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The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

Memorial High School Hosts FISD Annual Harp Recital

Darren Hu
The last piece “Deep in the Heart of Texas” conducted by Jeff Walters ends with a “Yeehaw!” from the audience members.

MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL – When one thinks about orchestral music, violins, and cellos may be the first instruments that come to mind, but few people consider the important role of harps in an orchestra. Often, they sit in the last row of the ensemble, supporting the different sections, and adding a unique sound to the orchestra, leading to their chances of being spotlighted to be seldom.


FISD’s annual harp recital is a great opportunity for harpists to showcase the capabilities of their musical instruments along with their talents as they tackle challenging repertoire.


This year’s recital, performed on April 4, 2024, featured approximately 120-130 harp players from 6th grade to 12th grade across all middle school and high school campuses in the district. The recital’s been hosted since 2007 with ever-increasing numbers.


Every year, the ensembles features different pieces composed by some of the students performing on stage, offering a unique experience for the audience to hear the sound of lots of harps playing together.


Freshman Aditi Battiprolu is part of the Centennial Orchestra’s Harp Program and shared a bit about the work that goes into preparing and her thoughts about the Harp Recital.


The harp students at Centennial start preparing for this recital around October so that we can use these ensemble pieces for other events, but a few of the pieces do require a lot of time to digest and get used to,” adding “So starting early, [we devote] months to prepare in and out of class, and having multiple other opportunities to perform those difficult pieces before the recital is good for the success of the performance, especially since there is only one or two rehearsals for all the harpists of each ensemble to play together.”


In addition to learning the repertoire and attending rehearsals with the ensemble, students also help with the stage setup process between performances.


Senior Nathan Zhou, All-State winner, and harp player at Centennial, believes the best part of the recital is seeing the number of harps on stage.


“[Seeing] students move pedal harps and lever harps to the recital from schools across the district [leads] to an impressive number of harps on stage.”


Aside from the stunning spectacle of many harps set up on stage, sharing music is another passion musicians alike share.


“For me, each year this recital is a very rewarding experience, being able to showcase our progress and what we’ve learned each year,” said Battiprolu.


Due to the size of the event, the recital also offers harpists a great opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals, who are passionate about their craft.


I love meeting my friends from my middle school and other high schools and it’s interesting to see how they’re doing generally and also how they’re growing in terms of being a musician.”


The FISD Harp Recital also has some unique characteristics that make it stand out from other music events.


“FISD has the biggest group of harpists so it’s so different and so unique that each of us gets exposure to playing in basically an orchestra of other harpists like ourselves,” adding “I also think it’s really unique that the seniors and the 8th graders play “Deep in the Heart of Texas” every single year with each other,” said Battiprolu. 


Zhou had one final message to share about the FISD Harp Recital.


“Definitely come and watch [the harp recital] if you want to see a lot of harps on stage and listen to harp music,” said Zhou

If you missed it this year, you can check for next year’s recital date on the Frisco ISD Fine Arts Calendar web page.

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About the Contributor
Darren Hu
Darren Hu, Reporter
Hello! I'm Darren, a current junior this year, and it's my first year with the Titan Times. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, drawing, and listening to music. You can find me around the school involved in Orchestra, DECA, NHS, French Club, and BPA.