began singing at the age of 5 by imitating her mother who was a naturally gifted soprano. Her first performances were for the neighborhood children, lining them up along the street curb to sing to them. At age 14 she began studying with a professor of voice at a nearby University, preparing for the rigorous auditions required of prestigious music conservatories. After being accepted at the Peabody Conservatory of Music (currently operated under John Hopkins University) in Baltimore, she studied with Wayne Conner.
In her last year at Peabody, Saul Lilienstein , a music conductor who happened to be in the audience of a Peabody opera production, noticed an outgoing personality in the chorus on stage. Harriet was playing a flirtatious Gypsy girl, and was the only one in the chorus with a blouse lowered far enough to reveal a naked shoulder. Mr. Lilienstein approached the precocious Gypsy girl backstage after the performance and invited her to join the Harford Opera company which was producing 4 operas that summer.
A visiting opera director from West Virginia University heard Harriet that summer and encouraged her to apply to WVU. The transfer to WVU created opportunities to sing operatic leading roles and to be a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. After receiving her Bachelors, Harriet moved to Los Angeles where she began studying privately with the well-known voice teacher, Kathleen Darraugh, and enrolled in the University of Southern CA’s Opera Workshop under the direction of Natalie Limonik and Frans Boerlage. She also became a quarter-finalist in the Los Angeles Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
Although she never stopped singing, motherhood temporarily diverted her from pursuing a performance career. Her interest in children and families prompted her to enroll in a Masters in Social Work program. After working as a social worker and therapist for several years, she returned to teaching voice and performing. With her social work skills intact, her approach to teaching voice became more holistic. Children began leaving their lessons with a strong boost of self-esteem. And her more mature students marveled at being able to recapture the voice they thought was long gone. Harriet enhances her teaching skills and abilities by attending Performance Master Classes and seminars on the “Care of the Voice”. She practices yoga on a regular basis, and when necessary incorporates yoga into lessons to help calm and relax students.