Emory University to Host Harpists’ 42nd National Conference


Emory University, a sprawling, huge campus in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, will be hosting concerts and musical workshops this week for a national conference.

The American Harp Society (AHS) will have its 42nd national conference at the Emory University Conference Center Hotel from June 30 to July 1, 2016.

Alumni, faculty, and students are excited for the event, as this is the first time Atlanta will play host to a national conference.

Carolyn Lund Munford, artistic director of the Atlanta Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, said that the event would feature not just national, but also world-wide musical sensations.

“It is a rare opportunity to find so many harpists gathered in one place,” the director said in an interview with the school paper. “Some of the best harp makers and harpists in the world will be here performing music on harps of all shapes and sizes — not just the grand harps that you see in an orchestra.”

Emory Music

One performance to anticipate is the piece that Emory Symphony Orchestra conductor Richard Prior has composed for American Harp Society president Ann Yeung (on harp) and Jonathan Keeble (on fluet), popularly known as the Aletheia Duo.

The piece will have its debut during a Saturday afternoon concert, according to Prior, who is also the director of both Orchestral and Performance Studies, and is the Edward Goodwin Scruggs Conducting Chair.

The conference will place emphasis on youth participation, with the theme “A Spotlight on Youth”. One of the performing groups is the Atlanta Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, which is a non-profit organization that gives free lessons on harp-playing to over 85 students.

Currently, the program is now based at Drew Charter School, where it has 80 students, from ages 9 to 18.

The director, Munford, said,

“Elisabeth [the founder] had this dream of making the harp accessible to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to play the harp, as it can be a really expensive endeavor.”

She continued, “Today we have one of the largest school-based programs of its kind — there are only a couple of organizations like it throughout the country. I’ve been teaching for seven years and it’s grown every year.”

Schedule of Performances

The conference will showcase exhibits, classes, workshops, and public performances. There will also be seminars on topics like “The Psychology of Performing Under Pressure”, and “Marketing for the Modern Musician”.

Elisabeth Remy Johnson, the founder of the Atlanta Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, will also be at the conference to lead a session on “Gateways to Creativity”.

To attend all the events, participants must register online. Those who only want to watch the evening concerts, though, can just purchase a ticket ($25) for each show.

On June 30, there will be a “Spotlight on the Youth” Concert at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 8:00 – 9:30 PM.

On July 1 is “A Tribute to Susann McDonald”, 8:00 – 9:3 PM at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church.

On July 2 is the Remy van Kesteren Solo Recital, 8:00 – 9:30 PM at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church.

And on July 3 will be the Combined Youth and Adult Ensemble Concert, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM at the Silverbell Pavilion of the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

Rob Clark

SchoolCampus.org admin staff managing editor

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