Maria Harding, flute
Principal flute of the Omaha Symphony since 1997, Maria Harding began her orchestral career at age 16 in the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gürer Aykal. Maria has played with the Kansas City and St. Louis symphony orchestras, the Schlossfestspiele Orchestra in Heidelberg, Germany, and has held the position of principal flute in the Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony Orchestra.
As a soloist, at age 18 she was awarded first prize in a competition sponsored by the National Flute Association. She also took top awards at the McCarty Young Artists’ and Myrna Brown competitions. The Yamaha Corporation quickly took note of her talent and named her a young performing artist and later an artist/clinician. Through this program she serves as a music coach of young players in music clubs and university programs across the country.
In addition to her full-time orchestral schedule, Maria gives more than 30 solo performances a year. Organizers of the National Flute Association convention recently invited her to perform as part of their “Gen-X All-Stars” series, and in 2012 she presented Bloch’s Suite Modale for flute and string orchestra as the centerpiece event in the Springfield-Drury Music Festival. Locally she dedicates considerable time to bringing music to Omaha senior centers, children’s hospitals, and hospice facilities.
Maria enjoys a large and lively private teaching studio with students ranging from beginners through emerging professionals. She hopes to perpetuate the caring guidance she received from her own fine teachers: Margaret Redcay (early studies,) Bonita Boyd (Eastman School of Music), and Bradley Garner and Jack Wellbaum (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music).