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BM Music Performance - Harp Emphasis

The Harp Program at Utah State University offers a rigorous, rewarding, and well-rounded experience that prepares students for graduate study or a professional career in teaching and performing. The focus is on the whole person, cultivating and fostering a healthy, engaged, and creative individual. By putting into action what is learned during one-to-one instruction, students solidify techinical goals and explore their own musical personality while developing critical faculties students need for wherever life takes them.

Students who enter Utah State University with an interest in harp leave it as well-rounded musicians ready to excel in their chosen path, transformed by a stimulating four-year course of study.

Harp Performance is an emphasis for students who are passionate about discovering all that a musical life offers in an environment that encourages individual exploration.

What does a music student with an emphasis in harp performance study? Creative thinking, technique, solo repertoire, mindfulness, chamber music.

What do harp performance graduates do? Opportunities abound in the professional world as a teacher, a member of an orchestra or a military band, studio musician, therapeutic musician, and entrepreneur. In addition to many other professional possibilties, graduates of Utah State University will be prepared to continue their study at the next level in a graduate program. Most importantly, students learn that their future depends on their ability to create opportunities for themselves, to be proactive, seeking their musical life goals, rather than expecting them to materialize upon graduation.


Chilali Hugo

Director of Harp Studies

In addition to the core general education and music courses, harpists take classes exploring the multi-faceted world of their instrument. Focusing on the breadth of the harp repertoire, students learn about various musical styles including: orchestral, choral, chamber, contemporary, ballet, and popular music. Participation in a Harp Pedagogy and Solo Literature class prepares harpists to teach students of all ages and provides the opportunity to survey the solo repertoire.

Harpists collaborate in chamber music each semester with performers from other areas of the music department as well as fellow harpists. The latter may include harp ensemble.

Musical elements such as breathing and phrasing are reinforced in private voice lessons or a voice techniques class, while individual percussion instruction allows for focused concentration on timing and rhythm.

A healthy body and mind are fortified through yoga classes, performance exercises, and an educational atmosphere that inspires internal motivation.

View the degree map online in the University Catalog

Close up of woman playing harp

In addition to applying for admission to the University, all applicants interested in pursuing a music degree must perform an audition on their major instrument to gain admission into the Department of Music. View specific audition information.

Gain valuable performance experience by playing in a variety of USU ensembles:

Symphony Orchestra

Wind Orchestra

Symphonic Band

Chamber Singers

University Chorale

Women's Choir

Opera Theater

Jazz Ensembles*

*based on studio teacher and ensemble director approval

Student Achievements:

Concerto Competition Winners
Museum & Music Series: USU Harp Quartet
College Band Directors National Association Western/Northwestern Division Conference in Reno, NV.
Music & Art Study Abroad Program to England
Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities Grant Program

Harpists performing at USU
American Harp Society at USU

Harp Area Highlights:

2016 USU will host the Utah Suzuki Harp Institute
2015 Masterclass with Performance Psychologist Dr. Noa Kageyama of the Juilliard School and The New World Symphony
2015 Hosted the American Harp Society, Inc. 11th Summer Institute & 21st National Competition
2015 Masterclass with Senior Master Sgt. Eric A. Sabatino of the U.S. Air Force Band
2015 Concerto Competition Winner: Carly Ewell
2014 Hosted the Utah Suzuki Harp Institute
2013 Masterclass with Lynne Aspnes Professor Emeritus for the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and former faculty member in the School of Music at Arizona State University

 Group of harpists at USU