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Carla Hartsfield

Carla Hartsfield
Carla Hartsfield Photo
  • Examiner

Education - Studies

  • BMus (Piano Performance), University of Texas at Austin
  • MMus (Piano Performance), University of Texas at Austin


  • Ottawa Conservatory of Music, Ottawa, ON
  • Havergal College, Toronto, ON
  • The Bishop Strachan School, Toronto, ON
  • The Royal Conservatory Community School, Toronto, ON
  • The Glenn Gould Professional School, Toronto, ON

With her expertise in working with advanced students in Grade 10, at the ARCT level, and beyond, Carla Hartsfield has been teaching piano for thirty-five years.

Carla's most influential piano teacher was John Perry, a world-class pianist and pedagogue. She was also fortunate to study with Abbey Simon and Gregory Allen. In more recent years Carla Hartsfield has taken vocal training with jazz great Rita di Ghent as well as with Janet Catherine Dea. She was awarded her Shodan degree in 2006 for koto (Japanese floor harp).

As one of the first integrated arts specialists and a Mentor Artist with Learning Through the Arts in Ontario from 1997 to 2002, Carla helped teachers and students create music, art, and poetry. She formed associations with schools such as Northview Heights and Westview (in the Jane-Finch corridor). While teaching at the Bishop Strachan school she designed her own program based on her experience in LTTA. The CD she and her team created in that first year became a calling card for BSS's recruitment process.

Carla has adjudicated piano for the Kiwanis Music Festival and ORMTA in several major cities across Ontario since 1990. In 2009 she adjudicated the Silver Tray classes (senior level) for the Toronto Kiwanis Festival, one of the largest festivals in Canada with the most prize money.

While on the faculty of The Royal Conservatory Ms. Hartsfield performed as a piano soloist as well as in a chamber ensemble. Highlights included the Faculty Artist series, the Twilight series, and Sunday afternoon concerts in Walker Court at the Art Gallery of Ontario. More recently she has been performing and recording original music with her band Court The Clouds TM (registered trademark). The new CD titled "Afterlight" is a follow-up to her EP, "River Called Night" (geoharmonic music).

Since 1988 Carla has enjoyed a concurrent career publishing poetry in Canada. The first two titles appeared from Vehicule Press (Signal Editions/Montreal). "The Invisible Moon" was short-listed for the Gerald Lampert Prize for best first book published nationally. Her third title, "Your Last Day on Earth" (Brick Books), was long-listed for the BC ReLit Awards. In 2010 her poem "Seven, Seven, Oh Seven" was long-listed for the anthology, "Best Canadian Poetry" (Tightrope Books). Carla's first long-sequenced poem in print, with allusions to Philip Glass, titled "The River," appeared from Rubicon Press in 2011.

Professional Affiliations

  • Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre