"She demonstrated so much strength and power in her performance. That's terrific
because it is such an integral thing. It is one of the characteristics we see in prodigy
performers. Her musical ability is outstanding. She hears well, listens well, interprets
well and she communicates well. It is very clear that Vanessa is not only willing but
eager to apply herself and test her own limits. That personal commitment is essential
and critical to success."
~Dr. JoAn Kunselman, Professor of Musicology
It was during her first harp lesson, at the age of nine, that Dr.
Fountain (née Sheldon) discovered her life’s vocation, a career in harp
performance. A native Southern Californian, she holds a
Bachelor's and Master’s of Music in harp performance from the
California State University Los Angeles, where she was named the
CSU system's youngest to receive a graduate degree.  In 2005 she
earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in harp and musicology from
the University of Arizona, where she was the Graduate Teaching
Assistant to professor Carrol McLaughlin and assistant director of
the world-renown HarpFusion. She has also been honored as the
University of Arizona's youngest doctoral graduate, receiving her
degree at age 19.

Dr. Fountain has performed as a member and guest soloist with
countless chamber ensembles, orchestras, and bands across the
United States. Highlights of her international tours include
concerts in Shanghai, Seoul, Madrid and South Africa. At the
Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. she premiered "Reverie" by
Masatoshi Mitsumoto for solo harp. Her programs include new
music for harp in all genres, including her own transcriptions,
compositions and arrangements.

In addition to playing for such notables as Oprah Winfrey, Maya
Angelou, Tippi Hedren, Barbara Sinatra, Florence Henderson and
John Bayless, she has played as an honorary guest at UCLA, the
Colburn School, at the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate
Education at UC Santa Cruz, for the Japanese Ambassador and
Embassy, and appeared as guest artist with world-renown cellists
Michael Cameron and Masatoshi Mitsumoto, as well as the
Anderson String Quartet, Barry Manilow and Il Divo.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her
performance, including the Valeria Finzi Memorial Harp
Competition two years consecutively and has been named as a
Medici Scholar and in Who's Who Among American Women. She
is also a member of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
and the Golden Key International Honour Society. As a member of
the Venice Youth Pops Orchestra, Dr. Sheldon was featured in a
Southern California Edison television commercial. Other
television appearances include feature-length stories on ABC's
20/20, KUAT's Arizona Illustrated, and KGUN 9 News, in addition
to radio appearances. Dr. Fountain currently concertizes by request
in a variety of venues throughout Southern California as well as
nationally and internationally as a soloist and ensemble member on
harp types ranging from Celtic to electric.

Resume of previous performances
Concert Harpist Dr. Vanessa Fountain

Kennedy Center  Millennium
Stage concert- one hour live
performance video

"Vanessa played her
program with such grace and
virtuosity, which dazzled
the audience completely."
Mariko Hiller, director,
Odeon Chamber Music Series

"Dr. Vanessa is the
finest harpist in the
Coachella Valley. She is
a true professional and
is always my first option
when I need to hire a
harpist.I hope she
continues to be
available for my events
for a long time."
Jon McGihon,
Director of Music,
Palm Desert Community
Presbyterian Church
Concert Harpist