Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Chicago has many talented harpists with a variety of skill sets. We will be featuring several of them in workshops, a masterclass, and our Thursday evening concert.
As a harpist performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera of Chicago, Eleanor Kirk is an experienced orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. She serves as the Principal Harpist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and as Harp faculty at The People’s Music School and Young Artists Harp Seminar.. Season highlights from the past year include guest principal appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Die Wälkure and Siegfried at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and a Midwest tour with the Chicago Harp Quartet.
In addition to numerous awards, she has received honors at the Luminarts Competition in 2017 and the Musicians Club of Women Scholarship competition in 2019. Ms. Kirk has played in major venues such as Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Civic Opera House, and Symphony Center in Chicago.
Kirk has studied with New York Philharmonic harpist June Han, Lyric Opera of Chicago principal harpist Lynn Williams, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal harpist Sarah Bullen. Kirk holds degrees from Columbia University, and Chicago College of Performing Arts, and currently serves as the Principal Harpist with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
She is a founding member of 5th Wave Collective, a Chicago based classical music ensemble dedicated to the performance and promotion of music by women, where she performs and works as development director. In addition to balancing varied performances and administrative roles, Kirk enjoys teaching in her private studio, and serving as the Vice President of the Chicago Chapter of the American Harp Society.
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 south side of Chicago currently has 20 students ages 4-89. As a registered Suzuki instructor, Mrs. Lake prioritizes clear assignments and goals for each lesson. Her students have won awards through the Royal Conservatory of Music(ABRSM), the Chicago Federation of Musicians, and competitions such as The Greater Chicago Harp Competition. In addition to teaching harp, Janelle Lake performs regularly with the Elmhurst and Southwest Symphony Orchestras, performs solo and in small ensembles for social functions, and is the mother of two young girls.
Julie Spring has performed internationally as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral harpist. As the newest member of the Chicago Harp Quartet, she is busy performing and teaching throughout Chicagoland. She is also Principal Harp of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and has held the same position with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as substitute principal with the Chicago Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Lyric Opera Orchestras. Her solo and chamber music appearances have taken her to stages throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to her performing schedule, she is a passionate teacher and maintains a studio of private students.
Julie hails from Lombard, Illinois. Her mentors include Sarah Bullen, Kathleen Bride, Elizabeth Cifani, and Judy Loman. Julie received her Bachelor of Music degree in both Harp Performance and Instrumental Music Education, in addition to a Performer’s Certificate from Eastman School of Music. She received her Masters degree in Orchestral Studies from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University.
In her time at home, Julie enjoys dark roast coffee and extended bike rides. Her favorite activities include spending time with her son and family, playing with transformers, dinosaurs, and trains.