Houston Summer Harp Festival

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 Approach

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.

What’s familiar?

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 our 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) Our Required Music changes each year and is coordinated with that years theme. Each ensemble has assigned music and there will be several pieces that the 3 ensembles will perform together on our Finale Concert. 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 in 2020.

7) We offer 3 separate levels of ensemble playing.

8) 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.

9) We offer on campus-housing.

10) We have multiple full and partial scholarships available. 

11) Performance attire for students is all black or white top/black bottom.

What’s New?

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.

A note regarding Masterclasses: Students encouraged to play their prepared solo for some of their fellow students. This allows students a performance experience in a safe environment. It also allows other students to learn from, be inspired by and support their peers. Everyone wanting a chance to play will have the opportunity. Students preferring to observe only will be allowed to do so. 

Many thanks!

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.

We look forward to seeing you in 2020!
Kimberly DeRosa