BettyAshton Mayo

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  • BettyAshton Mayo is one of the most talented and diverse harpists in Virginia. With a degree in Harp Performance from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, she is an accomplished classical musician and has over twenty years of experience as a harpist for weddings and events. Many of those years were spent in Nashville, TN where she played venues including The Ryman, The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Governor’s Residence, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, and The Frist Center for Visual Arts. Now located in Charlottesville, VA, BettyAshton enjoys playing throughout the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia.  BettyAshton is a complete professional and goes out of her way to tailor the music for each event she plays in. BettyAshton has also been the harpist with various Symphony Orchestras in Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky and is a seasoned recording artist and session musician.

Hospital Visits

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    Playing at Vanderbilt Cancer Center

  • Since the fall of 1997 BettyAshton and her harp have been a unique presence at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. While a student at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, BettyAshton volunteered through the hospital’s Cultural Enrichment Program, playing the harp in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Upon graduating, the department helped create a position that would enable BettyAshton to be have a consistent presence in the hospital. In 2001 she became the Musician in Residence. Since then, she has been playing throughout the hospital on a regular basis in units including the Ingram Cancer Center, Paige Campbell Heart Institute, Pediatric Critical Care Unit, Surgery waiting areas, and of course the NICU. After years of consistency, the hospital staff has gotten used to seeing BettyAshton, affectionately known as “The Harp Lady”, wheeling her harp through the many wards of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.

Electric Harp

  • SuperT and the electric harp

    Playing with SuperT

  • While pursuing an obvious calling to use her music to provide comfort and healing to those in hospitals, BettyAshton has discovered another way that using her instrument is life-breathing: collaboration.

    Vanderbilt University is what brought BettyAshton to Nashville, but the wealth of creative musicians and the consistent opportunity to collaborate with said musicians is what has kept her there for so long. She says her favorite thing to do, as a musician, is to create with other musicians. “I love being able to hear what another musician is doing and add something to that. The harp on it’s own is an amazing thing, but it’s even better when I have the opportunity to play with musicians I respect. I love it when a friend starts out on the guitar or piano, singing a song of their own and I get to figure out a way to accent that. Or when I’m playing with a group and the drummer’s keeping the beat and I’ve got the bass resonating behind me and I get to come up with little riffs like a lead guitarist would. Talk about feeling alive!” Figuring out this passion is what made BettyAshton purchase a rare, but amazing instrument, an electric harp. She had it painted blue, her favorite color. While still a pedal harp, it is slightly smaller and easier to get around, but since each string has it’s own pick up it is easily heard when she plugs it into her Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, an amplifier meant for an electric guitar. Having the electric harp has enabled BettyAshton to be creative on a whole new level. She uses loops and pedals meant for a guitar and is able to make her harp sound like an entire fleet of harps. Not to mention, it looks pretty cool to see a harp on stage with a rock band.

Women’s Retreats

  • One of BettyAshton’s biggest passions is to use her harp to lead people into a place of worship and quiet meditation before God. In a world where people are always on the go, it is important to take time and be still before the Lord. Let BettyAshton weave her personal story, scripture, and the songs that she has written to set the backdrop for a time of quiet on your Retreat.