Keryn Wouden has always loved making music. Growing up in the Midwest, she was actively involved in various music lessons. When at a young age she decided with dogged determination to play the harp, her parents were as skeptical as any parent might be when a child takes up a new interest and requests a “toy” that costs as much as a small SUV. However, Keryn was relentless and has tenaciously pursued her dream to play classical harp for more than 10 years. She often says that playing music is as important to her as having air to breathe.
Along with Keryn’s impressive academic career at Northwestern University(MM 2013) and Chapman University (BA Summa Cum Laud, 2011) in Orange, California, she also spent four years working for Salvi Harps (North and South American showroom) gaining an intimate knowledge of the harp. Her extensive resume really starts when she became the principal harpist at the Kansas All-State Symphony Orchestra as a sophomore in high school and won the first place in the Midwest Harp Festival in 2004. Other notable performances include Debussy’s Dances Sacree in 2006 at Pittsburg University and Handel’s Concerto in Bb at the 2007 ASTA National Orchestra Festival. In 2008, she won grand prize at the Orange County Harp Society Scholarship Competition, and has performed throughout the Midwest and West with organizations such as the Orange County Philharmonic Society, Sundance Summer Theater, Anaheim Ballet Company, Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, and Kenosha Symphony. In 2012, Keryn premiered Eliza Brown’s new concerto for harp, A Tune Refracted, with the Contemporary Music Ensemble at Northwestern University, and her Masters recital was featured by Northwestern's Journalism School.
Keryn is an active chamber musician and often arranges her own music. She has performed with choirs and small ensembles for the better part of her career. In 2016, she was a guest performer at Judson College in Alabama with colleague Sadie Goodman. They arranged a whole program of original arrangements for harp and voice music. She is also founding member of Strung Up, a harp and guitar duo. In 2017, she and musical partner, Brandon Acker, released their first full album which is now available on itunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Bandcamp.
Her previous teachers include: Liz Cifani of Chicago's Lyric Opera House, Mindy Ball of the Hollywood Bowl and Pacific Symphony, Deborah Clark of the Kansas City Symphony, and Laura Hearne of the St. Louis Symphony. She has received training in both Salzedo and Grandjany technique. Keryn has been on faculty at Lake Forest College since 2012. While she personally has gravitated towards the Salzedo style, she strongly believes in teaching to her student's needs.
She continues to perform throughout the country and teaches harp privately. She is also a licensed Kindermusik educator and loves supporting families as they use music and movement to encourage the best of child development.
"The two musicians...with Keryn Wouden on the harp are both terrific, making this wonderful old musical [The Fantasticks] sound as fresh as the day it was first performed. "
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
— Around the Town Chicago
Also available on Amazon, Bandcamp, Spotify, & Pandora
Lauren McNee, flute. Live performance Jan. 26, 2012
Original adaptation of "Meditation" from Massenet's opera "Thais". In part transcribed by Carlos Salzedo. Julie Chang-violin, Sadie Frazier-soprano, Evan Bravos-baritone. Live Performance Jan. 26, 2012