It’s that time again! “10 Questions with Metro Detroiters” is quickly becoming my new favorite thing! This week, I have the pleasure of featuring my dear friend and client, Diane Dunn. Diane and I met when I was working for Greater Media and she played her beautiful harp music at many events I planned, like client appreciation dinners and “Women Who Make Magic.”
Diane is both an accomplished harpist and children’s book author. Enjoy her “10 questions!”
LW: What city did you grow up in?
DD: I grew up in Lathrup Village. My parents chose a lot and built a home on San Diego Blvd. They chose that street because when my Dad joined the Navy, he was shipped out from San Diego when the U.S. entered WWII. Mom had joined him and stayed there three years waiting for him to return from the Pacific. They both loved San Diego so much that they chose that street in Lathrup Village.
LW: What was your first job?
DD: My first job was a summer job with Lathrup Parks & Recreation. I taught tennis in the morning and arts/crafts in the afternoon.
LW: Where did you go to college?
DD: I attended Albion College here in Michigan and received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1968. I attended National University in San Diego and received my Master of Science Degree in 1984. After spending 7 years in southern California, I missed home and moved back to Michigan. Yes, you can go home again and I’m so glad I did!
LW: Tell me about your business/company.
DD: I am a professional harpist specializing in “Background music for special occasions.” I play background music for dinner parties, bridal showers, wedding cocktail hours, wedding receptions, grand openings, funeral visitations, banquets, client appreciation receptions, anniversaries, reunions, corporate functions, silent auctions, and holiday events.
LW: What makes it unique?
DD: My harp business is unique because I play music that people know and recognize. I offer a wide variety of songs such as Broadway hits, movie themes (Titanic, Lion King, Somewhere In Time,) music from the Beatles, and many more recognizable selections. When I play for a 50th anniversary or a birthday for someone turning 80 or 90, I play selections from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. In addition to the Beatles music, I also play many numbers that were popular in the ‘50s and 60’s.
The other special service I offer is to give my clients a choice of colors of my gowns or outfits. I email my clients photos of the gowns I am currently wearing so that they can choose the color that will most compliment their special occasion.
LW: What do you love most about what you do?
DD: I love being part of the important times in people’s lives. My clients have also told me that my harp background music was perfect addition to their celebration because it added such a graceful and elegant touch. Many clients were very pleased that I played so many songs that people actually knew. (At one party I even had some gentlemen placing bets with each other regarding the titles of the songs! I “upped the ante” and made them guess the year too!)
LW: What is one thing most people don’t know about you (hidden talent, etc.)?
DD: Most people don’t know that I am a former marathon runner! In my mid-50s I trained for and completed two 26.2 mile marathons! I had three goals: 1. To finish, 2. To complete the distance in under 5.5 hours, and 3. To not finish last! I met all three goals in both marathons.
LW: Outside of work, what are some of your passions?
DD: Physical fitness. I’m no longer a runner, but I work out at the gym on the elliptical almost every day. A moderate amount of gardening. I like to choose flowers that are not too fussy about anything but lots of water and sunshine.
LW: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this state?
DD: My friends out of state think that Michigan is all factories. The funniest misconception is from people who live near the ocean on the east coast of the U.S. They often ask questions like, “If you stand on your tiptoes on the beach at Ludington, can you see across Lake Michigan?”
LW: What things draw you to downtown Detroit?
DD: Going to Comerica Park to watch the Tigers! I also love Hart Plaza and the waterfront, the Riverboat tours on a hot summer day and the great food in Greektown. I also love being hired to play for clients’ special events at the wonderful “old Detroit” venues like the Detroit Athletic Club, Masonic Temple, and the restored Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel.
MSU or U of M? I am a convert to MSU. (Did grad work both places, but I love the enthusiasm of MSU sports and fans, especially football.)
Ford, GM or Chrysler? My “harp mobile” has always been a Chrysler Town & Country minivan ever since they first came out in 1984.
Lions, Tigers, Pistons or Red Wings? Tigers
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Favorite local radio station? WWJ and Magic 105.1
Favorite local TV station? WXYZ Channel 7
Favorite local brand? Vernors because that was what my Mom gave me when I was ill as a child. She has been gone a long time, but it makes me feel close to her when I don’t feel well if I drink Vernors. I am seldom ill, but Vernors works its magic all these years later.
Favorite restaurant? Picasso Café in Novi (Grand River, just west of Haggerty Rd on the south side) Great soup and sandwiches!
Favorite place to vacation in Michigan? Crystal Lake, Glen Lake, Mission Peninsula north of Traverse City.
Favorite place to take out-of-towners? Ford Rouge Plant tour, Greenfield Village (on a day that is not too hot,) Comerica Park