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Deborah Wells Clark, Principal Harp

Deborah Wells Clark serves as principal harp with the Kansas City Symphony. She has been a member of the Crested Butte Music Festival, the Lake George Opera Festival, the Utah Festival Opera and was a long time member of the Summerfest Concert Series. She has twice appeared as soloist with the Kansas City Symphony. Clark has performed throughout the United States and in Singapore. She holds a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a master's degree from Central Missouri State University, and a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her teachers include Alice Chalifoux (formerly principal harp with Cleveland Orchestra), Eileen Dishinger Mason (formerly principal harp with the Kansas City and Baltimore symphonies), and Jeanne Chalifoux. When not performing or teaching, Clark enjoys traveling, cross-stitch, and flying single-engine aircraft.

Ten questions about me:

How did you choose your instrument?

When I was about eight years old, my sister was taking piano lessons. One time she played on a recital where all of the piano students played on the first half and a harpist played on the second half. The harpist let me come up and pluck a few strings. I was fascinated. As the story goes, I begged my parents to let me take harp lessons. It took two years but they finally bought me a little Troubadour harp from Lyon & Healy and as the saying goes, the rest is history. I have been playing ever since.

When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician?

I grew up knowing that I was going to be a professional harpist. I wanted to be just like my teacher, Jeanne Chalifoux.

What is your favorite thing about performing music?

The constant challenge of learning new music.

What is the most challenging work for your instrument?

Tzigane by Maurice Ravel or Magic Fire Music by Richard Wagner

Who is your most inspiring composer?

Debussy and Ravel

Tell us about your family and your hobbies.

Two children - Dawn and Matthew. One Grandchild - J. T.

If you weren't a professional musician, what occupation would you choose?

Professional Pilot

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Getting my Instrument rating with my flying. Now I plan to go on for my Commercial Rating.

What is your favorite city that you've visited or lived in and why?


What quality do you most admire in others?