iSHC 2017 Concerts announced!

Join us for a very special 15th edition of the Illinois Summer Harp Class Concert Series. Featuring internationally and nationally distinguished musicians and creativity showcasing the possibilities of the harp, this year’s series highlights unique talents together.

All performances are free and open to the public.
For details on hall locations, please see:
*subject to change

6/8 7:30 pm Smith Memorial Hall
Illinois Summer Harp Class Opening Concert –
“Barioler les fantaisies” with Molly O’Roark and Noël Wan
Featuring Molly O’Roark (2014 National Anne Adams Award) and Noël Wan (1st Prize, 2010 Dutch International Harp Competition & Special Award, 18th International Harp Contest in Israel) in a fantastic and colorful program featuring Smetana’s The Moldau and Renié’s Ballade fantastique inspired by E.A. Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” as well as Elliot Carter’s Bariolage and works by J.S. Bach, Lara, Prokofiev, and Reinhold.

6/9 12:15 pm Smith Memorial Room
Illinois Summer Harp Class Afternoon Recital – “East Meets West” with the Aletheia Duo
Featuring the Aletheia Duo (Jonathan Keeble, flute | Ann Yeung, harp), award-winning faculty in residence at Illinois, in a program featuring mesmerizing works by distinguished composers Richard Prior and Stella Sung.

6/9 7:30 pm Music Building Auditorium
Illinois Summer Harp Class Evening Concert – “Harp+”
with Natalie Teodori
Immerse yourself in captivating soundscapes seamlessly weaving the familiar with sounds anew. Featuring Natalie Teodori in the full premiere of Anemoi for harp and interactive electronics by Kyle Shaw as well as works by scintillating works by J.S. Bach, André Caplet, and Kaija Saariaho.

6/10 2 pm Music Building Auditorium
Illinois Summer Harp Class Evening Concert – “Young Talents”
with Joshua Lin and Renee Murphy
Featuring dynamic young talents Joshua Lin and Renee Murphy. Joshua has been regularly featured at the Chicago Harp Day annual honors recital at Lyon & Healy Hall and has been Principal Harp of the ILMEA District 9 Senior Large Ensemble. Renee received multiple prizes in the 2013 American Harp Society National Solo Competition and Honorable Mention in the 2016 New World Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition; she has been selected to represent the USA in the 2017 Focus on Youth at the World Harp Congress in Hong Kong this summer.

Joshua will perform the famous Handel Concerto in B-flat and Dussek Sonata in C. Renee will perform delightful works by Rosetti, Hasselmans, and Godefroid as well as Libby Larsen’s Theme and Deviations and Joaquín Rodrigo’s first movement of the Concierto di Aranjuez. The program concludes with an arrangement of Ashokan’s Farewell performed by Renee, her talented siblings Ethan on cello and Faith on flute, and her parents, saxophonist Otis Murphy (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music) and pianist Haruko Murphy.

6/10 7:30 pm Music Building Auditorium
Illinois Summer Harp Class Participants Recital
Featuring the 2017 iSHC Participants and world premiere of  by Julia Kay Jamieson for multiple harps, especially commissioned for the 2017 iSHC Harp Jam!

Erin Brooker-Miller wins Des Moines Symphony Principal Harp audition

Erin Brooker-Miller (BM, Class of 2014) joins the Des Moines Symphony this fall for their 80th anniversary season, Music in Motion, after a successful audition for the Principal Harp position.

Ms. Brooker-Miller is a founding member of the Archaea Tree Ensemble and currently also is Program Director of the USA International Harp Competition. She received her MM degree in harp performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. An advocate for interdisciplinary music making, she is both a Classical and Irish harpist dedicated to expanding the knowledge and repertoire of the harp through performing works new and old.

Stephanie Gustafson – 2016-2017 Da Camera of Houston Young Artist

800x800_1464903970311-taken-by-colbyCongratulations to Stephanie Gustafson – 2016-2017 Da Camera of Houston Young Artist! The Da Camera Young Artist Program is a fellowship program for emerging professional instrumentalists, singers and composers designed to provide career-expanding experiences and training to the next generation of artists, encouraging them to create music for the community and to offer young students and neglected audiences exposure to great music and talented performers, using music as a vehicle for scholastic exploration and inspiration. Read more about the inspiring educational and creative opportunities Stephanie will be part of here.

Illinois@Atlanta American Harp Society, Inc. National Conference

AHS 2016 logo

Illinois harp program faculty, students, and alumni were featured prominently at the 42nd AHS National Conference held in the beautiful facilities at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (June 30-July 3). Ann Yeung, AHS Immediate Past President, performed twice as the Aletheia Duo with Illinois Professor of Music (Flute) Jonathan Keeble, including the world premiere of Richard Prior‘s Call of the Sirens and for the Concert honoring internationally-renowned harpist and pedagogue Susann McDonald. She also was a featured panelist discussing the teaching legacy of Susann McDonald.  Julia Kay Jamieson led performances of two of her harp ensemble compositions for the Youth Ensemble performance that concluded the conference, emphasizing creativity and improvisation. Agnes Hall gave a presentation on auditions for college. Colleen Potter Thorburn played in several pop-up Exhibitors Concerts, and Ginger & Spice  entertained for the final evening’s reception concerts with their “four hands-one-harp.” Incoming Fall 2016 U of I harp class member Mana Azimi, a student of Charles W. Lynch III and Karen Miller in the Mesa Public Schools Harp Program, was selected to perform in the Opening Concert’s Honors Ensemble and for Naoko Yoshino’s master class. Stay tuned for AHS events and Illinois alumni in the future: 2017 in Northfield, Minnesota; and 2018 in Redlands, California.Mana Azimi 16

Mana Azimi, Class of 2020

2016 Illinois Summer Harp Class concerts announced

iSHC-concerts-2016-72dpiThe 2016 Illinois Summer Harp Class concert series features alumnae and current U of I students. Internationally-renowned alumna and incoming Illinois Distinguished Fellow Noël Wan performs three recitals.  Friday’s concerts highlight the wonderful chamber repertoire from France with performances by current U of I students, flutist Pauline Jung and harpist Natalie Teodori, in favorite works by Damase and Ibert, concluding that evening with a formidable concert by the Formosa Trio from Taiwan. Alumna and Michigan State University faculty member Chen-Yu Huang performs with her Formosa Trio colleagues in a concert dedicated to flute, viola, and harp repertoire, featuring works by Debussy, Ibert, Ravel, and Rohozinski. The 2016 iSHC concert series concludes Saturday evening with the Participants Recital and the world premiere of Kitties! by alumna harpist-composer-pedagogue Julia Kay Jamieson, especially commissioned for the 2016 iSHC Harp Jam. Join and enjoy!

Katherine Denler, Winner of MSU Running Start Program with “Harp in Hand” project

Katherine Denler recently won Second Place in the 2016 Michigan State University Running Start Program for entrepreneurial projects bringing arts and community together.

Katherine DenlerHarp in Hand is a collaborative project between Katherine Denler and Origami Rehabilitation, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) therapy facility affiliated with MSU. Through the process of building, decorating, and playing Waring Harp Kits, Harp in Hand hopes to invigorate the established woodworking, art, and music and movement therapy programs already established at Origami. Katherine will work alongside art and recreational therapists to allow clients access to harps at any level appropriate to their interests and abilities.

Once the 10 harp kits are completed, some will stay at Origami, while others will travel into the community as the introductory instruments used in group harp classes. These classes will be offered by Katherine to interested groups, of any age or ability, to put harps into the Greater Lansing community. Katherine hopes that by taking the high up-front cost of instrument purchase or rental out of the equation, more people will be able to engage with the harp. Also, the group class structure will minimize lesson costs which should help some persons of lower income not only begin, but sustain interest in the harp.

Eventually, the community group class will return to Origami to play alongside and for the clients and staff. This community bridge building is the ultimate goal of the program: using harps to empower clients, invigorate therapy programs, and connect people through music.

Watch Katherine’s 2016 Running Start presentation here!

Noël Wan in Carmel Music Society Fundraiser Recital

“It was a fortunate group of 50 invited guests who were on hand to hear a concert by harpist Noēl Wan in the lovely Pebble Beach home of Christine and Jerry Baker on Sunday afternoon. The concert was a fund raiser for the Carmel Music Society’s biennial competition and also served as a return engagement for Ms. Wan, the Grand Prize Winner of the Society’s 2014 competition.” January 17, 2016 – Pennisula Reviews


Charles Lynch heads Arizona MPS Harp Program

Charles Lynch has begun his first year as Harp Specialist of the Mesa Public Schools (MPS) Harp Program in Arizona. the very program he began study of the harp in when he was growing up in Arizona, succeeding the program’s founder Karen Miller. The MPS Harp Program begins its 42nd year with 117 harp students from band and orchestra programs at eight of the district’s junior high schools and six senior high schools.