Paula Elizabeth Bressman, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, is principal harpist of Orchestra Kentucky Bowling Green and Gateway Chamber Orchestra. An active performer, Paula also regularly appears as second harpist or substitute harpist with various ensembles including the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Bryan Symphony Orchestra, Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra, and Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. She was named a finalist in Miami's New World Symphony for the 2011-2012 season. As a recording artist, Paula has added her signature warm and musically-sensitive style to several albums, including the platinum-selling pianist Jim Brickman's 2011 album Romanza. She also performs and records regularly with award-winning singer/songwriter Korby Lenker, recently appearing on the live radio show Music City Roots, broadcast from Nashville's Loveless Cafe.
A passionate music educator, Paula is an adjunct faculty member at Belmont University where she recently helped initiate and develop the commercial harp major, teaches both undergraduate and graduate harp students, directs the newly-formed Belmont Harp Ensemble, and performs with faculty chamber ensembles including the Belmont Camerata. Paula also teaches at Austin Peay State University.
In autumn of 2011, Paula co-founded the harp duo Beyond Pluck, with nationally-recognized harpist Rachel Miller. The two seek to push the boundaries of the instrument, and provide education and outreach through performance and innovative collaborations with professionals in various fields, including astronomer, visual artist, and founder of the nonprofit organization KV 265, Dr. José Francisco Salgado. Beyond Pluck gave their premiere performance as part of the Southwest Michigan Symphony's Casual Classics Series in June 2012. Paula and Rachel performed in Chicago, IL in September 2012 at the Interim Meeting of the Neurosurgical Society of America as part of a music and the brain project, a partnership between KV 265 and the Northwestern Brain Institute. The two also presented with Dr. Salgado in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the University of the Sacred Heart Science Festival in March 2013. In August 2013 Beyond Pluck performed as part of the New in Sound Series at the Broad Art Museum in Lansing, Michigan while accompanied by SoundSpectrum, a program that visualized their sound in real time.
Paula studied privately with Licia Jaskunas and Cynthia Wyatt before receiving her Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music under the tutelage of Marian Shaffer. She received her Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Gillian Benet Sella.