Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Harp Society

A dynamic group of professional and amateur harpists

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Welcome from the Board

Dear SVC AHS members and other friends of the harp,

Thank you for visiting our website. We are a dynamic chapter, consisting of over 80 harp enthusiasts including professionals, teachers, amateurs and youth. We were honored to receive the Chapter of the Year Award from the American Harp Society in both 2010 and 2014.

Every season we sponsor many wonderful concerts, details of which can be found on our Event Calendar and Recent Chapter Events pages. As a harpist or parent of a harpist, you are invited to everything we do, and your participation is what makes it all worthwhile for us. If you are a harp enthusiast, please check back frequently to see the high quality performances we sponsor. Our Event Calendar also lists public events where you can hear our member harpists performing.

Congratulations to our Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble for their continued success and outreach. They were selected to perform at the World Harp Congress in Hong Kong in 2017, and at the American Harp Society National Conference in June, 2018.

If you are looking for a harp teacher or to hire a performing harpist for a special event, please view the links at the top of the page for information about our members who teach and perform.

Most Recent Event: 2019 Harp Extravaganza

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Harp Extravaganza Concerts - November 16 and 23, 2019

We recently concluded another successful Harp Extravaganza Concert, an annual event sponsored by our chapter. More than 20 harps performed in the concert, including the Silicon Valley Adult and Youth Harp Ensembles, and soloists Paul Hurst and Dan Levitan. The concert included music from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite to Bizet's Carmen, as well as Handel's Water Music, Debussy's Clair de Lune, and Ravel's Pavane. The concert concluded with a rousing rendition of the Can Can, played on 20 harps.

The Youth Ensemble gave a stunning performance of director Sonya Yu's own arrangement of "Butterfly Lovers". There was an opportunity for guests to try out the harp in the lobby, under the tutelage of Katherine Healzer. The public recital took place at Christ Episcopal Church, 1040 Border Rd, Los Altos, on Saturday, November 23. A private concert was held the previous week at The Villages in San Jose.

Harpists who performed with the ensemble included Hella Bluhm-Stieber, Sue Dinwiddie, Gwen Halterman, Dan Levitan, Daphanie Lin, Tamara Mead, Carol Pugh, Debbi Ricks, Linda Rollo, Lynne Rovin, Crystal Steinke and Sonya Yu. The adult ensemble was conducted by Paul Hurst, who also performed Lizst's Un Sospiro as a piano solo. Dan Levitan performed a harp solo medley of Ravel, Faure and Debussy melodies. Youth Harp Ensemble performers included Lorraine Chiang, Melody Chien, Tiffany Jia, Elaine Liu, Haley Park, Kartika Santoso, Sophia Shan and Melanie Yu. For more information, please visit Eventbrite. Plan to join us next fall!

2019-20 Fall Kickoff

Our 2019 Fall Kickoff event was held Sunday, September 29 at the Los Altos home of Carol Pugh. The kickoff featured background harp music by Debbi Ricks and Tamara Mead, and a panel discussion about playing harp for weddings.

Katherine Healzer selected to present at 2020 World Harp Congress

Out of a record number of proposals submitted, our student member, Katherine Healzer, has been invited to present at the World Harp Congress 2020 in Wales. Her lecture will be entitled, "Can Music Harmonize a Discordant World?" and will explore the intersection of music, empathy and neuroscience. Katherine delivered a performance lecture on behalf of our chapter in downtown San Jose in August (see flier below).

Congratulations, Katherine!
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Student Education Sessions
Seventeen harpists participated in the 2019 Student Education Sessions, culminating in a beautiful public recital on Saturday, May 11. The recital and reception took place at the stunning Maryknoll Seminary in Los Altos. SES is an annually recurring event, sponsored by the American Harp Society. Participants prepare two harp pieces and perform them for an adjudicator in Session I. The adjudicator gives verbal and written feedback to the student to help them improve. Session II takes place a month or so later, in the form of a public recital with all of the participants.

Our SES sessions have been very well attended, with typically 16-20 performers of various ages and levels. Our adjudicators have been renowned and highly qualified performers and instructors. In 2019, we had the honor of having Dr. Beverly Wesner-Hoehn as our adjudicator. Her biography is available here.

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The Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble

The SILICON VALLEY YOUTH HARP ENSEMBLE, sponsored by the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Harp Society, has gained recognition and become sought after for community performances since its inception in January, 2014. The ensemble has performed in the chapter's String Fever/Harp Extravaganza concerts, numerous local venues and for nonprofit organizations, as well as being invited to play for the 2017 World Harp Congress in Hong Kong, and at the 2018 American Harp Society National Conference. The first piece the ensemble recorded is Christmas Combo, arranged by its director, Sonya Yu. A sample of the Christmas recording may be heard at this link: Jingle bells

The young ensemble members (aged 8-16) not only play the harp well, but also learn the qualities of leadership, management, technology skills, and the discipline to work with professional recording specialists. You can find more information about joining the Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble, and about its future performances at www.harpyes.org

Scheduled upcoming performances include the opening of the Green Mountain Retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains, a recurring December Holiday Concert Performance at the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, and a potential visit and performance at Lyon and Healy headquarters.
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