Pennsylvania born and Vermont based harpist Rebecca Kauffman has been the principal harpist with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra (HSO) (Harrisburg, PA) since 1979. She has also performed with various orchestras throughout the northeast, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Reading Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (Ithaca NY), and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as the featured soloist with several orchestras including the HSO, York Symphony Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and the Hershey Symphony.
Since moving to Vermont in 2008, Ms. Kauffman has performed with various musical ensembles including Capital City Concerts with Karen Kevra and Arturo Delmoni, the Music and Literature Series at UVM with Paul Orgel, Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, Opera Company of Middlebury, Burlington Ensemble, and several choral groups including Bella Voce, with whom she has recorded. In July, 2013, she performed on an Artist Faculty Series Concert during the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival with flutist Eugenia Zuckerman and violinist Kevin Lawrence.
In December 2012, Ms. Kauffman released her debut solo classical harp album, Harp …On The Edge of Softness, featuring several virtuoso harp compositions together with her own harp transcriptions of solo piano works.
Ms. Kauffman has appeared in concert with a wide variety of concert artists, including Itzhak Pearlman, Gil Shaham, Lynn Harrell, Yanni, Roberta Peters, Shirley Jones, Maureen McGovern, Bernadette Peters, and the Lettermen. She has performed under the direction of many acclaimed conductors, including Alan Gilbert, Yuri Temirkanov, Stuart Malina, Jamie Laredo, Anthony Princiotti, Richard Westerfield, Andrew Constantine, and Sidney Rothstein. In addition to her orchestral performances, Ms. Kauffman has performed many solo and duo recitals, including a performance at the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA, various recitals with her esprit! duo partner, flutist Mary Hannigan, and The Kauffman Harp Duo, with her sister, Jane Kauffman Brye.
In 1979, Ms. Kauffman received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education, cum laude, from Millersville University, while studying with harpist Molly Hahn. She earned her Master of Music in Harp Performance from Temple University in 1985 as a student of Marilyn Costello, former principal harpist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. For many years, Ms. Kauffman pursued additional harp studies at the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine, with Alice Chalifoux, former principal harpist with the Cleveland Orchestra, and Jeanne Chalifoux, former harp instructor at the Peabody Conservatory.
While pursuing her performance career, Ms. Kauffman also taught music in the Pennsylvania Public Schools for 29 years. She developed a Suzuki string program and expanded the orchestra program in the Conestoga Valley School District in Lancaster, PA. She implemented a harp program in the school district, and several of her students were accepted into the PMEA State Orchestra Festival. Ms. Kauffman was the 2001 recipient of The Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association’s (PADESTA) Outstanding String Teacher Award.