Gaye LeBlanc Germain—Harp, Principal
Gaye LeBlanc Germain has been with the OKC PHIL since 1996. In a last-minute phone call, LeBlanc Germain replaced the PHIL’s at-the-time harpist who was having a baby. LeBlanc Germain then commuted from Dallas to OKC for the Classics Series until 1998 when she moved north and took over as principal harpist. LeBlanc Germain has been playing the harp for 22 years, beginning on the piano at age 6, then organ at 10, and flute at 12 years old.
Her greatest musical influence was her harp teacher, Alice Chalifoux, who was the first female to play in an American orchestra. Her favorite composer is Beethoven, even though nothing he wrote included the harp. Composers she enjoys (who do include the harp in their works) include Mahler, Bernstein, Vaughn-Williams, and Ravel as she loves the way they wrote for the colors of the harp.
LeBlanc Germain started on the harp at the age of 20 after barely being accepted as a piano major to the University of North Texas. Her piano teacher told her she would not make it in the world of music as a pianist. She felt she would be suited in a “different profession” however her parents suggested she learn the harp. At the time, LeBlanc Germain had never seen one and didn’t think she would like it but it turned out her parents were on to something. She earned her bachelor degree in Harp Performance from the University of North Texas and her masters in Harp Performance from Southern Methodist University.
LeBlanc Germain has played with several orchestras including the Richardson Symphony, Irving Symphony, Turtlecreek Chorale, Dallas Orpheus Chamber Singers, Shreveport (LA) Symphony, and Pine Bluff Symphony. However, she looks forward to each season with the OKC PHIL because each new piece brings a new set of challenges she enjoys conquering. She also loves spending time with her OKC PHIL colleagues who are like a big family to her.
LeBlanc Germain is a professor at both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University. She has also been the principal harpist with the Fort Smith Symphony in Arkansas for the last five years and plays the concerts when she can.
Aside from music, LeBlanc Germain also has a passion for sign language, studying it in her spare time and hopes to someday become fluent.