Darryl Harper

Darryl Harper has served as chair of the Department of Music in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2010 and has been on the VCU faculty since 2008. Before coming to VCU, he served for seven years as director of the Ward Center for the Arts in Baltimore, Maryland, where he supervised an arts facility that serviced 1,300 students K-12. Harper oversaw the curriculum in music, theater, dance, and visual art, as well as arts programming for the community at large. He also worked for six years in admissions and financial aid at George School, a Quaker school in Pennsylvania, during which time he helped to recruit over 1,000 students from throughout the country and the world. Harper’s performance credits as a jazz clarinetist include dates with Orrin Evans, Tim Warfield, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Roscoe Mitchell, Dave Holland, Uri Caine, and a two-year stint touring with Regina Carter. He has recorded seven albums as a leader on the Hipnotic Records label. As a composer, Harper has published and recorded over two dozen works. He has written a film score for the award-winning documentary film Herskovits: At the Heart of Blackness, and commissions for choreographers Li Chiao-Ping and Ingo Taleb Rashid and visual artists Peter Bruun and Elisa Jimenez. Harper holds music degrees from Amherst College, Rutgers University, and New England Conservatory. He has led projects including The Onus, Into Something, and the C3 Project.