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Committed to pushing the boundaries of harp performance, Jennifer R. Ellis (D.M.A. University of Michigan, M.M. Cleveland Institute of Music, B.M. Oberlin) thoroughly enjoys taking the harp off its pedestal and using the instrument in new and unexpected ways. She embraces firsts. She has premiered over 90 works. She was the first harpist to be a U.S. State Department One Beat Fellow, the first musician to be named a University of Michigan Engaged Pedagogy Fellow, and the first harpist to attend Bang on a Can, Fresh Inc., and Splice summer festivals. She received the Alice Chalifoux Prize, Rackham Centennial and Graduate fellowships, and AT&T Foundation scholarships. She holds prizes in the Ann Arbor Society for Musical Arts, Coeur d’Alene Young Artists, LMC of Seattle, and Inez Stafford competitions. Her love for innovative new music has led her to serve as a featured performer for the Festival of New American Music, Sound of Late, and Spitting Image Collective. Her recordings run the gamut from American Indian Fusion (Dha Re Dha with Sumkali) to solo improvisation (“January Lullaby” on Persist) to new music for harp and saxophone (Launch with Jonathan Hulting-Cohen on Albany Records). She performed the premiere recording of Steve Horowitz’s Entertainment Tonight and has written articles for Harp Column Magazine and The American Harp Journal, where she now serves on the editorial board. Equally at home with orchestral playing. When not playing new music, she collaborates with her orchestral colleagues, performing with Oakland Symphony , Santa Cruz Symphony, Britten Pears, Spark Festival, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra Institute, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and Texas Music Festival. Her passion for teaching composers about the harp has led her to provide workshops for composers at institutions including University of California Davis, Cal State University Sacramento, Bowling Green State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Miami University, University of Hartford, University of Michigan, Cleveland State University, and University of North Carolina Greensboro. She was a 2017-2018 Artist-In-Residence at UC Davis, faculty at the 2018 Nief Norf Summer Institute. She currently teaches harp for Mills College and community engagement for San Francisco Conservatory of Music. www.harpellis.com
Committed to pushing the boundaries of harp performance, Jennifer R. Ellis (D.M.A. University of Michigan, M.M. Cleveland Institute of Music, B.M. Oberlin) has performed ninety premieres. Her recordings range from American Indian Fusion (Dha Re Dha with Sumkali) to solo improvisation (“January Lullaby” on Persist) to premieres for harp and saxophone (Launch with Jonathan Hulting-Cohen on Albany Records). She teaches harp at Mills College and community engagement at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. www.harpellis.com
From kinesthetic music education to ergonomics to teaching for diverse learning needs, harpist Dr. Jennifer R. Ellis is dedicated to innovative music pedagogy. She currently teaches harp at Mills College, Harps Etc., and the SFCM PreCollege/Adult Extension and community engagement at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has taught a combination of harp, eurhythmics, and music theory privately as well as at institutions including MPULSE, Harps Etc., Avon School of Music, Oberlin Secondary Instrument Program, Cleveland School for the Arts, and Young Artist’s Harp Seminar. An in-demand clinician given workshops and masterclasses at Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Arizona, Arizona State University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Miami University, University of Hartford, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Cleveland State University, Nief Norf Summer Institute, Schenectady Community College, Williams College, and University of Massachusetts Amherst. She was a 2014 University of Michigan Engaged Pedagogy Initiative Fellow, 2013 Rackham Centennial Fellow, and 2012 Alice Chalifoux Prize awardee. She trained in eurhythmics pedagogy at CIM and founded a eurhythmics program for University of Michigan music students that grew to span five levels of study. She served as the harp department assistant at both Oberlin and CIM, has published in The American Harp Journal and Harp Column. In addition to teaching harp and eurhythmics, she has performed over 90 premieres and works to educate composers on writing for the harp. After studying at Oberlin and CIM, she completed her D.M.A. at the University of Michigan in Harp Performance with a Certificate of Musicology and CRLT Graduate Teacher Certificate. www.harpellis.com