Apply to YAHS

About YAHS

Founded in 2002, the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar has become one of the pre-eminent summer training programs for today’s young harpists. YAHS alumni have gone on to attend major music schools and conservatories around the world, including Juilliard, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Paris Conservatory, and many others. The program is designed to improve performance skills and practice habits and intensify preparation for solo performances, orchestral auditions, and competitions through interaction with our distinguished Artist Faculty and Guest Artists.

Apply to YAHS

YAHS Co-Founders

Susan Bennett Brady
Susan Bennett BradyCo-Founder of YAHS and Artist Faculty
Susan Bennett Brady performs extensively in the Atlanta area as a classical free-lance harpist and soloist. As principal harpist in the Atlanta Opera, Macon Symphony, and Columbus Symphony Orchestras, she is also co-founder and faculty harpist at the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar and founder/director of the Atlanta Harp Ensemble, for which she writes and arranges music. She is a prizewinner in the American Harp Society National Competition, Young Professional Division, and the Elizabeth Herbert Hobin Harp Competition and attended Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood. Brady currently teaches at the Schwob School or Music at Columbus State University and at Reinhardt University. She also maintains one of the highest regarded private harp studios in the country, and writes regularly for Harp Column.
Kimberly Rowe
Kimberly RoweCo-Founder and Artist Faculty
Kimberly Rowe is best known as founder of Harp Column, a publication read by harpists around the world. She has taught and performed throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including frequent concerts with The Philadelphia Orchestra. A 2014 finalist for the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s music education Ovation Award, Kimberly has been on the faculty at Temple University and Temple University’s Music Preparatory Program. She has also been on the faculty at the National Music Festival, Curtis Institute of Music Summerfest, and the Saratoga Harp Colony. Kimberly has been a featured performer and presenter at the American Harp Society’s National Conferences, the World Harp Congress, and at festivals sponsored by Camac and Lyon & Healy Harps. Kimberly attended the Cleveland Institute of Music where she received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in 1987 and 1989 as a student of Alice Chalifoux. Read more about her at

July 4–18, 2020

The two-week YAHS program is open to students ages 12–26 by audition. Please read the information below to familiarize yourself with the program, and then visit the main application page to submit your application, application fee, teacher recommendation, audition recording, and scholarship application.


Tuition: $2490

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

The tuition fee includes:
• one private lesson with a YAHS faculty member. (additional lessons with other YAHS faculty and our guest teachers may be purchased separately; no minimum and time permitting.)
• lodging at Kenyon 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 Kenyon 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, 2020. 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, 2020: fifty percent of first half tuition is refundable; harp rental and shuttle fees are fully refundable

Between May 1 and May 31, 2020: no refund of first half tuition; fifty percent refund on harp rental and shuttle fees; second half tuition is fully refundable.

After June 1, 2020: no refunds of any kind will be given.

Fees for additional items:

Rental Harps


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. 

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 everyone first come first served. 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 use one of our rental harps: $550

If you would like to rent a bench: $30

Airport Transportation

Airport Transportation to/from John Glenn Columbus International airport: $170 round trip, or $100 one way.

YAHS provides a shuttle to and from the John Glenn Columbus International airport and the beginning and the end of the seminar. Students utilizing the shuttle service are required to spend the final Saturday evening and depart Sunday morning. There will be a small additional dorm fee for this extra night. The shuttle schedule is determined by combined flight schedules; do not purchase airline tickets until you have been accepted to YAHS and confirmed your travel itinerary with us! 

What advance preparation is required to attend YAHS?

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:

  • Two recital pieces ready to perform. (Memorization of recital pieces is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.)
  • At least one additional solo piece in progress
  • Two 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.)

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.


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

All students 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 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:

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)

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

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, 2020. Scholarship recipients are required to participate fully in the YAHS program—no exceptions for early or late arrival will be made. Apply for scholarships at the time you submit audition materials, using this form.

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 fee, teacher recommendation, and audition recording by the March 15, 2020 deadline) may also request scholarship assistance. In addition to the regular application materials, scholarship applicants must also submit:

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.

Audition Recording

In addition to the video essay, 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:

  • One or more solos from the standard classical repertoire demonstrating your current level of ability.
  • An etude demonstrating your current level of ability.
  • One or more orchestral excerpts.

Do you have questions? Email us.

Q: 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 for a swim at the lake or to visit area recreational attractions and just have fun.

Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: Will I have a roommate?

YAHS students reside on campus in 3-bedroom suites at Taft Cottages. Suites include single and double rooms with shared bathrooms. In most cases students will have a roommate.

Q: Where will I keep my harp and practice?

Harps are kept in shared practice rooms in the Storer Hall music building. Our new facility offers ample practice space and less harp moving.

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

Yes. We have rental instruments available for an additional fee. Please indicate on your application if you require a rental harp. Since rental harps must be reserved several months in advance of the seminar, please apply early if you plan to rent a harp. Please understand that rental harps are limited and not guaranteed. Preference for rental harps will be given to students traveling by air.

Q: Do you provide airport transportation?

Yes, we provide shuttle service for students flying to the John Glenn Columbus International airport for an extra fee. The drive takes about two hours. The shuttle will run once at the beginning and once at the end of the seminar. Since our shuttle will be transporting several students, it is important that you discuss your flight plans with us well in advance so that we can coordinate a shuttle schedule that accommodates everybody. Please do not purchase airline tickets until you have been notified of your acceptance to the seminar and have discussed your travel plans with us.

Q: How soon can I leave YAHS after the final concert?

Our final concert 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 suite-mates 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.

Q: 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 very 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.

Q: 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.

Q: What harp technique is emphasized at YAHS?

YAHS instructors 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 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, 2020. Read more about scholarship requirements in the tab on this page. To apply for a scholarship, use the “Submit YAHS Audition Materials” form on the main application page.

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.


Book all air travel to the John Glenn Columbus International Airport. The Columbus airport is about a one hour drive from Kenyon College.

Important: Do not book air travel until you have received notification that you have been accepted to YAHS. Do not book air travel until you have discussed your travel plans with us and we have confirmed that your itinerary will work with our airport shuttle schedule!

Students traveling alone

A YAHS representative will meet students traveling alone and drive you to Kenyon College with other YAHS students arriving by air. (There is an extra fee for airport transportation.) At the end of the seminar, all students traveling by air will spend an additional night at Kenyon College (additional fee applies) and travel to the airport the next morning. Book your return flight to depart Columbus after 12:00 p.m.

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 from the Columbus Airport to Kenyon College. Dormitory housing at YAHS is available for students only, however there are many nearby lodging options for parents.