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Raelyn Olson

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At age 11 Raelyn started learning harp from Jeanne Henderson (Julliard School of Music under Marcel Grandjany) at the School of the Arts in Milwaukee, WI.  She graduated with a degree in Harp Performance from San Jose State University where she studied under Karen Thielen (Boston University).  She has also studied with Lucile Lawrence (taught at Tanglewood), Ray Pool, and Deborah Hanson-Conant (Jazz/Pop Harpfest instructors).  Beyond the harp, Raelyn also studied music composition and piano at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.  At the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, she studied recording and piano, and beyond music she studied art at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and San Jose State University.

Raelyn's 15 years of professional playing experience started in the California Bay area and continues today in Portland, OR.  She has played for numerous parties, special events, and orchestra/choir groups, including: the Nova Vista Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Don Haneke Chorale, San Jose State Choraliers, Peninsula Youth Orchestra, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Youth Orchestra, and the Winchester Orchestra.  In San Jose, CA she was the regular harpist at Gervais and Pastas.  More recently in Portland, she has performed with the bands Felina's Arrow and Jon Garcia at various clubs and venues (Expo Center, McMenamins, and the Wonder Ballroom as part of the Siren Nation Music Festival).  She continues to perform freelance harp and write her own compositions in the Portland area. 


  • Archipelago, featuring her own solo harp compositions.
  • The Tide Decides and Tomorrow Will Tell the Story with Ethan Mathews of Echo Us
  • The Lake with Jon Garcia

Honors and awards:

  • scholarship from the Donald Mohr Foundation
  • two honorable mentions in Billboard Song Competition
  • honorable mention in Great American Song Contest
  • several National Association of Jazz Educators awards
  • jazz piano scholarship to Wisconsin Conservatrory of Music
  • harp scholarship for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony
  • chosen for three music compositions (two for harp) performed by the Belmont University New Music Ensemble

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