Faculty and Staff

Kate Cockle

Assistant Director

Kate Cockle is a harpist and music educator. Kate completed her undergraduate degree in Harp Performance and Music History at Wheaton College and her graduate degree in music at Northern Illinois University. Kate lives in Waco, Texas where she enjoys teaching her Musikgarten studio and performing in local venues. Kate and her husband Ted have four sons, each of…

Janelle Lake

Faculty

Janelle Lake has been teaching hundreds of people to play the harp since she started teaching while at Northwestern University in 2005. Since then, she has taught at the Sherwood School of Music at Columbia College, the University of Chicago, Loyola University, and the Music Connection in Orland Park. Her home harp studio on the…

Chicago Showcase

Guest Artists

Thursday, June 16th, 2022 Concert: 7:30pm  Chicago has many talented harpists with a variety of skill sets. We will be featuring several of them in our Thursday evening concert! LeAnne Bennion Lauren Hayes   As a harpist performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera of Chicago, Eleanor Kirk is an experienced orchestral, chamber,…

Dr. Charles W. Lynch III is the Harp Specialist for Mesa Public Schools (Mesa, AZ), directing a program that includes 250 harp students at sixteen different junior and senior high schools. He was also recently appointed faculty associate in harp at Arizona State University. He previously developed harp programs at Olivet Nazarene University (IL), Valparaiso University…

Elizabeth Richter has enjoyed a distinguished career as both a performer and teacher.  Formerly principal harpist with the Kansas City Philharmonic and the Kansas City Lyric Opera, she has performed as concerto soloist with many orchestras, including the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra in a performance of her edition of Carlos Salzedo’s previously unpublished concerto, The Enchanted…

Faye Seeman

Faculty

Harpist Faye Seeman is principal harpist with the Chicago Sinfonietta Orchestra and professor of harp studies at both Wheaton College and Northern Illinois University. Outside of teaching, Faye has distinguished herself as one of the most versatile harpists in the Chicago area, often venturing away from playing traditional classical music.  Her newest musical venture is…

Jaina Carpenter

Executive Director

Jaina was first involved with the festival as a participant. In 2011, she won First Prize in the Advanced II Solo Competition. She loved the experience so much she decided to return as Assistant Director for the next 7 years! In 2018, after Lorelei Kaiser Barton’s resignation, Jaina took over as Executive Director and moved…

Lou Hurst

Chief Harp Schlepper and Staging Tech

Lou first began taking an interest in the harp world nearly 15 years ago as a parent when his son Zach started taking lessons. As Zach continued to progress through his own harp career, he and Lou began attending the Midwest Harp Festival. For the first couple of years, Lou attended primarily as a parent…

Zach Hurst

Assistant Harp Schlepper and Staging Tech

Dr. Joanne King

Faculty

Harpist Dr. Joanne King has enjoyed a rich history of activity. Currently the Principal Harpist for the Muncie Symphony Orchestra under Douglas Droste, she has also worked with several other orchestras and conductors including Richard Sowers (Anderson Symphony), Jeffrey Grogan (Music For All, Honor Orchestra of America), and Scott Humphreys (Manchester Symphony Orchestra). She is…

Jennifer Ruggieri

Harp Technician

Jennifer Ruggieri is a Lyon and Healy certified harp technician and a member of the Lyon and Healy/Salvi Technician’s Guild based in Chicago, IL. Clients have included Chicago Symphony, Jacobs School of Music, Chicago College of the Performing Arts, UT Austin, and Carnival Cruises. She is currently serving private clients in the Chicagoland area and…