Dear chapter members, It’s pretty amazing that in two years our AHS chapter will be 50 years old, just six years younger than the society itself. We have a long, proud history, and it’s the time of year to see to it that it continues. Membership chairs Patti Warden and Melissa Walsh are gearing up for this year’s renewal campaign. You may wonder, “What does the chapter do for me?" Well, it brings in guest artists, for starters. In recent years the chapter has provided opportunities to learn from and hear concerts by Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Robbin Gordon-Cartier, Julia Kay Jamieson, Heidi Lehwalder, Louise Trotter, Ray Pool, Alice Giles and Deborah Henson Conant, to name some. The chapter has run annual Audition & Evaluation (formerly called Adjudications) sessions, provided opportunities to perform at meetings, and held workshops including improv, playing with orchestras, surviving weddings, and computer music programs. Of course, we put on the 2010 AHS National Conference that brought dozens of world-class performers to Tacoma for you to hear. And let’s not forget the many students who have benefited from our annual scholarships. Monthly Resonances always have something new, whether music titles from well-known arrangers, ideas on practicing, caring for your harp, spotlights on our members, upcoming events or the marketplace to buy, sell or rent harps. So many opportunities and ways for students, teachers and harp lovers-all to learn, improve and enjoy harping! Just another membership perk. But none of this happens without your participation and membership. Please consider re-joining now - in August - before the fall rush gets under way. Fees are still only $15 and $10, the best bargain around. Patti and Melissa will breathe sighs of relief, and there’s a good chance you’ll get your new chapter directory by early November. The membership form is available on our website www.ahsseattle.org under Join Us. It’s super easy and you can pay by Paypal or check. Do it now before you forget! Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer! And please let us know if there’s something you’d like us to present this year! We’ll do our best! Joyce
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
AUGUST 2016 CALENDAR
Monday-Friday, August 8-12 PARTICIPATORY PETER AND THE WOLF, a summer music workshop for youth musicians, is happening on Mercer Island. Not just for harpists, the workshop welcomes instrumentalists ages 10-14 to explore the soundscape of Prokofiev’s beloved work and will culminate in an informal performance on the final day. The workshop is taught by Leslie McMichael and guest Seattle Symphony teaching artists, and tuition is $350. Details and registration form at http://www.pluckmusic.com/peter_and_the_wolf.php Saturday, August 13 Breton harper Tristan Le Govic presents two afternoon workshops at 1:30 and 3:30 and a 7:30 evening concert. St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, 722 N 145th St, Shoreline. In the afternoon learn a Breton tune, then learn Breton dancing. Other instruments welcome to accompany the dance. Registration will begin in July. Contact Joyce for more info. Wednesday, August 17 7:00-8:30 Monica Schley plays Healing Tones for a 47-minute guided meditation through the chakras. The session is a tonal attunement on the 7 chakras, each lasting for approximately 7-min. She will blend therapeutic harp techniques, voice, guided imagery and hand mudras. $12 @ East West Bookstore, 12th Ave. NE, Seattle Saturday, August 27 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Monica Schley leads in “Improvising In Life & Music” (Group Music Class for musicians of all levels who play any instrument and/or sing). Helps you develop comfort with improvising, co-create songs, and trust in your own ability to make new music on the spot. At Dusty Strings, 3406 Fremont Ave. N. $35. Call to reserve a spot. 206-634- 1662
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.