Forest City String School

Delight must be the basis and aim of this art.

Faculty & Staff


Kathleen Gahagan

Kathleen Gahagan

Harpist Kathleen Gahagan has been the harp instructor for the Forest City Talent Education program since 2010, when her own student requested that a group program be developed. A proposal was made, and the administration enthusiastically welcomed harps as an addition to the remarkable string programs already in place.

Kathleen has been delighted to offer this exciting musical opportunity to a growing group of students. The program has expanded over the last three years, to include harp solo, duo, and harp ensemble performances, collaborations with the other strings, as well as harp-centered music theory and harp history. She has had the pleasure of teaching harp to students, from preschool age to seniors, for over 15 years.

Kathleen grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, where she began harp studies with Nora Bumanis, prinicpal harpist of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She completed her Bachelor of Music at McGill University studying under Jennifer Swartz, principal harpist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Her other teachers and sources of inspiration have included Canadian harpists Judy Loman and Lori Gemmell.

Kathleen has a busy schedule performing as soloist, chamber musician, vocal and choral accompanist, features in musical theatre productions, and has been harpist for the London Community Orchestra since 2008. Named one of London’s “Local Music Heroes for 2009” by the London Free Press, Kathleen has had a variety of adventures with her harp, which have ranged from playing for Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Queen Noor, to touring across Saskatchewan in a bus with a girls’ school choir, to performing as an opening act for Randy Bachman and entertaining CBC radio personality Shelagh Rogers. She also enjoys offering educational talks, introducing the harp to interested composers, school groups, and community organizations.

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