The Modern Harp Quartet (MHQ) is comprised of alums from the harp studios of Cass Tech, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. The idea of forming the quartet was spurred by the well received performance of the Cass Tech Alumni Harp Ensemble at the 2008 American Harp Society National Conference in Detroit. The aim of the MHQ is to promote the modern harp as a versatile instrument, capable of producing a vast array of tone colors and effects, through performances and workshops.
Lydia Cleaver was introduced to the harp at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan where she studied with Patricia Terry-Ross. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Master of Music and Specialist degrees in Harp Performance from the University of Michigan School of Music where she studied with Dr. Lynne Aspnes. Lydia has performed with many orchestras and choral ensembles throughout the Midwest region of the United States. Additionally, she has performed with Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Eartha Kitt and Mickey Rooney in the stage production of the Wizard of Oz, Mannheim Steamroller and others.
Lydia has been a featured soloist for Vocal Essence of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Livonia Symphony and Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony orchestras, as well as the American Harp Society, performing William Grant Still’s Ennanga. Lydia is listed in Marquis Who’s Who of American Women and has been granted the King, Chavez, Parks visiting professorship from the University of Michigan. In 2007 she took over the harp program at Cass Technical High School.
John Wickey, a native of Detroit, began the study of the harp at Cass Technical High School with Patricia Terry-Ross and is a proud alumnus of its Harp & Vocal and Harp ensembles. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University with Lucile Lawrence and the Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan with Lynne Aspnes. John attended the Tanglewood, and Eastern Music Festivals and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Summer Institute, was a prize winner in the 1993 American Harp Society National Competition Young Professional Division appeared as soloist with the Boston Symphony Pro Musica, the International Symphony Orchestra in Sarnia/Port Huron, the Windsor (Ontario) Symphony and with the Detroit Oratorio Society. His professional orchestral credits include working with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony.
John moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995 and pursued a career in software development and information technology management. In 2009, he revived his harp duo with Lynne Aspnes and they currently perform as True North. He is a composer and arranger of music for harp solo and ensemble. John also serves on the faculty of the University of Redlands Summer Harp Camp as well as guest artist for the Beginning in the Middle Harp Seminar.
Maurice Draughn, a native of Detroit, is an experienced harpist and a versatile performer. Maurice has appeared as soloist with the Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony, Orchestra Canton, Rochester Symphony, Detroit Symphony Civic and Southern Seminary Orchestras. He has performed with noted performers such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Robert Sims, the Three Irish Tenors, and Glen Campbell. He is also an arranger and composer of music for the harp, voice and choir. He is currently a freelance harpist performing with several orchestras including the Plymouth, Rochester, Windsor, International Symphony Orchestras and Orchestra Canton as well as the Brass Band of Battle Creek. In addition to orchestral performances he performs regularly in solo and chamber recitals. He can also be heard on several educational and commercial recordings as a studio harpist.
Maurice began his harp studies at Cass Technical High School with Patricia Terry-Ross, principal harpist of the Michigan Opera Theatre. He continued his studies with Mrs. Ross, earning a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Harp Performance from Wayne State University. Maurice completed two summers of study with world-renowned harpist Lucile Lawrence at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts. He earned a Master of Church Music with a concentration in Harp and Organ Performance from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY where he also studied harp with Elaine Cook and Laura Byrne at the University of Louisville.
Anne Owens, a native of Detroit, has been playing the harp since 1999. She began her studies at Lewis Cass Technical High School in Detroit with Patricia Terry-Ross. She completed both a Bachelor of Music in harp performance and a Master of Music in Harp Performance as well as a Master of Arts in Music History from Wayne State University.
She has performed with the Wayne State Symphony Orchestra, the Wayne State Wind Symphony, and Detroit Civic Symphony Orchestra, and as second harpist with the Dearborn Symphony, Royal Oak Symphony, and Grosse Pointe Symphony. Anne also performs on a Roger Muma lever harp, and has performed since 2003 as a freelance harpist in Mackinaw City during the summer months.