Finding your orchestral voice through well chosen music.
For young harpists, the journey from finding middle C to succeeding in the symphony can seem like a long and dauntingly steep climb. Orchestral performance requires harpists to conquer technical skills of course, but also, because of the soloistic nature of much of the repertoire, requires harpists to independently follow a conductor, listen and respond to other instruments, and develop steadfast and confident rhythm. But with some diligent preparation and well-chosen repertoire, the journey to orchestral harpist can be a fun and rewarding one.
Harp teachers naturally hope for their students to receive as much time in orchestra as possible. Conductors, however, must consider the needs and skills of the collective ensemble, offering challenges and rewarding opportunities across the orchestra. Fortunately, there’s a large body of orchestral repertoire that includes harp and also provides excellent ensemble training. For conductors hoping to feature their student harpist, there are also solos that work very well with orchestra or band. A survey of this repertoire will hopefully inspire conductors, teachers, and student harpists to feel empowered by their programming!