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Shenandoah University harp students travel to the UK for Abbey Road Project, album

Crystal Graham
Shenandoah University harp students at Abbey Road Studios in London
Submitted photos

Shenandoah University harp students teamed up with the United Kingdom on an international collaboration at Abbey Road Studios in London that culminated in an ensemble album “2K+ Fusion.”

The album showcases the American Youth Harp Ensemble, the Shenandoah Conservatory Harp Studio and the Claire Jones Harp Ensemble.

With prestigious performance credits, including appearances for British royalty, as well as at Carnegie Hall, The White House and the Welsh Proms, the album shows a true passion for music.

“I was thrilled to invite my Shenandoah Conservatory harp students to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime recording project at Abbey Road Studios in London,” said Lynnelle Ediger, adjunct associate professor of harp at Shenandoah University. “The experience was nothing short of extraordinary – from the meticulous rehearsals leading up to it to the high level of artistry achieved in the studio while witnessing the ‘behind the scenes’ expertise of world-class sound engineers. What an educationally rich and rewarding experience for our harpists.”

The “2K+ Fusion” album recording occurred at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London, known for hosting some of the most legendary artists in history.

The project features the combined talents of 35 young harpists.

“We were fortunate to receive personal invitations to engage with faculty, students and scholars at esteemed cultural institutions like the Royal Academy of Music, providing the harpists with invaluable insights,” said Ediger. “Collaborating with U.K. harpists also allowed for a meaningful cultural exchange.”

The students also explored historic landmarks during the trip including Windsor Castle, the British Museum and Covent Garden Opera House.

“We even enjoyed a special invitation to a West End Show directed by the same conductor who produced our album,” said Ediger. “I am honored to support our harpists in their musical and professional journey, nurturing their unique career paths with a focus on versatility, entrepreneurship and artistry through remarkable opportunities like the Abbey Road project.”

Shenandoah Conservatory harp students Brynn Olden ’25 (Bachelor of Music in Performance) and Serenity Flores ’25 (Bachelor of Music in Performance) participated in the once-in-lifetime opportunity.

“This journey gave me the real-world experience of recording in a professional studio while also exposing me to the sights of England,” said Flores. “Putting in so much effort and hard work toward something that barely seemed real until the end made me realize what successful musicians go through, or at least a fraction of it,” said Olden. “I felt inspired to continue my career with this in my heart, to help me remember that I can achieve more than I initially thought I ever would.”

Composer Chris Marshall, the creative force behind the project and its executive producer, arranged nine bespoke pieces for the collaboration and one original composition, “Andalucia,” written specifically for this project.

These arrangements include well-known tunes from the worlds of film, classical, Broadway and traditional folk music.

Shenandoah University students Abbey Road

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.