Plan out your summer with our guide to nearly 50 harp camps, workshops, and festivals across the U.S. and around the world.
Want to get the most from your summer camp experience? Check out Five Tips for First Time Campers. Know of a program we missed? See our ongoing online Summer Harp Camp Directory to add a program or check for updated information. Download the PDF of this issue (right) to see our “at a glance” chart of all program dates and locations.
January is a good month for harpists. With the flurry of holiday concerts behind you, you’re able to bask in the glow of your end-of-semester recitals and take advantage of the extra time in your more relaxed schedules to practice—maybe even take on Harp Column’s 30 Day Practice Challenge. (If you haven’t heard about it, check it out here—your technique will thank you later.) But perhaps the best part of being a harpist in January is sitting down with a cup of hot cocoa and mapping out your summer harp plans.
There was a time when the list of options for summer study was limited to a handful of festivals and camps. But today opportunities abound for harpists—from short intensive experiences to weeks-long traditional summer camp—there is something to fit every harpist’s needs. We’ve done the leg work for you, collecting information about nearly 50 summer programs to enrich your harp life. So settle in, drop a few more marshmallows in that hot cocoa, and find your summer destination.
ACADIA TRAD SCHOOL
Bar Harbor, Maine; June 28–July 3
Instructor: Maeve Gilchrist
With a focus on Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, Acadian, and Québecois music and dance styles, this festival offers classes, workshops, community dances, and jam sessions at the College of the Atlantic. This camp is perfect for harpists who want to expand their knowledge of contemporary Celtic harp technique.
AMERICAN HARP ACADEMY
Winston-Salem, N.C.; June 21–27
Teachers: Maria Luisa Rayan and Jacquelyn Bartlett
Intended for harpists who want to immerse themselves in the harp, this program offers an array of musical opportunities for all levels. Students will receive intensive individual studies, accompanied by solo and ensemble performance opportunities. Some class topics include practice techniques, performance practices, memorization, and how to prepare for future musical endeavors.
BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC SUMMER PROGRAMS
Boston, Mass.; (Summer Semester) May 26–Aug. 14, ; (Global String Program) June 22–26, ; (5–Week Intensive) July 11–Aug. 14
Instructors: Felice Pomeranz and Mairi Chaimbeul
In the Summer Semester, participants enrolled in this program will complete the first semester of Berklee’s core curriculum in 12 weeks, to earn a full semester of college credit.
In the Global String Program, students will experience a wide variety of string styles, including folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, old-time, and Celtic. It is a true immersion of genres under the close guidance of string instructors. This camp is perfect for anyone hoping to try new styles and expand their horizons.
The 5-Week Intensive is a comprehensive summer program offering college credit. Students will collaborate and perform together, develop improvisational and reading skills, and improve technique in weekly private lessons.
BLUE LAKE FINE ARTS CAMP
Twin Lake, Mich.; June 24–July 5, July 8–19, July 22–Aug. 2, Aug. 5–16
Instructors in 2019: Jacqueline Pollauf, Molly O’Roark, Stephanie Gustafson, Amy Ley
Blue Lake offers harpists of all levels the opportunity for intensive summer study in a traditional camp environment. Daily classes include: private lessons, ensemble skills, theory, history, and practice time. Students may also select from a wide range of minor classes in other arts areas.
BOB JONES UNIVERSITY HARP CAMP
Greenville, S.C.; July 6–10, (junior camp), July 12–17 (senior camp)
Instructor: Emily Waggoner
Description: The mission of this program is to help students grow in Christlike character as they learn about their field. Harpists will perform in solo recitals and masterclasses, receive private lessons, attend chapel and Bible study, and participate in recreational activities.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY TANGLEWOOD INSTITUTE YOUNG ARTISTS HARP PROGRAM
Lenox, Mass.; July 5–Aug. 15
Instructors: Ann Hobson Pilot and Franziska Huhn
Description: Affiliated with the Boston Symphony, this six-week program is limited to four students, enabling highly individualized and thorough instruction. Students receive two private lessons each week, play in chamber groups, wind ensembles, and orchestra, and participate in masterclasses with professional harpists from around the world.
BREVARD MUSIC CENTER, SUMMER INSTITUTE AND FESTIVAL
Brevard, N.C.; June 25–Aug. 9, (high school); June 21–Aug. 9 (college)
Instructor: Allegra Lilly
Description: This intensive summer program is for young musicians of exceptional talent. The seven-week festival includes 80 concerts of major orchestral, chamber, and operatic repertoire. This camp is perfect for students who wish to pursue music in college and beyond.
BUFFALO SUZUKI STRINGS SUMMER HARP WORKSHOP
Buffalo, N.Y.; Aug. 10–14
Instructors: Katie Berquist, Kela Walton, and Grace Wong
Harp students ages 5–18 participate in a week of harp ensemble, masterclasses, music theory, and musical enrichment. The curriculum is designed to fit individual needs of participants. Students return year after year for the non-competitive harp ensemble experience.
CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL SUMMER HARP INSTITUTE
Caroline, Canada; July 17–24
Instructors: Judy Loman, Julia Kay Jamieson, Ellen Gibling, and Gianetta Baril
An immersive program featuring a week of lessons, ensembles, and workshops, this program encourages community and support at a tranquil camp about 90 minutes north of Calgary. Students looking for an intensive, individually-tailored harp retreat in a secluded setting will appreciate CISHI.
CONNECTICUT VALLEY HARP INSTITUTE
Hartford, Conn.; June 25–28
Instructor: Susan Knapp Thomas
Intended for students of all levels, this program focuses on each harpist’s individual work as a solo artist and competition contestant. The four day institute concludes with a winner’s recital and the opportunity to evaluate your competition performance alongside workshop participants and faculty.
CRANE YOUTH MUSIC
Crested Butte, Colo.; Aug. 3–7
Instructor: Anastasia Pike
With options for both commuter and overnight campers, this program allows harpists to work in both solo and ensemble settings. Students will perform in orchestra and wind ensemble concerts, receive daily master classes, and participate in harp sectionals and ensemble. This camp is perfect for harpists with little or no orchestral experience, wishing to hone their large ensemble skills.
CRESTED BUTTE MUSIC FESTIVAL AND CHAMBER MUSIC INTENSIVE
Crested Butte, Colo.; Aug. 3–7
Instructor: Anastasia Pike
Description: This intensive is perfect for harpists who want to focus on chamber music repertoire. With a 3:1 student-to-coach ratio, participants have the opportunity to work in a supportive, intimate environment, while surrounded by nature.
CURTIS SUMMERFEST HARP COLONY
Philadelphia, Pa.; June 8–June 12
Instructors: Elizabeth Hainen and Judy Loman
Intended for promising young harpists and professionals, this program focuses on individual development. Students are given personalized attention on solo repertoire from faculty, participate in masterclasses, and receive intensive orchestral training.
CURTIS SUMMERFEST YOUNG ARTIST SUMMER PROGRAM
Philadelphia, Pa.; July 11–Aug. 1
Instructors: see website
This program is intended for young musicians seeking professional music careers. With a “learn by doing” philosophy, harpists will experience a conservatory lifestyle and will work with Curtis alumni and faculty.
DORIAN SUMMER MUSIC CAMP
Decorah, Iowa; June 14–20 (middle school), June 21–27 (high school)
Faculty: Rachel Brandwein
Based on Luther College’s campus, this program offers large ensembles, workshops, and classes. Students are able to take art, dance, and theatre in addition to their music classes and ensembles. This camp is perfect for students who want to explore a variety of artistic opportunities in addition to harp.
EASTERN MUSIC FESTIVAL
Greenboro, N.C.; June 27–Aug. 1
Instructor: Anna Kate Mackle
This five-week program is meant for the serious harp student looking for a focused orchestral experience. Based at Guilford College, participants perform musically and technically demanding orchestral and chamber repertoire. Young musical artists attend for the extensive ensemble experience.
ENSEMBLE DAL NIENTE AND DEPAUL SUMMER RESIDENCY FOR NEW MUSIC
Chicago, Ill.; July 7–13
Instructor: Benjamin Melsky
This summer residency is in collaboration with DePaul University. A week-long program for composers and performers who are passionate about new music, harpists will have the opportunity to collaborate on new projects, work side-by-side with Dal Niente musicians, perform in small and large ensembles, and receive daily instruction through lessons, rehearsals, workshops, masterclasses, and lectures.
HARP CAMP VIRGINIA
Faber, Va.; June 28–July 2
Instructors in 2019: Virginia Schweninger, Eve Watters, Howard Bryan, and Kate Tamarkin
Description: Housed at the Acorn Inn in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, students start the mornings with floor barre exercises, followed by harp ensemble, workshops, and other enrichment activities. Outdoor recreational activities include swimming and canoing around the lake.
HARPS IN THE GLEN
West Bend, Wis.; July 30–Aug. 2
Instructors: Kim Robertson and Sunita Staneslow
Description: Adult students are given practical tools to bolster their technique and improvisational skills. With six hours of classes and activities per day, the evenings include harp circles and a harp concert. This camp is perfect for harpists who wish to renew their inspiration, explore their own creativity, and share their passion.
HARP IN THE MOUNTAINS SUMMER FESTIVAL
Madisonburg, Pa.; July 5–11
Instructors: Anne Sullivan and Candace Lark Masucci
Description: A recreational camp atmosphere and intense harp study combine in this program. With a focus on learning together, campers practice and perform, study technique and musicianship, and enjoy making new harp friends. This camp focuses on collaboration, cooperation, and creativity.
Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland; July 8-July 20
Instructors: Marcella Carboni, Francesco Guarneri, Luisa Prandina, and Irina Zingg
Description: Based in Switzerland, students receive the opportunity to take classes, workshops, and lectures with harp teachers from around the world. This program is intended for intermediate students through young professionals and emphasizes community and creativity. HarpMasters Academy offers an opportunity for a stimulating atmosphere, inspiring performances, and friendships forged with other harpists.
HOT SPRINGS MUSIC FESTIVAL
Hot Springs, Ark.; May 30–June 13
Instructor: Deborah Fleisher
Description: This festival offers full instructional scholarships for those accepted. Serious in focus but casual in atmosphere, mentors and apprentices perform side by side in 20 orchestral and chamber concert settings that take place over the two weeks.
HOUSTON SUMMER HARP FESTIVAL
Houston, Texas; July 6–11
Instructors: Therese Honey, Hope Cowan, Susanna Campbell, and Kim DeRosa
Description: Middle and high school harp students perform in this non-competitive program for its focus on harp ensemble, culminating in an end-of-program recital. Students receive training in harp music, history, and participate in a wedding workshop.
IDYLLWILD ARTS SUMMER PROGRAM
Idyllwild, Calif.; July 12–25, July 26–Aug. 8
Instructor: Allison Allport
Description: Intermediate and advanced harp students participate in daily orchestra rehearsals, private lessons, harp ensemble, and chamber music. The small classes offer a supportive environment and help foster excellence for focused, orchestral harp students.
ILLINOIS SUMMER HARP CLASS
Urbana, Ill.; June 11–13,
Instructor: Ann Yeung
Description: An intensive and creative program meant for all ages and levels, ISHC offers masterclasses, harp ensemble, and recitals. The 18th season includes the world premiere of a harp ensemble piece written by Julia Kay Jamieson and is open to both participants and auditors.
INTERLOCHEN ARTS CAMP
Interlochen, Mich.; (High School) June 27–Aug. 9; (Intermediate) June 27–July 18, (session 1); July 19–Aug. 9 (session 2)
Instructors: Joan Raeburn Holland and Sylvia Norris
The six-week high school program is intended for serious harpists who are eager to learn and give their most. The curriculum emphasizes musicianship, growth, and the joy of playing with a group of fellow musicians. In the two intermediate sessions, middle school students here will further their individual study of the harp and develop their ensemble skills. The daily dedicated and collaborative work in a strongly supportive musical community makes this camp experience unique. Students will grow as artists and experience the joy of making music together.
THE INTERNATIONAL SUMMER HARP ACADEMY IN BULGARIA
Sofia, Bulgaria; Aug. 2–9
Instructors: Branka Crowder, Josh Layne, and Daniela IoIkicheva
Housed at the Bankya Palace Hotel, harpists of all ages and levels are invited to join in a week of courses, private lessons, and concerts. This program allows harpists to share ideas, get inspired, and have fun.
ISLAND MOUNTAIN ARTS HARP AND CELLO SCHOOL
Wells, Canada; Aug. 17–21
Instructors: Sharlene Wallace, Morag Northey, and others
Intended for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students, this program is held in a remote town surrounded by nature. Participants spend the morning in their level-specific sessions, and choose from a variety of musical activities in the afternoon. Special activities include the student BBQ, an instructor concert, and the annual Céilidh.
Spartanburg, S.C.; June 21–July 18
Instructor: Heaven Fan
With many faith–based activities, harp students rehearse and perform orchestral literature, study technique and solo literature, and receive weekly private lessons. Other performance opportunities include an honors recital, masterclasses, a concerto competition, and chamber music. Students appreciate the high-level faculty and artistry at MasterWorks.
MIDWEST HARP FESTIVAL
Wheaton, Ill.; July 26–Aug. 1
Instructors: Charles W. Lynch III, Elizabeth Richter, and Faye Seeman
This program includes a week of ensemble rehearsals, workshops, concerts, and an optional solo competition. Open to harpists age 8 and up, this camp offers something for everyone and focuses on friendship and individual growth. There are full–day, morning only, and other participation options available.
MOSTLY MODERN FESTIVAL
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; June 7–21
Instructor: Joseph Rebman
With repertoire focused on the 20th and 21st century, this festival programs a lot of harp music. Students perform in orchestra, chamber music, and composition readings, in addition to receiving private lessons, professional development lectures, and masterclasses. This camp is perfect for harpists who enjoy modern music and working with living composers.
Ann Arbor, Mich.; July 19–25
Instructor: Joan Raeburn Holland
This one week intensive is designed to enhance the musical and technical skills of the dedicated harpist. High school students will receive private lessons, individual and guided practice time, studio classes, performance opportunities, and harp ensemble. This camp is perfect for harpists who are committed to working quickly, intensely, and with enthusiasm for learning.
NATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
Chestertown, Md.; May 31–June 13
Instructor: Susan Bennett Brady
Completely free to accepted students, harpists will participate in concerts ranging from solo recitals to large symphony orchestra performances with chorus. There are opportunities for harp ensemble, solo and chamber music, with orchestra as the main focus. The program includes the Malecki Double Harp Concerto with four harpists.
ORFORD MUSIC ACADEMY
Orford, Canada; Aug. 9–15
Instructor: Jennifer Swartz
For one week, harpists will have the opportunity to work with Jennifer Swartz in masterclasses, group class, and private lessons. Students come from all over the world to capitalize on sources of inspiration and to grow in their musical innovation.
OHIO SCOTTISH ARTS SCHOOL
Oberlin, Ohio; June 22–28
Instructors: Sue Richards, Rachel Hair, Rachel Clemente, and Jen Narkevicius
Held on the campus of Oberlin College for students ages 12 and up, this six–day program of Scottish music includes singing, sessions, lectures, and learning by ear. This program is perfect for people who want to learn Scottish repertoire and style on lever and wire harps.
REDWOOD MUSIC CAMPS
Aptos, Calif.; June 15–20, (ages 12–18); June 18–21 (ages 18 and up)
Instructors: Jesse Autumn and Aryeh Frankfurter
Set in the redwoods along the Monterey Bay, this program is for harpists interested in performing the folk music of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. Harpists participating in the teen camp will practice and rehearse as an ensemble, with small bands, and together with the entire program. Adult campers are offered a variety of workshops, in addition to moderated sessions, concerts, and dancing in the evening.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPRINGS HARP PROGRAM
Steamboat Springs, Colo; June 14–July 11 (session A); June 14–June 27 (session B); June 28–July 11 (session C)
Instructors: Rachel Browne, Kathryn Harms, Carly Nelson
This program strives to supplement the education of young harpists with training in harp technique, musicianship, and performance. Program elements are designed to improve mental attitudes and abilities, physical health and conditioning, aesthetic appreciation, and connections between music and other disciplines.
ROUND TOP FESTIVAL INSTITUTE
Round Top, Texas; May 31–July 12
Instructor: Paula Page
Intended for college students seeking a transition from conservatories and universities to a future as a professional musician, this program offers six weeks of intensive training for young, talented musicians. Harpists will participate in orchestra and chamber ensembles, in addition to working on solo repertoire.
SCOTTISH HARP EXPERIENCE WITH SUNITA
Scotland; June 9–21
Instructors: Sunita Staneslow, Isobel Meiras, Alison Kinnaird, Patsy Seddon, Heather Yule, Cheyenne Brown, and Suzanne Lloyd-Jones
This harp–infused tour is for Scottish and traditional music enthusiasts. Participants will travel through Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, Caithness, Orkney, Shetland, Aberdeen, Cairngorms, and Highlands to visit harp builders, receive guided tours, and hear traditional music.
THE SUMMER HARP ACADEMY
Lake Junaluska, N.C.; July 5–12
Instructors: Elzbieta Szmyt and Jan Jennings
The Summer Harp Academy is a comprehensive program designed to develop the versatile harpist. Students hone their professional and performance skills in masterclasses, recitals, lectures, and harp ensemble, in addition to designated practice time.
TCU SUMMER HARP WORKSHOP
Fort Worth, Texas; July 8–10
Instructor: Laura L. Brandenburg
This program includes three days of masterclasses, ensemble rehearsals, and interactive sessions about the harp. Students looking for a short-term or a first-time camp experience will appreciate this intimate group setting.
VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAL INSTITUTE
Vancouver, Canada; June 27–July 6
Instructor in 2019: Elizabeth Volpé Bligh
Description: Based at the University of British Columbia, VSOI focuses on advanced orchestral and chamber repertoire. Students also have the opportunity to perform in masterclasses, repertoire classes, student recitals, and the annual concerto competition. Students interested in extending their time in Vancouver may also participate in the University of British Columbia Chamber Orchestra Festival, featuring an elite, intimate chamber orchestra experience.
VIENNA HARP DAYS
Vienna, Austria; July 18–23
Instructors: Elisabeth Plank and Manja Smits
Description: This masterclass experience takes place in the music capital of the world. In addition to receiving daily individual lessons, harpists will participate in group sessions focused on subjects such as performance training and musical intention.
YOUNG ARTIST’S HARP SEMINAR
Gambier, Ohio; July 4–18 (ages 12–26); July 5–12 (ages 8–17)
Instructors: Susan Bennett Brady, Kimberly Rowe, Judy Loman, Kristi Shade, Kathryn Andrews, Angela Schwarzkopf, Emily Levin, Katherine Siochi, and Ellie Kirk
Description: YAHS is for serious pedal harpists who want to improve their performance skills and practice habits. The YAHS prep program is open to pedal and lever harpists who want similar training in a less intensive atmosphere. Students return to the program for its outstanding training and performance environment. •