Cape harpist plays for the stars

Katie Lynch Koglin and Tony Orlando on the set of “Donny’s Boy.’’ Katie Lynch Koglin and Tony Orlando on the set of “Donny’s Boy.’’
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / August 25, 2011

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Katie Lynch Koglin is the Cape’s go-to harpist for special occasions. She’s performed at two funerals already this week, and she’s no stranger to weddings. In fact, earlier this month, the Cotuit-based Koglin played at a wedding rehearsal dinner for “Saturday Night Live’’ star Andy Samberg and “Gossip Girl’’ actress Leighton Meester. The stars of the comedy “Donny’s Boy,’’ which is still filming on Cape Cod, get married in the film and Koglin was hired to play as the actors shot the pre-wedding dinner scene at the Wychmere Harbor Club. Koglin was quick to tell us that, technically, she didn’t play a note while the cameras were rolling. The movie’s music department chose a score - Puccini and Rachmaninoff - that will be mixed into the film. So Koglin played along silently. “I had to match the recording that they were going to use,’’ Koglin told us.

Koglin said she was impressed that producers made the effort to find a real harp player to fake a performance in the scene. Usually, when she sees harp players in movies and on television, their hand gestures don’t match the music. “I look up and go, ‘They’re not really playing,’ ’’ she said.

Koglin said that most of the film’s big stars were on the set during her two days of work. She mimed the harp near Samberg and Meester as well as Adam Sandler, Will Forte, Tony Orlando, and Boston gal Rachel Dratch. “I spent a fair amount of time talking to Tony Orlando,’’ Koglin said, with a giggle.

Koglin also told us that one of the most memorable parts of the set was the smell. “Prop seafood, although real, is not eaten and develops a very strong odor by the end of the day (especially when the AC is turned off for filming due to sound and you add 100 people and lighting),’’ she told us yesterday via e-mail. “Donny’s Boy’’ - which used to be called “I Hate You Dad’’ - will be released next year.