Playing the harp for Dr. Jacquelyn Venter is more than just being an active performer and teacher, it is her way of life.

“I can say things with my harp that I may not always be able to articulate with words. When I don’t play for a while I feel like my emotional balance is off – playing and practicing can help me process through what is going on in my life – which often serves the music.”

While ballerinas captivate most five-year-old girls watching a performance of the Nutcracker, it was the harpist that enthralled Dr. Venter. From that moment on, playing the harp was her pursuit, beginning with the piano and moving onto the harp at age nine. Dr. Venter says teaching and performing is also about sharing the gifts she has been given.

“Impacting others through this instrument I love is extremely rewarding - whether it’s through a performance or watching a student grow and learn.”

She recently received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin - The first harpist to receive a doctorate from this elite institution. She has since relocated to Sacramento, California to continue her career.