Jennifer Ellis

Harp, 2013

Jennifer EllisHarpist Jennifer R. Ellis (M.M. Cleveland Institute of Music, B.M. Oberlin) is a dynamic contemporary performer who thoroughly enjoys defying traditional expectations about harp playing.  It is in that spirit that she became the first harpist to be accepted to Bang on a Can’s Summer Festival and, in 2013, became the first harpist accepted to the Fresh Inc. Festival.  In addition to performing her own harp compositions, Ms. Ellis has worked with composers to perform over two-dozen premieres.  She is a founding member of OINC and WoDom and was selected to accompany Stevie Wonder at the opening of Oberlin’s new jazz building.  Ms. Ellis is a recipient of a 2013 Rackham Centennial Fellowship and the 2012 Alice Chalifoux Prize in Harp.  In addition to performances at the National Orchestra Institute, Texas Music Festival, Spark Festival, and Britten Pears Emerging Composers Residency, Ms. Ellis has toured the U.S. and Canada as a concert soloist with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra.  She holds awards in the Coeur d’Alene Young Artists, Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, Inez Stafford, and California State American String Teachers Association competitions and has received both AT&T Foundation and Conservatory Dean’s scholarships.  Deeply passionate about community engagement, Ms. Ellis earned her Girl Scout Gold Award running a music program for students in inner-city Richmond, CA, a project that led the San Francisco Bay Council to nominate her as a Young Woman of Distinction for 2006.  This experience spurred her to participate in Oberlin’s social entrepreneurship program and complete graduate coursework at the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Management.  Ms. Ellis is committed to innovative music pedagogy and has taught a combination of harp, eurhythmics and music theory privately as well as at institutions including Harps Etc., Avon School of Music, Oberlin Secondary Instrument Program, Cleveland School for the Arts, and Young Artist’s Harp Seminar.  She served as the harp department assistant at both Oberlin and CIM and has published in The American Harp Journal. Ms. Ellis studied harp with Yolanda Kondonassis, Jessica Siegel, and Alice Giles and is currently pursuing her doctorate with Joan Holland at the University of Michigan.


Nick Baskin – Aubade
for viola, flute, and harp


Jabez Co – the Jabberwock
for mezzo-soprano, flute, viola, double bass, and harp