Paula Elizabeth Bressman, a native of Nashville, Tennessee enjoys bringing the harp to new audiences and genres through innovative collaborations, educational engagement, and diverse programming. Equally at home performing Bach and Debussy as she is playing pop and rock, Paula has taken her harp to concert halls, clubs and small live music venues, barns, churches, museums, and even the streets of downtown Nashville.
Paula enjoys an active and varied performance career. She plays regularly with the Nashville Symphony and is principal harpist of Orchestra Kentucky Bowling Green and Gateway Chamber Orchestra. Paula has also backed singer-songwriters in the recording studios and clubs of Nashville and as part of Music City Hit-Makers. She is featured on Jim Brickman's 2011 album Romanza.
Paula is a member and arranger of pop and classical crossover harp duo Beyond Pluck with co-harpist Rachel Miller. The two have developed a strong fan base on their YouTube channel and have created multimedia, multi genre, and multidisciplinary programs with astronomers, visual artists, dancers, and composers. Their arrangement of The Who's "Baba O'Riley" has been played on radio stations across the United States and is featured in TalkTalk's "This Stuff Matters" commercial in the UK. Beyond Pluck has been featured on Classical Classroom (Houston Public Media, Feb 2016) as well as in Nashville Arts Magazine, Harp Column, and numerous blogs.
A passionate music educator, Paula is Adjunct Artist Teacher of Harp (precollege and adult) at Vanderbilt University. She is also the harp faculty at Belmont University where she has developed the commercial harp major, teaches undergraduate and graduate classical and commercial harp students, and performs regularly as part of the Adelicia Trio (flutist Carolyn Treybig and violist Sarah Cote). Paula is also on faculty at Austin Peay State University.
Paula studied privately with Licia Jaskunas before receiving her Bachelor of Music at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music under the tutelage of Marian Shaffer and her Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Gillian Benet Sella.
Since meeting in 2010, Paula Bressman and Rachel Miller have taken the harp duo to new and uncharted territories. Never afraid to blur genre lines, Beyond Pluck is equally at home performing masterpieces by Bach, Debussy, and others, as they are rocking their own arrangements of classic pop hits. The two bring enormous musical passion, and a sense of adventure to every project, and have been privileged to share their music in across the United States as well as Puerto Rico. Beyond Pluck believes in the power of creative collaboration as a valuable tool to share the joy of music with a new and wider audience. The duo has worked with scientists, visual artists, filmmakers, symphony orchestras, museums, and schools.
To learn more, please visit Beyond Pluck.
We Found Love
I Walk the Line
Come On Eileen
Beyond Pluck plays Heart's Barracuda
The first official Beyond Pluck music video for Baba O'Riley on two harps!
Beyond Pluck's recording of "Baba O'Riley" is used in the latest TalkTalk commercial in the UK! It was fun to work with Leland Music.
Beyond Pluck performing "Parvis" by Bernard Andres on Classical Classroom with Dacia Clay
Beyond Pluck teamed up with Dr. José Francisco Salgado, KV 265, and the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University to explore the effects of music on the human brain. This short film was first presented by Dr. Salgado and Beyond Pluck at the Interim Meeting of the Neurosurgical Society Meeting in Chicago, IL on September 15, 2012.
Paula's 2011 solo recording of the first movement of George Frideric Handel's Harp Concerto in B flat Major, Op. 4/6, HWV 294 (Andante Allegro).
Paula's 2013 arrangement of "Hold Me Now" by British pop group Thompson Twins (Bailey, Currie, Leeway), a Top 3 song in 1984.
Click here for a sample of a large repertoire. Please contact me if you don't see your favorites, and I can accomodate special requests.
Paula is available to perform with orchestra, chamber ensembles, and at any special event including weddings, church services, funerals, and business events. She is currently accepting new private harp students of any level. Please contact her for booking and teaching information.