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.

Fall Kickoff - October 16, 2022

Our Fall Kickoff was held October 16 at the home of our student chapter member, David Lin. David was the featured speaker, detailing his experience as a performer in the Focus on Youth Concert at the 2022 World Harp Congress in Cardiff, Wales.
You can view David's presentation here. If you have never attended a World Harp Congress, you should find it absolutely fascinating. Lynne Rovin also attended the WHC and her presentation of her experience as an attendee is here.
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In Memoriam - Dr. F. David Rollo

We were very saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Rollo, the devoted husband of our former president, Linda Wood Rollo, and a longtime supporter of our harp community.
David made huge contributions to the field of nuclear medicine, and will be remembered as an extremely loving and devoted father and husband and well as for his brilliant scientific mind, though he remained remarkably humble. He had a special talent for supporting and encouraging others in their fields, and he especially loved music, dance and fine art.
The USA International Harp Competition has started a fundraiser Facebook page for donations in memory of Dr. Rollo. Dr. Rollo joined the USIHC Board of Directors in 1990, became Chair in 1993 and President in 2021. He was a guiding light and dedicated leader, supporting the USIHC in many ways through eleven successful competitions. He was an inspiration to all who knew him and will be greatly missed by the harp world.
A lovely graveside funeral service was held October 28 at Madronia Cemetery. Dan Levitan provided beautiful harp music for the occasion. A link to David Rollo's remarkable biography from his memorial is here.
Our hearts and our prayers go out to Linda Rollo and their family.
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David Lin and Melody Chien are our new AHS Chapter Ambassadors

SVCAHS is excited to have not one, but TWO AHS Chapter Ambassadors for the 2022-2023 season. Both David Lin and Melody Chien have been approved by the AHS to be our chapter ambassadors. We will feature them and their proposed projects in the near future. Ambassadors must maintain active chapter membership, and must engage in and document a volunteer activity of benefit to our chapter, a local harp program, or harpists in our AHS region and/or beyond, before September 30, 2023. Congratulations, David and Melody! We also thank Naomi Sun for being our Chapter Ambassador for 2021-22.

Noël Wan Wins First Prize at USA International Harp Competition!

Congratulations to our longtime SVCAHS chapter member, Noël Wan, who is the 2022 Gold Medalist at the USA International Harp Competition, held in July, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana.

As the Gold Medalist, Noël's prizes included:

* A Lyon and Healy Concert Grand harp, up to a $55,000 value, sponsored by Lyon
& Healy Harps.
* A Debut Recital sponsored by Lyon &Healy Harps
* International laureate Exchange Prize between the USA International Harp Competition and the International Harp Contest of Israel
* Laureate Recital at the 22nd International Harp Contest of Israel
* $6000 prize - Susann McDonald

In addition, Noël was the winner of the $1000 Mario Falcao Prize for the best performance of the winning competition of the 7th USAIHC Ruth Inglefield Composition Contest - Ariel Sol Bertulfo Schwartz; self

A Youtube video of the final contest stage and the award ceremony can be viewed, as well as videos of earlier stages of the competition.

Photo below from left: Founder and artistic director, Susann McDonald, Noël Wan (1st Prize), Huw Boucher (2nd Prize) and Hyejin Kim (3rd Prize).
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Naomi Sun selected to perform at Stars of Tomorrow Concert in Bloomington, Indiana

Our own Naomi Sun was one of five featured international performers in the June, 2022 Stars of Tomorrow concert, given as part of the USA International Harp Competition. The criteria for being selected included being a winner of previous national or international competitions. This wonderful concert, including opening remarks by our own Linda Wood Rollo (Assistant Artistic Director of the competition), and solos by the five performers can be viewed on Youtube.
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Student Education Sessions Recital

Our 2022 Student Education Sessions were held via video submission for Session I, and then with an in person recital for Session II. The recital took place April 30, 2022 at New Community Church in Menlo Park and featured a record 34 performers, from the tiniest and newest harpists through our college bound competition winners. The participants were students from six of our SVCAHS chapter harp teachers; Dominique Piana, Janice Ortega, Kristal Schwartz, Sonya Yu, Esther Lee and Linda Rollo. Ms. Yu heads up the SES project each year, and invests countless hours making sure everything works seamlessly. Other SVCAHS board members volunteered at the recital. Our 2022 adjudicator was Stanford harp faculty and San Francisco Ballet principal harp, Annabelle Taubl. Thanks to everyone who participated to make this such a successful and enjoyable event! More photos can be viewed on our Past Chapter Events page.
SES is an annual event that takes place each winter/spring.
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Special St. Patrick's Themed Harp Live Sunday, March 13 in Moss Beach

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We hosted a special Irish themed Harp Live gathering in person on Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 pm at the beautiful Moss Beach home of Gwen Halterman. This was our first in-person Harp Live since the pandemic began. We had a similar gathering at the Halterman's home a few years ago in combination with the Bay Area Chapter. We hope this will become an annual event. Photos and information about the event can be seen on the Past Chapter Events page.

Congratulations to Judy Liu, Bronze Medal Winner at the 2021 Hong Kong International Harp Competition!

Judy competed in the Intermediate II (19 and under) Division. A link to her video performance can be found here.
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Annual Student Education Sessions

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.

For 2022, we are pleased to announce that Stanford Harp Faculty, Annabelle Taubl, was our adjudicator. Her bio and registration information can be found here. The first session took place via video submission, and the second session was a live recital at New Community Church, 1100 Middle Ave., Menlo Park at 1:00 pm on April 30, 2022. A record 34 harpists participated, from the studios of 5 of our chapter teachers.

Our SES sessions have been very well attended, with performers of various ages and levels. Our adjudicators have been renowned and highly qualified performers and instructors. In 2019 and again for 2020, we had the honor of having Dr. Beverly Wesner-Hoehn as our adjudicator. The 2021 adjudicator was the very accomplished Dr. Kimberly Houser Taylor.

In 2021, Session I took place virtually, via video submission, due to pandemic restrictions. 23 Harpists of all levels participated in the virtual format in 2020, and we were thrilled to have 26 harpists participate in 2021. The Session II recital was held online on March 21 via Zoom and was attended by more than 50 listeners. Cost to participate is $40 for SVCAHS members and $50 for non-members, which includes your student membership.

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.

Recent Events:

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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.

Harp Extravaganza has been on hiatus since 2019 due to the pandemic. Plan to join us in 2022!

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
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President: Gwen Halterman
Vice President:  
Webmaster and Newsletter:  Tamara Mead -
Membership and Treasurer:  Debbi Ricks -
Secretary:  Sue Dinwiddie -
Development:  Lynne Rovin -
Publicity:  Ken Dinwiddie -
Youth Ensemble and SES:  Sonya Yu -
Directors at Large:
Linda Rollo -
Peiyun Sun - Peiyun sun (at) gmail
Daphanie Lin -

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