Gretchen Brumwell is the adjunct instructor of harp at the University of Northern Iowa. She serves as principal harpist of Orchestra Iowa and is an active performer throughout eastern Iowa. As a soloist, she has appeared with Orchestra Iowa, the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony, the Ottumwa Symphony, the Oskaloosa Symphony, the Iowa City Community String Orchestra, and the Blue Lake Festival Orchestra.
In addition to her work at UNI, Ms. Brumwell serves as harp instructor at Coe College, Wartburg College, and the Orchestra Iowa School, where she also directs the Advanced Harp Ensemble. In the summer she is the harp instructor at the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Cedar Rapids and the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival on the campus of Luther College.
Ms. Brumwell has premiered and recorded several newly composed works: Jeremy Beck’s “Songs Without Words” for harp and flute, and Andrew Earle Simpson’s “Four Views of Pompeii” for string quartet and harp.
Ms. Brumwell followed an unusual path to the field of music, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Bible and humanities from Grace University before earning her master’s degree in harp performance from Rice University. While at Rice, she was a regular substitute with the Houston Symphony and the Houston Ballet Orchestra. She has studied with Paula Page, Mary Bircher, and the legendary Alice Chalifoux.