The American Harp Society, Inc. is pleased to announce the Young Composers Project.  The new education program is open to national members of the American Harp Society, Inc. who are harpists aged 25 and under.  Applicants do not have to be formally studying composition to be eligible.

The Young Composers Project provides an opportunity for young harpists to broaden their relationship with their instrument by composing an original solo harp score and perform their composition at a concert at the 2017 AHS Summer Institute at St. Olaf College, in Northfield, MN. All participants will receive written personal feedback about their composition from nationally renowned professional composers, and will be invited to attend the Summer Institute.

Featured Composers
A Young Composers Committee will select up to 8 applicants to become “Featured Composers”.  The selected Featured Composers will receive one-on-one feedback from leading professional (harpist and non-harpist) composers Libby Larsen and Rachel Brandwein, and a performance of their original solo harp composition at the 2017 AHS Summer Institute concert (June 25-28, 2017). 

The selected Featured Composers will be categorized by their age as of June 1, 2017:

- Junior        Age 12 and Under - Teen II              Age 16-18
- Teen I        Age 13-15 - Young Adult     Age 19-25


Featured Composers Opportunities

  • Complimentary registration to 2017 AHS Summer Institute in June 2017, in Northfield, MN
  • Perform their original solo harp composition at the 2017 Summer Institute concert, along with works by Ms. Larsen and Ms. Brandwein
  • Private one-on-one feedback session with leading professional composers
  • Receive a professional recording of their concert performance
  • Feature Composer and their score will be showcased in the Summer 2017 issue of The American Harp Journal

       All Institute attendees may enjoy:

  • Masterclass for the Featured Composers with Ms. Larsen and Ms. Brandwein
  • Q&A Workshop Session with Ms. Larsen and Ms. Brandwein

Submission Process – Due by April 1, 2017

  • Compose an original solo harp score of up to eight minutes in length.  Compositions must be original and the sole creation of the applicant; no arrangements or transcriptions.  Entries must not be plagiarized or violate copyright laws.  Each applicant may submit only one composition for consideration in the program.
  • The harp solo may be of any genre (pop, classical, folk, jazz, spiritual, etc.) and composed for any style or size of harp (pedal, lever, Celtic, etc.).  Make a video or audio recording of you performing your composition (check this page for further instructions shortly).
  • Complete and submit the Young Composers Project Application form, along with your video or audio recording (Audio mp3 format or similar, up to 30MB; Video mp4 format or similar, up to 60MB) and PDF written copy (up to 10MB) of your original score (may be legibly hand-written or from a computer  program such as Sibelius or Finale).   Entries will not be judged on the quality of the audio or video recordings.  Submissions are due on or before 11:59pm CST, April 1, 2017.
  • Young Composers Project Submission Fee:  $30

Selection Process for “Featured Composers”

  • All project application submissions will be reviewed by the Young Composers Project Committee, made up of AHS professional harpists/composers.
  • All applicants will receive written feedback about their original composition.
  • By April 1, 2017 the Committee will select and notify 4 to 8 applicants in each division to become “Featured Composers”. 
  • Summer Institute Attendance/Participation Required.  Those applicants selected as Featured Composers must RSVP that they plan to attend the Summer Institute by May 1, 2017.  If the selected Featured Composer is unable to personally attend the Summer Institute, another applicant will be selected to fill their space and their composition will not be featured at the Institute. 

For more information or questions, please email