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About Gretchen
   
 

ABOUT GRETCHEN

I grew up in Lake Jackson, Texas. My harp career was ordained at birth. When I was born, my mother was in the maternity ward with a harpist, and they became good friends afterwards. When I expressed an interest in playing a musical instrument my mother nudged me in the direction of her harpist friend, Virginia Robbins, and my harping career began.

After I learned enough music to play more than 10 minutes, I played for bank openings, talent shows, The March of Dimes telethon, weddings, and Sunday brunch at the Dow Hotel in Freeport, Texas. I also accompanied my high school choir for Britten's "Ceremony of Carols." I did not major in music in college but I did play with the band and orchestra.

I taught biology in public schools for 21 years and my harp became a very pretty conversation piece in the living room. Upon ending my career as a biology teacher I once again turned to the harp as a serious vocation. I am now a free-lance harpist in the Central Texas area (Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Gatesville, Temple, Salado, Cameron, Burnet, Marble Falls) where I play for weddings, receptions, dinners, and church services. I have also played with the high school choirs in the area and occasionally play with a semi-professional symphony and a college orchestra. I have also played for events in Waco, Austin, Dallas, and Houston. I am a member of the American Harp Society chapter in Austin and am in that organization's harp ensemble. I am also a member of the World Harp Congress and the Suzuki Association of America.

In 1995 I began teaching Suzuki harp to a friend's four-year-old daughter. Now I have several young students and two adult students and enjoy teaching harp very much. My students have gone on to launch harping careers of their own. As an ensemble we have taped a Christmas program for a local television station and we have played with Suzuki students in Austin for the annual Capitol Rotunda Christmas program.