Joseph Rebman, harp

Fast Facts

  • Professor of harp, Northern Kentucky University.

  • Principal Harpist, Kentucky Symphony, Huntington Symphony (WV) and the Queen City Opera (OH).

  • Degrees from Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Oklahoma, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Former harp teachers include Michelle Gwynne, Yolanda Kondonassis, Gaye LeBlanc, and Gillian Benet Sella.

Photo: Ken Yanigasawa

Photo: Ken Yanigasawa

Joseph Rebman is a full time freelance harpist, dividing his time between performing and teaching. He created this career within his first year out of college, rapidly growing from grad student to professional through keen networking and auditions. Rebman is currently principal harpist with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Huntington Symphony, and the Queen City Opera, along with president of the Cincinnati chapter of the American Harp Society. He also performs as a soloist, most recently at the Mostly Modern Festival during their 2019 season to premiere his original harp concerto Hyperion, and will be performing the Mozart concerto with the Queen City Chamber Orchestra during their 2020 season. As a recital soloist, Rebman has commissioned and premiered twelve new harp solos which will be the foundation of his debut album, along with multiple of his own works. Additional recording and commissioning has been through his harp and trombone duo JOLO, which recently performed at the American Trombone Workshop in DC and the International Trombone Festival at Ball Sate University.

Along with being harp faculty for the Mostly Modern Festival, Rebman is professor of harp at Northern Kentucky University and directs the harp program at Cincinnati’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts. This unique program provides daily harp ensemble class for twenty students grades 4-12 in an arts magnet school within City of Cincinnati public schools. These programs combined has him teaching students from young beginner all the way through graduate students.  

Previous accolades include semi-finalist for both the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh competition and the Classics Alive Artists Competition, and a finalist for the National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own” and the concerto competition at the Eastern Music Festival. He was also a finalist for the Anne Adams Awards competition, and a finalist and honorable mention in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony's Young Artist Competition. Performing has taken him all around the country, including performing the Handel and Mozart concerti with the University of Oklahoma Civic Orchestra, the Debussy Danses at the Rocky Ridge Music Center, and Daniel Pinkham’s Music for an Indian Summer for solo harp and wind ensemble at the University of Cincinnati. Rebman was a featured harpist at the TUTTI 2017 New Music Festival at Denison University where he premiered his piece Twilight for solo harp. He was also harpist in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival – Yale School of Music’s New Music Workshop in the summer of 2016, performing multiple works by both student and faculty composers.

Rebman is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has studied harp with Michelle Gwynne, Yolanda Kondonassis, Gaye LeBlanc, and Gillian Benet Sella. Composition studies have been with Jeremy Allen, Robert Paterson, and Marvin Lamb.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Rebman discovered the harp at age ten through Disney’s Fantasia, creating a love for all things harp that was fostered through study with the late Michelle Gwynne and performance in his school’s string orchestra for eight years. Happiness is also found in video games, yoga, dogs, and Italian food.