Janet Jackson Witman is known for her ability to successfully crisscross the realms of classical and celtic harp music.
Her classical training began as a young girl and eventually took her to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She earned a Bachelors of Music Degree under full scholarship studying under Marilyn Costello of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Janet also studied with the legendary Alice Chalifoux at the Salzedo Harp Colony in Maine, and with Maria Lorcini of the Montreal Symphony. She earned teacher certification at West Chester University.
Janet has performed as soloist with Allentown Symphony, Kennett Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony and the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia. She performs regularly with the Wheatland Chorale of Lancaster, Madrigal Singers of Delaware, Wilmington String Ensemble, Philadelphia Classical Symphony and Kennett Symphony. She has been featured in the prestigious Green Room of the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware for over 20 years.
Her celtic harp experience began after years of enjoying Scottish and Irish music, and searching her Scots-Irish heritage. She has attended workshops led by Sue Richards, Judith Peacock, Grainne Hambly, Isobel Mieras, William Jackson, Michael Rooney and Catriona McKay. Janet has performed in celtic concerts at the Fair Hill Scottish Games, Adams County Irish Festival, Lancaster Summer Arts, Rockwood Museum, First Night Celebrations in Dover and Wilmington, Delaware, and Longwood Gardens. In 1999 she won the U.S. National Scottish Harp Championship and in 2000, the All Eastern Scottish Harp Championship which sent her to the Edinborough Harp Festival.
Janet has been on faculty at the Ohio Scottish Arts School with Sue Richards, and at “Beginning in the Middle” with Kim Rowe and M.J. D’Arville and the Pacific Harp Institute in Washington with Alison Austin and is heading a harp program at the Wilmington Music School. In her studio, she works with over 30 harp students, many of whom have won scholarships and awards.
Janet has published several harp ensemble arrangements which are sold nationally and internationally. Her recordings include, “Shule Aroon” and”Behind the Green Bushes” with HeartSounds, “Mozart and Me” and “Celtic Lullabies” with songwriter, Kevin Roth, a classical CD featuring music for harp, organ and flute, and “Christmas Crossings” and “Celtic Journeys” with Brandywine Harps, which she arranged and produced.
Janet and husband Kevin reside in the Brandywine Valley of Chester County, PA with their two cats, Pumpkin and Sadie.