Meet Liana Alpino
1. When did you attend the Rocky Mountain Springs Harp Program (RMSHP)? How old were you when you attended?
I was 19 years old when I attended RMSHP the summer after completing my first year in college.
2. What were your goals at the time that you attended RMSHP?
My goal when I attended RMSHP was honestly just to keep myself playing when I had a summer off from school. It can sometimes be so hard to keep motivated when you are in summer mode. At the time I was minoring in music and I believe I was working on Debussy Dances, so I was really interested in a 3 week program compared to other shorter programs so that I could get a lot of playing time in. I was also really interested in getting some leadership experience at the time, which I was able to do by applying and accepting a student counselor position with RMSHP.
3. Have you accomplished those goals? Have your goals changed? If so, how?
I was able to reach my goal of learning the Debussy Dances and ended up performing it on stage the following summer. My goals have very much changed since my summer at RMSHP, though. I ended up double majoring with music, and through college, I started to realize what I love doing with the harp, which is performing, as well as writing music for harp. My main goal now is to publish some of my harp arrangements, as well as original compositions. I currently have two finished arrangements for "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Marry You" and am working on several more! I love being able to arrange popular music for the harp. Another goal of mine is to tour more often with my band World Fiddle Ensemble - we are a string quintet that arranges music from all over the world with our own twist.
4. What was your favorite part of RMSHP?
Besides the wonderful people you get to meet and collaborate with, one of my favorite parts of RMSHP is that they incorporate awesome activities into your day. You are doing things that help bring out your creative nature and help you become a better musician. For instance, the program is very active. My year, we did daily morning stretches, hiked the gorgeous Colorado mountains every other day (for me, since I had never been to this region, I loved that I had the chance to explore since most music programs do not offer this), and took fitness classes with a private instructor. We also got to take a photography class while we were there. This is unlike any other music program - truly awesome that these activities are included! Myself and the other campers really enjoyed being active and learning new creative skills with photography.
5. What is your relationship to the harp today?
I am still a very active harpist - probably even more so than when I attended RMSHP. After graduating from Belmont University, I am an avid gig harpist for weddings and special events, I play with local orchestras, I have a private teaching studio, I play live shows solo and with local artists, I am part of a touring band called World Fiddle Ensemble, and I arrange/compose music for the harp! I never would have expected all this for myself.
6. Do you still keep in touch with your fellow RMSHP alumni?
I still keep in touch with other RMSHP alumni from my year when possible! We all still connect over social media and one of the alumni is actually marrying one of my friends from home (they met randomly) - she recently asked me to play harp at her wedding!
7. If you could give one piece of advice to future RMSHP students, what would you say?
My advice would be to go to this program! Especially if you are from a town where there aren't a lot of harpists. RMSHP and other summer programs are a great way for you to connect with other harpists your age and develop your craft over the summer when you have time to focus on it! Some of my best development as a player either in musicality or just artistic confidence I can attribute to summer music programs.