Senior Lecturer in Harp
Delaine Fedson Leonard is a vibrant an innovative performer and teacher in Austin, TX. At the Butler School of Music, she teaches harp performance, literature, and pedagogy, and coaches the acclaimed University of Texas Harp Ensemble and other chamber music. Delaine is a Harp Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA), and founding Director of Young TX Harp Ensemble, a 501 (c) 3 dedicated to providing access and opportunity to harp lessons for all students. She is the former director of the University of Texas Harp Project, a pedagogy and preparatory program for young students and new teachers. Prior to her UT appointment, her university teaching experience included Southwestern, Texas A & M, St. Edwards and Baylor Universities. She is in demand as a teacher for Suzuki workshops, festivals and conferences throughout the US, Canada and Italy, and has maintained a thriving private Suzuki studio in Austin, TX, since 1986. Her students include past participants in and winners of the American Harp Society National Competitions, Anne Adams Awards, Lyon & Healy Awards, Young Artists Harp Seminar Competition, Harp Masters program. Many of her former students are active professional performers and teachers throughout Texas, the USA, France, and Germany.
Delaine Fedson Leonard is published in the Harp Column magazine, the American String Teachers Journal and the American Harp Society (AHS) Teacher’s Forum. She is one of the authors of the American String Teacher (ASTA) publication, A Harp in the School, and has several published harp ensemble arrangements and recordings available through Lyon & Healy West and the Tuba Euphonium Press.
Crossing a wide range of musical styles and venues, Delaine’s performing career ranges from opera to chamber music to pop and jazz. Currently she is exploring the world of opera as second harpist with the Dallas Opera, and performs often with the Austin, San Antonio, Waco and Ft. Worth Symphonies. Her latest project is the newly formed American Harp Quartet. The Quartet just finished their inaugural recording of swing and Latin music arranged by Bavairan composer Willi Huber Maerz for the Bogner-Klassik label.
For over 20 years Delaine has been an active chamber musician, and has enjoyed a variety of collaborations with woodwind quintet, flute, clarinet, and viola colleagues. A veteran of the Texas Commission for the Arts and MidAmerica Touring Artist rosters, she has also presented or performed at conferences for the American Harp Society, Suzuki Association of the Americas, International Double Reed, National Flute Association, International Clarinet Symposium, Gulf Coast Harpers Association, and Lyon & Healy. Delaine loves to play touring shows and has had the opportunity to work with productions of The Producers, Oklahoma, A Chorus Line, Bernadette Peters, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Brubeck, Natalie Cole, Philip Bailey, Florence Henderson, Doc Severinsen, Scrooge, and the Bolshoi Ballet. Some personal highlights of Delaine’s career include recording Benjamin Britten’s opera “Curlew River” for PBS “Great Performances” Series, traveling with the Texas Suzuki Tour Group to perform in Carnegie Hall, performing the complete “Ring Cycle” with the Dallas Opera, and touring Europe with the Austin Chamber Ensemble.
Delaine is a Director-at-Large and the immediate past President of the American Harp Society, Inc., where she previously was the Southwestern Regional Director and Board Secretary. She is an active member of the Dallas Ft. Worth Professional Musicians Union, SAA, and ASTA. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Northern Iowa, a Master of Music degree from University of Texas at Austin and spent many summers studying with Alice Chalifoux at the Salzedo School in Camden, ME. Outside the music arena, Delaine enjoys studying art jewelry silver and goldsmith techniques and stand up paddle boarding.