Summer Harp Camp Roundup 2021


We’ve got the lowdown on nearly 40 summer harp experiences awaiting harpists eager to connect and grow in 2021

—by Danielle Kuntz

Thinking of attending an online program this summer? Check out Five Things to Know About Virtual Harp Camp. 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 to see our “at a glance” chart of all 2021 program dates and locations.

What a difference a year makes. Last January we were all mapping out our summer plans to attend camps, festivals, and conferences, blissfully unaware of the brewing pandemic that would wipe out all of our usual gatherings in 2020. But harpists are an adaptable bunch, and some summer programs quickly pivoted to a virtual model, giving harpists an option to stretch their harp horizons, even from home. 

This year, harp camps are ready for anything. Online, hybrid, in-person—nearly 40 summer programs have come up with ways to help harpists get the most out of this summer. 

American Festival of the Arts Summer Music Festival

Houston, Texas; June 7–June 18 (Grades 3–9); June 21–July 10 (Grades 9–12)

Instructors: Emily Klein, Paula Page, Megan Conley

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: AFA is an orchestra and chamber music program at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, at which Emily Klein is the instructor. Klein is joined by Paula Page, former Houston Symphony principal harpist and associate professor of harp at Rice University, and Megan Conley, Houston Symphony principal harpist, for masterclass instruction. Students participate in orchestra, harp ensemble, master and studio classes, and classes such as music in film and music theory.

American Harp Academy

VIRTUAL; June 13–19

Instructors: Maria Luisa Rayan, Jacquelyn Bartlett

Format: Online only

Description: The Virtual American Harp Academy is hosted by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and led by master harp teachers Maria Luisa Rayan and Jacquelyn Bartlett. Meet and hear harpist peers from around the world while participating in daily masterclasses and interactive seminars.

American Youth Harp Ensemble Summer Institutes

Richmond, Va.; June 21–25, July 5–9, 12–16, 19–23, 26–30

Instructors: Rebecca Anstine Smith, Lynnelle Ediger, Claire Jones, Amber Koeppen, Chris Marshall, Alison Read

Format: In-person and online (hybrid)

Description: The 2021 Summer Harp Institutes are tailored to all levels of harpists who live anywhere in the world. In addition to in-person youth programming for students ages 8–18, the program offers online programming for harpists of all ages. Enjoy meeting new friends while growing to the next level of musical artistry.

Berklee College of Music Summer Programs

Boston, Mass.; June 21–25 (one week), July 10–Aug. 13 (five week), or June 1–Aug. 13 (12 week)

Instructors: Felice Pomeranz and Màiri Chaimbeul

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Berklee hosts three programs: One-week String Intensive, Five Week Intensive, and the Summer Semester for College Credit (dates TBA). It is an immersion in many styles: classical, Celtic, blues, jazz, and all improvisation styles.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

Twin Lake, Mich.; June 23–July 4 (session 1); Aug. 4–Aug. 15 (session 4)

Instructors: Jacqueline Pollauf, Molly O’Roark, Stephanie Gustafson, and Amy Ley

Format: In-person only

Description: Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp 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, and the session concludes with a performance for friends and family. Enrollment is limited, and pedal harps are provided. Blue Lake is committed to COVID-Careful planning in preparation for the summer season.

Bob Jones University Harp Camp

Greenville, S.C.; July 12–16 (junior high), July 18–23 (senior high)

Instructor: Emily Waggoner

Format: In-person only

Description: Harp camp at Bob Jones University isn’t your typical cabin-insect-lake experience. BJU camps are designed around campers’ particular interests. The mission of BJU summer camps is to help you grow Christlike character as you learn about a specific field. In addition to the daily ensemble rehearsals, solo masterclasses, private lessons, and performances, all camps include chapel, personal Bible study, nightly group devotions in the residence halls, and recreation.

Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Harp Program

Boston, Mass.; 2021 dates TBA

Instructors: Ann Hobson Pilot and Franziska Huhn

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Boston University Tanglewood Institute is a summer training program for young musicians and is the only program of its kind associated with a major symphony orchestra. Under the guidance of distinguished professionals, and in the presence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, students are immersed in an atmosphere of music-making fueled by high artistic standards, rigorous programming, and a legacy of learning and performance.

Bowdoin International Music Festival

Brunswick, Maine; June 26–July 17 (Session 1); July 17–Aug. 7 (Session 2)

Instructor: June Han

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: The Bowdoin International Music Festival provides an intensive and in-depth exploration of chamber and solo music. Students are defined by their dedication, creativity, curiosity, and passion for excellence in music. Harpists study with June Han, who has been described as “mesmerizing” by The New York Times and “devoted, passionate, and inspirational” by her festival students. Participants may apply to attend the program for three or six weeks.

Brevard Music Center, Summer Institute and Festival

Brevard, N.C.; June 24–July 24 (high school); June 21–Aug. 8 (college)

Instructor: Allegra Lilly

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Brevard provides an intensive summer community for young musicians of exceptional talent. Over 500 students, ages 14–29, enroll each year and represent nearly every state in the U.S. and several other countries. Brevard presents 80 public concerts throughout its seven-week festival including major orchestral, chamber, and operatic repertoire.

Crane Youth Music

Potsdam, N.Y.; June 27–July10

Instructor: Jessica Suchy-Pilalis

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: A two-week solo/ensemble program for all instruments. Harpists perform in two orchestra/wind ensemble concerts and have daily masterclasses, orchestra sectionals, rehearsals, and harp ensemble.

Crested Butte Music Festival Chamber Music Intensive

Crested Butte, Colo.; 2021 dates TBA

Instructor: Anastasia Pike

Format: In-person only

Description: Harpists are invited to join the Crested Butte Music Festival’s annual Crested Butte Chamber Music Intensive in beautiful Crested Butte, Colorado. Small ensembles of serious musicians will be coached by world-class artists in a supportive, inviting atmosphere. The Intensive is unique in its intimate atmosphere and access to coaches; the participant-to-coach ratio is capped at 3:1. Additionally, coaches will perform with participants and lead hikes and other outdoor activities.

Curtis Summerfest Harp Colony 

Philadelphia, Pa.; 2021 dates TBA

Instructor: Elizabeth Hainen

Format: In-person and online

Description: In-person program as well as online options for developing artistry wherever you are in the world. Faculty includes Elizabeth Hainen conducting an intensive week of orchestral training through mock auditions and masterclasses, culminating in a performance in the final concert.

Eastern Music Festival

Greensboro, N.C.; June 26–July 31

Instructor: Anna Kate Mackle

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Eastern Music Festival (EMF) is an educational experience for talented, dedicated young artists ages 14–23. Faculty teaching artists guide an annual student population of 250-plus in a program known for its orchestral studies.

Elyrica Summer Music Program

Fairfield County, Conn.; Aug. 9–13

Instructors: Wendy Kerner, Brandee Younger, Robbin Gordon-Cartier, and more

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: In its 23rd year, Elyrica is open to students of all levels ages 8 through adult, lever and pedal harp. Focused on ensembles, classical, folk, Latin, and popular music is included in a non-competitive, supportive environment.

Gutenstein Masterclasses

Gutenstein, Austria; Aug. 23–29

Instructor: Elisabeth Plank

Format: In-person only

Description: Music and nature, study and enjoy. The renowned Gutenstein Masterclasses offer a unique musical experience in the beautiful Castle of Gutenstein in the Austrian alps. For the first time since their founding in 1995, there will be a harp masterclass, led by harpist and pedagogue Elisabeth Plank (University of Music Vienna, Vienna Harp Days). This intensive masterclass provides a focused learning experience for the students, as well as concerts to attend and perform in.

Harp Camp Virginia

Nellysford, Va.; July 2021 (dates TBA)

Instructors: Virginia Schweninger, Eve Watters, Howard Bryan, Kate Tamarkin, and more

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Harp Camp Virginia takes place at the Acorn Inn, a self-contained 10-room inn in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. We have a wonderful large space for classes, rehearsals, and performance. All meals are provided. Begin each day with floor barre exercise followed by ensemble rehearsals, workshops, and activities to enrich your skills and confidence. There is a lake for swimming, canoeing, and a picnicking.

HarpMasters Academy

Muenchenbuchsee, Switzerland; July 10–18 (Future); July 21–30 (Pro)

Instructors: Milda Agazarian, Marcella Carboni, Mara Galassi, Francesco Guarneri, Luisa Prandina, and Irina Zingg

Format: In-person only

Description: International Summer Harp Academy “HarpMasters” is an international summer harp camp based in Switzerland where harpists from all over the world come to join a unique group of dedicated professionals to learn, inspire, and establish friendships. We build a community of exchange between the world’s leading masters and young artists in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. HarpMasters Academy offers a life-changing experience, and an opportunity for learning, for sharing, and for inspiration.

Harps in the Glen

West Bend, Wis.; July 29–Aug. 1

Instructors: Kim Robertson and Sunita Staneslow

Format: In-person and online

Description: An intimate three-day harp retreat with Kim Robertson and Sunita Staneslow, located in scenic rural Wisconsin close to Milwaukee. Five to six hours of activities daily with workshops and masterclasses and an add-on Special Focus class on Thursday. The evening activities include harp circles and a concert by Kim and Sunita. The focus is on musicality, creativity, and inspiration combined with practical tools for arranging, improving technique, and overcoming performance nerves. (Limited to 25 students.)

Houston Summer Harp Festival

Houston, Texas; July 12–17

Instructors: Kimberly DeRosa, Therese Honey, Susanna Campbell, and Hope Cowan

Format: In-person only

Description: A non-competitive week of comprehensive studies for 6th through 12th graders on the many aspects of the harp and its music, history, and ensemble playing. Ensemble rehearsals culminate in a recital at the end of the week. Other classes and activities include “Famous Harpists,” “Wedding Workshop,” masterclasses, and private lessons with faculty.

Illinois Summer Harp Class

Urbana, Ill.; June 10–12 (tentative)

Instructor: Ann Yeung and others

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: The 18th ISHC is an intensive and creative class with Ann Yeung and associates for all ages and levels through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. Plans for 2021 include workshops, distinguished teachers and performers, and a new ensemble work by Julia Kay Jamieson for the ISHC Harp Jam. Private lessons and harp usage available (additional fees). Participants and auditors welcomed.

Interlochen Arts Camp High School Harp Program

Interlochen, Mich.; June 26–Aug. 8

Instructors: Joan Raeburn Holland and Sylvia Norris

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: The six-week harp summer program is an opportunity for the motivated student to develop as a musician and as an artist. Students work with faculty conductors, teachers, and guest artists, in a curriculum that emphasizes musicianship, growth, and the joy of playing with fellow musicians.

Interlochen Arts Camp Intermediate Harp Program

Interlochen, Mich.; June 26–July 17 (session A), July 18–Aug. 8 (session B)

Instructors: Joan Raeburn Holland and Sylvia Norris

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Further individual study of the harp and develop ensemble skills at the intermediate harp summer program through solo repertoire study, private lessons, and ample ensemble experiences.

MasterWorks Festival

Spartanburg, S.C.; June 20–July 18 (tentative)

Instructor: Heaven Fan

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: MasterWorks Festival is an intensive, four-week festival for advanced and passionate students of the classical performing arts. Together with harp faculty Heaven Fan, MasterWorks harp students study and perform in a supportive Christian environment. Performance opportunities include concerto competition, honors recitals, chamber music, runout concerts, and Sunday worship. Harpists make life-long friendships and have life-changing experiences at MasterWorks Festival.

Midwest Harp Festival

Wheaton, Ill.; July 18–24

Instructors: Janelle Lake, Charles W. Lynch III, Elizabeth Richter, and Faye Seeman

Format: In-person

Description: The 22nd annual Midwest Harp Festival will be on the Wheaton College campus. Charles W. Lynch III, Elizabeth Richter, and Faye Seeman lead a week of ensemble rehearsals, workshops, concerts, and an optional solo competition. New for 2021: Janelle Lake teaches Meet the Harp class for beginners.

Mostly Modern Festival

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; June 6–26

Instructor: Joseph Rebman

Format: In-person only

Description: The Mostly Modern Festival is a three-week orchestral and chamber music festival focused on music of the 20th and 21st century, with lots of harp. Housed at Skidmore College, students perform in orchestra, chamber, opera, and composition readings. Students receive three private lessons with harp faculty Joseph Rebman. The festival also features a concerto competition, professional development lectures, and masterclasses with guest artists.


Ann Arbor, Mich.; July 18–July 24

Instructor: Joan Raeburn Holland

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Focused on individual instruction for high school harpists, the Harp Institute will provide a one-week intensive program designed to enhance the musical and technical skills of the dedicated harpist. The Institute provides the harpist with daily private lessons, individual and guided practice time, studio classes, performance opportunities, and harp ensemble. The studio class will focus on several topics such as college preparation, performance concentration, and peer-to-peer observation.

National Music Festival

Chestertown, Md.; Aug. 1–14

Instructor: Susan Bennett Brady

Format: In-person only

Description: All NMF apprentices attend tuition free. For two weeks each June, musicians live and work together, presenting over 35 concerts—from solo recitals to large symphony orchestra performances with chorus.

New Millennium International Chamber Music Festival

Budapest, Hungary; Aug. 26–31

Instructor: Klára Bábel

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Performance opportunities, study with faculty, and attend concerts by the festival’s artists. Participants may participate in a concerto competition to solo with a professional chamber orchestra.

New Orleans Jazz and Pop Harp Weekend

New Orleans, La.; May 27–30

Instructors: Ben Creighton Griffiths, Patrice Fisher, Rachel Van Voorhees, Rebecca Babin, Luke Brechtelsbauer

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: This Harp Weekend is designed to improve the jazz and pop musical skills of our student harpists and also to generate interest among music students to study jazz harp on a more regular basis.

NYU Harp Intensive

VIRTUAL; June 25–28

Instructors: Bridget Kibbey and Brandee Younger

Format: Online only

Description: A virtual intensive workshop and masterclass series, led by NYU harp department faculty Bridget Kibbey and Brandee Younger. Hone technique and develop your artistic voice via the lens of standard masterworks to world music and improvisation.


Ohio Scottish Arts School

Oberlin, Ohio; June 26–July 2

Instructors: Sue Richards, Rachel Hair, Rachel Clemente, Jen Narkevicius

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: A week-long harp camp for ages 12 and up held on the campus of Oberlin College. Learn Scottish music on lever and wire harps. Classes include singing, morning and afternoon harp classes on four levels, lectures, mixed instrument classes, and nightly sessions for adults, with activities for the teens. The week begins with the optional Ohio Scottish Games harp competition on Saturday, and runs through Friday noon.

Orford Music Academy

Orford, Québec; Aug. 8–14

Instructor: Jennifer Swartz

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Takes place alongside an International Festival, where students can perform and participate in the Orford Music Award. Harp faculty Jennifer Swartz is principal harp of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and head of the harp program at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University.

Redwood Music Camps

Santa Cruz, Calif.; June 14–19

Instructor: Jesse Autumn

Format: In-person only

Description: Learn and perform the folk music of Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, and more, all in the redwoods along the Monterey Bay. For players of fiddle, flute, pennywhistle, recorder, lever harp, guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, accordion, keyboards, percussion, Irish tenor banjo, and cello. Other activities include dancing and singing. Participants must be proficient on their instrument and have played for at least two years.

Rocky Mountain Springs Harp Program

Steamboat Springs, Colo.; June 20–July 17 (Full Session A); June 20–July 3 (Half Session B); July 4–July 17 (Half Session C)

Instructors: Rachel Browne, Kathryn Harms, and Carly Nelson

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: The Rocky Mountain Springs Harp Program strives to supplement the education of young harpists through intensive summer programs which treat each harpist as a whole person, with teachers who act as mentors and friends. Training in harp technique, musicianship, and performance is enhanced by program elements designed to improve mental attitudes and abilities, physical health and conditioning, aesthetic appreciation, and connections between music and other disciplines.

Scottish Harp Experience with Sunita

Tour through Scotland; May 27–June 8 (First Tour), June 8–June 20 (Second Tour)

Instructors: Sunita Staneslow, Isobel Mieras, Alison Kinnaird, Patsy Seddon, Heather Yule, and Cheyenne Brown

Format: In-person only

Description: A harp-infused tour. Scottish harp and folk music every day. Harps will be hired from the clarsach society for the workshops.

Sewanee Summer Music Festival

Sewanee, Tenn.; June 19–July 18

Instructors: Paula Bressman, Rachel Miller

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Four-week orchestra, chamber music, and piano training program for talented young musicians ages 14 through graduate school, held each summer at the University of the South. Harpists have weekly lessons and chamber music assignments in addition to playing in the orchestra.

The Summer Harp Academy

Lake Junaluska, N.C.; July 18–25

Instructors: Elzbieta Szmyt and Jan Jennings

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: The Summer Harp Academy is a comprehensive program designed to develop the versatile harpist. Harpists will be able to hone their performance and professional skills under the instruction of Elzbieta Szmyt and Jan Jennings. The SHA includes a faculty recital, daily masterclasses, lectures, and ensemble rehearsals; and concludes with a student recital. Practice time and private instruction are also available throughout the week.

TCU Summer Harp Workshop

Fort Worth, Texas; June 7–9

Instructor: Laura Brandenburg

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Three days of solo masterclasses and ensemble rehearsals as well as interactive and informative sessions about the harp. Festival recital performance at the conclusion of the workshop. The workshop is open to young pedal harpists 8th grade and above, intermediate to advanced level. Overnight accommodations and recreation activities available.

Vienna Harp Days 2021

Vienna, Austria; July 17–22

Instructors: Manja Smits and Elisabeth Plank

Format: In-person, transition to online if in-person is not possible

Description: Vienna Harp Days offers daily individual lessons, as well as group sessions on specific subjects. Concerts and an on-site exhibition included. In 2021, Vienna Harp Days founder Elisabeth Plank will be joined by Manja Smits (Netherlands) and Veronika Lemishenko (Ukraine) as invited artists for a lecture recital.

Young Artist’s Harp Seminar

Virtual; July 6–16

Instructors: Susan Bennett Brady, Kimberly Rowe, Judy Loman, Kristi Shade, Kathryn Andrews, Angela Schwarzkopf, Emily Levin, Katherine Siochi, and Ellie Kirk

Format: Online only

Description: The YAHS program is for serious pedal harpists who want to improve performance skills and practice habits and intensify preparation for solo performances, orchestral auditions, and competitions. The YAHS Prep program is open to pedal or lever harpists who want similar training in a less intensive atmosphere.


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