Canadian harpist and composer Sharlene Wallace is a diverse musician performing, recording and teaching on both lever and pedal harps.
Winner of the Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Lever Harp Competition (USA) and the Dinan Concours d’Improvisation de Rencontres International de Harp Celtique (Brittany), she has given concerts and workshops across Canada, the United States, France and Italy. Sharlene tours with bass player George Koller, the Winter’s Eve Trio (with George Koller, bass and Joseph Macerollo, accordion), The Soaring Harp Trio (with harpists Lori Gemmell and Julia Seager-Scott) and the Christmas trio Harp & Holly (with Sandra Swannell, vocals, fiddle and viola and Terry Young, vocals and finger-style guitar).
Sharlene’s seven CDs express journeys of rhythm, spaciousness, the Canadian landscape, Celtic, Classical, South American and original music. Sharlene’s most recent CD, In Night’s Deep Silence, is a spacious, tranquil album for harp and bass (George Koller).
Sharlene has composed many pieces for harp and harp ensemble as well as commissioning numerous works for harp by Canadian composers such as Evelyne Datl, Loretto Reid, William Beauvais, Kirk Elliott, Rodney Sharman, Bruce Mather, John Beckwith etc.. Sharlene’s mentor, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, wrote Niagara Moon for her to perform at the World Harp Congress in Vancouver, BC.
Sharlene has taught harp workshops across North America and regularly for CAMMAC in Quebec and Island Mountain Arts in Wells, BC. She also teaches both lever and pedal harps at York University, Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Guelph. Her own harp performance degree is from the University of Toronto where she studied with the eminent Judy Loman. Sharlene has also been guest soloist on both lever and pedal harps with orchestras in Kingston, Belleville, Timmins, Sarnia/Port Huron, Stratford, Oakville and Guelph. These performances have included orchestrations of her compositions. Sharlene is principal harpist with Kingston, Oakville and Guelph Symphonies.
The recording work of Jacques Poirier is also notable here, with intimate, close-microphone techniques capturing every motion and beat of Wallace as she executes her smooth, gentle performances. Her harp is covered with a stereo perspective, astounding in headphones, that reveals gorgeous stereo panning across Wallace’s glissandos and arpeggios. Tasteful mixing leaves Wallace shining brilliant in the warm backdrop of her comrades.
—Karl Mohr, excerpt from “the rhyme & the river” review
No stranger to Wells, Toronto native Sharlene Wallace came many years ago as a student of the harp school. She has since gone on to become an international recording and touring musician, with a style that is all her own. Setting the scene for a night of beautiful music Sharlene’s fingers danced along the strings of her harp as she played a set of remarkable original tunes.
~ Julie Fowler