The Harlem Chamber Players

Deryck Clarke

Educational Outreach Director

“gregarious, passionate, caring”

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Deryck Clarke (French horn) is a graduate of the High School of Performing Arts in New York City and the Curtis Institute of Music. Throughout his career Deryck has performed with renowned artists including Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Donnie McClurkin, Paquito D’Rivera, and James DePriest, among others. While in college, Mr. Clarke discovered his passion for teaching at the NY State Music Camp (now Hartwick College Music Festival). He was faculty member at the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival, the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program and the Mannes College preparatory division. Mr. Clarke also served as Interim Music Director of the Harlem School of the Arts. As a certified K12 music educator, Deryck received awards and recognition for his service as instrumental and vocal music teacher at the Mount Vernon Elementary School in Newark, NJ. He later served as Program Director of William Paterson University’s Music After School program in Paterson, NJ and started the Music camp. Deryck is currently an artist-in-residence at the Cicely Tyson School of the Arts in East Orange, NJ. He is the founder and President of The Harmony Effect, a grassroots Arts advocacy and education organization. Deryck is also the educational and community outreach director for The Harlem Chamber Players, he is a member of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable, and the Education Committee for AFM local 802.

Overview of Organization: The Harlem Chamber Players is an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond. In addition, The Harlem Chamber Players seek to build an audience for classical music in general through community and educational outreach, as well as through collaborations with Harlem’s other arts organizations, schools and cultural institutions. The Harlem Chamber Players not only bring live chamber music to under-served neighborhoods in the Harlem community, but also create opportunities for classically trained minority musicians.

Elizabeth Player

Executive & Artistic Director

“passionate, assertive, conscientious”

Clarinetist/bass clarinetist Liz Player has performed with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, New York City Housing Authority Orchestra, One World Symphony, Ensemble du Monde, Harlem Symphony Orchestra, The Harlem Festival Orchestra, The Manchester Music Festival Orchestra, The Bronx Opera, and on Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow. As an avid lover of chamber music, Ms. Player has organized recitals and chamber music concerts in New Jersey and New York since 1990. She founded West Harlem Winds in 2004 and in 2008 started the acclaimed Music at St. Mary’s chamber music series with The Harlem Chamber Players. As artistic director of The Harlem Chamber Players, Liz has contracted chamber ensembles and orchestras for several other organizations, such as American Opera Projects, Opera Ebony, Columbia University, Harlem Opera Theater, the NYC Housing Symphony Orchestra and more.

She attended the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College as a Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellow and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor in Music. There she made her debut as soloist with the Queens College Orchestra in a performance of the Debussy Première Rhapsodie. She also appeared as a featured soloist with the Greenwich Village Orchestra in a performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and as a guest artist with Ensemble du Monde in a performance of Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and strings. She has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, CAMI Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Brooklyn’s Forecast Music. Former instructors and master class coaches include David Krakauer, David Glazer, William Blount, Ayako Neidich, Stanley Drucker and Ronald Roseman.

In addition to being a dedicated chamber musician, Liz is able to use skills she acquired from her diverse educational background and work experience to run The Harlem Chamber Players. She received her B.A. in Computer Science with a minor in English from Rutgers College, New Brunswick, N.J. and has worked in various industries from marketing and communications to foundations. In addition to her duties as executive and artistic director of The Harlem Chamber Players, Liz also uses her graphic design skills to create all marketing materials and concert programs. She designed this website and is responsible for maintaining it.

What makes this organization unique and necessary? “We are an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians in the classical music arena where Black and Latino musicians are still grossly underrepresented. We provide opportunities for classically-trained musicians of color. I think it is empowering for young students to see, hear and work with professional classical musicians who look like them.”

Services provided by the organization: Classical music performances, educational concerts and workshops, masterclasses, music education


Arts Ed Newark is made possible by the generous support of: Turrell Fund, The Prudential Foundation, The Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, The Victoria Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts



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