Many people know very little about the harp, especially the pedal harp, but one young lady, 12-year-old, Tehya Noel Hazelbaker, not only knows quite a lot about this harp but is a very talented pedal harp player. Her talent and knowledge on this harp have helped her to achieve something quite rare, as Tehya Noel Hazelbaker will be the Harpist with the Columbus Symphony Cadet Orchestra for the 2019-2020 concert season.
The concerts will be held at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, under the direction of Dr. Mark Sholl and Dr. Jim Bates, Assistant Conductor. The first of four concerts will be November 9, 2019, at u7:00 p.m. The Cadet Orchestra is one of four Youth Orchestras with the Columbus Symphony.
When asked why did you want to play the harp? Tehya Hazelbaker said, “Because it was a very beautiful and graceful looking instrument and I thought it would be fun to play, and it is fun to play and I really love it.”
She also said that no one or thing interested her in the harp she said, “I just got interested myself, I started playing two years ago with the lever harp.”
Tehya Hazelbaker now has a pedal harp which according to her mother costs over $20,000 and Tehya Hazelbaker says, “My new harp is a pedal harp, because the lever harp is so limited as far as repertoire, you can’t play in an orchestra with a lever harp and with the pedal harp, you can play so much more.”
When asked what it was like to be chosen to be in this orchestra, Tehya Hazelbaker says, “It’s an awesome opportunity, it will really help with me playing in front of big audiences. I go up to Columbus weekly to practice with the 91 people in the orchestra. I’m kinda excited to play in the orchestra and I’m the only harpist in the orchestra. “
Speaking with Tehya Hazelbaker, have you always been interested in music as a whole? She said, “Yes, since I was five. I play the piano and still do.” And as for what she sees in the future for herself and the harp, ”I would probably go to college to study music and harp at Ohio State University.”
Tammy Hazelbaker stated, “Harp is very competitive, especially as you get older because they are so expensive there are less people that get into it, but by the same token, they don’t need as many harps as they would other instruments. When you try to get into an orchestra, it’s competitive because there are only two harps in a full orchestra.”
Tammy Hazelbaker also said that she wanted to pay homage to the supporters in our area. She especially mentioned the Summer Enrichment programs that are ran through the Scioto County Education Service Center. She said that Tehya was awarded state and county scholarships, where she can do these harp camps like this summer she went to Ohio State and Kenyon College. She added that Tehya can participate in that up until she’s a junior, her junior summer, because of her gifted status. She said that the availability of such programs is essential and greatly appreciated.
Speaking with Tehya’s music teacher, Mrs. Jeanne Norton, one of Ohio’s leading harpists and a faculty member at Ohio State University and she had this to say about Tehya and her talent, “She got into that orchestra, she’d only studied with me for three months. She had not been playing on a concert harp, she’d only been playing on a small harp. It was all very quick, she did a very good job, left She did her audition on it and she made the orchestra which is pretty unusual for someone. Usually, they study for a year or two before they get into middle school and high school orchestras. Tehya has a lot of ability and a desire to learn and she’s catching on very quickly. I’m really happy with her progress. She’s gonna have a sizeable;e solo with a flutiest in one of the movements in the Carmon Suite and she’s doing it beautifully. She has caught on quickly, and I think the reason is the desire is there. She likes her music and she’s also a dancer and plays the piano also, and the piano really helps in studying the harp.”
Tehya Hazelbaker also participates in the Harp Ohio Ensemble which is under the direction of Mrs. Norton. The Ensemble performs for various events in the Columbus area. “She said, “I am new to the HarpOhio Ensemble, we recently performed during the 30th Annual Benefit Concert for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. It was such a wonderful evening.”
Norton continued, “She just took to it(the harp) like a duck to water, and I’m not afraid to challenge her and she’s not afraid of the challenge. She went to camps that had harpists playing at a higher level and I could see her determination, she’ll be playing with orchestras very quickly.” Norton added, “She is such a great kid and such a great young lady.”
Norton is an Ohio State faculty member on the western harp, but she is also the principal harpist for the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus and substitute principal and second harpist with the Columbus Symphony. Tehya Hazelbaker has an opportunity to study under what appears to be one of the best harpists in Ohio and with her talent, this should help her attain every goal that she sets for herself on the harp.
Not to be forgotten, Tehya Hazelbaker is also a gifted pianist studying under Mr. Justin Wiget. Tehya Hazelbaker is a 12-year-old 7th-grade student at Portsmouth West Middle School and she is the daughter of Todd and Tammy Hazelbaker. This young lady has set high standards for herself and has the talent, determination, and the desire to someday be in some of the greatest orchestras in the country.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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