The Houston Youth Harp Ensemble was established in September 2018 to offer harp students in Houston the opportunity to further musical growth, facilitate personal development, and build an essential harp community. We believe that many harp students in Houston are missing out on a shared musical experience, and the Houston Youth Harp Ensemble aims to bridge the gap. We are a mixed–level ensemble for both lever and pedal harpists.
Each semester, we focus on a different theme to guide our concert program. We launched HYHE with “3, 2, 1… It’s Showtime.” Subsequent semesters have included programs such as “Harping Around the World,” “Fantasy and Fairytales,” “Under the Sea,” and “The Great Outdoors.” Our program this spring 2021 will be “All You Need Is Love.”
How does it further musical growth?
Shared musical experiences can enhance a love for music and leads to more confident, experienced performers. Participation in the Houston Youth Harp Ensemble includes a wide array of activities aimed at strengthening musical abilities. Warm-up exercises, sight reading, music theory, aural skills, conducting tutorials, and rhythmic training are all included in rehearsals and are crucial to becoming a well-rounded musician.
How does it enhance personal development?
Studies show that ensemble playing leads to cognitive, emotional, and physical development. Recurring shared musical experiences not only increase physical coordination, but advance empathy development and lead to greater emotional intelligence. Furthermore, it can strengthen each student’s capacity for leadership, elevate their listening skills, and improve their ability to collaborate with their peers.
How does it build community?
In chamber music, every voice is equally important. No performer is successful unless the entire group is successful, as we all strive toward a communal goal. We believe that budding harpists in Houston should have access to these formative opportunities in an uplifting and encouraging setting. We aim to highlight the collaborative spirit that is found so prominently in the Houston music community and foster a passion for collaboration in each individual student.