Musical life leads harpist and Miramar Beach resident Katie Ott to conduct Snowbird Singers

Published: Friday, February 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM.

“If I were a student of perfectionism, Katie would be the teacher,” her father told The Sun. “Her sense of rhythm is one of the finest I have ever known in any musician. It's a result of her hard work. Katie has won the respect of every conductor she has worked under. Time and time again, she is asked to return to perform with orchestras. Her playing is colorful, dramatic and exact. As one conductor has said, ‘Katie adds the sheen to the entire orchestra.’ ”

Katie also has his respect and confidence. She assumed some of his conducting duties when he broke his back after he fell 14 feet into the basement below the orchestra pit after the debut of his original work, "The Widow's Lantern," written for the Pensacola Opera in 2009.

“I really learned a lot about myself and my abilities when I conducted for my dad,” Katie said. “It's very exciting leading a group of musicians, but I don't compose like my dad, so I'll leave that to the pros!”

David has written many pieces for his daughter, and is honored when she performs pieces he writes just for her.

“In fact, she owes me a CD of about an hour's worth of music I wrote for her two years ago,” he said. “Whenever she performs, she knows how to show off my work.”

Although the father and daughter have performed some together, David said he has never felt comfortable writing duets for harp and piano.

“The two instruments seem to collide. Because the organ sustains tones, it makes for a better musical combination with the harp than does the piano.”

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