HARPS Foundation
4101 Grove Avenue
Richmond VA 23221
Mission Statement

The HARPS Foundation’s mission is: “to maintain and develop programs and performance opportunities for children and youth, regardless of financial means or disabilities, utilizing the harp as a catalyst for personal growth and community service.”

CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lynnelle Ediger
Board Chair Heather Calehuff-Mlot,
Board Chair Company Affiliation St. Francis Medical Center
Contact Information
Address 4101 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23221
Telephone 804 484-2187
Fax 804 353-0135
E-mail L.ediger@harpsfoundation.org
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $350,000.00
Projected Expenses $350,000.00

The HARPS Foundation’s mission is: “to maintain and develop programs and performance opportunities for children and youth, regardless of financial means or disabilities, utilizing the harp as a catalyst for personal growth and community service.”



  1. Reached over 750 students through our outreach program Sound Experiences, an El Sistema USA affiliated multi-day after and in-school music immersion program in partnership with schools and Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond and Charles City County Public Schools.

  2. Provided over 400 performance service hours in partnership with Bon Secours Health Systems through Harping in the Hospitals and Neonatal Harp Therapy which partner with healthcare facilities to provide therapeutic programming and to conduct clinical studies documenting the impact of harp music on patients, pediatric through seniors.

  3. Recorded "Caravan: 10 Harps, 10,000 Miles" which is under consideration for a Grammy award in 2016.

  4. Performed in Sydney, Australia at the World Harp Congress; New York City at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall three times; in Washington, D.C. at the White House (twice), the 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the U.S. Department of State two times, and for the Prince and Princess of Belgium at the Belgian Ambassador's residence; in Vienna, Austria at the Advent Music Festival; and at the American Harp Society's 9th Summer Institute in Denton, Texas.

  5. Had 100% of our graduates accepted to their first choice colleges as harp majors, two with full scholarships, and two of our high school students accepted to Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Interlochen Center for the Arts and North Carolina University School of the Arts, the nation’s finest arts high schools, based on their mastery of the harp and AYHE performance experience.

Goals (near and long-term):

  1. Continue to expand our educational Outreach Programs, serving more at-risk inner city and rural youth.

  2. Offer and ensure funding for our young musicians to participate in stellar national and international performance opportunities such as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center and accept outstanding invitations to perform at prestigious events and venues.

  3. Cultivate new corporate and individual sponsors for our ongoing artistic series.

  4. Purchase enough harps to meet programming demand and, once met, to establish an income-generating harp rental program.

  5. To fully maximize our role as the premier harp based arts education program in the nation, publish our curriculum and program handbook enabling others to develop programming based upon our model.

  1. Outreach Program funding to enable us to continue to offer our programs tuition-free to growing numbers of students.  
  2. Performance travel funding to ensure that all eligible Performance and Outreach Ensemble members can tour with the group nationally and internationally and take advantage of the unparalleled performance opportunities as they arise.  
  3. Staff funding, including artistic, outreach, and administrative positions, particularly for development staff, additional harp teachers, and outreach coordination.
  4. Additional affordable space for classrooms, rehearsals, and offices as our programming continues to expand.
  5. New harps including student lever harps and concert grand pedal harps, which range in price from $2,000 to $35,000 each.

The HARPS Foundation was created as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1999 with a mission to maintain and develop programs and performance opportunities for children and youth, regardless of financial means or disabilities, utilizing music as a catalyst for personal growth and community service. Over the past eighteen years, the HARPS Foundation has grown exponentially and is now the umbrella organization for the following: five performance ensembles of the American Youth Harp Ensemble (AYHE); Virginia Choristers; Academy of Music; and three core areas of community outreach programs. These ensembles and community outreach programs work together to create a more vibrant arts community and engage individuals and audiences of all ages in learning.

CEO Statement

My name is Lynnelle Ediger-Kordzaia and I am the Artistic and Executive Director of HARPS - American Youth Harp Ensemble (HARPS-AYHE). A vibrant contributor to the arts in Central Virginia,  HARPS - AYHE also dazzles audiences around the world as America's premier youth harp ensemble, well known for musical sophistication, rich sound, emotional power, and imaginative programming of repertoire. The group made its international debut performing in the Maastricht Music Festival in the Netherlands and has had other notable performances at the Edinburgh Festival (Scotland), the Paris Music Festival (France), Salle Gaveau (Paris), Salla Puccini (Milan), Festival of Music (London), and the Advent Music Festival (Vienna) and the World Harp Congress in Sydney Australia. On the national stage, we have performed at the United Nations (NY), the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), the 34th and 38th  American Harp Society National Conferences, the Association for Music Personnel in Public Radio National Conference (in which the AYHE was showcased for music directors from National Public Radio affiliate stations across the US and have subsequently been broadcast nationally) and at Carnegie Hall (NY) in 2001, 2007, and 2012, with another concert scheduled for 2016.  We have performed at Carnegie Hall three times, the White House for the second time, and for the 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.  

We are the leader in commissioning new works and arrangements for harp ensembles by world-renowned professional harpists/composers and on many occasions have brought these masters to teach and perform with our young harpists. For both our Performance Ensembles and Outreach Programs, HARPS - AYHE has been honored to be recognized as a "National Model of Outstanding Educational Achievement" by the American Harp Society, the leading organization of professional harpists, and by the Salvi Foundation, the international standard-bearer of excellence in our field. I am most proud of the tremendous growth in our Outreach Programs, serving increasingly greater numbers of students with limited access to the arts with in-depth, quality music education. The progress made by our outreach and performance students is evident by the numbers of students advancing to higher levels, performances on the national stage, and the fact that all of our graduating seniors have received full or partial scholarships to the colleges and universities of their choice based upon their ability to play the harp. I am also extremely proud that we are able to utilize the harp to have a profound impact on the lives of students with disabilities and our community as a whole through our Harp Therapy programs, making significant contributions to the field via cutting edge complementary care and clinical research programs. It is truly gratifying to witness HARPS - AYHE's mission in action.
Board Chair Statement

Mr. Michael Quinan, Esquire, Chair, Board of Trustees:

Now in our 15th year, the HARPS Foundation - American Youth Harp Ensemble has achieved major successes in all facets of our mission:  offering outreach programs and performance opportunities and fostering personal development, community service, and social change.  This is an exciting time to be involved with HARPS - AYHE, as we have moved well beyond start-up mode into a phase of continued rapid growth.
The Board of Trustees recognizes both the opportunities and challenges presented by such growth and strives for balanced excellence, particularly during a time when the expanding needs of those we serve are high.  
This year we are serving over 350 students, a diverse group representative of our region.  Almost all of our participants in Outreach Programs for At-Risk Youth come from inner-city and rural environments.  Especially significant is the designation of HARPS -AYHE's new "Sound Experiences" program as an El Sistema USA organization, one of only two in the state and the only one in Central Virginia.  Our El Sistema-inspired Sound Experiences program combines musical instruction, academic tutoring, and physical education components in a multi-day program offered in some of the most impoverished neighborhoods of the City of Richmond.  El Sistema USA is modeled upon the highly successful Venezuelan El Sistema movement which, for more than thirty years, has transformed the lives of children in that country through music and represents a model for social change through the arts in the U.S. as well.  
The HARPS Foundation - American Youth Harp Ensemble also provides health care related Harp Therapy Outreach Programs which serve youth with mental, physical, and emotional challenges, provide harp therapy for patients in hospitals and participate in clinical studies of the harp as a method of complementary health care, and offer specialized therapeutic and instructional programs for pediatric palliative care patients and their families.
Finally, our harp-based Community Service Programs enable advanced harpists from the high-level Performance Ensembles to give back to the community in a variety of ways.  Through solo and small ensemble concerts as well as education programs and demonstrations, our harpists deliver harp and music education to children in public and private schools as well as to the general public.  In addition, we serve hundreds of patients, residents, and families in health-care facilities such as hospitals, retirement centers, and nursing homes through our unique "Harping in the Hospitals" and "Young at Harp" Programs.  We are also proud to be a Certifying Organization of the President's Volunteer Service Awards, a reflection of one of our organization's core values. 
The board is committed to ensuring that youth can experience life-enhancing opportunities through mastery of the harp. 
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Metro Richmond
Richmond, City
Chesterfield County
Colonial Heights, City
Goochland County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Hopewell, City
Charles City County
Petersburg, City
Dinwiddie County
Hampton Roads
HARPS - AYHE serves more than 750 students in Richmond and surrounding counties of Central Virginia.  Our performances have reached an estimated audience of more than 300,000 viewers and listeners each year through television and radio broadcasts, more than 300 live performances, and two television specials aired regularly on PBS affiliate stations.  AYHE harpists have thrilled audiences around the country and abroad, having fourteen national and international tours to their credit.
Board Chair
Board Chair Heather Calehuff-Mlot,
Company Affiliation St. Francis Medical Center
Term Jan 2014 to Dec 2017
Email hcalehuff@yahoo.com
Board of Directors
Board Members
Anne Bailey Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Dr. Kimberly Caldwell Pediatrician
Heather Calehuff-Mlot Operating Room, Surgical Assistant, St. Francis Medical Center
Kerrie Foy Jordan Senior Manager, Marketing Epicor
Martha Hagy Retired Nurse
Dr. Hermine Maes Associate Professor, Dept. of Human and Molecular Genetics, VCU
Karen Willis Executive Assistant, CJW Medical Center
Mary Ann Wilson Retired Community Volunteer and Arts Advocate
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 80
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 75
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Advisory Board Members
Bobbie Barajas Community Idea Stations
Theresa Dolson Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, University of Richmond
Forrest Anne Hill Editor
Lisa Lohr SunTrust
Roberta Oster-Sachs Institute for Contemporary Art
Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Lynnelle Ediger

Lynnelle Ediger-Kordzaia is a nationally recognized educator. She has taught the harp and directed harp ensembles for nearly 25 years. In 1999 she founded the American Youth Harp Ensemble (AYHE) and over the next fifteen years has seen her vision of a world-class harp-centered arts organization grow from infancy into maturity. Under her leadership, HARPS-AYHE has established and enjoyed an international reputation for musical and educational excellence. The Ensemble has brought world-class music to enthusiastic audiences in the U.S. and abroad through hundreds of performances, recordings, television and radio features on CNN, NBC, PBS and NPR affiliate stations. Since 1999, the Ensemble has made 20 national and international tours, performing in the Maastricht Music Festival (Netherlands), Edinburgh Easter Music Festival (Scotland), the Paris Music Festival (France), Salla Puccini (Milan), London Festival of Music (England), Salle Gaveau (Paris), the United Nations (NY), the Kennedy Center (DC), the 34th and 38th American Harp Society National Conferences, AHS 9th Summer Institute, the Association for Music Personnel in Public Radio National Conference, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall three times. Most recently, the Ensemble debuted to a sold out audience at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, on the “State of the Arts” Concert Series at the U.S. Department of State, at the White House (DC), in the Advent Music Festival in Vienna and Salzburg (Austria), for the Prince and Princess of Belgium, and for the 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors performing for such musical luminaries John Williams, Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman and Denise Graves, Lincoln Center (NYC), and this past summer at the World Harp Congress in Sydney, Australia. Their performances annually reach audiences of more than 300,000 viewers and listeners through television and radio broadcasts and live performances. The AYHE has been featured in two television specials: “The American Youth Harp Ensemble: Defying the Limits” and “The Community Idea Stations Present: Christmas with the American Youth Harp Ensemble.”

The Summer Music Institutes, now in the 20th year, attract students from around the world for intensive summer music study. The Summer Music Institutes have expanded to include seven weeks of programming with focus areas including: harp, chamber music, violin, guitar, choral music and piano. A European Institute was added to the harp and chamber music offerings in 2012.

Mrs. Ediger-Kordzaia has been an invited presenter/performer at several World Harp Congresses, American Harp Society National Conferences, the International Folk Harp Conference and the International Harp Therapy Conferences. She is a recipient of the Governor’s Citation for Excellence in the Arts and has twice been named a “Top Forty Under Forty” by arts and business publications in Virginia. Most recently she was honored with the American Alliance for Performing Arts Educators 5th Annual Del Keiffner Award for Outstanding Arts Educator at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Teresa Pollak prize for “Excellence in the Arts” from Richmond Magazine, and was the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She holds an undergraduate degree in harp performance and a graduate degree in music education from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she was a student of Alice Chalifoux. She also holds a masters degree in arts administration from Goucher College. Along with her husband, orchestral conductor Alexander Kordzaia, she owns the Academy of Music, central Virginia's leading classical music school. The Academy of Music serves several hundred music students annually with robust programming including a Chamber Music Program, the Virginia Choristers, Early Childhood Music Discovery, private lessons, partnerships with 11 educational institutions and two Chamber Music Series (Virginia and Maryland).

Senior Staff
Ms. Aponi Brunson Assistant Artistic Director
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 4
Volunteers 62
Contractors 2
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Oct 2010
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
We collaborate with the Resources for Independent Living Center, Boys and Girls Club, Medical College of Virginia, Music Therapy Associates of Richmond, the Academy of Music, Richmond Montessori School, Collegiate, City of Richmond and Charles City County Public Schools.

The American Youth Harp Ensemble (AYHE) is a critically acclaimed performing ensemble comprised entirely of youth, with 22 world-wide tours to their credit.Their latest recording Caravan: 10 Harps, 10,000 Miles was considered for a 2016 Grammy Award.  

Ensembles include: 
  1. Troubadour Ensemble:  An entry level ensemble for those advancing from the outreach programs and beginners to the harp.
  2. Lyra Ensemble:  More advanced harp studies and local performance opportunities to students with one to two years of experience.
  3. Intermezzo Ensemble:  Advanced instruction for younger students with a full schedule of performances in the Richmond/Central Virginia region.
  4. Concert Ensemble:  For serious young harpists who commit to musical studies, local and statewide performances, mentorship, and community service.
  5. Touring Ensemble:  Our elite, professional-caliber ensemble that travels nationally and internationally to perform highly challenging repertoire in some of the most prestigious venues of the world.

Sound Experiences is a nationally recognized arts and cultural music education program which combines formal music education conducted by classically trained instructors and peer mentors with community and public organizations to serve underserved youth in inner city and rural areas. HARPS’ Sound Experiences programs currently provide 20 hours per week of tuition-free, multi-day per week, year-round music education on the harp (guitar/violin during summer) and reaches over 750 students each year. The program offers professional instruction, youth mentors, evaluative measures and group performance opportunities. Students in Sound Experiences are actively engaged in supervised music education programming for the duration of each session. Activities include: individualized music instruction, group instruction, hands-on instruction in instrument maintenance/tuning, practice of repertoire in preparation for performance, engagement in peer learning with mentors and ensemble performances. For those with special needs, individualized lesson plans are provided.

  1. The Harp Therapy Outreach Program, in partnership with the Resources for Independent Living Center, provides educational harp therapy to physically, emotionally, behaviorally and/or socially-challenged youth in a highly structured supportive environment, pairing mentors with special needs individuals under the supervision of a professional music therapist, harp teacher, and other professional staff. Harpists in the American Youth Harp Ensemble commit to helping their peers by teaching the harp, serving as role models, and sharing of themselves.

  2. Harping in the Hospitals is offered through Bon Secours medical facilities throughout the region to assist in research on the impact of harp music on health and well-being. Through this program we provide 15 hours weekly of complementary care service performances to benefit patients in cancer institutes, oncology, neonatal, surgical recovery and other areas of the hospital and have been doing so since 2008.

  3. Noah's Children: Provided through our partner Academy of Music, Noah's Children provides harp lessons and therapy for youngsters in pediatric palliative care and their families.
  1. The Mentorship Program: Proficient young harpists help their peers as assistant teachers of the harp, taking an interest, serving as role models and sharing of themselves.

  2. Young at Harp: Experienced student harpists perform solo and small ensemble concerts at local retirement communities, nursing homes, and senior centers on a regular basis.

  3. AYHE Ambassadors: AYHE students perform over 300 concerts annually throughout the region as community service.
Description Through our partnership with the Academy of Music, SHI are intense week-long programs focus on practice, performance, musicianship and ensemble skills in a supportive and inspiring musical environment. Music is chosen to challenge and engage each student based on their performance level. Summer Harp Institutes are offered in Richmond, Virginia and Frederick, Maryland and in international locations.
CEO/ED/Board Comments

Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $350,000.00
Projected Expenses $350,000.00
Endowment Value $7,200.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$7,415$8,095$6,375
Individual Contributions$115,599$76,349$46,092
Investment Income, Net of Losses----$443
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind$160,800$188,800$101,800
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$380,334$365,513$362,557
Administration Expense$14,703$17,977$19,801
Fundraising Expense$15,386$8,508$10,299
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.010.74
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%93%92%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%6%9%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$176,820$164,649$166,523
Current Assets$95,820$81,990$107,917
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$550$450$4,590
Total Net Assets$176,270$164,199$161,933
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities174.22182.2023.51
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit Application 11/2015View
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 prepared by E. Thomas Carson, CPA, PC
  • Financial statements prepared internally by the organization
  • Financial information provided by Form 990