You're listening to Minuet from Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin arr. by the Kithara Trio


Harpist Faye Seeman holds undergraduate degrees in music performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, MI). She received her Master's Degree in harp performance from Boston University, studying with the renowned harpist and pedagogue Lucile Lawrence. Faye spent many summers attending Boston University's Tanglewood Institute, and worked with Ms. Lawrence post-graduation while living in the Boston area.

Faye has maintained a private teaching studio for the past 35 years, bringing her eclectic and varied background as educator, ensemble conductor, and active performing harpist to the forefront for her students. She currently serves on the faculty at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, IL), the College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, IL), and Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, IL). To offer her students a broad range of musical experiences, Faye incorporates music theory, aural skills, performance practice, and harp ensemble into a studio class format along with harp technique and literature of the instrument in private lessons. Her teacher, Lucile Lawrence, wife and student of the prolific harpist and composer Carlos Salzedo, co-authored several books on the technique of playing the harp. Faye upholds the tradition of playing and teaching the Salzedo method, paying close attention to sound quality, technical accuracy, and clarity of musical line, a hallmark of this style. (see video called showcase attached to website).

This year, Faye is teaching a new curriculum for graduate level students of all instruments at Northern Illinois University called, "Launch Your Business", a class she has developed to help students close to graduating formulate a business plan for portfolio careers in music. She also teaches the History and Literature of the Harp at Wheaton College, which serves harp students as they endeavor to gain a more complete understanding of their instrument, its history and repertoire.

She is founder and artistic director of Think Big harp ensemble comprised of students of all ages. The group performs at colleges, retirement homes, churches and public venues. Repertoire includes original music for harp ensemble along with transcriptions of music written for keyboard duos, and other variations of instruments. Students have a minimum of 6 rehearsals in the ensemble for each performance, with work in performing practices and concert etiquette included.

Faye currently spends her summers teaching at music camps and festivals around the country.

A long-time faculty member of the Birch Creek Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, she teaches alongside members of the Chicago Sinfonietta Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and many other Midwest orchestras. The mission of Birch Creek is to provide high school students with an opportunity to perform authentic orchestral repertoire alongside professional musicians in an intense setting. Performances are given during the two week festival with four separate repertoires. Harp students at BCMF learn orchestral repertoire and technique, chamber music, and benefit from one-on-one contact with Faye throughout the day.

Faye has been a clinician at the Midwest Harp Festival for the past five years, which is held in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Oral Roberts University. Her colleagues include founder and director Lorelei Barton (University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University), Elizabeth Richter (Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana), Mary Bircher (principal harpist of the Omaha Symphony) and Jan Jennings (free-lance harpist in Orlando, Florida and frequent Harp Column contributor). The MHF presents faculty recitals, large group harp ensemble experiences, workshops, and individual lessons during the week.

On the west coast, Faye has been a faculty member of the Pacific Harp Institute (Seattle, Washington), founded by Seattle area harpist Allison Austin. During her time at PHI, Faye has taught alongside Judy Loman (Curtis Institute of Music, University of Toronto), Janet Whitman (arranger and folk harpist), and Elizabeth Volpe-Bligh (Vancouver Symphony). Harp students attending the Pacific Harp Institute experience individual instruction in solo and chamber music set in the spectacular surroundings of Icicle Creek Chamber Music Camp, located in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle.

Photo by Laura Hamm
Photos by Cora Mitchell