Michelle is a graduate from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston (B.M.) and from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (M.A.) and has over 10 years of experience performing as a soloist and in ensembles (of various sizes) in many different genres. While at Berklee, she was exposed to jazz music and began to discover the versatility of the harp. She was immersed in a world of creativity, and was fortunate to be able to play with some of the up-and-coming jazz stars of today. She also took 4 years of private lessons with esteemed harpist, Felice Pomeranz. Following graduation, she went to Ireland to study traditional Irish music. Michelle explored her love for Irish music (and Ireland's scenery) and then decided to move to beautiful Asheville, NC.
In Asheville, she was principal harpist for the Blue Ridge Orchestra, played solo and with a local rock band, SkyLake at some of the most well known wedding and music venues in the city(such as Biltmore Estate, Diana Wortham Theatre, Lipinsky Auditorium, and The Grey Eagle). She also started a jazz duo with a wonderful jazz guitarist. In September 2011, she attended the Jazz Harp Academy at LSU in Baton Rouge, and was asked to perform at the conference's weekend concert. She was honored to share the stage with great harpists such as Carol Robbins and Park Stickney. She then decided to pursue her love of jazz and attend the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama focusing on earning her masters degree in jazz performance. In Cardiff, she was a part of many creative projects from jazz trios/quartets to recording for hip-hop/electronic artists.
"Michelle enhanced my seasonal event by her sensitive and expert playing. Many of my guests commented on the welcoming effect of the harp as they settled in to the evening and often one or other could be seen simply enjoying the varied melodies as they prepared for dinner. We will certainly ask Michelle to play for us again" ~Dr. W. McCulloch, President, Alba BioPharm Advisors, Inc., Raleigh, NC
"Michelle was a delight to work with for our our outdoor fall wedding in October. Since I wasn't sure what songs to play at our ceremony, I gave Michelle the option to choose her own selections and they worked out beautifully. I didn't want to walk down the aisle to traditional wedding music, so I picked Coldplay's "Yellow" and Michelle in turn learned how to play it just for me. Our friends and family loved the unique vibe the harp brought to our special day." ~ MaryLou, bride
"Michelle was very easy to work with. I was able to customize the music with specific requests. The harp is a beautiful addition to a ceremony." ~Amanda, bride
"She conducted herself with utmost professionalism and played with precision. She was attentive to cues and dynamics and made all her passages sound beautiful.""
David Marlette, Director of Music, First United Methodist Church in Cary, NC
"Ever hear of jazz on the harp? Me neither. Michelle and Dan (Stringsense) provided music for a birthday party at my home. Michelle plays jazz harp and Dan plays jazz guitar. It was amazing. They played a selection of jazz and pop music and were able to play requests for my friends. I have had several comments from my guests about the beautiful performance that evening. I would highly recommend them to add a touch of class to any occasion."
~Sue from Cary, NC
"Michelle played accompaniments and lead a harp ensemble. She then played a lovely celtic balled which was just beautiful." Gerry, audience member of a traditional Scottish Burn's Night Celebration
Michelle Cobley (Harp),
Dan Keller (Guitar for Jazz Duo)