Every summer the American Harp Society hosts national gatherings. The National Conference, held in even-numbered years, features concerts by brilliant artists from around the world, workshops on wide-ranging topics, master classes with world-class teachers, and scholarly lectures to feed your intellectual soul, as well as an exhibit hall with a dizzying array of harps and related items. 

The Summer Institute, held in odd-numbered years, focuses on the student harpist with workshops, master classes, and concerts by the best performers and pedagogues in the world.  The Summer Institute is held in conjunction with AHS National Competition, where dazzling young harpists compete for awards and scholarships.

Members are invited to take advantage of these incomparable educational and networking opportunities. 

12th American Harp Society, Inc. Summer Institute

Sunday, June 25 – Wednesday, June 28, 2017
St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN


The 2017 AHS Institute and Competition will be held on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, located just 30 minutes south of Minneapolis International Airport.  AHS is grateful for the invitation of the Minnesota Chapter, and the leadership of Co-chairs Kathy Kienzle and Elinor Niemisto, and Assistant Chair Ann Benjamin.

Northfield is a historic river town of 20,000 in the southeast part of Minnesota, just 30 miles from the Twin Cities and Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) international airport. Downtown Northfield, within walking distance of campus, has been restored to recall the 19th century and features coffeehouses, sandwich shops, restaurants, gift stores, and local art galleries.  

In addition to a retreat-like setting, St. Olaf offers outstanding music facilities for the Summer Institute.  Events will take place at the St. Olaf College music building and in beautiful Scandinavian designed performance spaces including Boe Chapel, Urness Recital Hall and Studio A. Buntrock Commons houses the cafeteria, and air-conditioned Ytterboe Hall, just steps away, is where to rest one's head.

Captured in the Institute logo, the Minnesota state motto, L'etoile du Nord (Star of the North) has influenced the naming of sports teams, musical groups, businesses, and even beer!  For the Summer Institute theme, our Minnesota team wishes to present individual harp stars from the northern region as well as the teachers, students, performers, listeners, composers, harp makers, and inventors who make up the constellations and galaxies of the harp universe.

The 22nd AHS National Competition will also be held at St. Olaf College concurrent with the Summer Institute.  More information and repertoire is available on the National Competition page.

Please watch www.ahssummerinstitute.org for updates.

Useful links:

2018 43rd American Harp Society, Inc. National Conference

June 27-30, 2018
The University of Redlands
Redlands, California

The University of Redlands is a private school located halfway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California, with mountains, cities, deserts and beaches nearby. The University of Redlands School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.  The School of Music has significant experience hosting large instrument society conferences, including the 2013 International Double Reed Society Conference with over 1,000 in attendance, and the 2014 Southwest Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference. They will also host the 2017 International Trombone Festival.

Proposals are being accepted through April 30, 2017 for workshops, performances and scholarly lectures at the 2018 National Conference. Please visit http://harpsociety.org/ConferenceInstitute/CallForProposals.asp for more information and to submit your proposal.

The 2018 theme is “Back to Our Future”, spotlighting the three tenets of the AHS mission statement:  celebrating our legacy, inspiring excellence, and empowering the next generation of harpists.  They also hope to reflect the Latin influences of southern California and as well as the Hollywood musical scene.

In particular, the Host Committee is particularly interested in receiving proposals centered on youth and encouraging harp study; harp in the schools programs; out-of-the-box careers for harpists; the scoop on the “Hollywood scene”, such as scoring for harp and recording sessions.  Concerts anticipated include noon time pop up’s; unusual chamber music pairings with harp; original harp quartets from the last 10-15 years; legacy pieces (both solo and chamber) originally commissioned by the Northern California Harp Association; and legacy and contemporary concerti.