Mary Brigid Roman recently celebrated 50 years as harp professor at Florida State University. To commemorate the event, students past and present came together on Oct. 8 to perform a recital in her honor at Lindsay Hall and attend a tea–themed reception following the concert. Many students spoke about Roman’s impact on their lives, including former student Laura Sherman.
“Not only did Mrs. Roman teach me how to play the harp, how to prepare all types of music, and how to rewrite unplayable orchestra parts. She also shared with me, mostly by example, how to be a strong and gentle woman, an honest and caring person, and the importance of good nutrition, exercise, and loving relationships. To this day, I try to follow these key concepts that I learn from her: practice, eat right, exercise, treat people kindly, be generous, and love abundantly, says Sherman. She adds, “Mrs. Roman is one of the most authentic people that I have ever known. She is genuinely kind, deeply thoughtful and incredibly organized. Professionally, her flawless technique, impeccable preparation and deep artistry always leave me spell-bound.”
Since joining the FSU faculty in 1968, Roman has served as a member of the board of directors for the American Harp Society and has written articles for the American Harp Journal and The Instrumentalist. In addition to her position at Florida State, she teaches at Mercer University, Stetson University, and Valdosta State University. She is also the principal harpist with Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.