Press Photo by Ian Donald

Press Photo by Ian Donald

Harpist press kit

REVIEWS

"Where"

“I have played ‘Where’ all over the world to rave reviews for the piece—it is one of my favorite unaccompanied solos in a recital.”

Paul Pollard, recitalist

“American Songs:”

“...by the time this sequence got past ‘Jimmie Crack Corn’ and ‘Arkansas Traveler,’and a close-harmony brass rendition of ‘Shenendoah,’ with fragments of ‘Turkey in the Straw’ and ‘O Susanna’ folded in, if there had been an aisle around I would have been dancing in it.”

Paul Kresh, Musical Heritage Review,

“Despite the fact that I am not normally drawn to song medleys, I greatly enjoyed the intelligent arrangement by Alyssa Hess Reit...”

Barry Kilpatrick, American Record Guide

“On behalf of the Eastern Brass Quintet I would like to thank you for your “American Songs.” It has been a tremendous success in every way, and the enclosed review is an example of how well it is received, not to mention the group’s enthusiasm in playing it.”

Richard Green, Eastern Brass Quintet

“One highlight: an arrangement of American folk songs by Alyssa Hess Reit that was featured on the group’s highly praised recording “An American Collection.”

Alice Fuld, The Sentinel

“Reverie and Romp”

"Beautifully written— the piece magically captures the essence of Ireland somehow even all in brass!”

Chris Komer

“Faith, Hope, and Love”

“...a majestic and appealing work."

Linda Phillips, Greenwich Times

“Legends of Isis”

“...both new works were quite astonishing....the new works sat like glittering small jewels, far outshining the better-known pieces....In ‘Legends of Isis,’ inspired by singing she heard on a trip to Egyptian temples, she has created a mysterious, evocative work that captures the very essence of the experience of that timeless land...Contemporary yet timeless, quieting, swelling, fading, descending, the work closed with gorgeous chords...Bravo from this reviewer.”

Linda Phillips, Greenwich Citizen

“I just LOVE your piece. Thanks very much...”

Bruce Polay, Knox-Galesburg Symphony

HARP MUSIC

“I love your arrangements and have decided to program Wolsey’s Wilde, Alman, Sally Gardens, and Star of the County Down for our American Youth Harp Ensemble LyraEnsemble. I know the students will love the music. The arrangements are done so well!”

Lynelle Ediger, American Youth Harp Ensemble

“I have chosen your Los Tres Damas and Venezuelan Ballad for the Powell River, Canada Festival in June. Do you have anything else for Advanced Group? I love your arrangements!”.....“I admire your work so much!”

"What I loved and appreciated about your Harp Ensemble Arrangements was that the different levels of students could all be incorporated in one piece - from Beginner to Advanced. At Festivals such as FEMUSC in Brazil - where the Harp Class consisted of different ages and levels of playing, this aspect was so wonderful. I appreciated being able to present different musical styles from Renaissance, to Celtic to Spanish. The music you chose to arrange was so beautiful. The audience and students loved them all! Thank you so much! Brava!"

Rita Costanzi, harpist

“Hi -- just wanted to let you know how much my Harmonious Harp Ensemble and audiences enjoyed your arrangements this spring! We were so pleased to be able to add them to our growing repertoire and share them with listeners. Real crowd pleasers for sure!...On several [pieces] I extended the arrangements by having an interlude of a few measures of the accompaniment part -- you wrote some wonderfully interesting parts and I wanted to showcase them..."

Roxanne Ziegler, harpist, teacher, performer, Certified Music Practitioner

“Alyssa Reit is a gifted harpist, teacher, composer, and arranger who studied at Juilliard with some of the most renowned teachers. She has created and arranged solo, duet, and ensemble harp pieces for lever and pedal harp for beginners to advanced players. In all her music, there is keen awareness of beauty and form. For beginners, technical aspects of learning the harp are interwoven into compositions that challenge and inspire the early learner. Fingerings are added, helping beginners from the start. Alyssa’s sense of harmony and voice leading add to the arrangements, and her harp ensembles allow all levels to play together to universal joy and satisfaction.

Carole Everett, former Director of Admissions, The Juilliard School; mezzo-soprano, and lever harp student

THEATRICAL REVIEWS

“White Picket Fence”

“BRAVO! Your appearance last evening was truly memorable. It was the perfect venue for your moving and haunting musical tale. ...Truly lovely.”

Gerald Goodman

“Oisin in Tir na n’Og”

“Just letting you know that on Thursday of last week, over 1000 first graders got to see Oisin! Our three school systems include 24 elementary schools, 23 of which are Title I (meaning that over 40% of the student population is considered financially disadvantaged by the government). I tell you this so you know how important your works have been for our students who might never really have an opportunity to experience music, let alone chamber music. The students were enthralled...”

John David Welch, Newton Conover Auditorium (2017)

"The Valiant Little Tailor"

"I think there may be magic at work here...an enchanting mix of puppetry, music and storytelling."

"The Six Swans"

"...meticulous direction and theatrical flair... every move so carefully choreographed...that you can only be drawn deep into their fairytale world..."

The Scotsman

"The Golden Bird"

All the elements of a good children’s show are put together successfully in this retelling of a classic Brothers Grimm tale. It is pretty to look at, with bright costumes and well crafted masks and the entrance of the eponymous ‘Golden Bird’ widened the eyes of the young audience. It is pretty to listen to, some gorgeous harp playing and percussion complementing the fine mime work of the two actors.

"The Frog Prince, or Faithful Henry"

What a pleasant and refreshing change to see a children’s show not steeped elbow deep in patronizing Panto over-enthusiasm...The Frog Prince’ is a tale regaled by a harp-plucking narrator, wonderfully creating moods and atmosphere... Silent flowing movement from the players allow a magical setting to blossom onstage, while an audience, comprising far more three year olds than adults, sits mesmerized... A very welcome alternative to conventional children’s theatre.

Three Weeks

"The Three Treasures"

This is one of five productions at this year’s Festival by New York’s Singing Harp company, who perform stories adapted from traditional fairy tales and classic literature. In this luscious production we are treated to the tale of The Three Treasures, a luminous story of jealousy, revenge and redemption.

The set is immediately inviting, with sumptuous furnishings and thoughtfully chosen props. The company has gone equally to town on the stunning traditional costumes, and it is easy to imagine that we are looking through the window into an opulent Persian palace. Four women perform the story. Alyssa Reit introduces us to the tale and performs a beautiful and unobtrusive accompaniment on the harp, while Leanne DeCamp, Una McGillicuddy and Lisa Wenzel take turns narrating and acting out the unfolding narrative. The performances are polished and the three women switch between the different roles with impressive fluidity, while never compromising the clarity of the narrative.

EdinburghGuide.com

HARPIST REVIEWS

“Virtuoso account...a suitable marvel.”

Joshua Kosman, San Fransisco Chronicle

“Exemplary performance...”

New York Times