Faculty Spotlight: Barbara Lepke-Sims

Meet Barbara Lepke-Sims

Degrees and Experience
  • M.M., Harp Performance (Juilliard School of Music)
  • MBA, Marketing (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • B.A., Music Education (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Certificate of Theology (Denver Seminary)
Biography and Professional Achievements

Barbara W. Lepke-Sims is an active and well-known professional harpist in the Denver area since she earned her Master of Music at The Juilliard School in 1978 studying under Susann McDonald.

Lepke-Sims is currently an Affiliate Professor of Applied Harp at Colorado Christian University and Regis University and also teaches out of her home. 

Lepke-Sims performs in many capacities as a soloist, with chamber ensembles and as a regular member or guest of many orchestras and choirs in Colorado. President George H. W. Bush called Barbara the Harpist of the Presidents because of her experience playing for Presidents, Dignitaries, and VIPs. 

She has been very active in the American Harp Society having served as Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the 1988 National AHS Conference in Denver and in many other roles over the past 30 years. In 2017, Lepke-Sims received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Harp Society.

In 2019, Lepke-Sims was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of the USA International Harp Competition (USAIHC). She is currently serving as Vice-President and Chair of the Development Committee.

Lepke-Sims' passion for playing the harp has evolved to serve others in a healthcare setting. Since 2009, when she graduated as a Certified Music Practitioner, she has played at many local healthcare facilities. She is currently the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP) Colorado Area Coordinator and has also served on the MHTP Board of Directors and National Program Council. 

Lepke-Sims earned her MBA in 1986. Currently she is the Healing Arts Program Coordinator for several hospitals within the Denver Metro Group of Centura Health, managing all aspects of the program. In March 2020, Centura Health, on behalf of Healing Arts, became the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts 2020 Honoree. 

She recently released her latest CD, Music for the Heart...from the Heart...Soothing Melodies to Comfort Your Soul. Lepke-Sims and her husband also sponsor the WLS Family Sacred Music Award, administered annually through the American Harp Society. 

Published articles include, "The Confluence of Three Major Influences in the Field of Music and the Delivery of Medicare Care," The American Harp Journal, (Vo. 24, No. 3 Summer 2014).