Orange County Harpist, Sonia Marie Olivas enjoys playing the harp for various occasions locally in Orange County and abroad. Her harpist biography entails from riveting Latin rhythms for a World Music Concert to setting the Christmas season for a Lobby Café to sweetly soothing music for an Alzheimer’s Caregivers Convention to joyful children’s songs for A Children’s Hour to delightful melodies for an Afternoon Tea.
Ms. Olivas graduated with a B.A. degree in music and a post baccalaureate emphasis on Early Childhood Education from the California State University of Northridge. In addition, she has also attended the Southern California Conservatory of Music. She has studied under the expert tutelage of such talented harpists as Maria Casale (graduate of Juilliard School of Music), Susan Allen (California Arts Institute), Alfredo Rolando Ortiz ( internationally acclaimed Paraguayan Harpist), Michael Rado (San Francisco Opera Theatre), Stella Castelluci (renown pop, jazz harpist) and Christina Tourin (International Harp Therapy Director).
Music has been an active part of her life through school, church and private institutions, since the age of 7. Her musical career has given Ms. Olivas the opportunity to sing in choirs (classical, gospel) play the flute (classical, jazz), piano (classical), violin (classical), marimbas, mbira (African), steel pans-doubles (Calypso), and the kenong, kempyang (Gamelan). The harp however, has always stayed her true passion. Her journey started out by mere chance when she met one of her best friends and was asked by this friend to take over the harp lessons, on a lap harp that was 2 ft. tall and had 20 strings. She grew fond of the harp lessons and so finally, she had chosen her primary instrument that was to change her life forever.
Sonia Marie Olivas was able to expand her technique and broaden her perception of the harp world through her travels to Austria, Barcelona, Italy, London, Mexico City, Scotland as well as here at home throughout the United States. Some of these experiences include the IV Encuentro Latin Harp Festival in Mexico City, Susan Allen’s Harp course in Spain & France, Arrowhead and Pacific Palisades.
Concert Credits: St. Andrews Christmas, Newport Beach Chamber, The Red CAT Theatre, New West Symphony, Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (mini concert series), Torrey Pines Christian Christian Church (Cancer Benefit Concert), Shepherd of the Hills Church (Not So Silent Night) The World Harp Orchestra, and La Jolla Riford Library (Christmas Concert) to name a few.
These experiences without doubt gave her an insight to playing music on so many levels! She would like to thank her family, friends, teachers, fellow harpists and musicians and her beloved dog, Emily for their continuous love, support, and inspiration throughout her musical journey.