About YAHS

YAHS program

two weeks • July 6 – 20, 2024

Ages 12–26, pedal harp


YAHS faculty and guest artists are some of the best harp performers and instructors in the world. 2024 faculty includes:

Susan Bennet Brady

Anastasia Pike

Mallory McHenry

Emily Levin

Ruth Bennett

Find out more about YAHS faculty here.

Tuition and Fees


Tuition: $3218

All applicants to YAHS must submit the YAHS application fee. This fee is refundable only if a student is not accepted to the program.

The tuition fee includes:

  • private lessons with a YAHS faculty member. A 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.

Please see the payment schedule and cancellation policy here.


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.

If you would like to participate in our rental harp pool: $455

If you would like to rent a bench: $38

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 2024. 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, 2024. 


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 Young Artist’s Harp Seminar is excited to announce the new GrowthXel Foundation Scholarship. This full scholarship will be awarded to a deserving young African American harpist to attend the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar in 2023. This scholarship will cover the cost of tuition for the two-week YAHS program. Harp rental, bench rental, and airport shuttle fees will be covered as needed. This scholarship is merit based, and all African American applicants will be considered regardless of financial background. The student awarded this scholarship will only need to pay this application fee, their own transportation to the program, and for additional activities they would like to participate in.

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 $1500, 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, 2024 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 audio 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 audio 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 (not required for GrowthXel Foundation Scholarship applicants).

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.



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.


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.