My name is Shirley Meyer Blankenship (harpist/composer). In the 70's, I taught harp and music theory at the University of Illinois where I was the first woman to receive a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree in composition. Currently I am the principal harpist with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony.
It has been all too often that I have encountered harp parts that were, at best, awkward and, at worst, impossible to perform. Major issues that are obstacles for composers involve the need for placing before pulling the strings, pedal markings, the creation of accessible structures, and the designing of notation that accurately depicts the interchanging use of the hands. After years of dealing with problematic parts, I initiated this project entitled The Harp Legacy Project. Via this venue, it is my mission to assist composers in the creation of notation that is comprehensible to harpists.
In order to accomplish this mission, I am offering my services as an editor/consultant to composers wishing to participate. In this capacity, I can contribute my skills and expertise to the benefit of both harpists and composers. Like the historical model of Les Six, the group of participating composers could generate a significant body of harp music for the present and next generations and significantly contribute to the development of viable harp notation.