Award-winning harpist Haley Rhodeside is an exciting young musician who makes her home in Orlando but regularly performs throughout the United States. Ms. Rhodeside’s playing has won numerous accolades: She was a winner of the Miami Music Festival’s concerto competition, a first prize winner of the Young Artists Harp Competition, and a multiple-time finalist in the American Harp Society’s national competition, among other awards. She also was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University, where she completed her undergraduate studies as a student of Susann McDonald. Further studies include a Master’s degree in Harp Performance from Yale School of Music, under the tutelage of Dr. June Han.
Ms. Rhodeside is especially at home in an orchestra, and she is currently the Principal Harp of both the Orlando Philharmonic and the Annapolis Symphony. In addition to these positions, she has appeared regularly with such orchestras as The Florida Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and many others. As a soloist, she has played with the Space Coast Symphony and the Miami Music Festival Orchestra. Past summers have been spent at the Miami Summer Music Festival and at the Atlantic Music Festival as a Resident Artist. Ms. Rhodeside is an avid performer of new music as well, having appeared often with the New York-based ensemble Cantata Profana, New Music New Haven, and Indiana University’s New Music Ensemble, among others.
An avid teacher, she serves as professor of harp at UCF and previously spent two years on faculty at Colorado College. She maintains an active private studio and is devoted to helping each student achieve their best in harp and music. Sharing the gift of music in other ways is extremely important to Ms. Rhodeside as well. Her work with HarpSTART, the USA International Harp Competition’s outreach program, brought the music of the harp to Blooington schools and other community venues. She also volunteered with MusicMDs, a group devoted to sharing music with hospital patients.
Although classically trained, Ms. Rhodeside is fluent in other genres as well. She studied for many years with pop-and-jazz master Jan Jennings, and has been honing her improvisatory skills through active gigging for well over a decade. She was also a guest harpist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort for many years.
Ms. Rhodeside began playing the harp at the age of six, after politely refusing her parents’ offer to provide her with piano lessons and informing them of her instrument of choice. However, it is not her only passion: outside of degrees in music, Ms. Rhodeside also holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She studied math concurrently with music at Indiana University, following an honors track and graduating with high distinction. While she did not choose to continue her formal education in the subject, she is fascinated by the deep and beautiful connections between math and music, which she is still continuing to discover.