Houston Summer Harp Festival
This year is special as we celebrate 20 years of bringing together young harpists. We offer a fun, educational and non-competitive environment for making music, learning about the harp, its history and its music, and making new friends.
Our esteemed faculty will nurture, challenge and build confidence as we promote a “can do” atmosphere. As seasoned and experienced instructors, we realize that our participants will come into this program at varying levels and we understand how to instruct students in a multi-level setting. We believe that music offers a unique expression that is special to each individual student. Whether playing together or alone or listening for enjoyment, music enhances our life experience. It is our joy and honor to share our knowledge and experiences.
1) We have held our festival on the beautiful campus of Houston Baptist University for 20 years!
2) We remain an inclusive festival where students thrive on playing and learning about “everything harp” with others who share this same interest. We do not require a live or recorded audition to participate. (Scholarship applications do require submitting a recording.)
3) Our fantastic faculty team will remain Kimberly DeRosa, Therese Honey, Susanna Campbell and Hope Cowan. Their combined experience offers over 100 years of harp playing and teaching. Their strengths and specialties bring a wide variety of topics to the students including Historical harp, Celtic harp, Classical repertoire, New music, chamber music, South American harp, composition, orchestral preparation, the Gigging harpist (weddings, church and pop music) and stage presence. There are simply too many topics to fit into one week! This allows us to rotate and add workshops each year thus offering something new to the returning students. Please read more about each of their careers and specialties on our Faculty Page.
4) Our students’ schedule will include classes and rehearsals Monday through Friday and a Finale Performance by the students on Saturday. Classes include ensemble rehearsals, workshops and the option to attend our CODA classes. CODA classes are scheduled at the end of our day from 4:15 – 5:15, Monday through Thursday. CODA classes focus on special topics and making more music.
5) Favorite events, such as our Mock Wedding and Group Project, will continue this year and in the coming years!
6) Required music – We strongly encourage our participants to prepare this year’s required ensemble music and a solo of choice before arriving on our first day. Required music will be announced with plenty of time for preparation.
7) Each student will receive one private lesson that is included in tuition.
Each year is unique! We select different required music for our ensembles and change the activities and workshops in order to offer our returning participants something new and fresh.
Our theme this year is “A Harp Journey: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” Celebrating our 20th anniversary! With a look back over the years, we are excited to incorporate aspects that have made this Festival so impactful for our students and the harp community. We will also be discussing “A Harp Journey” on an individual level helping this year’s students discover the harp journey they have begun and the possibilities of where they can go.
1) Encore Ensemble – In order to better accommodate our more advanced upper-level students and our growing numbers, the Encore Ensemble will have its own set of required ensemble pieces and classes tailored to this level. Please go to the Required Music page to find out if the student qualifies to participate in this limited Ensemble.
2) This year our faculty will be performing more for the students throughout the week, sharing different styles of performance and music. These informal performances are open to the public.
3) We are thrilled to announce the new OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE SCHOLARSHIP awarded to a harpist who excels in all facets of a polished performance: tone, technique, expression and poise. The level of difficulty of the repertoire may also be a factor in choosing this recipient. Open to ages 14 – 18 (as of July 1st). This scholarship is sponsored by Artistic Director Kimberly DeRosa and will cover the tuition fee. Applicants must submit a Scholarship application and a video recording of 3 pieces on or before June 1st. Audio recordings will not be accepted. A single movement of a larger work will qualify as one selection. If no applicants meet a standard performance level, the scholarship will not be awarded. This scholarship does not require a teacher’s recommendation or essay. Click here for more information.
4) This year, in celebration of our 20th festival, students are asked to wear a bright colored shirt or blouse (solid colors, no patterns please) instead of black and white only. Black and white will be allowed but we are encouraging the bright colors. Everyone must wear black pants, slacks or long skirt (knee-length or longer).
5) And more to come! We don’t want to give away all of our surprises!
Thanks to the School of Fine Arts for allowing us to hold this Festival on the beautiful campus of Houston Baptist University since 2000! The various classrooms and performance spaces we have used over the years have enhanced our participants’ experience of our Festival.
Thanks to the teachers for preparing your students, to the parents for encouraging your child to try this experience, and to all the harp-loving individuals who have donated to the scholarship funding and volunteered your time.
Hope to see you at our celebration!