Connecticut Valley Harp Intensive
1 Birch Road
Bloomfield, CT 06002 USA
Susan Knapp Thomas Founder, Director
& Master Instructor
Michelle Whitson Stone
Instructor • Guest Artist
Susan Knapp Thomas, harpist, received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music, and is a well-known Chamber, Orchestral and Solo Concert Artist and Instructor throughout Connecticut and Southern New England.
She has been a recital soloist and chamber performer at such reputable programs as Connecticut’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Trinity College Summer Concert Series, and Hartford’s New World Chamber Ensemble series. She has co-founded and arranged music for her flute and harp duos, and flute, harp and cello trios.
As an orchestral harpist, Susan served as Acting Principal for Hartford Symphony from 2010 - 2014 and was their featured concerto soloist in June of 2008, performing Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto with principal flutist, Grieg Shearer. She is Principal Harpist for the Waterbury Symphony, and Acting Princiapl Harp for Brevard Symphony in Melbourne, Florida. She regularly performs with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Vero Beach Opera, and regularly appeared as guest harpist for the U.S. Coast Guard Band from 1987-2002. Ms. Thomas regularly plays touring shows for the Bushnell and the Shubert Theaters in Hartford and New Haven, CT, and frequently for Frank Sinatra Jr. and other well known celebrities.
Ms. Thomas, Instructor of Harp at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, is a master harp instructor. She runs vigorous harp studios in Connecticut and Florida. She has coached varied configurations of student ensembles at both the Hartford Conservatory and Hartt, and has developed, marketed and run her own student summer course and harp ensemble programs since 2002. An experienced administrator, Ms. Thomas was the Summer Program Coordinator at the Hartford Conservatory from 1999-2002. Her students were first and second and third prize winners in the American Harp Society Connecticut Chapter Harp Competition in the spring of 2005, and 1st and 2nd prize competition winners in 2002.
For more information on Susan Knapp Thomas, harpist, go to: www.harppro.com or www.treasurecoastharp.com
It took her a year to convince her parents that she really wanted to play the harp, but since then, Kathryn Sloat has pursued a career in music with a passion. She has developed a wide range of interests, including playing in orchestra and chamber ensembles, teaching, and exploring her own entrepreneurial projects.
Most recently, Kate organized and performed in a concert celebrating the life and works of the composer Benjamin Britten. She also started a private teaching studio in her hometown of Bethlehem, New York. Kate received her master's degree in harp performance from the Eastman School of Music, where she and fellow harpist Christina Brier formed the duo Lilac 94. Kate is currently completing a postgraduate diploma at the Mannes College of Music and lives in New York City.
Michelle Whitson Stone is a Harpist, Arranger and Music Educator based in Los Angeles. She began her teaching career at Pacific Harps in Pasadena and opened her private studio in 2000. Known for her sophisticated arrangements of pop and jazz standards, Michelle is the founder and owner of Harpworks Music, a publishing company focused on creating accessible pop arrangements for the Intermediate harpist. Since 2014, Harpworks Music has published eleven Pop arrangements for Intermediate to Advanced lever and pedal harpists, many which continue to be best sellers on HarpColumnMusic.com.
In her 30 plus years as a harpist, Whitson-Stone has performed for Presidents Clinton, Ford and Reagan as well as Henry Mancini and Quincy Jones. She has studied with world-renowned jazz harpist, Stella Castellucci as well as jazz harp legend, Harvi Griffin and Dr. Carol McLaughlin, Professor of Harp at the University of Arizona.
In 2001 and 2004, Stone garnered awards at the International Pop and Jazz Harpfest and was a guest artist at the 2015 AHS Harp Institute. Her 2004 solo release LATE NIGHT HARP was reviewed as “ honest and straight from the heart”, and “an album that will stay at the top of your collection for years to come.” Whitson Stone is also an actress and veteran of numerous films and television shows.