The world’s largest harp ensemble is comprised of 420 harpists. The upcoming Harp Ensemble at BYU-Idaho will not consist of nearly that many harpists, however, it will consist of multiple solos and ensembles from students. Those participating in the ensemble mainly consist of harp majors and minors as well as a couple of proficient non-harp majors.
“This class really helps me learn to play in an ensemble and how to follow and occasionally take the lead,” said Sarah Mann, a sophomore studying music. “If things fall apart, sometimes you have to be the one that picks things up and be confident and lead everyone else.”
Alicia McQuay, a music professor and the director of the harp rehearsals, works with the students to help them perfect their art. She has studied harp since the age of four and has appeared in multiple concerts throughout the United States.
A few of the pieces they will perform include an oriental dance — an American heritage set which consists of songs like “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and “Shortenin’ Bread,” “Clair de lune” by Debussy, a transcription on “Dance Macabre” as well as traditional harp pieces by famous, well-known harp composers.
“Every semester I go through the repertoire that the University owns,” McQuay said. “I go through my own repertoire, and I take suggestions from the students. Then we just try to figure out a theme, and this semester, it was more familiar tunes that people will recognize.”
Despite this event being a harp performance, pieces including the violin and flute will also be featured.
The Harp Ensemble falls on March 11 at 7:30 p.m., and it will be held in the Snow Recital Hall. The event is free and requires an event dress code.
For more information about the ensemble, click here.