The Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver has appointed Courtney Hershey Bress to its harp faculty. The position begins in fall 2021. The harp department offers private lessons, studio classes, chamber music classes, and pedagogy training. Hershey Bress says she teaches her harp students “from the mainstream solo, chamber, and orchestral literature while also making sure they have a knowledge of new, diverse music.” She says she wants students to have the confidence to pursue their passion and the ability to make a living with the harp. Her teaching emphasizes the importance of technique, musicality, and understanding the mechanics of the harp. “Positive reinforcement is my philosophy,” she says. “I stay as positive as I can in lessons and try never to use negative words. I hope that all of my students have a wonderful learning experience from me and they take it into their future careers.”
Hershey Bress served on the harp faculty at Colorado State University from 2016–2021. She currently serves as principal harpist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, she served as principal harpist with the United States Army Field Band. Her performance of George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children earned her a Grammy nomination. She published her first book titled For the Love of Harp in 2017. Hershey Bress holds a bachelor’s degree and a performer’s certificate from Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music in Orchestral Studies from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.