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Erin Wood fell in love with the harp as a child when she heard a jazz harpist playing at her local public library. She is passionate about being an ambassador of the harp by sharing that love through teaching and performing. Wood currently teaches at the University of Kansas, Washburn University, and Baker University, while maintaining a private studio with students of all ages. She has performed as Principal Harpist with many ensembles including Reno Chamber Orchestra, Nevada Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Columbus Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic and Topeka Symphony. As an Interlochen Orchestral Scholar, Erin performed with the World Youth Symphony with artists such as Neemi Järvi and Yo-Yo Ma. Wood studied with Susann McDonald at Indiana University where she earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and a Performer’s Certificate. She is a prizewinner in competitions including the Prix Renié and National Society of Arts and Letters. Her flute, harp, viola trio was the only chamber ensemble to be accepted to perform at the Focus on Youth Concert series at the Seventh World Harp Congress in Prague. Erin serves on the Board of the American Harp Society as the Midwest Regional Director and Vice President of the Lyra Chapter.
An example of a community activity is when I played for an art exhibit opening in Salina KS. The art was all water-themed, so the music I presented was all based on water themes. The interdisciplinary aspect reached multiple segments of the community. I have attached a slideshow of a movie music presentation that was performed at the Jayhawk Theatre in Topeka as well as at the Lawrence Public Library. These performances were very well attended and enjoyed by children and adults.
I have presented the harp in many classroom settings from Preschool-University level. The presentation is tailored for the age level and is interactive. I have played at the Lawrence Art Center Preschool many times. When I play for the preschool I bring my smaller Irish harp and have the children do a lot of movement with the music as well as giving them a chance to play the harp. I play regulary at the library at Deerfield Elementary. Playing at the library allows different classes to come and go as they have time. With the elementary kids, I play music they are familiar with including Disney music. I teach them about the process of learning and instrument and practicing and relate it to the info they learn in their music class. At the Middle and High School level, I generally visit the orchestra/band classes, sometimes with my KU students. They are always excited to see the harp because it is not an instrument that they have experience with or is available at our public schools.