Joseph Rebman is a rising harpist and composer with a passion for new music. A recipient of the Alice Chalifoux prize for harp and finalist for the 2016 Anne Adams award, Rebman has performed with many orchestras and ensembles in twelve different states. In January of 2016 he was a finalist and honorable mention in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony's Young Artist Competition, performing the first movement of Hyperion, his own harp concerto. In the fall of 2015 he performed Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy after winning the studio audition. During the spring and summer of 2014 he performed the Debussy, Mozart, and Handel concertos with orchestras in Oklahoma and Colorado. He was a winner of the Rocky Ridge Music Center’s concerto competition, and a finalist for the Eastern Music Festival’s concerto competition. Rebman served as the acting principal harpist of the Amarillo Symphony (TX) for their 13-14 season, and has been a guest orchestral harpist with the Huntington Symphony (WV), the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Fort Smith Symphony (AR), and the Erie Philharmonic (PA).
A strong believer in new music, Rebman was principal harp for the FiveOne Experimental Orchestra in Cleveland from 09-13, and is frequently involved in the premieres of new music. Summer of 2016 finds him in Connecticut as harpist in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival – Yale School of Music’s New Music Workshop, working with young composers on writing for the harp. After seeing a need for increased communication between harpists and composers, Rebman created a presentation and packet on the basics of composing for the harp. This lecture has been given to composition students at the Atlantic Music Festival, CIM Young Composers Program, Rocky Ridge Music Festival, University of Oklahoma, and CCM.
As a composer, Rebman has written for a variety of ensembles, while also specializing in modern techniques of harp composition. 2016 premieres include He Would Not Stay: Seven Poems of A.E. Housman for Baritone and piano, premiered by “The Secret Opera” in New York City, Prana for solo violin, commissioned by Catherine Rinderknecht, and Hyperion: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra premiered by the composer with piano. Mnemosyne, a suite of character pieces for harp and flute, was selected for performance at the NACUSA 2016 convention in Knoxville, Tennessee and at the 2015 TUTTI New Music Festival at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Eros for solo harp was featured at the 46th annual Ball State Festival of New Music in 2016, and won third prize in the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs’ Collegiate Composers competition. Summer of 2014 found Rebman in Estes Park, Colorado, as a participant in RRMC’s composition program. The Faculty Ensemble there premiered his song cycle He Would Not Stay: Seven Poems of A.E. Housman for Baritone and pierrot ensemble. Rebman also participated in the Atlantic Music Festival, where Mnemosyne was first premiered. In Cleveland, Ohio, Rebman received two awards for composition. Elegy for solo alto flute was selected by the Greater Cleveland Flute Society for inclusion in their Composers’ Connection concert. Rebman also was honored to give a presentation through the CIM Women’s Committee about being a composer/performer, which included a performance of Mnemosyne for the committee.
Joseph Rebman is currently in the Artist Diploma program at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, studying harp with Gillian Benet Sella. He received his master’s degree in composition at the University of Oklahoma, studying composition with Dr. Marvin Lamb. He received his bachelor’s degree in harp performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied harp with Yolanda Kondonassis and composition with Monica Houghton, Timothy Mauthe, and Jeremy Allen. Additional composition studies in Cleveland were done with Dr. Keith Fitch, head of the composition department at CIM. Festival studies include harp with Anna Kate Mackle, principal of the Florida Orchestra, at the Eastern Music Festival, and composition with Rob Paterson at the Rocky Ridge Music Center.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Rebman began studying the harp at age ten with Michelle Gwynne of Northern Kentucky University and composition in Cleveland with Monica Houghton. Other interests include visual arts, dogs, and yoga.