About YAHS

YAHS program

two weeks • July 8 – 22, 2023

Ages 12–26, pedal harp

Faculty

YAHS faculty and guest artists are some of the best harp performers and instructors in the world. 2023 faculty includes:

Susan Bennet Brady
Kimberly Rowe
Angela Schwarzkopf
Emily Levin
Katherine Siochi

Find out more about YAHS faculty here.

Covid-19 policy

The Young Artist’s Harp Seminar and Competition (YAHS) is planning an in person experience in summer 2023. We will follow the safety recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the recommendations and requirements of Washington College, to provide an environment that is safe for our students, faculty, staff, and audience members.

All students, faculty, and staff attending the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar and Preparatory Division, along with competitors participating in the live final round of the Young Artist’s Harp Competition, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Acceptable vaccines include those approve by the World Health Organization (WHO) or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Proof of vaccination is required. This applies to all ages that are eligible according to the CDC. YAHS follows CDC guidelines for what is considered fully vaccinated, which may include booster shots. Face masks may be required depending on current CDC guidelines and Washington College requirements.

Please note that YAHS will continue to monitor current CDC guidelines, and this policy may change accordingly. 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition

Tuition: $2690 (2022, 2023 rates coming soon)

All applicants to YAHS must submit a $85 application fee. (this is refundable only if a student is not accepted to the program.)

The tuition fee includes:

  • private lessons with a YAHS faculty member. Guest artists lesson will also be available for purchase
  • lodging at Washington College, two students per room (lodging is required for all students)
  • all meals
  • supervision of students under age 18

Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Washington College, and they are responsible for providing or renting their own pedal harps.

Payment schedule and cancelation policy

Upon acceptance to YAHS, 50 percent of the tuition payment is due within seven days; the remaining 50 percent is due by June 1, 2023. Final payments received after June 1 will incur a $50 late payment fee. Scholarship awards, if applicable, will be applied to the second tuition payment.

Once we receive your first half tuition payment, a limited space in our dormitory is reserved for you. In the unfortunate event you must cancel, please notify us immediately in writing by e-mail. The following cancelation policy applies:

Application Fee: non-refundable (unless student is not accepted to the program)

Before May 1, 2023: fifty percent of first half tuition is refundable; harp rental and shuttle fees are fully refundable

Between May 1 and May 31, 2023: no refund of first half tuition; fifty percent refund on harp rental and shuttle fees; second half tuition is fully refundable.

After June 1, 2023: no refunds of any kind will be given.

Fees for Additional items:

Rental Harps

Limited rental harps are available for students who are flying to the seminar and cannot bring their own harp. If there are extra harps after all flyers have been accommodated, they will be offered to others first come first served.

Students renting harps will not be assigned an individual instrument as they have in the past. Students renting harps will have access to a shared pool of harps for practice and performance. This system is designed to conserve practice room space and ease harp moving to ensembles and classes. This shared pool of harps will have a variety of styles and sizes, mostly concert grands.

Please keep in mind that transporting a harp is difficult for everyone, even the staff. Our rental harps are difficult to obtain, and are not intended to be a convenience for those who simply don’t want to transport their own harp. Students renting harps are required to provide their own tuning key and replacement strings. Strings are available for purchase in the YAHS store. If possible, it will also be helpful to have your own transport dolly. More information about reserving rental harps will be available in registration materials.

If you would like to particiapte in our rental harp pool: $450

If you would like to rent a bench: $35

Airport Transportation

We recommend flying into the Philadelphia airport. We will provide shuttle recommendations soon. YAHS will provide an escort for unaccompanied minors if requested. More details to come.

Application Requirements

In addition to the application form, there are a number of other things you need to submit to fully apply to YAHS 2023. All of these can be found on our how to apply page.

  • application
  • pay application fee
  • audition/scholarship materials submission
  • teacher recommendation

All of these are due by March 15, 2023. 

Focus tracks

New in 2023, YAHS students can choose from one of three tracks of study. Regardless of the chosen track, all students will have access to private lessons and can attend any class of their choice. Students will be asked to choose a track after their acceptance to the seminar.

General Track

General track students will sample all aspects of the YAHS (similar to what YAHS has been in the past); curriculum including:

  • harp ensemble
  • stage presence class
  • orchestral excerpts classes and mock auditions
  • masterclasses (by application)
  • solo and ensemble recitals

Solo Track

This track is intended for students who want to focus on solo playing. Students will be required to participate in:

  • stage presence class
  • masterclasses
  • solo recitals

Solo track students are not required to participate in mock orchestra auditions, and their ensemble participation will be reduced.

Orchestral Track

This track is for students who want to focus on orchestral excerpts. Students will be required to participated in:

  • orchestral excerpts classes
  • mock auditions

Orchestral track students are not required to participate in solo performance classes or recitals, and their ensemble participation will be reduced.

Music Requirements

To fully benefit from their intensive harp study at the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar, students are expected to come prepared with the following materials.

General Track

  • 2 recital pieces ready to perform. (Memorization of recital pieces is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.)
  • At least one additional solo piece in progress
  • 2 prepared orchestral excerpts
  • At least one additional orchestral excerpt in progress
  • Preparation of harp ensemble music. (A comprehensive list of music to purchase and part assignments will be sent well in advance of the seminar.)

Solo Track

  • 3 performance ready solos, one must be memorized
  • Orchestra excerpts optional
  • Preparation of any assigned harp ensemble music

Orchestral Track

  • 3 performance ready orchestra excerpts
  • 2 in-progress orchestra excerpts
  • Solos optional
  • Preparation of assigned harp ensemble music 

Students attending YAHS are of varied ages and levels of playing. Older, more experienced players should bring more music; likewise younger, less experienced players will be fine with the minimum suggested here. Please involve your home teacher in your music selections. If you have additional questions about repertoire, please contact the faculty instructors. We would much prefer that you inquire about music before the seminar rather than arrive without suitable music in these areas.

Solo examples

Below is a partial list of some of the solos students have performed in past years to give you an idea of what to expect. Memorization is strongly encouraged, but not required. As you can see, the list of suggestions represents a wide variety of skill levels reflecting the age range and experience of YAHS students. Discuss your options with your home teacher and choose music that you are very comfortable performing. Your comfort level is more important than the difficulty level of your music. Please keep in mind that we do not have accompanists available, so do not choose a performance piece that requires piano accompaniment (such as Debussy’s Danses), although you may bring those pieces with you for individual study.

Absidioles, by Andres
Sweet Blues, by Andres
Duke, by Andres

Solfeggietto, by C.P.E. Bach

Prelude in C, by J.S. Bach
Suite No. 1, by J.S. Bach

Gigue, by Corelli

Claire de Lune, by Debussy
First Arabesque, by Debussy
Girl With the Flaxen Hair, by Debussy

Chaconne, by Durand
Premiere Waltz, by Durand

Selections from Six Sonatinas, by Dussek
Sonata in C minor, by Dussek

Impromptu, by Faure

Courante, Pavane, and Bransles, by Francisque

Nocturne, by Glinka

Etude de Concert, by Godefroid
Quand tu vois me souffrir, by Godefroid

Automne, by Grandjany
Fantasie on a Theme by Hadyn, by Grandjany
Le Bon Petite Roi d’Yvetot, by Grandjany
Rhapsody, by Grandjany

Theme and Variations, by Hadyn

Concerto in B flat, by Handel
Harmonious Blacksmith, by Handel
Pasacaille, by Handel

Chanson de Mai, by Hasselmans
La Source, by Hasselmans
Serendade Melancolique, by Hasselmans

Sonata, by Hindemith

Aria and Rigaudon, by Kirchoff

Sonata in C minor, by Pescetti/Salzedo

Impromptu Caprice, by Pierne

Prelude in C, by Prokofiev

Impromptu, by Reinhold/Hainen

Selections from Modern Study of the Harp, by Salzedo
Selections from Suite of Eight Dances, by Salzedo
Song in the Night, by Salzedo
Variations on a Theme in Ancient Style, by Salzedo

Minstrel’s Adieu to His Native Land, by Thomas

Au Matin, by Tournier
Feerie, by Tournier
Vers La Source Dans Le Bois, by Tournier

Toccata, by Wood Rollo
Two Guitars, by Wood Rollo

Orchestral Excerpts

Students enrolled in the general track are expected to arrive at the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar with two orchestral excerpts ready to perform and at least one excerpt in progress. You will play your excerpts during several group classes, as well as two “mock” auditions. As with solo repertoire, more experienced students usually arrive with more advanced excerpts, and less experienced students often come with simpler material. You should bring material you are comfortable performing, regardless of difficulty level. Many standard excerpts are very simple. Mock auditions are designed to evaluate how well you play the material you have chosen, regardless of difficulty level.

Students should choose from the standard orchestral repertoire and avoid excerpts taken from band or choral works. Discuss your options with your home teacher, and contact us if you need help choosing excerpts. If you don’t know where to begin, the following list includes some common choices at different levels. Many individual excerpts can be purchased at www.harp.com. We also recommend the book “Principal Harp,” by Sarah Bullen. Although most of the excerpts in the book are difficult, it is an excellent resource and reference guide for everyone.

Here are some examples of orchestral excerpts students have performed previously at YAHS:

Easy
Night on Bald Mountain, by Mussorgsky
Lieutenant Kije Suite, by Prokofiev
Symphony No. 1, by Mahler

More Difficult
“Entr’acte” from Carmen, by Bizet
“Waltz of the Flowers” cadenza from Nutcracker, by Tchaikowsky
“Siciliene” from Peleas and Milisande, by Faure
Capricio Espagnol, by Rimsky-Korsikov (cadenza only is easier; entire piece is more difficult)

Advanced
Symphony Fantastique, by Berlioz
Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, by Britten
Concerto for Orchestra, by Bartok
Overture to La Forza Del Destino, by Verdi

Scholarships

About YAHS Scholarships

YAHS is pleased to offer several substantial scholarship opportunities. Scholarships are awarded based on both merit and need. All scholarship requests and materials are due by March, 15, 2023. Scholarship recipients are required to participate fully in the YAHS program—no exceptions for early or late arrival will be made. Scholarship recipients will be notified upon acceptance to the program if any money has been awarded.

The full Siochi Scholarship will be awarded to one student who demonstrates both a serious musical commitment and significant financial need. This scholarship provides complete coverage to attend the full YAHS program and includes: tuition, harp and bench rental, and airport shuttle. The student awarded this scholarship will only need to pay the application fee, their own transportation to the program, and for additional activities they would like to participate in. The Siochi Scholarship is not a work study scholarship.

Several partial work-study scholarships will also be awarded. These typically range from $100 to $500, depending on funds available each year. Work study assignments include things like ushering for concerts, stage managing, setting up for classes, keeping common areas tidy, and helping with other areas of the program.

How to apply for a YAHS scholarship

Applicants who have applied to YAHS in full (including application form, application fee, teacher recommendation, and audition recording by the March 15, 2023 deadline) may also request scholarship assistance. Apply for scholarships using the same form you use to submit audition materials, using this form.

If you are a returning YAHS student applying for scholarship, you must submit all the normal application materials (two solos, teacher recommendation) as well as the additional materials.

In addition to the regular application materials, scholarship applicants must also submit:

Additional Audition Materials

In addition to the two contrasting solos required to apply to YAHS, additional audition recordings are mandatory of all scholarship applicants, even if you have attended YAHS in the past. If you are applying for a scholarship, please include the following audition materials in addition to the two contrasting solos:

  • An etude demonstrating your current level of ability
  • One or more orchestral excerpts
  • any optional additional solos

Video Essay

For scholarship, you also need to submit a video essay. Your video essay should be no longer than two minutes and should describe to the YAHS scholarship committee why you are requesting a scholarship. Video essays should be uploaded as a private link to YouTube that will only be shared with the YAHS scholarship committee. Please include the following:

  1. Introduce yourself; name, age, and harp background.
  2. Tell us why you want to come to the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar.
  3. Tell us three things you love about playing the harp.
  4. Tell us briefly how financial assistance in the form of a scholarship to YAHS would be of value to your family.

Financial Statement (Siochi applicants only)

To be considered for the Siochi scholarship, you must submit everything above and also a financial statement that describes your specific financial need. This can either be provided in the application where you have space to write, or uploaded as a file to the application.

 

Do you have questions? Email us.

 

FAQ

Do I still have to submit audition materials if I have attended YAHS in the past?

Only if you intend on applying for a scholarship. Although, audition materials are always encouraged to give us a better idea of your most current playing level which is helpful when making harp ensemble assignemnts.

What is a typical day like?

Mornings consist of music theory class, private lessons, private practice, an sometimes another class or ensemble rehearsal. Afternoons are spent in workshops on things like orchestra excerpts, stage presence, or performance techniques. After dinner there may be more harp ensemble rehearsal, another workshop, or a social event like movie night or a cookout. Students fit in their own private practice time around these activities. Every few days we will relax by taking afternoons off to visit area recreational attractions and just have fun.

I’m not sure whether to apply to YAHS or Prep. Can you help me decide?

The YAHS program is intended for students who have reached a baseline proficiency on the harp. If you are capable of playing the piece “Solfegietto,” by Bach,” you are ready to apply to YAHS. The Prep program is intended for students who are younger or less experienced than those attending the YAHS program. The Prep program is NOT intended for students who have reached the baseline proficiency for YAHS but would only like to come for one week, or who are looking for a less expensive option.

How much do I have to practice each day?

There is no requirement for the amount of time students must spend in private practice, however the faculty suggests three hours per day.
Most participants are serious harp students with a high level of commitment to practicing and improving their artistry on the instrument. Your current skill level is not as important as a positive attitude and commitment to learning, however you must be committed to serious practice and study during your time with us. Show your private teacher the requirements for attending YAHS and discuss with her if the program seems right for you. If you are still unsure, we encourage you, your parents, or your private teacher to contact the faculty instructors directly for a one-on-one discussion about the program and your participation.

Will I have a roommate?

YAHS students reside on campus at Washington College in modern, air-conditioned dormitories. Suites include single and double rooms with shared bathrooms. In most cases students will have a roommate.

Where will I keep my harp and practice?

Most harps will be kept in shared dormitory spaces. Harps will be moved to various spaces throughout the building and other parts of campus for harp ensemble rehearsals and concerts.

I can’t bring my harp—are rental harps available?

Yes. Student who are flying and cannot bring a harp will have access to a shared pool of rental harps for practice and performance. (See the information above for additional fees for rental instruments.) This system is designed to conserve practice room space and ease harp moving to ensembles and classes. This shared pool of harps will have a variety of styles and sizes, mostly concert grands. 

Rental harps are limited, therefore rental pool harps will be offered first to those flying to YAHS. If enough harps are available, the rental pool may be opened up to those driving, first come first served. Please keep in mind that transporting a harp is difficult for everyone, even the staff! Rental harps are difficult to obtain, and are not intended to be a convenience for those who simply don’t want to transport their own harp. Students renting harps are required to provide their own tuning key and replacement strings. A $25 refundable string deposit is required of all students in the rental pool. If possible, it will also be helpful to have your own transport dolly. More information about reserving rental harps will be available in registration materials.

Rental benches are also available.

Do you provide airport transportation?

The recommended airport to fly into for YAHS is the Philedelphia airport. We will provide recommendations for shuttles soon. YAHS will provide an escort for unaccompanied minors.

How soon can I leave YAHS after the final concert?

Our final concert takes place on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and usually lasts approx. 2 hrs. depending on concert timing, followed by a short reception. After that all students report back to the dormitory for check out. Check out occurs when you and ALL your roommates have removed all your belongings from the room and completed a successful final inspection. The checkout procedure lasts from approx. 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Is it possible to attend religious services while at YAHS?

Our busy schedule includes events every day, including Sundays. Most students forgo religious services while at the seminar. However, if attending service is important to you, let us know in advance and we’ll try our best to accommodate you. Students may also elect to participate in group-led bible study on Sunday morning.

Will I perform a solo at a YAHS concert?

Students who arrive with polished solo material will have the opportunity to perform on one or more of our three public concerts. It is expected that each student will arrive with polished material. If, however, the faculty feels that a public performance is not in the best interest of the student, performance will be limited to group masterclass. Please read the solo preparation material carefully, and choose music that you are comfortable performing, regardless of difficulty level.

What harp technique is emphasized at YAHS?

YAHS instructors come from varied techinical backrounds. We feel strongly that most good harp techniques share more common principles than differences, therefore no one technique such as “Salzedo” or “Grandjany” is emphasized over any other. We believe that there are many ways to play well, and that by observing the varied technical backgrounds of the students and faculty who attend YAHS, all students will become more knowledgeable harpists. Faculty and Guest Artists bring different approaches to YAHS that may change each year. The goal is always on performing to the best of one’s ability by working with whatever technical foundation a student brings with them to the seminar. Home teachers who would like a student to focus on a specific technical element should let the faculty know so that we can best help them.

Q: Are scholarships available?

YAHS is pleased to offer several scholarship opportunities. Scholarships are awarded based on both merit and need. All scholarship requests and materials are due by March, 15, 2023. Read more about scholarship requirements here.

International Students

YAHS welcomes applications from students residing outside the U.S., and we will do everything possible to help international students have a positive, enriching experience while visiting our country. The Young Artist’s Harp Seminar and Competition has welcomed harpists from Asia, Europe, Central America, and Canada. Most of our international students have found YAHS to be the perfect place to hone both their music and English skills.

Communication and translation

The official language at YAHS is English. Students are not required to be fully fluent in English, however they must be able to communicate basic needs to the instructors and counselors in English. A basic understanding of musical terms in English is also necessary. YAHS can provide some translation assistance during the application process, however once at YAHS students should be prepared to experience minimal or no translation assistance. Whenever possible, students will be assigned roommates with similar language skills.

Travel

Details about airport transportation will be provided soon. We recommend a flight arriving into the Philadelphia airport. 

Students traveling alone

YAHS will provide an escort for students traveling alone.

Students traveling with a parent or guardian

If you are an international student traveling with a parent or guardian, you will be responsible for your own transportation to Washington College. Dormitory housing at YAHS is available for students only, however there are many nearby lodging options for parents.