Help please: High School Level Harp Parts

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    I need to brainstorm and was wondering what ideas everony else has.


    Hi Katie,

    I suggest:


    Great list, for high school/youth orchestra I’d add Mahler 1, Mussorgsky Night on Bare Mountain, Vaughan Williams Greensleeves and maybe also the Wasps. Elgar Sea Pictures (with mezzo soprano though).


    I would add Copland Appalachian Spring Suite.


    The list is actually pretty endless (as far as harp parts go), but here is a problem I’ve encountered – the youth orchestra, where I have 2 students, is not able to play alot of the student harp repitoire like Night on Bald Mt. or even Carmen.


    I found that pieces were never chosen on the playability of the harp part- if the other parts were playable the harp had to cope. My first season of County Youth Orchestra we immolated Brunhilda; while the harp section didn’t quite collapse in flames it was a near thing…

    Other potentials are the Romeo and Juliet Overture and Brahms Requiem.


    I agree that the playability of the harp part is


    Two good parts for technique building are Wagner’s Prelude to die Meistersinger, and Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien and Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture. Also, music from Lehar’s the Merry Widow, Gluck’s Orfeo, the Handel operas, Faure’s Pelleas et Melisande.


    Katie, over the years I have arranged over two dozen harp parts for orchestral


    Hi there,

    I am a string orchestra teacher blessed to have two wonderful harpists – one each in my middle and high school orchestras. I have a very difficult time finding music that is appropriate level (my high school orch is small at 19 players and mostly freshman/middle school level) that includes an actual harp part. Could you email me your list of harp parts?

    Here’s my email:

    Thank you!



    Could you please send


    Whilst the Wasps is a great piece, I love it, it’s too advanced for a junior orchestra and certainly needs a pedal harp and an experienced player, with a lot of preparation necessary. Alison


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