College of Music harp ensemble raising funds to perform on international stage

"Harp Beats" Ensemble sitting atop University of North Texas sign

College of Music harp ensemble raising funds to perform on international stage

DENTON (UNT), Texas - The University of North Texas HarpBeats will perform at the World Harp Congress, one of the most prestigious honors in the world for harpists.

The HarpBeats, a 10-member College of Music ensemble, will travel to Hong Kong in July for the concert.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Jaymee Haefner, director of the ensemble and assistant professor of harp. “The World Harp Congress is the best of the best in the world, and we are humbled and thrilled to be included.”

UNT’s 10-year-old ensemble has attracted international attention for its innovative arrangements of traditional and popular music, ranging from Bach to Led Zeppelin. The group recently won the National Harp Ensemble Competition of the American Harp Society.

One of the largest and most highly acclaimed college harp ensembles in the country, HarpBeats is now recording a CD that features original compositions and arrangements by ensemble members.

This will be the ensemble’s first performance at the World Harp Congress, which meets every three years and draws harpists from more than 50 countries.

Members have so far raised $20,000 for the trip through concerts, alumni donations and university funding. They need to raise $5,000 more to meet their goal, Haefner said.

“World Harp Congress is one of the most important performance platforms for young harpists in the world,” she said. “This is an important step in increasing the visibility for HarpBeats on an international stage.”