Harp at Concordia University
"Big opportunities, small university."
There are many opportunities for harpists at Concordia:
- Private study with one of Southern California's premiere harpists, Mindy Ball. While one unit of private study is required each semester for music majors and those with harp scholarships, many students choose to take 2 units (one hour per week).
- Practice facilities - Harpists need a "home" for their instrument where they can conveniently access it for practicing. We will provide a locked practice room inside the Performing Arts Annex (where the Concordia Wind Orchestra rehearses). You will be given a key to access your instrument at any hour.
- The Concordia Wind Orchestra keeps harpists on its roster. Much of its literature includes harp parts, and it commissions music regularly (which would include harp parts).
- Accompaniment opportunities abound! Choirs, instrumental and vocal soloists, and the handbell ensembles will have opportunities for harp accompanists.
- With chapel 4 days per week, there is a lot of need for instrumental solos and accompaniment. This is a great opportunity to perform.
- Noon recitals are regular opportunities to perform your latest solo repertoire.
- Student recitals are the culmination of dedicated private study on an instrument. At Concordia, many students give a half recital (20-30 minutes of solo repertoire) in their junior year and a full recital (app. 1 hour) in their senior year. Also, students who advance to the 300 level on harp by the beginning of their sophomore year are eligible to give a half recital during the second semester of their sophomore year.
- If the harp studio has 3 capable players, a harp ensemble will probably be formed.
- The Irvine Classical Players Orchestra rehearses on Friday evenings in the Performing Arts Annex on Concordia's campus. This is the first year of the partnership and we look forward to bringing that ensemble and Concordia's students together for performances from the symphony orchestra repertoire.
- Student musicians are regularly used for special events on campus. Harpists are in high demand for these. In addition, the music department receives requests for wedding musicians regularly. Harp is a perfect addition to the many weddings booked in the Good Shepherd Chapel.
Harp in Orange County
- 2 local college symphony orchestras, UC Irvine and Irvine Valley College, have had conversations with Concordia about allowing our students to audition for their ensembles. This could result in part time playing for harpists with either ensembles. Currently, UC Irvine has 2 harpists but IVC has none. UCI rehearses on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (release time from Concordia Wind Orchestra would have to be negotiated) and IVC rehearses on Monday evenings.
- The Pacific Harp Ensemble is conducted by Mindy Ball, and she will encourage you to participate in this fine local ensemble.
- The Orange County Chapter of the American Harp Society is very active. They won Chapter of the Year in 2009. Mindy Ball is very active in this group.
- Instrument maintenance is easy in Southern California, including Salvi Harps.
- Professional orchestras and recitals are very close and they offer many programs throughout the year. The Pacific Symphony (where Mindy Ball has been principal harp for 30 years) is only 6 miles from campus, performing in Segerstrom Hall, one of the nation's premier concert halls. Concordia's orchestra members can usually attend PSO concerts for free. Also, many of the world's premiere orchestras perform at Segerstrom Hall when they are on tour. Concordia students regularly attend these concerts for a very reasonable price.
- Concordia has a close relationship with dozens of local churches, especially those in the Lutheran Church. They contact us often to hire student musicians. From time to time, we provide all of our churches contact information for quality students who they can hire for worship and special events.
- The Warne Scholarship helps string players attend local universities. Concordia students are regular recipients. Application due on May 30.
- The OC Chapter of the American Harp Society offers scholarships to harp students. Application is due in early April.