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Janice Ortega Faculty Profile

Photo of Janice Ortega

Janice  Ortega

Lecturer, Harp

Department of Music

Janice was influenced by great harp teachers beginning with Wenonah Govea, California State University East Bay, where Janice graduated Magna Cum Laude, Bachelor of Arts in Music.  Janice studied harp performance over several summers at the Aspen Music School with Nancy Allen of The Julliard School and Principal Harpist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Janice completed post-graduate studies in harp performance at the Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands as part of the Artist Diploma Program. Janice studied with Phia Berghout, Principal Harpist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, in Amsterdam. The Independent newspaper of the UK, Saturday 27 March 1993 01:02, described Phia Berghout as “arguably the most influential harpist this century.”

Janice earned the Master of Music degree in Harp Performance with a Pedagogy Minor from Indiana University under the direction of Susann McDonald. Her curriculum included improvisational jazz harp, pedagogy, advanced theory and ear training, open score reading, keyboard facility, and figured bass reading. The American Harp Journal, Winter 2017, wrote: "Susann McDonald is one of the great harpists and harp teachers in the world. She has been a teacher and a role model to an amazing number of the most prominent harpists of our time…” 

Janice performed with many European orchestras, beginning with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, under the direction of Kiril Kondrashin. Her later performances included symphony orchestras in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany, and in the US, with festival orchestras in Tanglewood and Aspen.

Janice wrote "I was very fortunate to have great harp teachers, and I wish to continue their legacy." She continues their legacy through private teaching, four academic appointments, and recently through a series of videos on advanced performance techniques for the harp sponsored by the American Harp Society Bay Area Chapter.

Janice’s contributions to the American Harp Society (AHS) span several decades. During her tenure as co-president of the AHS Bay Area Chapter, the Chapter sponsored the annual AHS National Harp Conference in San Francisco, a National Harp Competition, and a Northern California Harp Competition. Janice also addressed the AHS National Harp Conference as a guest speaker and concert artist. Linda Rollo, Chairman of the Board, American Harp Society, reviewed Janice’s concert performance: “This was a beautiful presentation, well-played, polished and professional. The Shapiro is a wonderful piece which you played brilliantly, without a hitch.  Your speaking and general rapport with the audience was excellent and I loved the Mozart, as did the entire audience.” Janice served as President of the AHS Hayward Chapter and is alumnus advisor for the California State University Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon.

 

I was very fortunate to have great harp teachers, and I wish to continue their legacy. I achieve this goal through private studio teaching, academic appointments, and videos focused on advanced harp technique published on YouTube and through the American Harp Society Bay Area Chapter Facebook page.


  • 1990 Indiana University: Master of Music with a Pedagogy Minor
  • 1982 Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands: Artist Diploma
  • 1979 California State University, Hayward: Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude.

Not teaching this semester.

Winter 2002        San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday Magazine, “Harpist at the St. Francis.”

Winter 2001        The American Harp Journal. “Composition Review: New Century String Orchestra.

 Fall 2001             The Harp Column. “Harp Transport: New Methodologies.”

Spring 1999         Pacifica Tribune. “Seaside Music Academy Hosts Budding Musicians.”

Spring 1992         All I Need to Know About Life I Learned from a Harp

(self-published poster. Certificated under the seal of the Copyright Office in accordance with title 17, United States Code)

1990                       “Best of” Asta (American String Teachers’ Association) Journal: “The Houston Program and Ms. O’Bryan.”

1989                       ASTA Journal: “The Houston Program and Ms. O’Bryan.”

2001                       Hewlett-Packard Philanthropic Ventures.

2000                       Portland Symphony Education Grant.

1999                       Hewlett-Packard Philanthropic Ventures.

Portland Symphony Education Grant.

1998                       Hewlett-Packard Philanthropic Ventures.                             

Portland Symphony Education Grant.

American Harp Society National Competition: 2nd Prize, Chamber Music, Flute and Harp.

Artists in Residence,” Marin County, Youth in Arts Program.

American Federation of Musicians Local Union 6 School Concerts.

1997                       American Federation of Musicians Local Union 6 School Concerts.

1996                       American Federation of Musicians Local Union 6 School Concerts.

1995                       “Artists in Residence,” Marin County, Youth in Arts Program

American Federation of Musicians Local Union 6 School Concerts.

1994                       American Harp Society Artists Fund. San Mateo Arts Council Grant.

1993                       American Harp Society Artists Fund. San Mateo Arts Council Grant.

1992                       American Harp Society Artists Fund. San Mateo Arts Council Grant.

1991                       American Harp Society Artists Fund. San Mateo Arts Council Grant.

1990                       “Artists in Residence,” Marin County, Youth in Arts Program.

American Harp Society Artists Fund. San Mateo Arts Council Grant.

1987                       Orange County Philharmonic Society cultural grant for chamber music.

1983                      Aspen Music Festival Scholarship.

1981                       Rotary Scholarship for foreign study.

1980                      Mu Phi Epsilon Mabel Henderson Memorial Grant.

Tanglewood Music Festival Scholarship.

1975                       Herbert Van Karajan International Orchestra Competition. Gold Medal, Oakland Youth Orchestra

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