Music has always been a major part of my life.
I began piano lessons at the age of four and to broaden my musical awareness, took up the flute at the age of ten. After achieving grade eight piano and flute, I started to play the harp in 2000. By the age of eighteen I had passed Grade 8 examinations on all three instruments with distinction and achieved the certificate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for Performance on Piano.
I graduated from the University of Nottingham with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in Music (majoring in harp performance) in 2007. Since then I have achieved the Licentiate of Trinity College London with distinction for harp performance. I have had the privilege of studying with Danielle Perrett, Brian Wilson and Rachel Masters. I am now a free-lance harpist, playing at weddings, functions and concerts throughout the year and enjoy a busy teaching schedule.
In 2013 I was chosen as one of ‘Britains’ 10 Best Harpists’ by Bride Magazine, which helped to launch my career and I now visit some of the country’s most prestigious venues to provide romantic music for wedding ceremonies and receptions. I specialise in working closely with couples to perform their precise music choices for their special day by arranging their music choices specially for the harp. This means that I am known for my wide-ranging repertoire and I am recommended by numerous venues and wedding professionals across the South East of England. In 2019 this was further acknowledged when I was selected as the only acoustic musician in the final of the ‘Best Musical Entertainment’ category of the UK Wedding Awards.
As a soloist I’ve taken part in a number of music festivals, including winning my class at the Reigate Festival and being a finalist in the Maidstone Young Musician of the Year Competition. I have given numerous public recitals in the Djanogly Recital Hall, Nottingham. Since graduating, I have also played as principal harp with a number of orchestras on a professional basis, including English Pro Musica, Maidstone Symphony Orchestra, Folkestone and Hythe Symphony Orchestra and for various choral societies and amateur dramatic groups. I was principal harp of the Kent County Youth Orchestra, one of the leading youth orchestras in the United Kingdom and harpist for the Kent Youth Chamber Orchestra, Maidstone Youth Music Society and the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra.
In 2008 I achieved my Post Graduate Certificate of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University, after which I have worked in Kent and Surrey as a specialist music teacher at a number of primary and preparatory schools. I am currently Head of Music at Chinthurst School, Surrey. I have also been specialist harp teacher at The Prebendal School, West Sussex and Epsom College, Surrey. Whilst working as a harp consultant for Pilgrim Harps I ran numerous harp workshops to introduce the harp to children and gave masterclasses at the Edinburgh Harp Festival.
Nicola Veal, BA(Hons), PGCE, LTCL, CertGSMD(P)