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Welcome! A professional harpist based in Houston, TX, Hope Cowan is an active and versatile player and teacher. She frequently performs as a soloist, with chamber groups, in orchestras, and for weddings, church services, and special events.  She also teaches private harp lessons out of her home in Katy, TX.  She is the principal harpist of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, and a founding member of the Deciduous Trio.  She has a Master of Music degree from Rice University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Houston. You can read more about her here and can send her a message here.

About

A professional harpist based in Houston, Hope Cowan frequently performs as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and event harpist.  She is also sought after as a harp teacher, and teaches lessons to students of all ages. Please contact her if you have questions about booking her for a wedding or harp lessons.

Originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, Ms. Cowan relocated to Houston, Texas in 2009 to pursue her music education.  She has a Master’s of Music degree from Rice University and a Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Houston, both under the instruction of Paula Page.

As an orchestral musician, Ms. Cowan is the principal harpist of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.  She has also plays regularly with the Mississippi Symphony and the Symphony of Southeast Texas.  She has served as a guest musician with various symphonies in the area including the Victoria, San Antonio, Brazos Valley, Lake Charles, and Corpus Christi Symphonies.

An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with other musicians throughout Texas playing chamber music concerts.  She has appeared with SYZGY: New Music at Rice, The Foundation for Modern Music, AURA, MUSIQA and her own performing ensemble: The Deciduous Trio.  The Deciduous Trio is a harp/flute (Amulet Strange)/viola (Stephanie Mientka) trio that is committed to bringing their ensemble’s unique sound to diverse audiences and expanding its repertoire. The Deciduous Trio has performed for concert series all over the country and for the American Harp Society and National Flute Association Conventions. An advocate for new music, Ms. Cowan frequently performs contemporary solo and chamber music.

A committed and passionate teacher, Ms. Cowan teaches private lessons in her home in Katy, TX.  She is a teaching artist for Young Audiences of Houston and the harp coach for the Houston Youth Symphony.  She frequently runs clinics and workshops in school districts all over the Houston area, and regularly teaches in the Alief and Fort Bend ISDs.  She is also on the faculty at the Houston Summer Harp Festival, a summer camp for middle school and high school harpists held at Houston Baptist University (http://houstonsummerharpfestival.com/).

Houston/Katy Harp Lessons

Houston/Katy Harp Studio

One of the Houston area’s most sought after harp teachers, Ms. Cowan teaches students of all ages and experience levels.  Her students have performed all over Houston, bringing their music to local churches, hospitals, and nursing homes.  Her school age students often play in region orchestras, youth orchestras, the TMEA All-State orchestra, and receive top ratings in solo and ensemble competitions.  Ms. Cowan strives to create a supportive and nurturing learning environment where her students can grow and achieve their personal goals.

Training and Experience

  • Bachelor of Music from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, studied with Paula Page
  • Master of Music from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studied with Paula Page
  • Faculty at the Houston Summer Harp Festival since 2013
  • Harp Coach for the Houston Youth Symphony
  • Private lessons teacher for the Alief School District (Elsik High School and Kerr High School)
  • Chairperson of the 2016 and 2018 Mildred Milligan Competition
  • Clinician and adjudicator for school districts across the greater Houston area

Teaching Philosophy

I love helping students learn to play harp and create beautiful music.  My goal for my students is that they develop a solid technical foundation, expressive musicality, and the ability to share their love of music with others.  I also want my students to experience the satisfaction that comes from achieving their goals through consistent and disciplined practice.  I teach students of all ages, and tailor my lessons to fit each individual’s personality, goals, and needs.

Getting Started

I currently teach in out of my home in Katy, TX.  My teaching days and hours vary depending on student needs and availability. I offer a free consultation lesson for new students so that we can get to know each other before making any financial or time commitments.  Please contact me to schedule your trial lesson and discuss possible lesson times and rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need to bring my own harp to lessons? Usually students play on one of my harps for their lessons.  If you feel more comfortable on your own instrument you are of course welcome to bring it.
  • How much will I need to practice? Frequency of practicing is more important than duration, especially at the beginning.  I recommend 10-30 min 5-6 days a week for beginners.  Your practice sessions will grow longer as your stamina grows and your music becomes more complicated.
  • What kind of music do you teach? I am classically trained, and most of my students will learn a wide variety of classical harp pieces and etudes.  I encourage students to find their own musical interests, and can tailor their studies to include folk music, jazz, popular music, and composition.
  • What should I bring to my lesson? You should bring any music you are working on, a notebook, pencil, metronome, and tuner.  You should also make sure your fingernails are trimmed short.  Sadly, no manicures for harpists.
  • Will I have performance opportunities? Yes! For school age students I organize at two recitals a year.  Additionally, I frequently set up outreach performance opportunities in local nursing homes, hospitals, and churches.  These performances not only help you gain performance practice and confidence but also help bring music to our community.  I can also provide information for local and national competitions, summer camps, and youth orchestras for interested students.

Please contact me to set up a consultation lesson, find out more about my teaching, or even if you just have questions about learning the harp. You can either reach me via the form below, or send me an email: hope.k.cowan @ gmail.com.

Weddings

Looking for beautiful harp music for your wedding? Music helps to set an amazing atmosphere and is often one of the most memorable aspects for couples, families, and guests.  I love my clients, and the feeling is mutual! Click here to read reviews from past clients.  I can also be seen as part of this gorgeous feature: http://strictlyweddings.com/blog/2018/07/quaint-chapel-wedding-ceremony-ideas/

Harp music is a perfect choice for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, or dinner. Whether you love classic and traditional music, or more modern and popular songs, I can help you select music that you and your guests will love.  You can browse my extensive song list here.  My goal is always to provide memorable and beautiful music that adds to your wedding day experience.

The harp is well suited for almost any venue.  The sound of the harp is very resonant and carries well, but is never overpowering, even for smaller venues.  Likewise, it is very easy to amplify for a bigger space.  I have played everywhere from museums, to churches, to country ranches, to backyard weddings.  I love seeing all the wonderful places where couples get married in the greater Houston area.  I may even be able to recommend some possible venues if you are still searching.

I enjoy the variety and diversity of clients I serve and am happy to play for all kinds of wedding celebrations.  I strive to be a LGBTQ friendly wedding vendor.

Please contact me to check your wedding date availability and get a quote based on your needs.

Reviews

I love working with my clients and the feeling is mutual! Here are some reviews from recent events.  You can read more reviews here and here.

Read all of our wedding reviews on our
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“Wow, Hope Cowan was great! She responded in a very timely manner and was always eager to hear my ideas while also giving her professional opinion. She was out of town at one point, but was willing to chat with me via Skype or phone. Also, she is very reasonably priced for the quality of service. I would highly recommend her for any of your harp needs. I found a song that I wanted at my wedding that was not on her list of songs. She learned the song and played it beautifully at the ceremony. Very accommodating! If you book Hope Cowan, you will not be disappointed!”

“Hope played at my daughters wedding ceremony and the cocktail hour. The music was beautiful! Hope was very professional and very easy to work with. I would highly recommend Hope to perform at any type of event.”

“Perfect, absolutely perfect choice for our ceremony music. We were looking for something “simply elegant” and Hope’s harp music was a perfect choice. We were married in a little white chapel on a ranch in Richmond, Texas with about 50 guests. So, nothing needed to be elaborate, just nicely and simply elegant. Hope was very responsive during the booking process, had some great music choices and was very easy to work with. Many of our guests commented how they had never heard the Wedding March played on the harp before and it was just beautiful.”

“Hope did a fantastic job at my wedding! All the guests couldn’t stop talking about amazing she was. Her music is beautiful. She is fast to respond and very reliable. I’m so glad I chose her to play at my wedding!”

“Hope was an excellent addition to our celebration. She was personable, prompt but most of all she is an excellent harpist. She played almost non stop for 3 hours and the music was beautiful. Everyone at the birthday party commented on what wonderful background music a harp made.”

“Hope was recommended to me by a friend who had attended an event where she played. We were very happy with the music she provided for the dinner banquet and cocktail hour of our women’s service organization’s (Zonta) annual District Conference in Houston. There were many comments from the attendees as to the beauty and quality of her performance. She played a varied selection of music which we found very appropriate for our event. We would definitely have Hope back again to play for us.”

For more information on my services please contact me!