Cheryl Cunningham



MM & BMus & BMusEd (Indiana University)

Cheryl Dungan Cunningham (Harpist) has performed extensively on the concert stage as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician throughout the United States and Canada.  She has appeared as soloist with the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey, Greater Trenton Symphony Orchestra, Bryn Athyn Orchestra, Ambler Symphony, Philadelphia Doctor's Symphony, and Academy Chamber Players.   Principal harpist with many orchestras in the Philadelphia area, including the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra and Allegro Orchestra Lancaster, Cheryl has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kimmel Center, the Academy of Music and Trenton’s War Memorial.

In 1992, with flutist Nicole Lambert and violist James Day, Cheryl founded the Southampton Trio, the founding ensemble of the ongoing Southampton Chamber Music Society concert series.  The SCMS quintet and trio both performed at the 2004 American Harp Society National Conference in Philadelphia.  In 2002, she accompanied Toronto's Children's Chorus, under direction of Jean Ashworth Bartle for the world premiere of Ben Steinberg's Psalm of Thanksgiving for children's chorus, organ, harp & cello at the American Guild of Organists National Convention in Philadelphia. Cheryl has joined with historical keyboardist Kathleen Scheide to form the duo Voix Seraphique, which performed at the 2014 American Harp Society, Inc. National Conference in New Orleans.  In August 2018 Duo Adelphi, a flute and harp duo with her sister Doris Dungan, performed at Musikfest in Bethlehem.

Cheryl may be heard on several recordings, including Echoes of the Dance, Renaissance and English country dance music performed with Amy Shimmin on flute and recorder; Music for the Soul, therapeutic harp music featuring harpists from throughout the United States; Music for the Soulstice: Millennium, a compilation of winter and Christmas music by 21 different harpists; and Harp Ornaments, a collection of Christmas music performed by Philadelphia area harpists.

Equally active as a pedagogue and author, Cheryl maintains a busy private teaching studio, and is an Affiliate Artist at Cairn University.  She was a contributing author to the American String Teacher’s Association publication, A Harp in the School: A Guide for School Ensemble Directors, and her articles about the harp have been published in the The Harp Column Magazine, American String Teacher, and AHS Teachers Forum. In 2008, she served as a judge for The Young Artist’s Harp Competition, an international competition for young harpists.

Cheryl completed her term as President of the American Harp Society, Inc. in July 2018, and continues to serve as the longtime Treasurer of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AHS.  From 2014-2016 she served as Chairman of the Board; from 2006-2010 First Vice President of the AHS; and in 2004, she was Co-Chairman of the AHS National Conference in Philadelphia.  Cheryl earned Bachelor of Music in Harp, Bachelor of Music Education, and Master of Music in Harp degrees with High Distinction from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, where she studied with Susann McDonald and Peter E. Eagle.