Visiting Artist Series Welcomes Jessica Harned

Published: November 18, 2021

Ever wonder how marginalized people in America have contributed to mainstream classical music? Join College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Visiting Artist Series in welcoming musician, Jessica Harned, to campus to discuss the role of Black composers in American classical music, learn to recognize the sounds that shaped our country, and enjoy a string quartet performance by Florence Price and William Grant Still.

Harned began her musical career in Boise, Idaho, as a member of the Boise Philharmonic in 2016. Since that time she has performed with ensembles including Boise Baroque, Opera Idaho, McCall Summer Symphony, Ballet Idaho, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, with Mariachi Sol De Acapulco, and was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Musical Excellence in 2018.

To Harned, education is of the upmost importance. In 2020, she received her master’s degree from Boise State University, after having won the Boise Philharmonic Graduate Quartet Fellowship. This experience emboldened her to speak up about the life and experiences of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community within classical music. In 2019, she won an Alexa Rose Foundation grant, which offered her support to further her reach in this area. While enjoying her time fostering conversation about representation in classical music, on the radio, in the classroom, and within her own work, Harned also delights in cultivating a space for growth and empowerment in her established violin and piano studio.

Outside of her performance life, Harned enjoys being creative and experiencing music in diverse musical spaces. She regularly collaborates with composers, creates music videos, and has recorded and performed with various bands and jazz ensembles. One of her favorite experiences was collaborating with the local band Regular Sounds and bringing life to the music of the Electric Light Orchestra.

Understanding that her career is multi-faceted and being very proud of that, Harned believes this diverse path has helped her become the musician and person she is today, and she is looking forward to seeing what the future holds. In the meantime, you will find Harned traveling, cooking, reading Afro-futurist SiFi, and enjoying great conversation.

Thursday, Dec. 2
7 – 8 p.m.
Nampa Campus Academic Building, Room 206

Can’t make it in person? Join us on Zoom!

Meeting ID: 968 2971 9990
Passcode: 943042

CWI’s Visiting Artist Series is made possible through a grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Contact Goran Fazil at with questions or to learn more!

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