News & Events

Passing of Beloved Music Faculty Member

It is with great sadness that we report that Jocelyn Chang, a longtime member of the Beck Center Music Faculty, has passed away. Our deepest sympathy goes to her husband and Beck Center faculty member, Michael Leese.

Jocelyn was a champion of harp and new music, participating in festivals, conferences, workshops, and concerts while working directly with composers to perform their music for all types of audiences. She commissioned and premiered many works for harp by composers from all over North America, Europe, and Taiwan, where she founded the harp department at the Chinese Cultural University and taught full-time from 1977 to 1981. She was a leader in the exploration of a revolutionary new invention, the Dilling harp. She commissioned and premiered more than 70 works expressly for this instrument, either solo or in combination with other instruments or choir.

Jocelyn served as principal harpist and a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony. Her talent for improvisation has been showcased in collaborations in music, dance, theater, poetry, visual art, sculpture, and performance art. She performed on radio and television in the U.S., Romania, and Bulgaria, and appeared on more than two dozen CDs and videos. Her harp/flute duo with composer/flutist Michael Leese performed more than 100 times a year in venues ranging from experimental theater to corporate dinner parties, concert series, and worship services.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Cleveland State University, she has taught at CSU, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, Kent State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Music School Settlement, and Beck Center for the Arts.

Jocelyn will be missed by all of us at Beck Center and by her many students, friends, and fans throughout the Cleveland area.

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