Barbara Weiger Lepke-Sims



Barbara Weiger Lepke-Sims fell in love with the harp when she was five years old and her mother took her to a harp program presented by Alice Chalifoux and her students. Barbara was twelve years old and living in New Jersey when she started taking harp lessons. The American Harp Society, Inc. figures into her earliest memories at the harp, from participating in the Music Education Evaluation program at Sam and Rosalie Pratt's home, where Kathleen Bride and Jane Weidensaul were the adjudicators.

Barbara holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, studying with Helen Hope, who prepared her to be self-supporting throughout all phases of life, and the Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, studying with Susann McDonald. New York provided Barbara with some amazing performing opportuni-ties, including playing The Fantasticks in the Sullivan Street Theatre, being a soloist for Lincoln Center Student Programs and performing in Carnegie Hall with the Young Americans in Concert. Barbara returned to Colorado following graduate school, where she has pursued a career performing and teaching. In 2009, Barbara expanded her areas of interest and expertise and became a Certified Music Practitioner, playing for patients in several hospitals. She recently became the Healing Arts Program Coordinator for part of the largest healthcare system in Colorado.

Barbara has been volunteering her time for the American Harp Society, Inc. since 1986. She has served as President of the Mile High (Denver) chapter; as Midwestern Regional Director, Director-At-Large, and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Colorado was the site of the 1988 National Conference in Denver and the inaugural Summer Institute in Greeley in 1995. Barbara was Co-Chair for both events. As Chairman of the Board, Barbara served as Chair of the Long Range Plan/Strategic Planning Com-mittee, helping to steer the course of the AHS over the past 30 years. Barbara organized the numerous AHS committees into the organizational structure used for many years, spearheaded the development and implementation of the AHS website and served as the website liaison for twelve years. She served as Media Group Coordinator from 1996-2010 and oversaw the production of the Sharing the Passion video, which is on the AHS homepage. She was a member of The American Harp Journal Editorial Board from 1995-2016.

Barbara became interested in encouraging composers to write for the harp through her membership on the Board of Directors of the AHS Foundation. In 2000, Barbara and her husband Mike established the Weiger Lepke-Sims Family Sacred Music Award. The intent of the award is to encourage composers to write works for harp and ensemble to increase the harp repertoire in sacred settings. The award is given in memory of Barbara’s parents and grandmother, and in appreciation of her family. Barbara is honored to be receiving the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, and looks forward to continuing her friendships and contributions to the AHS.