• Calista Anne Koch, harp

    Calista Anne Koch, harp

    Maintaining an active performing, teaching, and coaching career, Calista Anne Koch is highly sought out in all areas of her expertise. She is currently entering her twentieth year as Harp Professor at Mercer University’s prestigious Townsend School of Music in Macon, Georgia, where she has a well rounded studio of aspiring performance majors, minors, and advanced harp students. There, she leads the Mercer Harp Ensemble, teaches harp Pedagogy, Harp Literature, Harp Studio, and oversees Chamber and Large Ensemble Sectionals. She has previously served at multiple universities and colleges throughout the state of Georgia. With graduate and undergraduate degrees Harp Performance and Music Therapy from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida and Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, her major teachers has been Mary Brigid Roman and Susan Bennett Brady. Calista Anne has performed regularly as a soloist, chamber member, and orchestral harpist throughout the southeastern United States including concertos, premiering works, and giving lecture concerts. She also performed on an intentional cooperation between harpist for the Orchestra Italian di Arpa recorded album, which was recorded to memorialize and honor the victims of Covid-19 in Italy and throughout the world.

    With a desire to see novice and advancing musicians flourish, Calista Anne is the founder and director of the Middle Georgia Harp Ensemble and Middle Georgia Gen Z Harp Ensemble. The Middle Georgia, having been featured at several festivals and national performances, including the recent the Atlanta Harp Festival in 2024, American Harp Society National Convention in 2016, and the International Cherry Blossom Festival in 2007. Prior to the formation of the Middle Georgia Harp Ensemble in 2004, Calista Anne founded, directed, and orchestrated for many other small and large ensembles, such as the Covington (Georgia) Community Bands and Orchestras, the Atlanta Harp Choir, and the Mercer Music For Young People’s Programs. Also receiving her time and attention is the Macon Youth Orchestra (formerly named the Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra), where she has been coach, arranger, guest conductor, and adjudicator over the previous twenty plus years. She has also coached for the Metropolitan Symphony Youth Orchestra (Atlanta), Buckhead Youth Orchestra (Atlanta), and many other student ensembles.

    In addition to her regular teaching studio at Mercer, her coaching, and her private studio, which boasts more than forty students from young to adult, Mrs. Koch has organized and hosted multiple summer intensive harp camps. Week long camps called, “So, You Want to Play the Harp,” have been offered several different summers. In the summer of 2023, these camps were again made possible thanks to a grant from the American Harp Society. Camps for advanced harp students also are scheduled every summer which include private and group lessons, ensemble practices, chamber work, music theory, arranging and transcription class, and harp/music history, as well as masterclasses and concerts.

    One of the most recent notable accomplishments is that Mrs. Koch successfully refurbished a more than hundred year old harp. The harp, donated to the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University, was not in playable shape, but was able to be slowly brought back into working condition. After months of works, the harp was heard from the first time in over seventy years in the fall of 2023. For more information on that, see https://den.mercer.edu/mercer-professor-restores-105-year-old-harp-for-students-future-use/