Dominique is a harpist from Houston, Texas, now living in New York CIty. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music. She began musical studies with the piano at about four years old. She learned the violin and then started learning the harp at age ten. We sat down with Dominique to learn about her creativity and musical passions.
What are you studying in college, and why?
This coming fall, I will be a senior finishing my undergraduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music. The harp, the instrument I play, in its uniqueness makes it an instrument that allows me to express the passion that I have for music. I love how the harp is a personal and intimate instrument where there’s direct contact with the strings to where the types of sounds you can make on the harp are endless!
What do you do outside of school, and what do you love most about it?
I am a professional harpist based in New York performing throughout the city. I love being able to add something special to a client’s event and meeting new people! I have also been involved with Lincoln Center because I have an interest in learning about the marketing and business side of the performing arts industry. Being involved in different parts of my field of study has allowed me to expand my career, broaden my opportunities, and has made me realize that I love learning and working in many different types of professional fields.
Where did your creativity start?
My creativity started when I was three years old. I have always had an admiration for fashion, music, and art. I was put into sewing and painting classes along with my music lessons. Even now, I think fashion plays a big role in my life even when it comes to presenting myself and as a musician in both casual and professional settings. The harp has been around for so long and has evolved and become such a versatile instrument. When it comes to presenting myself as an artist, I love being able to incorporate my own modern style that can not only be associated with classical music, but in other types of genres artistically.
When did you start playing the harp?
I was four years old when I first learned about the harp in music class. I knew that was the instrument I wanted to play. My parents started me with the piano because it’s a great foundation for all instruments. I played for about eight years and loved it. Then in fifth grade, I learned the violin, but the harp was still my passion. I eventually wanted to choose one instrument to put all of my focus on and that’s when I went with the harp. My parents found a great teacher to study with, and I have been extremely thankful for the people who have inspired and supported me from the beginning up until now. They have made me the person I am today!
What is the largest challenge you faced?
The largest challenge I faced was when I was young and realized I wanted to live, study, and have my career in New York City. When I was ten years old, my parents brought me to New York for the first time, and I knew after that trip it was where I wanted to be. Ever since that trip, I thought of New York City as being the place where one can follow and achieve their dreams. After years of commitment, dedication, and being accepted into the Manhattan School of Music, I knew that this was the first step in accomplishing my future goals. My ultimate goal is to continue to strive in my work, go for what I love while living in this inspiring and amazing city full of opportunities. Although the harp is considered to be a classical instrument, I am interested in collaborating with artists in today’s pop culture and in other types of genres. As I am entering my final year of college, I have come to realize how much hard work and dedication has brought me to this point of my life and I don’t plan on looking back!
What does it mean for you to be powerful?
To me, being powerful is knowing that I am in control of my own life. Each person has the choice of whether today will be a great day and making it that way. I wake up every morning reminding myself what I am thankful for, I set daily goals and see what I can do to get closer to achieving my long-term goals. Knowing where I am now has made me feel grateful and confident for the life I have. Not knowing what the future holds can be crazy to think about, but we still have the power to change it if we keep going for what we want. I have learned to take everything day by day, enjoy the present, work hard, and do my best each day.
What is your favorite product that you use daily and why?
I love using my Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume. It’s one of my beauty essentials, and I can’t leave my apartment without it!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
There are so many things that I am interested in when it comes to learning about different aspects of the music and arts industries. I will be receiving my degree in performance next year, and I am open to anything that life brings me. I would love to one day become a public figure, and be a role model to young girls with big dreams!