Read about the "DHC Challenge" Project (click here)

The "DHC Challenge" is the pilot project for a collaboration with harpist, soloist and educator, Robbin Gordon-Cartier. The project uses my harp concertos to support both community and learning by teaching them to harp ensembles and then performing them with community orchestras.

In this pilot project, Robbin's 41 harp students at the Cicely Tyson School of Performing Arts are studying my music and then performing 3 of my pieces for harp & orchestra in concert with the West Shore Symphony Orchestra Nov. 19, 2018. Learn more about the project in this post

Note confirmation for student's participation in this blog series: "I confirm that all the children at Cicely Tyson School of Performing Arts in these posts have signed photo/video releases from their parents. These releases cover having their stories, videos and photos shared as part of this project, including posts on Deborah Henson-Conant’s blog and website." - Robbin Gordon-Cartier, Professor of Harp, Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, East Orange, N.J. (10/11/18)

Day 3: The Golden Ticket – the gift of commitment


Tonight Robbin texted me a video that said:

“This the students’ ‘golden ticket’ and it changes color.

Each of them will get one of these for committing to participate in the project.

The ‘golden ticket’ is also a notepad where all of them who sign up to audition will be journaling their whole experience.

Robbin told me that tomorrow is the celebration — where they’ll take a picture of all of them altogether with balloons and streamers to celebrate that they’re about to start.


Robbin also sent me this video of one of the students.

Hearing this student talk about the project and declare her intentions on video, I realized how inspiring that was – especially because Robbin said that this is someone who often struggles with nerves, and is excited about this project.

Realizing that this music I’ve created can support someone else’s commitment to express their creative voice reminded me why I composed it in the first place — because these kinds of pieces were missing from the repertoire

I was also reminded that the composer is always in collaboration with the performers and I realized I’d love to know the answers to two questions from each of the students:

  1. What part of yourself are you committing to empower as part of this experience, no matter what happens?
  2. What part of yourself are you committing to show the world as part of this experience, no matter what happens?

CLICK HERE to see ‘Day 4’ in this series!

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