Harpist Angelica Hairston is known for her fiery performances and her passion for social change. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Hairston currently serves as the Harp Teacher with the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, a nonprofit organization that provides free harp instruction to over 100 students in Atlanta’s inner-city. She holds a Master of Music Industry Leadership from Northeastern University as a 2015 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Graduate Fellowship. Hairston studied with world renowned harpist Judy Loman at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario, where she received a Harp Performance Diploma, in addition to a Bachelor of Music from Thompson River University. She was a member of the highly-selective Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Talent Development Program for six years (2006-2011), where she was a student of ASO principal harpist Elisabeth Remy Johnson. Angelica has attended summer music programs at the National Music Festival, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Saratoga Harp Colony, International Harp Academy of the Pacific in Powell River B.C. and the Judith Liber Harp Masterclass in Lake Como, Italy. She has performed concertos with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Montgomery Symphony, and the Daytona Solisti Chamber Orchestra. As a dedicated performer, teacher, and diversity advocate, Ms. Hairston has a deep interest in creating platforms that celebrate underrepresented segments of society in the performing arts. She continues to present concerts and programs that reflect the diversity of local communities both on stage and in concert audiences.
Molly O’Roark, a native of Memphis, TN, is a dynamic performer and composer known for crafting exciting and energetic programs that showcase her love of music and the harp as well as enhancing the traditional concert experience. Currently based in Atlanta, GA, Molly serves as a full-time harp instructor with the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble. In her performing career she has won various awards and competitions including: 2014 National Anne Adams Award, 2014 Artist Presentation Society Auditions, Eastman School of Music concerto competition, Wayne Barlow Award for excellence in Harp Performance. As a composer, O’Roark likes to weave melodic and sometimes theatrical narratives into her works for harps or mixed ensembles. In October 2017, she will be a featured composer at Michigan Harp Day for the premiere of her newly commissioned harp ensemble work “Apollo at the Temple of Delphi” at Michigan State University. In April 2014, she premiered her new work “Showtime Suite” for harp trio, lighting cues, percussion, and fedoras at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a chamber musician, Molly is one half of the theatrical and comedic harp duo, Ginger & Spice, with Ann McLaughlin. Ginger & Spice have been featured performers at the 2016 American Harp Society National Conference in Atlanta, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and guest lecturers in the Physics Department at the University of Illinois. They are known for their choreography, arrangements, costumes, and “four-hands-one-harp” technique. She also performs with MEMO, a flute and harp duo, with award-winning flutist, Elisa Moles, specializing in engaging performances of twentieth- century works.
Molly holds a Master’s of Music in Harp Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the studio of Dr. Ann Yeung, she served as the harp studio teaching assistant for three years working with both the harp majors and elective lessons program. Currently, Molly is a candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts at Illinois with a research concentration on the film star/harpist, Harpo Marx. She received her Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance, Performer’s Certificate, and Arts Leadership Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.