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. You will be given a key to access your instrument at any hour.
- The Concordia Wind Orchestra and Sinfonietta both keeps harpists on its rosters. Both ensembles perform significant repertoire that includes harp parts, and they commission new 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 have additional recital options.
- If the harp studio has 3 capable players, a harp ensemble will probably be formed.
- Student musicians are regularly used for special events on campus. Harpists are in high demand for these.
Harp in Orange County
- 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 OC Chapter of the American Harp Society offers scholarships to harp students. Application is due in early April.