Today we are shining a spotlight on harp student Greta Richardson, who was nominated by her instructor of 10 years, Carolyn Kuban.
Please tell us about your music lesson history with the Center for Musical Arts.
Greta: I have distant but fun memories of doing several Music Together classes at the Center with my siblings and parents when I was very young. We still have all those CDs that we listened to in the car thousands of times! Then at age 8, I started harp lessons and have continued with them through present, participating in several Honors Recitals and providing background music at a Crescendo fundraiser a couple years ago.
Have you always worked with harp instructor Carolyn Kuban at the Center?
Greta: I have been very fortunate to work with Carolyn the entire 10 years I’ve studied harp. She has been a wonderful and patient teacher over the years, inspiring me with her own playing and always encouraging me to do my best in a supportive, but not forceful, way. I will miss working with Carolyn a lot.
Can you tell us about just one lesson that Carolyn taught you that will stick with you in the future?
Greta: My very first lesson is actually one of the most memorable. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but thought I’d probably be listening to my teacher talk about the harp and maybe play for me, but Carolyn had me jump right in with playing some glissandos. I was amazed that I could make such pretty sounds right off the bat and was immediately hooked.
Carolyn informed us that you won the National School Orchestra Award, which is “the highest honor you can bestow upon a member of a high school orchestra to recognize excellence in playing and contributions to the ensemble.” Incredible! How did it feel to win this award?
Greta: It was very gratifying! There are not always harp parts available in high school orchestra arrangements and I have played plenty of piano or violin parts on my harp that really do not lend to the overall sound of the piece. I try to alter the arrangements whenever possible to make them sound more “harpy.” And thanks to Carolyn’s prompting with my high school director, I was given the opportunity to perform a concerto during my final concert just recently. It was so rewarding to be recognized afterward with the award!
I understand you have plans to attend Dartmouth College in the fall — congratulations again! You also plan to play in their college orchestra while you’re there. What will you be studying, and what role do you think music will play in your college experience?
Greta: I’m undecided on my major until I’ve taken some classes there, but my interests are in STEM and I’m also considering minoring in music. Besides playing in the Dartmouth Symphony, the director of the Wind Ensemble has encouraged me to audition for that ensemble. They are planning a tour to Mexico this coming year, which sounds like an exciting opportunity! I’d also love to play in chamber groups at Dartmouth.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my background and future plans!
Ready to begin your own musical journey? The Center for Musical Arts offers lessons in all instruments and voice!