Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Rachel Van Voorhees, principal harpist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, will be the featured artist at Thursday's presentation of the St. Paul's Chamber Music Series.
Van Voorhees enjoys a unique career as soloist, recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician. An artist of great versatility, she is as comfortable performing with orchestra as she is playing Celtic music or taking a solo with the jazz group, Diversity, which she co-founded with Charles Neville.
Van Voorhees studied at the Juilliard School; Purchase College; the Conservatoire in Fontainebleau, France; and has a master's degree from Yale University, where she was awarded the Harriet Gibbs Fox Award for highest scholastic average. She studied the harp with Marcel Grandjany and theory with Nadia Boulanger.
This past year, Van Voorhees has given solo recitals for the International Harp Recital Series in Salt Lake City and for the American Harp Society Chicago Chapter at Lyon and Healy Recital Hall. She has performed orchestral concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Utah Symphony and the Tulsa Symphony. She appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony performing the Martin Symphonie Concertante for Harp, Harpsichord, Piano and Orchestra as well as several recitals with violinist Gregory Fulkerson including their most recent performance at Loyola University.
Van Voorhees is on the faculty of Loyola University and teaches privately. Additionally, she is the solo harpist at the Windsor Court Hotel, and during the summer months, harpist of the Grand Teton Music Festival.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships at Tanglewood; Chautauqua; Spoleto, Italy; the Walter Damrosch Fellowship; the Louisiana Artist Fellowship; the Contemporary Arts Center's Sweet Arts Award; and ten grants from the Louisiana Decentralized Arts Funding Program. In the last few years she has performed over 80 concerts for the Orleans Parish School Board Elementary Cultural Resources Assembly Series, as well as hundreds of concerts for Orleans Parish school children.
This past year, Van Voorhees and Lou Anne Neill, principal harpist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, co-founded the Harp in Our Public Schools Program in Los Angeles in partnership with the Young Musicians Foundation. Sixty third- and fourth-graders are now studying the harp.
Van Voorhees has recorded eight CDs, which are available both on Amazon.com and her website, www.RachelHarp.com. Her recordings are frequently played on NPR affiliates around the country. As a soloist, she has appeared on NPR Television and National Public Radio.
Want to go?
What: St. Paul's Chamber Series presents New Orleans Harpist Rachel Van Voorhees
When: Thursday, from 12:05 p.m-1 p.m.
Where: St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1116 23rd Ave., downtown
Information:. Call (601) 693-2504 .