Dear Chapter Members, The air may be just starting to shift as Labor Day comes and school begins again. I hope everyone had a wonderful summer! As we ready ourselves for the school year, our new board has been preparing some exciting harp events. We have our Fall Meeting coming up on October 9, where Joseph Lachman, a former two- time scholarship winner, will share some of his recent overseas experiences , and he and other grads will talk about harp life after high school ; as well , we plan to have a presentation on music therapy through the harp. Later on we have a possible “Harp-a-Thon” coming up in December, an exciting and fun opportunity to give back to our community during the holidays by sharing our music at a local hospital. See more about this below in the newsletter. Then in March, Heidi Lehwalder will give a master class. Lots happening this year so please remember to renew your membership at this time. Let’s hope we have a beautiful fall coming this year! Look forward to seeing you all at the various events. All my best, Robin De Lanoy
Spotlight on Monica Schley:
As a 5-year-old in a small blue-collar town in NE Wisconsin I was dancing and singing to Lawrence Welk. I studied piano, clarinet and organ, and sang in musicals, and when I was 14 I spied a harp in a music store and started lessons with a Celtic harpist, Cindy Anderson. To pay for them I had to get a job just like everyone else. So, at age 13, I began my decade-long waitressing work. I also earned money babysitting and playing church organ. My first harp, a L&H Troubadour, was a gift from my parents, and on my way to college, I traded it in and got my Daphne, which I was able to pay for with money I earned all by myself! Eventually, I got a BA from UW-Eau Claire in English with a music minor. My school had an enormous music program with four jazz bands. I played in orchestra and began my journey of improvisation (in music as well as poetry). My harp professor was Francis Miller (who taught at four Midwest universities and was the principal harpist of MSO for many years). She and my mother taught me the art of discipline, and for that I have a lifetime of gratitude.
The Harp Herald by [Steve] Moss Harp Service July, 2016 Featured Article: The Care and Feeding of Pedal Felts
As part of a standard regulation, I always replace a harp's pedal felts, the red pads that cover the pedals where they sit in the pedal slots. But why? Often, they look just fine. Sure, if they go too long without replacement, they can get torn up and really affect the harp's playability, but short of that, what's the point?
The point is that the felt becomes compressed over time, and this affects how the discs rotate and twist the strings. When pedal felts are new, they act like puffed up pillows, padding the harp pedal as it moves against the notches in the base. Over time, though, like pillows that have been slept on, the felts get pressed down. Spaces between the fibers of felt are reduced. In effect, this lengthens the pedal's "stroke," or full range of motion.
Even though the increase in stroke is only a few hundredths of an inch, this change affects the stroke of the discs in the mechanism, affecting how much they rotate and grip the strings. As the felt compresses, this discs' grip is reduced, which can lead to snapping, buzzing, and compromised intonation.
Besides having your harp regulated on a regular basis, what can you do to prolong the life of your felts? Leave the pedals in the flat position when you are not playing. The pedals are connected to very strong springs which helps them move up when you want to move from sharp to natural, or from natural to flat. If you leave your pedals in a natural and sharp notch, the felts are pressed against wood, which causes compression over time, even if you aren't playing your harp. If your move the pedals all the way up to flat when the harp is not in use, the pedal felts rest against the white slot felts. This padding reduces compression, prolongs the life of the felts, and thus the life of your harp's regulation.
Have You Got Your Copy Yet? Harp Care with Steve Moss is your video guide to every aspect of basic harp care and maintenance. A must for the new harp owner, this DVD covers tuning, replacing strings, cleaning, moving and transporting your pedal or lever harp. https://harpherald.com
SEPTEMBER 2016 CALENDAR
Friday, September 97:30 Catherine Case in concert with friends on flute, cello, viola, violin, piano and mezzo-soprano. Program includes the Saint-Saëns Fantasie for violin and harp, Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp, Ibert’s Trio for violin, cello and harp and more. Schneebeck Concert Hall, SPU. For more info and tickets, http://www.pugetsound.edu/news-and-events/campus-news/details/1500/.
October 7-9, 2016 “Harp Seattle 2016” at Dusty Strings Music Store & School in Fremont. Headlining are internationally renowned harpists Park Stickney, Kim Robertson, Maeve Gilchrist, and Nicolas Carter. Folk harp players, teachers, and enthusiasts will gather to enjoy extraordinary musical performances and intimate workshops. Additional workshop presenters include Harper Tasche, Laurie Riley, Molly Bauckham, Tudy McLain, Catherine Madden, and more TBA. Early bird registration costs $295.00 and begins February 1, 2016. After June 1, registration costs $345.00. Registration includes an all-access pass to the weekend’s workshops and performances. For more information, call (206) 634-1662.