Chapter Events 2013-2014

SVCAHS Harpists Perform at SJ Museum of Art

Harpists from the SVC AHS chapter performed holiday music at the San Jose Museum of Art from 5:00-8:00 pm on December 19, 2013. The program included harp ensemble music, as well as solos and harp and flute duets. The "Christmas in the Park" event took place just outside the museum, making it a very festive time of year to celebrate in downtown San Jose. The performance was the second annual ensemble performance by SVCAHS at the SJ Museum of Art
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Hakone Gardens "Haiku for Harp"

Reviewed by Debbi Ricks and Martha Bailey

A unique program entitled "Haiku for the Harp" was presented October 12, 2013 in the Cultural Exchange Building at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, CA. Gifted young harpists, Katherine Healzer, Naomi Sun, Sunny Wu, Anna Lorenz, Tiffany Wong, Elise Adamson, Tiffany Jia, Lorraine Chiang and Sharon Macauley performed compositions written to Haiku poetry by renowned harpists/composers Linda Rollo and Susann McDonald. Their collection of 12 solos was designed to acquaint all levels of harpists with the new sounds and skills of 20th century music, and has as its inspiration a short Japanese Haiku poem that is illustrated on the music page.
Linda Rollo is our chapter’s immediate past-president, while Susann McDonald travelled from Bloomington, Indiana to be present for the event. The two composers gave a brief explanation of the new sounds and skills required for each of the pieces and the Haiku poetry was read in Japanese by Reiko Fonda and in English by our chapter member Robert Fonda prior to each performance.
Over 138 people were in attendance to hear “Haiku for the Harp” including walk-ins who were visitors to Hakone Gardens that afternoon.
Susann McDonald remarked, “It was a privilege for me to hear those talented young harpists perform our Haiku so skillfully with grace and charm. The program was so beautifully planned and executed, the site was perfect and the delicious reception added to the delightful afternoon. My thanks to all who participated! Bravo!”
Added Linda Rollo, “I would like to express my thanks to Martha and Lynn Bailey who fostered the idea of this concert after seeing the Haiku Book. They pursued Hakone Gardens and of course, it was the perfect venue. So many details went into this program, from the Japanese translations and explanations by Bob and Reiko Fonda to the attention to Japanese detail and delicacy in the reception prepared by Sue Dinwiddie, and flower arrangements by Martha. The student performers worked extremely hard and played so very well!
It was a great thrill for me that Susann McDonald came all the way from Bloomington to be with us for this concert. She spoke eloquently about each of the pieces and told some “behind the scene stories” about the creation of each piece. It was a wonderful day. Thank you, Silicon Valley Chapter, for making this event possible!”

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Susann McDonald (left) and Linda Wood Rollo at Hakone Gardens.

At right: Haiku performers with Bob and Reiko Fonda, Susann
McDonald and Linda Wood Rollo.
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September 7, 2013 Fall Kickoff Event : "Getting to Know You"
At the Home of Dr. David and Linda Rollo

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Our September 7 Kick-off event was a huge success. Over 50 people attended the event at the Saratoga home of Linda and David Rollo. Many attendees took advantage of a room full of sheet music, CD's and tapes, which were being given away. The wide variety of musical offerings started off with a presentation by Verlene Schermer, who was spectacular in her music and text, helping us to build not only a harp community but a harp family. Anna Lorenz, a recent chapter scholarship recipient, gave a beautiful performance of "Theme and Variations" by Handel.

Tiffany Wong and Sunny Wu, two of our chapter winners of the Yvonne Schwager Bay Area Competition, played for us with their virtuouso of youth and love. Their pieces were "La Source" by Hasselmans and "The Children's Hour" by Grnadjany.

Dominique Piana and her son Gregory Friedman were our musical "dessert" with their combination of harp and voice. They performed four Schubert Lieder.

Thank you to all who gave us music, food for the soul and hear, and great food for the body! Let us all continue to be a happy, helping harp community.

4th Annual String Fever Harp Ensemble Concert A Great Success!

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The String Fever harp ensemble concerts continue to offer something new. Our fourth annual concert was given Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in San Jose. Featured guest artists, Venezuelan musicians, Angel and José Tolosa, performed, along with members of Harpers Hall and fourteen members of the SVCAHS.

Ensemble performances included Ave Maria, La Joyeuse, a Les Miserables medley, The Swan, Danse Macabre, Moonlight Sonata, the jazz classic Take Five, and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Following a brief intermission, Angel and José Tolosa, known as Ensamble A Contratiempo, performed a beautiful and lively set of Venezuelan music on the Venezuelan harp and the cuatro. They joined with the SVCAHS ensemble and members of Harpers Hall to perform Como Llora una Estrella. The concert concluded with the large ensemble of SVCAHS and Harpers Hall members performing Breton Lullaby, Drummond Castle/Sleep Soond I da Moarnin, and Jupiter.
The audience was very appreciative of the musical variety. A beautiful reception followed the concert and was coordinated by Sue and Ken Dinwiddie, Martha Bailey and Jennifer Hurley.

Chapter members who performed included: Anna Bettisworth, Sue Dinwiddie, Bob Fonda, Gwen Halterman, Carol Holsinger, Tamara Mead, Celeste Everson Misfeldt, Mary Pless, Debbi Ricks, Linda Rollo, Lynne Rovin, Alexandra Romanoff, Brian Swager and Sonya Yu. Lynn Bailey and Brian Swager conducted the pieces and Brian Swager accompanied the ensemble on the organ. Harper’s Hall members included Kevin Holsinger, Verlene Schermer and John Metras.

Individual videos of the concert selections have been uploaded to Youtube and can be viewed on our chapter’s Youtube channel at: We hope you will listen to them, if you were unable to attend the concert.

We appreciated the contribution of Diana Stork and Portia Diwa’s arrangement of Como Llora una Estrella, and Verlene Schermer’s arrangements of Breton Lullaby, Drummond Castle and Sleep Soon I da Moarnin. Verlene also kindly gave a brief presentation to the audience regarding the different types of harps and how they work.

The Multicultural Music Fellowship Foundation and support from the SVCAHS and Harpers Hall, made the appearance of the Tolosas possible.
We are already looking forward to next year’s continuation of this wonderful tradition, and encourage all members to consider joining the ensemble either during the holiday season or for String Fever concerts.

2013 Student Education Sessions

The 2013 Student Education Sessions were held in February and March 2013. We had excellent participation and a great turnout for the recital given by the participants on the second date. The sessions were adjudicated this year by Jessica Siegel.
The 2014 Student Education Sessions will be held February 9 and March 10 in San Jose. The adjudicator will be Meredith Clark.
2013-14 Youth Events

Joyce Chen, student of SVCAHS member, Daphanie Lin, performed the Gliere Harp Concerto with the San Jose Youth Symphony, and won their concerto competition. You can view her outstanding performance here.

Our Chapter has dedicated this year as "The Year of the Youth". We are encouraging our young harpists to share their talents and love of the harp with our local communities.

On December 8th, several of our young harpists were asked to play at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara for Family Art Day. The following harpists performed: David Ren, Sunny Wu, Katherine Healzer, Naomi Sun, Tifany Jia, Elise Abramson, and Lorraine Chiang. They all played beautifully and professionally and were well received by those attending the exhibit. The acoustics and ambiance of the museum made for a very memorable experience.
Harp Live! Sessions

On Sunday, April 6
th, members of the SVCAHS and BACAHS (Bay Area Chapter of AHS) joined together at the beautiful Moss Beach home of Gwen and Chuck Halterman. The weather was idyllic and the music and snacks were as varied as the harpists and guests. The Halterman home has a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and the sun on the water was something to behold. You never know what you can learn or experience at a Harp Live. At this one we learned a little about riffing on Amazing Grace from Laura Simpson. Karen Gottlieb was Johnny-on-the-spot to help Beverly Gaines fix her harp that had fallen the day before. Linda Rollo played tantalizing parts from her newest volume of Spanish Music for the Harp (it’s volume 4!). Debbi Ricks played a medley of Misty, Jamaica Farewell and Never on a Sunday, and Ken and Sue Dinwiddie played a jazzy rendition for flute and harp. We also got a chance to play on some Heartland carbon fiber harps as well as Gwen’s beautiful gold LH style 11 and her little rescue harp (you’ll have to ask her the story about that). We met 3 new friends who live and play harps right in the Half Moon Bay area. And you just never know who is going to show up, like special guest Malcolm McAfee, husband of the late, great harpist Marcella DeCray.
Harp Live is a wonderful, friendly experience that is Harp Live and we invite you to join us for the next one.

What is “Harp Live!”?

“Harp Live!” or “performance practice” are quarterly gatherings where chapter members are invited to bring their favorite pieces to share or play for the group. Sessions include solos, harp duets, and/or chamber ensemble pieces. All are welcome to bring music they are working on, or just come to listen and enjoy the company of other harpists. Remember, you do not have to perform; you can participate by coming to hear others play. You will always hear or learn something new. Most participants give a history of the piece or the composer, how they found the piece, or why they enjoy playing it. And, if you do play, it does not have to be a polished performance! Wonderful refreshments are served and harps are provided. It is a great time to rekindle your harp spirit.

Check out our Harp Live Gallery and Reviews

String fever 2012