Competitions & Awards

The American Harp Society, Inc. and its support organization, the AHS Foundation, sponsor a variety of awards, scholarships, and assistance programs.  Different opportunities are available each year, with varying age requirements and eligibility.  For general information, see below, or for more detailed information about each program, including deadlines and application materials, use the drop down menu to the left.  

24th AHS, Inc. National Competition
Repertoire, applications forms and further guidelines will be published when available at

Competitions, Awards and Scholarships 

The annual Ruth Wickersham Papalia Scholarship Award is open to upper division harp performance majors enrolled in an accredited conservatory or school of music in the United States of America. This tuition award will be disbursed from the American Harp Society, Inc., directly to the educational institution where the awardee is enrolled. The annual application deadline is February 15th.

The AHS National Competition is held in conjunction with the AHS Summer Institute, in odd-numbered years.  Monetary prizes are awarded in five divisions for harpists up to age 30.

Preceding the AHS National Competition, Lyon & Healy sponsors the Lyon & Healy Awards, where each of the three winners receives 2,000 in cash to be used to further their education, along with a $500 gift certificate from Lyon & Healy Harps.   

In even years, the AHS Foundation Awards, also known as the Anne Adams Awards, are held in conjunction with the AHS National Conference.  Up to three scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each are given for full-time study of the harp in a post high school institution.  

Performance Prizes 

Performance awards for the best performance of a specific work or transcription by a named composer are often given in conjunction with the AHS National Competition.  Please check for specific prizes to be awarded on the AHS National Competition application. 

Educational Assistance (need-based) Awards 

The AHS Foundation provides opportunities for furtherance of music studies and financial support.  As funds become available, the following awards and scholarships are offered, based on musical promise and financial need: the Wickersham Award, which gives preference to those using the harp in a therapeutic setting, Mildred Biehn Johnson Award, Karl Carlson Award, Kathrin Fouse Award, and scholarships from the Lucile Lawrence and Lucile Jennings Funds.

Conference/Camp Support 

The “Kids for Camp” awards $500 to a promising young harpist, to make summer music camp a reality for a student who might not otherwise have such an opportunity. 

Anderson Group, the endorsed provider of Harp Insurance for members of the American Harp Society, offers individual scholarships to attend AHS Conferences or Summer Institutes, given on the basis of financial need and musical promise in the study of the harp.  

Composition Prizes 

Weiger Lepke-Sims Family Sacred Music Award is given to encourage new music to be written for solo harp, harp and choir, chamber music, or orchestral music with harp appropriate for use in church settings, and is offered when enough funds have accumulated.

Performances & Other Assistance to Competition Winners 

  • Concert Artist Program - financial assistance for the Winner of the Young Professional Division of the AHS National Competition to perform at AHS Chapters
  • Winners Outreach Fund - financial assistance for AHS National Competition prize winners other than the concert artist to perform at local AHS Chapters.
  • John Escosa Memorial Fund given to competition winners to help develop a high standard of performance presentation and stage demeanor.