Finding Your Identity

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Catie Canale Pflaumer is a freelance harpist based out of the Boston/Providence area. In addition to her lines of work, she enjoys spending time with her two pets and husband.

The importance of taking pride in your work—no matter what the work is

—by Catie Canale Pflaumer

“So, what do you do for a living?”

I’ve never had a clear-cut answer to this question. After attending the Eastman School of Music with Kathleen Bride for my undergrad and studying with Sarah Bullen in Chicago for my master’s, you would think the answer would be obvious. Two degrees in harp performance means you must be a professional harpist, but it’s not that simple.

I sit at a corporate desk from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. most days. To work colleagues, I’m a customer service supervisor. When I’m at an orchestra rehearsal or a wedding gig, I’m a professional harpist. I try to tailor my answer to the person I’m speaking with, but whatever I say feels incomplete. I’m often left wondering if I said the “right thing.” How did six years of intensive harp study land me in this dual-life?

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