Courtney Hershey Bress

Instructor of Music



Courtney Hershey Bress joined the Colorado Symphony in 2001 as principal harp. She has appeared with the orchestra as a soloist on numerous occasions. Before coming to Colorado, Ms. Bress enjoyed a wide and varied freelance career, including engagements with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She was also the principal harpist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She has served as acting principal of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and was principal harp with the United States Army Field Band in Washington, D.C. where she toured the 48 continental states, playing concertos and concerts. Ms. Bress has played with the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming and the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for many years. She held the principal harp position with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, California from 2002-2007. She has also performed as a guest artist with Colorado College Summer Music Festival. She was selected and performed for the American Harp Society and the World Harp Congress.

Ms. Bress is much sought-after as a teacher and has given master classes around the country. In addition to her private teaching studio, she is the assistant professor of harp at Colorado State University and the affiliate professor of harp at Metropolitan State University of Denver and has been a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music. Her students have won National harp
competitions. She has served as a juror for the American Harp Society National Competition and held the position of artist and clinician for the Midwest Harp Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In 2017, Ms. Bress became a published author. For Love of the Harp was published by Veritas Musica Publishing. The book is in two parts with the first being advice to the young musician and stories about her career. The second part discusses and shows examples of how to write for the harp. Ms. Bress was a 2005 GRAMMY® nominee for her performance of George Crumb’s chamber work Ancient Voices of Children. Ms. Bress is a member of Duo Classique, a duo harp chamber group, with her mentor, Kathleen Bride. In addition to recordings with Naxos, Bridge, and Albany records, one can find her music on many albums with the Colorado Symphony and the U.S. Army Field Band. Ms. Bress earned a Bachelor of Music and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and she received her Master of Music in Orchestral Studies from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University.