Elzbieta (Ela) Szmyt is a Professor of Music, the chair of the Harp Department, and Director of the Harp Ensemble at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She studied with Alina Baranowska-Liese, Susann McDonald, and Pierre Jamet. She is a regular performer of solo and chamber recitals and has taught master classes in Europe and the United States. Ms. Szmyt has made several appearances and recordings for Polish radio and television. She has been a featured soloist with the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, Krakow Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis. She has performed and given lectures for the World Harp Congresses in Copenhagen, Prague, and Dublin. Her solo CD, Rhapsodie was released on the DUX label. She has served as a board member of the USA International Harp Competition and is currently on the Board of Directors of the World Harp Congress.
Jan Jennings is a past first prize winner of the Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Harp competition. She is a widely respected performer and teacher of both classical and popular music. Her students have been finalists in the national competition of the American Harp Society as well as prize winners in local and national music competitions. She has written two instructional books, The Harpist’s Complete Wedding Guidebook, and Effortless Glissing. Ms. Jennings has been the MusicReview Editor for Harp Column, a national industry magazine, for 20 years. She has made five recordings, and several of her arrangements for both pedal and lever harp have been published. Ms. Jennings served two terms as Director-at-Large for the American Harp Society, and two terms as Treasurer. She founded the Central Florida Chapter of the American Harp Society in 1987. She served two terms on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer of the World Harp Congress. Currently a free-lance harpist based in Orlando, she has been the featured artist at prestigious venues in both the U.S. and Europe.
Christine began studying the harp at the age of 5 when she joined the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Pre-College Harp Program and has studied with Elzbieta Szmyt for more than 20 years. Christine continued her harp studies at Indiana University where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree, and minors in Human Development & Family Studies and French. Christine currently works as a wedding & special event planner in Indiana. In 2012, Christine, Ela & Jan began planning the first Summer Harp Academy.
"The Summer Harp Academy has been a fantastic experience, and I love meeting new students from all over the country who are as passionate about music as I am. Every summer, every day I learn something new from Jan and Ela, and I appreciate all the time I have been able to spending working with them and our wonderful students. I can't wait for you to join us this summer!"
Abigail Brower (2019)
Abigail Brower has been plucking her way into the hearts of her audience since the start of her classical harp training in 2007. An active orchestral and solo artist, she regularly plays with the Jacobs School of Music orchestras and other area ensembles, along with private events such as receptions, cocktail hours, and other social events. She was in the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra’s Philharmonic Orchestra and harp ensemble during her junior and senior years of high school and won second place in the Young Artist Division of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Harp Competition in 2014. In 2015, she received an Honorable Mention in the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Young Artist Competition, earning the privilege of performing alongside the US Army Orchestra and fellow competitors. A recent graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Abigail was a student of Professor Elzbieta Szmyt, with one semester of study with Anneleen Lenaerts in Vienna, Austria. Her most recent project was a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Jacobs School of Music Concert Orchestra.
Songwon Cindy Lee (2017, 2019)
Songwon Cindy Lee is a native of South Korea and graduated from the Seoul Arts High School. She was a participant of the 2nd DMZ International Music Festival. Her recent accomplishments include winning the 1st prize at the 17th Haneum Music Competition, 2nd prize at the 23rd Journal of Music Competition, and 2nd prize at the 46th Music Education News Competition. Cindy currently studies harp performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and has a minor in Business from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.