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OCU Harp Instructor Profiled in Sunday Oklahoman Feature
Gaye LeBlanc, instructor of harp at Oklahoma City University and principal harpist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, is profiled in the Jan. 17, 2010 editions of the Sunday Oklahoman as an example of someone unafraid of making a change. “One should never underestimate a person’s determination to succeed after being advised to consider another career option,” Rick Rogers wrote of LeBlanc. As an undergraduate majoring in piano, she was advised to try another option, and turned to harp. “I was happy to practice four or five hours a day because I just loved it so much,” she told Rogers. “My dad always told me to pick something you love so much that you’d do it for free.” LeBlanc studied two summers at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute and five summers at the Salzedo School, with Alice Chalifoux. She earned her bachelor’s in harp performance from University of North Texas and her master’s from Southern Methodist University. In the interview, LeBlanc cited the donation of Lyon & Healy harps at Oklahoma City University and University of Oklahoma by Wanda Bass, patron and namesake of OCU’s Bass School of Music. She will perform a concert entitled “Harp and Friends” at 3 p.m. Jan. 24 at University of Oklahoma’s Catlett Music Center, 500 W Boyd in Norman, with organist John Schwandt, flutist Valerie Watts and violist Mark Neumann. LeBlanc noted the harp has a 6½-octave range and has seven pedals, “so you also have to make sure your hands and feet are all working in sync. When the pedaling is correct, I feel I can let go and be musically expressive. I’ve been doing this for 22 years now, and it continues to challenge me every day.” For the entire article, visit http://www.newsok.com/switching-from-piano-gratifies-harpist/article/3432341?custom_click=pod_lead_arts#ixzz0coo4Uj0k