Megan Conley is the new Principal Harpist with the Houston Symphony, following an audition process that began in February, 2014. The audition included four rounds: two rounds in February were screened, followed by two unscreened rounds in April. “The semi-finals included excerpts and chamber music (Debussy Trio),” reports Conley,” and in the finals we played excerpts with the orchestra including Swan Lake, Britten [Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra], and the Mahler ‘Adagietto'”. Conley also played a trial with the orchestra in early September that included Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Ravel’s Alborada del Gracioso, and Moncayo’s Huapango.
Conley will replace former Houston Symphony Principal Harpist Paula Page, with whom she studied at Rice University receiving Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees. “I studied with Paula Page for six years,” says Conley, “so I am delighted to be following in her footsteps. I’ve been going to Houston Symphony concerts since I was 18. I’m so excited to get to play with them, especially at such an exciting time, with Andres Orozco-Estrada as their new Music Director.” Conley was also the 2012 First Prize winner at the Houston Symphony’s Ima Hogg Competition, performing the Ginastera Concerto for Harp. She will begin her new position in January, 2015.