie Marten Catrin Finch (harpist) Caroline Lizotte (harpist) Isabelle Perrin (harpist) Alexander Boldachev (harpist)

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

I performed at the 2022 World Harp Congress in Cardiff, in a masterclass with French harpist and pedagogue Isabelle Perrin. I also performed in The Pump Rooms in Bath as a featured artist, in Nigel Perrin's 'Bath Bach Choir' Christmas Concert series.

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I always try my best to be flexible to help ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible. If timings change slightly in the run up to the event, please just let me know!

How much time do you need to set up?

I always aim to arrive at least an hour before I am needed. The setting up of the harp takes about half an hour, including tuning, packing the covers away and warming up.

Is the transport of your harp included in your quote?

Absolutely - I've include all travel costs, including the transport of my harp, in the quotes.

Do you need any equipment provided to play outdoors?

None at all - my instrument is played acoustically so I don't need any equipment. If it is raining then I will need full cover or to perform indoors as my instrument is valuable and could be damaged. I would also appreciate a flat surface, and to avoid putting the harp on grass.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Of course! I encourage you to look through my songlists and choose the pieces you would like for your event. I am more than happy to chat with you about when you would like each piece to be played during your event.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

If a song isn't included in my song list there may still be a chance I already know it. If there is a special song you'd like me to learn I are happy to do this for you. There is a fee of £35 for this service to take into account rehearsal times etc.
Classical, Christmas, Contemporary Christian, Traditional church music, Baroque, Classical crossover, Contemporary classical, Early music, Film / TV music, Medieval music, 1920s era music, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, 1950s era music, 1960s era music, 1970s era music, 1980s era music, 1990s era music, Folk, Ceilidh, Country, Traditional English folk, Traditional Irish folk, Traditional Scottish folk, Welsh folk, Jazz, Easy listening, Light music, Pop, Acoustic, Covers, World music
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Event types:
Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Concert, Recording session, Christmas party, Birthday party
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Other skills:
Arranger, Perfect pitch, Instrumental teaching
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