We had the good fortune of connecting with Aedan MacDonnell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aedan, what do you attribute your success to?
I believe the most important factor in my success is belief in myself. I also believe that we have to be able to see opportunities when they appear and be willing to see if we can open a door. When Warner Bros. approached me to rent a harp for The Big Bang Theory, they told me the actress was actually going to play the harp. So I told them if they wanted her to look like she knew what she was doing, I could coach her. I became the harp coach on that show. But that would have never happened if I hadn’t seen the possibility and followed through. I believe our thoughts have a great impact on how our lives unfold. Every day I give gratitude that I have a home, food, and enough income to be comfortable. What we focus on is what we bring into our lives. Focusing on lack, what we don’t have, brings more lack. Focusing on what one does have and giving gratitude, brings more gifts into one’s life. I also believe one has to be smart about things as well. I don’t live beyond my means. I’ve worked hard to eliminate most of my debt and only buy something on credit if I absolutely have to.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Around the age of 7 I taught myself to read music and play the piano on an old black upright piano my father bought for my mother. Before that I was taking tap and ballet dance. I loved music and I loved dance, and still do. I wanted to be a professional musician or dancer, but my parents encouraged me to get a “real” job. On top of that my ballet teacher discouraged me from dancing because I would get nauseous when I performed multiple pirouettes. And my piano teachers entered me in graded recitals. The grades always came back with a “C.” In school a C on a report card meant you were just average. So I was discouraged to search out a professional artistic career on all fronts. (It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I found one of the old recital grades and saw in very fine print at the bottom that “C” meant “Exceptional.” Unfortunately it took me a long time to shake the belief that I wasn’t very good.) I worked for quite a while in the corporate world and hated every minute of it. Long story short, I eventually up working at the Sylvia Woods Harp Center. Not as good of pay, but I was so much happier working in an environment with harps. The recession hit, and then Sylvia moved to Hawaii, so I was on my own. I decided it was now or never to try for a career in music. Almost 12 years later and I’ve grown my private teaching practice, am gigging (wedding, parties, etc.), and had the opportunity to record for “Outlander” and work with Mayim Bialik on The Big Bang Theory. What I’m most proud of is a Celtic Halloween show that I started in 2011, with a 6 piece band, Irish dancers, and a narrator. The show has had a following since the first year and continues to grow. This year, due to covid, it looked we wouldn’t be able to present the show. Determined not to go dark on our 10 year anniversary, I decided to present the show virtually. I’ve never done editing on this scale, but with a lot of YouTube self-help videos and determination, the show did go on again this year. Again, seeing an opportunity and taking a risk to present the show on line has not only opened up a whole new world of creating on-line concerts, but helped me to find another creative avenue (editing) I really enjoy.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Most of my friends are into the Celtic music scene. So, if it were a “normal” year, I’d take them to the different sessions in town. I’d also take them to the Getty Museum, Natural History Museum, Descando Gardens, the Arboretum, and hiking in the many beautiful places here in So Cal. We’d also have to do a trip to Disneyland.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All my friends that have encouraged me to keep playing, writing and performing.

Website: https://harpmuse.com/ https://harpmeditation.com/ and https://celtic-rhythms.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aceltichalloween
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HarpMuse

Image Credits
Brad Stubbs (band photo, and Keyboard photo)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.