Glenda Harris

The Bionic Renaissance Woman

If you ever get the chance to see Glenda Harris perform, you might think after the first song that she’s a talented singer and guitarist. By the end of the second song, you’d realize that she also plays the Harmonium, Sitar, Hardanger Fiddle, Violin, Mandolin, and dobro. And by the end of her set, you will probably have lost count of exactly how many instruments she’s played (it’s 12, by the way). Glenda started playing music when she was only six years old, and credits the public school she attended as the gateway to her now seasoned understanding and passion for music and the arts.

In addition to Glenda’s musical career, she’s also a Software Tester for NetCentrics, supporting the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and testing all custom applications prior to release. She’s also supported the Explorer Space Shuttle Program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and she’s worked in the commercial arena for companies like Intuit, which took her to California – a place that both satiated and ignited her musical appetite.

While working in San Diego, Glenda discovered the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Camping on long weekends, Glenda took part in recreations of long-ago battles between Viking Hoards and the Roman Legion, and engaged with the community to educate others about the history and culture, performing arts, games and pastimes, and food and drink of centuries ago.

Glenda takes her experiences with SCA a step further, taking a day off every year to lead an educational session at her local YMCA. In full costume, Glenda gives a historic presentation about the people and culture of the past. From musical performances to art lessons, Glenda provides elementary children an enriching, hand-on experience that truly brings history to life. From the Icelandic Vikings and Molly the Innkeeper’s daughter to Medieval England and a Lady-in-waiting, Glenda tries to incorporate historical information as well as a moral with each performance.

Glenda’s personal interests vary almost as much as the number of instruments she plays – and many of them require precise physical movement and control. Glenda has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, an inherited condition that affects connective tissues such as joints, but she’s made it a point not to let it stand in the way of what she loves. Upbeat, positive, doing what she loves and seeking to help others, Glenda is an example of NetCentrics’ core values in action.

Glenda’s band, The Bionic Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man, recently performed at Highmark Brewery. Listen to the performance on Facebook: