Musical and Visual Arts 
 of Rolliana Scheckler


Rolliana now works as a jewelry artist using dichroic glass, natural stones and gemstones, anti-tarnish sterling silverwire, 14kt gold fill wire, bead stringing and bead weaving.  Her jewelry is presented elsewhere on this web site.  She began learning this art toward the end of her music career as a retirement activity.

In her music career, she  was a classical singer, harper and harpsinger in performance, teaching, publishing and recording for some 30 years. She specialized in Celtic harp instrumentals and self-accompanied harpsong, performing in formal recitals and in shorter programs for schools, libraries, nature centers, older adult organizations, service groups, weddings, wedding and corporate receptions, banquets and other gala events. She frequently appeared on the Edgewood College Concert Series and, for ten years, in The Olbrich Gardens Winter Concert Series. 1995 saw the release of her debut solo recording, HarpSinger, on her Síocháin Music label. In 1996, she won First Prize in The Professional Division of the Great Lakes Harpers Regional Competition. In 1998, she received a major grant from the Palmer Foundation enabling her to bring 80 Celtic harp and song performances to the elderly in care facilities throughout Wisconsin. She was recognized nationally by her invitational concert performance and workshop presentations at The 1998 Conference of The International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen (ISFHC), Galveston, Texas. In November, 2003, her second CD, Dawning of the Day, all solo instrumental, was released to enthusiastic reviews on her record label, renamed HarpSinger.

Rolliana began her profession as soprano soloist during studies and after receiving her Bachelor of Music Degree from UW-Madison. 

Rolliana has sung in over 11 languages in art song recitals, opera, oratorio, revues and early music. Solo highlights were her Carmina Burana for Middleton [WI] Community Chorus and for St. Norbert's College, DePere, WI, from which her stunning "Dulcissime" is still remembered, several performances of Messiah, several performances of Hero and Leander, in which she sang Hero with the Madison Consort of Early Music,Haugtussa sung in Nynorsk throughout the MidWest, show tunes for the 27th Concert on the Square in Madison, The Ballad of Baby Doe for which she covered the title role and is remembered for "Silver" and Mrs. Ham in Noyes' Fludde, both for Madison Opera, 8 Blessed Sacrament Encores, remembered for "Can't Help Lovin' That Man o' Mine" and 9 Edgefest Follies. She appeared with pianist Edward Walters on Sunday Afternoon Live from the Elvehjem [now Chazen Museum of Art]. For over 39 years, she has been soprano soloist and chorister with the Blessed Sacrament Adult Choir. She conducted the Blessed Sacrament Adult Choir, first as assistant, then as head conductor, total about five and a half years, and The Blessed Sacrament Octet, eight years. With several others, she sang Gregorian Chant for Jean Feraca's "Women of Spirit" on Wisconsin Public Radio.

She opened her private teaching studio for voice in 1975 and concurrently taught voice for the Music Department of Edgewood College, 1990-1999. She was elected to The National Association of Teachers of Singing in 1980 and later served six years on The Board of Directors of its Wisconsin Chapter as President, Vice-President and Membership Chair, two years in each position. She served for over twelve years as Preferred Adjudicator for the WSMA Solo/Ensemble Festivals. Several of her voice students have gone on to music careers; two have doctorates in vocal performance, several have masters degrees and many are active as professional singers.

About midway in her singing career, viral laryngitis hit Rolliana and, in domino fashion, all her colleagues in the Madison Consort of Early Music making it impossible to accomplish five-voice madrigals for an entire performance year. The Consort suggested, therefore, that its singers take up early instruments in order to perform when unable to sing but otherwise healthy. The suggestion for Rolliana to begin the harp changed her direction forever.

Rolliana began harp in 1980, first playing a harp made by Glenn Walker Johnson. Then, in 1983, she won by highest bid a harp formerly owned by Derek Bell. In 1995 she purchased her "Professional 36" made by David Kortier.

Rolliana trained for 2 years on lever harp with Sue Richards, who later went on to international stardom as four-time National Champion of the Scottish Harp Society of America, and another nine years with Karen Atz, Principal Harpist of the Madison Symphony. She also studied harp at clinics and workshops by such luminaries as Alison Kinnaird, Chris Caswell, Kim Robertson, Ann Heymann, Philip Boulding, Laurie Riley, Tina Tourin, Dennis Doyle, Ron Price, Liz Cifani, Janet Harbison, Aibhlín McCrann. During summer, 2000, she studied harp with Máire ní Chathasaigh and Gráinne Yeats at the school and harp festival of Cairde na Cruite in Ireland.

Rolliana added harp teaching at her private studio in 1985 and offered Celtic harp classes for talented amateurs [non-credit] in the community through The Edgewood College Office of Continuing Education, Fall, 1991, through May, 2001. These classes introduced over 200 enthusiasts to the joy of playing the non-pedal harp. Many of them became charter members of The Madison Folk Harp Society, a chapter of Great Lakes Harpers, Inc., which is a midwest regional chapter of the ISFHC, Inc. Rolliana has presented workshops and concerts for/with GLH and ISFHC, addressing such topics as arranging for Celtic harp, singing while self-accompanying, agility exercises for "harp fitness", ensemble playing, improvisation.

Teaching, both privately and for 11 years at Edgewood College, brought Rolliana to writing and preparing music literature and lessons for her students. Little published material had been available for Celtic harp when she first began. She started learning Finale with John Georgeson via an Edgewood College Continuing Education class in 1994 (date approximate) and continues to use Finale for her own compositions, arrangements and student materials. Her children's collection by sisters, Julie DiMaggio and Sara DiMaggio, has been published. A rather large collection of computer files of Celtic harp arrangements and originals awaits editing and future publication.

As of May, 1999, Rolliana gave up teaching classical voice in order to focus on 1) performing and teaching harp and harp song and 2) moving into music as healing. In May, 2006, she cut back on all teaching, keeping only those students already or formerly on her roster. She stopped performing music as entertainment in order to devote to music in health care and for contemplative and memorial services.

Coming full circle from when she had earlier earned the Bachelor of Science Degree in Pre-Medical Biology, she became a "healing harper" at patient bedside in hospice and hospital. She completed hospice training in February, 2000, and served from then until summer, 2007, as a hospice volunteer, at first as "caring presence" (non-musical) in patients' homes and then for about three years exclusively as bedside harper at the Anderson and Johnson Inpatient Centers of HospiceCare, Inc. Rolliana became certified as a clinical musician at the advanced level through Laurie Riley's Clinical Music Training Program in July, 2007. She sought compensated employment in the field of therapeutic music but, finding none in the Madison area, she fully retired as of July, 2009.

Rolliana owns her profession, including her record label and publishing company, formerly called Síocháin Music and now renamed HarpSinger, a registered trademark, upon the success of her debut recording of the same name. She has developed skills in bookkeeping, tax reporting (and paying) as well as basic knowledge about intellectual property rights. She is proficient at the computer, has owned a PC and now a MAC. She regularly uses Corel WordPerfect, MS Word, Quicken and Adobe products, various ISPs, email sevices and web browsers and Finale. She taught herself how to develop web pages using HTML source code (from scratch), as can be seen on these web pages.

Passionate about the visual arts as well, Rolliana began studying wire sculpting in 2004 and glass fusing in 2007. She has designed and crafted two lines of jewelry:  1) Antonía Pendants with dichroic glass, gemstones or natural stone cabochons, hand wire-sculpted with 14kt rolled gold or anti-tarnishing sterling silver and 2) RollianaGlass without wire-sculpting, some with beading and bead weaving.  In the beginning she purchased most of her stones from other artists. Now she usually uses dichroic glass cabochons she has fused herself.

Rolliana is married with four adult children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law and four grandchildren.

As a volunteer she has long been active on the Boards of Directors of several arts non-profit organizations.  She frequently held a variety of offices and often served as president as briefly shown below.  For more information, go to her volunteer page.


University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. Bachelor of Music in Applied Voice [vocal performance and studio teaching], high honors. 
Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN. Bachelor of Science, cum laude, in Pre-Medical Biology. First employment out of college was at Science Information Department of Smith, Kline & French Laboratories [now Glaxo Smith Kline] in Philadelphia.

Private study with Olive Endres, Madison, WI, 3 years; 
Full piano scholarship to Aspen Summer School of Music, Aspen, CO; 
Private lessons during childhood with Margaret Schmitt, Kenosha, WI, 10 years.

Lessons with David Hottmann, Madison, 3 years privately and 6 years during degree work at University of Wisconsin School of Music. 
Private lessons with Inge Manski Lundeen, formerly with the Metropolitan Opera, Atlanta, GA, 1 year; 
Private lessons with Ruth Horrall, Madison, WI, 2 years.

Private lessons weekly during school years with Karen Atz for 9 years, Madison; 
Private lessons occasionally with Sue Richards over span of 2 years, Madison.

Therapeutic Music: 
After volunteering for almost 7 years at HospiceCare, Inc., Rolliana earned the designation ACCM, Advanced Certified Clinical Musician, July 10, 2007. She completed all requirements of The Clinical Musicians Training Program under the mentorship of Laurie Riley. It's new website is 
Harp for Healing. The program is accredited by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians.

Workshops and Short Courses: 
Perspective on Care of the Professional Voice by Joan Kuhn at the Medical College of Wisconsin; 
Vocal Performance Pedagogy by Richard Miller at Oberlin College; 
Alexander Technique by Marjorie Barstow at University of Wisconsin-Madison; 
Healing Harp Seminar and Monster Day with Ron Price at Northern Illinois University. 
Note: other seminars and courses are mentioned in paragraphs above.

Volunteer Service for Non-Profit Organizations 

Madison Consort of Early Music, Board of Directors, 8 years, Co-Founder, held several offices including President. 

Musicians' Forum of Dane County, Board of Directors, 8 years, Co-Founder, held all offices. 

Wisconsin Chapter of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, 20-year member, 6 years on Board of Directors holding several offices, including President, Vice-President, Membership Chair. 

Newport Wilderness Society, Door County, WI, Board of Directors, 11 years, Co-Founder, Officer including Membership Chair, Newsletter Editor, Secretary. As a hobby for over 20 years, Rolliana has given volunteer nature hikes for NWS in Newport State Park, identifying wild flowers, during July and August. In 2008, she began serving as volunteer websmith. 

University of Wisconsin School of Music Alumni Association, Board of Directors, 2 years where as Scholarship Committee Chair she initiated the now very successful fundraising program for undergraduate need-based music scholarships; after that, she served as Advisor to UWSOMAA Board for 5 years. 

HospiceCare, Inc., now renamed Agrace Hospice, as"caring presence" in patient homes, 2000 - about 2004; bedside musician at HCI's inpatient residences facilities, about 2004 - July, 2007. 

Yrjö Kilpinen Society of North America, Board of Directors, 1999 - 2008. President for the organization's last 3 years and Secretary for 7 years before that; served as websmith; assisted with First, Second and Third International Kilpinen Art Song Competitions in 1999, 2002 and 2005; served as Event Manager for "An Evening of Song", February, 2007. Having accomplished its mission, YKSNA closed as of June, 2008. Its financial assets were donated to several area music organizations where founder Dr. Vernon Sell had served. Its web site and physical materials were donated to The Finnish-American Heritage Center & Archives at Finlandia University where they are curated and maintained for use by serious researchers. 

Great Lakes Harpers, member since about 1994; served on Board of Directors in office of President, 1996 through October, 2008; served as volunteer websmith until January, 2008; placed first in GLH Competition Professional Division, 1996 [before being asked to hold office]; helped GLH incorporate as a non-profit, educational and cultural organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation. 

Madison Harp Orchestra, Founder, Music Director for Benefit Concerts "The Emerald Harp", March, 2006, "The Harp Weaver", March, 2007, and "The Leprechaun King", March, 2008. 

Development Council of Access Community Health Centers, 2007-2010.