About Us

Our Harp Festival

The Midwest Harp Festival is a week-long event including morning ensemble rehearsals, afternoon workshops, a solo competition, teen activities, and four public concerts.

A different guest artist is featured every year to show harpists of all experience levels what is possible through diligence and steady practice. The competition is offered to allow harpists of varying levels to be challenged in their skills and to allow the less-experienced harpists to see what they might become.

The 2022 Midwest Harp Festival will be held at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, but the festival itself is not affiliated with any religion.

Our History

The Midwest Harp Festival is sponsored by Barton Harp Initiative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Barton Harp Initiative is named after Lorelei Kaiser Barton, the founder and former executive director of the Midwest Harp Festival. Lorelei started the festival with a few of her students coming to her house on weekday mornings.

In 1999, it became the Tulsa Harp Camp at Oral Roberts University with nine students. Several years later, the name became the Midwest Harp Festival. Under Lorelei’s tutelage, it has grown to include over 30 harpists from several states each year! We thank Lorelei, her husband Sam, and her children Seth, Kara, and Jared for everything they did to make the festival what it is today!

Our Mission

Barton Harp Initiative Mission Statement:

To promote awareness, education, and enrichment of the Midwest harp community.

The Midwest Harp Festival does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. 

We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, participants, performers, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.