Harry Chalmiers

Transforming the Music Learning Experience

Harry Chalmiers Guitar & Music Composition Instructor
Harry performing with violinist Randy Sabien

About Harry

As a composition major at Berklee College of Music I studied both contemporary popular and classical music. I also traveled to NYC to study classical guitar privately with the legendary Manuel Barrueco. After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in composition, I joined the Berklee faculty to teach counterpoint, harmony, and ear training.

Harry Chalmiers performing in Othello
In costume for Boston Opera production of Othello

I took a break from teaching to get my Master's in Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music where I studied with Robert Cogan (a student of Roger Sessions, Aaron Copland, Phillip Jarnach, and Nadia Boulanger). Cogan and Pozzi Escot (also one of my composition teachers) wrote Sonic Design: The Nature of Sound and Music, one of the most profound books on music theory and analysis ever written. In it they propose a framework for understanding and interpreting any musical work. Their groundbreaking analysis of musical language, space, time, and color help us understand how these primary elements work together to create and illuminate compositional structure. Sonic Design provides deep and true insights into the essence of musical art.

What I pass on to my students is a rich synthesis of what I've learned from my life experiences, mentors, and teachers - internationally renowned and revered masters in music. I'm deeply grateful for those who guided me on my life path and have influenced me as an artist and a human being.

My career evolved as integrated musical roles in teaching, performing, composing, and leadership. I've also been recognized for many years with numerous honors including:

Throughout I continued to compose music for some of the finest musicians in Boston and later in the Twin Cities. My compositions have been performed by the Muir String Quartet, Jorja Fleezanis, Kathy Kienzle, Randall Hodgkinson, the Indian Hill Symphony Orchestra, and many others.

Berklee Commencement Photos with Steven Tyler and David Bowie
Honoring the masters of contemporary popular music, David Bowie and Steven Tyler, at Berklee Commencement

I also remained true to my Berklee roots by playing lead guitar and singing with the Born Bluezers, a blues/rock band that featured Danny Klein, former bass player from the J. Geils Band; leading the jazz trio, Harry Chalmiers and his Only Friends; and playing duo concerts with violinist, Randy Sabien.

Contemporary Music Performance

Pozzi Escot wrote the piece, Neyrac Lux, for me. The notation suggests both the musical language and the actions the performer should take to produce a timbral result. David Mash and I performed it in Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory in 2017.

Recorded at my solo classical guitar concert at St. Paul's Church in Shreveport, Louisiana

statue church interior

Photos by Alice Gebura

Prelude, Bach Cello Suite No. 3
Two Pavans & Fantasia by Milan