We had a chance to catch up with outgoing Concert Artist Elizabeth Yeoh-Wang as she prepares for the next exciting era of her journey as a harpist. Read her interview, below.
What has surprised you about being Concert Artist?
I was surprised by how much fun performing has been. I am so grateful that I have gotten to share the stories and my interpretations of some of my favorite pieces.
I also realized just how much I love teaching. Over the past two years, I've really enjoyed teaching students of all ages and levels. I've taught dozens of students through lessons and masterclasses, and it's been so rewarding to meet harp students and strive to encourage, connect, and give feedback in a way that works for them.
What has been challenging?
Being the Concert Artist during the COVID pandemic was challenging because we needed to cancel some plans due to safety precautions, which was the right decision but disappointing. I hope I can perform for those chapters one day!
What has your tour of the chapters been like? Any notable experiences you want to share from the road?
I have really enjoyed visiting chapters near and far (which will have spanned a distance of over 3,700 miles apart!) It has been really fun to reunite with harpist friends I've met over the years as well as meet other amazing harpists and music lovers. My hosts have been incredibly welcoming, inviting me to their homes and showing me around the area.
I love meeting harpists from all over—a couple of the many exciting first-time meetings were with my NEC studio teacher Jessica Zhou's mom and harpist, Ping Hu, and Elizabeth White Clark, who I looked up to as a young girl when she was the Concert Artist (and her daughter, who is also a harpist!)
How do you think being Concert Artist has impacted your growth as a musician?
I think that my view of the purpose of music has matured over the course of my time as the Concert Artist. My core belief that music is a way to connect with others has been reinforced and evolved over the last two years. Having many opportunities to perform allowed me to develop my personal purpose, and this perspective has shaped how I play and talk about my music. It has made me grow closer with the harp and with the audience.
What are your hopes for the next Concert Artist?
I hope that the next Concert Artist gets to visit the chapters I've performed for because the community members have been absolutely lovely, as well as some of the chapters I wasn't able to visit but wished to, and share their unique perspectives on music.
What's next for you?
I would love to continue performing and sharing my love of the harp! Also, now that I won't be on the road as much, I am excited to teach more.
Any other thoughts that you'd like to share?
I would encourage any student considering applying to the AHS competition to go for it! Over my years of participating in the competitions, I've made wonderful friends and been so inspired by harpists in my division as well as in younger and older divisions.
Thank you to the American Harp Society for this amazing experience!