Our board of directors

“The harp is the only instrument you cradle in your arms.”

--Mildred Milligan

HopeCowanHarpwebphoto

GHC President

Hope Cowan

Harpist Hope Cowan teaches and plays throughout Houston. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Houston, and a Master of Music degree from Rice University, both under the instruction of Paula Page. Since graduating, Ms. Cowan has established herself as a sought after performer and teacher in the greater Houston area. As an orchestral harpist, she performs with the El Paso Symphony, Symphony of Southeast Texas, and the Mississippi Symphony. ​She is also currently a Young Artist with Da Camera of Houston. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Cowan is a founding member of both the Deciduous Trio and the Lynx Trio. Chamber music performances include appearances at the National Flute Association Convention and the American Harp Society Summer Institute. She has appeared as a guest artist on faculty recitals at Sul Ross State University, University of Texas El Paso, and San Angelo State University. In addition to her performing career, Ms. Cowan teaches private harp lessons to students of all ages at her studio in Katy, Texas. She is a faculty instructor for the Houston Summer Harp Festival and a Teaching Artist for Young Audiences of Houston. When she is not busy teaching and playing, Ms. Cowan enjoys hiking, running, and trying new foods. www.hopecowanharp.com

 

kate

GHC Vice President

Kate Gabriele

Kate Gabriele has played the harp since 2006. She is a lifetime member of both the National American Harp Society and the American Harp Society in Dallas. Kate served on the Board of Directors for the Dallas chapter from 2013-2016, where her responsibilities included organizing
student events and coordinating hospitality. Therapeutic music is one of Kate's many interests. In December 2016, she completed the Public Music for Medical Environments training, earning
the title of Healthcare Lobby Musician. Kate has been a member of the AHS Greater Houston Chapter since moving to Houston. She is honored to serve on the board and looks forward to working with members to offer programs and events to further educate and inspire local harpists and students.

alaina

GHC Treasurer

Dr. Alaina Graiser

An avid performer, researcher, and teacher, Dr. Alaina Graiser (adjunct instructor of harp at Sam Houston State University), has shared her passion for pedagogy with harpists around the world, including recent engagements as adjunct instructor of harp pedagogy at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and guest lecturer at the World Harp Congress in Sydney, Australia; the American Harp Society Summer Institute in Logan, Utah; the Lexington Talent Education Association Midwinter Harp Workshop; and harp pedagogy courses around the midwest US and Toronto, Canada. Prior to her appointment at SHSU, Dr. Graiser served as President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Harp Society and directed an annual summer harp camp for local harpists for four years. Dr. Graiser has performed across the United States and Canada, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and regional tours with the REFLECT harp+percussion duo. Dr. Graiser received her DMA in harp performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Gillian Benet Sella, following her MM from the University of Toronto with Judy Loman and the BM from the University of Texas at Austin with Delaine Leonard. Dr. Graiser lives in Huntsville with her husband Brian, her son William, and their three rabbits. Her website is www.alainagraiser.com

stephanie

GHC Secretary

Stephanie Gustafson

Stephanie is an active performer, educator, and writer. An experienced orchestral musician, she has been Principal Harpist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra since August 2015 and is a regular guest of the Houston Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. Prior to her move to Houston, she lived in Washington DC, where she was principal harpist of the Annapolis Symphony. As a teacher, Stephanie is co-founder and co-director of the Houston Youth Harp Ensemble and is on faculty with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, a summer program in Twin Lake, Michigan. She also held a fellowship with Da Camera of Houston from 2016-2018, which allowed her to teach in public, private, and charter schools all across Houston. Stephanie received her Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music, where she was a student of the late Deborah Hoffman, Principal Harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 28 years. She earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she studied with the esteemed Dr. Ann Yeung. In her spare time, she writes for the Harp Column and is an avid reader.

Naomi

Milligan Committee Chair

Naomi Hoffmeyer

Naomi is a freelance artist and educator based in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. She has been the Principal Harpist of both the California and Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestras since 2013, and has performed as a guest musician with ensembles including the Houston Symphony and Ballet, as well as the San Francisco Symphony and Ballet. As an educator, Naomi maintains a private studio and is a co-director of the Houston Youth Harp Ensemble. Naomi received her Master of Music and Artist Diploma Degrees with Paula Page at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. She also trained under Douglas Rioth and Ann Hobson Pilot at the San Francisco and New England Conservatories. In addition to her conservatory studies, she credits much of her musical and personal development to her time spent at the Interlochen Arts Academy. While maintaining an active musical schedule, Naomi is an enthusiast of the culinary arts and holds a degree in Pâtisserie and Baking from the California Culinary Academy. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, and spends her spare time hiking, reading, and catering to her cat’s every whim. www.naomihoffmeyer.com

Facebook harp profile pic cropped

GHC Webmaster

Elizabeth Webb

Elizabeth Webb is a professional harpist, composer, author, and instructor who has been performing and teaching harp for over 25 years. With degrees in both music performance and teaching, she tailors lessons to any student’s needs and abilities, regardless of age or level. Elizabeth has been developing her own beginning harp curriculum over the past 5 years and is producing a hybrid program for learning the harp through a combination of prerecorded videos and one-on-one video chat sessions. Elizabeth puts on harp workshops with harpists like Deborah Henson-Conant and is active in the harp community, including running the Facebook group HarpStrategies, serving on local harp chapter boards, creating websites for harp groups, organizing fundraisers for harp scholarships, directing harp ensembles, writing articles for harp magazines, and proofreading Harp Column Magazine. Wishing to make the harp journey easier for others, in 2019 Elizabeth launched Harpli.com, an online community containing lessons for every harpist, including templates and video demonstrations to help harpists market themselves, teach harp, create sheet music, and better their craft. In 2020 Elizabeth and her husband decided to leave their life in Houston and hit the road. They sold most of their possessions, rented out Elizabeth's harps, bought a 5th wheel, truck, and carbon fiber lever harp, and are now traveling the country. Elizabeth gives harp playing workshops, Harpli business workshops, and house concerts along their travel route. You can see Elizabeth's travel plans and request a workshop or concert in your area at www.highwayharpist.com.

Get involved with the AHS Greater Houston Chapter