University of Rochester

Advancement Awards

Doris Johnson Hults

'41E, P'65

Doris Hults

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Doris Johnson Hults earned her bachelor’s degree in harp performanceand a performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music in 1941, where she was one of three students in the legendary Eileen Malone’s first harp class. She continued her educationat The JuilliardSchool, where she studied with Marcel Grandjany and taught in the preparatory division.

Early in her career, she wasthe harpist forFred Waring and his Pennsylvanians, participating on their radio show, nationwide tours, and eventually, television appearances. During World War II, the group entertained the troops in many locations, and after the war, performed at the Eisenhower inaugural ball in Washington, D.C.

Hults became the staff harpist with CBS in New York City and several years later she began a freelance career, making recordings with prominent musicians and working with orchestras for TV shows and motion picture soundtracks. In the early 1960s, she and her husband, Arlo Hults, moved to Los Angeles, where she continued to play in the studios for motion pictures and television. She later earned her real estate license and began a new career as a broker.

In 1996, Hults made a bequest to provide a generous gift to the Eastman School of Music upon her death. The following year, she wrote, “It’s been a wonderful, charmed life, and I often wonder how much of this would have been possible had I not been a student at Eastman, which provided me with the skills to make it in a fiercely competitive field of music. I owe Eastman a deep debt of gratitude.”

Hults died in 2010. She was survived by her daughter, Susanne MacDonald Rose ’65; her son-in-law, Mark L. Rose ’64; a stepson, Arlo; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

(Fall 2012)