Sylvia Woods Harp Center
August 2014

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newA Personal Note from Sylvia Woods

Last month I dedicated this newsletter to my mother in honor of her 100th birthday.  I was pleased to receive emails from so many of you in response.  Some of you just said how my angel tribute touched your heart, and others sent wonderful reminiscences about your own mothers. My mom would have been "tickled pink" to read all of your emails.  I'm sure she's smiling down on all of us, wearing her wings, and finally playing her own golden harp with the angels!

And thanks to all of you who checked in to see if I was OK with the recent hurricanes.  Iselle hit the Big Island, which is on the opposite end of the Hawaiian island chain from my island of Kauai.  Luckily, here we just had a few hours of hard rain and wind.  Some of my customers on the Big Island were not so lucky.  Several communities there are still without power.  It looks like we may have a busy hurricane season this year. My harps and I are prepared and plan to stay safe!

PDFsStella Benson (1947-2104)

Stella Benson It is with great sorrow that I tell you that Stella Benson, one of the leaders of the healing harp therapy movement, passed away from lung cancer on July 27th.

I was proud to have sold her fine books and CDs when my Harp Center was in California.   

Here's a short bio from her own Healer's Way website:
Founder and Director of the International Healing Musician's Program, former executive director for the Music for Healing and Transition Program, and past Chair of the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musician, Stella Benson is a leading educator, author and recording artist in the therapeutic music field. Beginning her healing music journey in 1992, Ms. Benson has provided healing music services to AIDS, oncology, and hospice patients, their families and loved ones. A pioneer in promoting healing music, her healing music recordings, educational books, and her international on-line program have proven to be invaluable to musicians, patients, and healthcare providers internationally.

According to the Stella Benson Harp Therapy Fund Facebook page , her memorial service will be held on Saturday August 16th, 1:30 pm, at Lummi Island Congregational Church on Lummi Island, Washington.  The Stella Benson Harp Therapy Fund will be initiated at Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center. Please see the Facebook page for more information on the service, and how you can donate to the memorial fund to honor and perpetuate her global harp therapy work.

Stella was truly a pioneer, and brought joy and comfort to countless people through her music, her books and CDs, and her teaching.  She will be truly missed.
PDFMore New PDFs

Once again, I've been hard at work adding more harp music PDF downloads to
  SchoolBeth Kollé  Beth Kolle


In this third installment highlighting the composers and arrangers whose music is available through, we're featuring Beth Kollé.  Here's what Beth has to say about herself and her music.    


Like many young girls, I was captivated by the sight and sound of the harp. It was a treat to drive past the home of 'The Harp Lady', which one could easily identify by the large gold harp centered just inside the beautiful stained glass window of the living room. How gorgeous! But I was learning piano, and then flute and guitar. And I was mentally hobbled by the odd notion that I must be angelically perfect in every way to play the harp, so just forget about it, Beth.


Then I met a harpist at my university, and she was a real person, not some angel, with the same foibles and questionable behavior that any other 20-year-old has. Although we played music together for years, it took me a long time to wrap my mind around the possibility of me playing the harp. It wasn't that I doubted that I'd like to learn harp, it was that I was afraid I'd love it, and that the harp would change the course of my life.


Well, guess what! That's exactly what happened when I finally sat down for my first harp lesson from my dear friend Tudy. As Harper Tasche, whom I met some time later, told a mutual friend: '...and she was launched out of a cannon on a harp!' Wheee!

Beth KolleSoon, like within weeks, I was composing and arranging music for the harp -- not great music, but it was at least a good first attempt. I listened to as many harp recordings as I could find, learning the best way to arrange a tune to bring out its best qualities. Along the way I discovered the harp community, found just about anywhere if you look hard enough: pedal, lever, wire, double, cross, triple, amazing community of musicians unlike any other.

I also discovered gig-playing and found I loved playing harp in public. It's so much fun to play for people who have never been close to a harp before. But I wanted to break new ground on the harp, play unusual music.  What could I possibly play that would be unusual and still delightful? On the sage advice of Harper Tasche (just do anything he advises you to do, it will be worth it!) I started the process of melding two of my interests: harp and Scandinavian music.

Delving through my memory of folk music from multiple years of teaching Scandinavian dance, I started arranging those exquisite tunes for the harp. In short time, The Northern Folk Harp collection of arrangements was born. I printed a few copies and handed them out to friends for critique, but someone wrote a lovely review and posted it to the Harplist. Orders started flowing in and I had to scramble to finish the book and bind my first hundred copies.

Several books and CDs followed, and I was invited to play and teach at several harp conferences around the US. A chance meeting with knitter and author Annemor Sundbø led me on a two-week trip to Norway, one of my favorite countries, where I played a concert at a festival in the valley called Setesdal.
Heddal Church
That trip inspired the idea that within a year gave birth to the Harpa Tours. In 2006, 2008 and 2013, harpers from the US and Canada came together to tour Norway, and in 2006 we included a festival in Sweden. We put from 6 to 10 harps on the stage during our whirlwind two-week tours, playing in exotic settings and beautiful medieval churches, gaping at the scenery, and jamming with the locals wherever we went.
Songs of the Midnight Sun
I've just finished my tenth book of harp arrangements, Songs for the Midnight Sun (Afghan Press). It's funny -- just about the time I think I've run out of gorgeous Nordic tunes, along comes a batch of new ones I've never heard before. I find I just have to stop right now and put them on the harp.

To get the 15% discount on Beth's PDFs (listed below), enter the code word beth in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by August 25, 2014. For more information, see the "Save 15%" section at the bottom of this newsletter.   
Northern Folk Harp

These unique arrangements of 25 songs, dances, and airs for lever harp were collected by Beth Kolle. The music, from Sweden, Norway, Ireland and Scotland, is arranged for solo harp, but also includes flute parts for 5 pieces, and duet harp parts for 4 pieces. It is in C or sharp keys, with chord symbols, a few lever changes, no fingerings, and for advanced beginner or intermediate players. Includes country dances, airs, ballads, reels, polskas, and schottishes. Interesting explanations of the tunes are included. For advanced beginner to intermediate. 116 pages. 

Regular Price: $25.00 - Newsletter Sale: $21.25
Scandinavian Folk Harp by Beth Kolle

Scandinavian Folk Harp


This book contains a collection of seventeen of Beth's favorite Nordic songs, ballads and dance melodies, for beginner to advanced intermediate lever harpers. Scandinavian music reflects a rich tradition dating back to the Viking times, with ballads, songs, song-dances, couple-dances, and set-dances. Folkdance and music are a large part of everyday life in parts of Scandinavia. She has chosen favorite songs and dances that adapt easily to the harp and has arranged them with as few lever changes as possible. 77 pages.

 Regular Price: $25.00 - Newsletter Sale: $21.25   
Wandering Folk Harp


Beth Kolle's books are full of pieces that you won't find anywhere else! They are in C or sharp keys, with chord symbols, no fingerings, and only a few lever changes throughout the books. Interesting explanations of the tunes are included. For advanced beginner to intermediate players.

The Wandering Folk Harp
includes 17 arrangements for lever harp from around the world. Seven pieces also have harmony parts for flute or fiddle, and two are also arranged for harp duets. 109 pages.


 Regular Price: $25.00 - Newsletter Sale: $21.25     
Harpa Tunebook


The Harpa Tunebook by Beth Kolle is subtitled
Exquisite Nordic, Celtic and Original Tunes Arranged for Lever Harp, and it lives up to its title! Beth has become well known for her Harpa tours throughout Norway where she leads large ensembles of fine musicians. This book is a compilation of 21 of the tunes from many lands expertly performed while on tour. The keys range from 1 flat to 3 sharps, and only a few require lever changes within the pieces. Chord symbols are included, but no fingerings. Beth's personal explanations of the tunes and the Scandinavian countryside makes this book even more special. 77 pages for advanced beginner through intermediate players. 109 pages.


 Regular Price: $23.00 - Newsletter Sale: $19.55      
Double Strung Harp Book


For DOUBLE-STRUNG harp only. 
A double-strung harp is a harp with 2 parallel rows of strings. This meticulously crafted book by Beth Kolle and Laurie Riley covers the basics of playing this special type of harp. Even though this book assumes the reader is a beginner, it does not cover note-reading. It is filled with short exercises, pieces, and excellent descriptions and drawings which explain the unique sounds this instrument can produce. It focuses on placing, echoing, rolled chords, crossing over and under, scales, wandering thumb, and more. All of these tunes have variations using methods unique to the double strung harp. 127 pages.


 Regular Price: $26.00 - Newsletter Sale: $22.10     
Kolle Ensemble PDF


This PDF is an excellent resource for multi-level ensembles and teachers who wish to play duets with their students. It includes 6 duets and 5 trios, all arranged by Beth Kollé, except for Polonaise, which was arranged by Sue Richards. It includes suggestions for ensemble rehearsal, tips for playing together, and various ways of splitting up the parts to suit individuals in the group. Keys range from 1 flat to 1 sharp. No fingerings. 109 pages. Includes: The Butterfly (duet); Dance from Asker (duet); Carolan's Draught (duet or trio); Loftus Jones II (duet or trio); On the Way to Stavanger (duet); Polonaise (duet); Polska from Säfnäs (trio); Schottis (trio); Oh Shenandoah (duet); Snowfall Waltz (duet) by James Lough; and Waltz for Kuisma (duet or trio). 


 Regular Price: $25.00 - Newsletter Sale: $21.25     
This PDF by Beth Kollé includes 15 Nordic Dances, Songs and Ballads for Every Occasion. Some of the pieces also include flute parts. Keys range from 1 flat to 4 sharps, and a few pieces have some lever changes. The pieces are arranged for advanced beginner to intermediate lever harp players. Chord symbols are included, but no fingerings. 30 pages of music in a 40 page PDF.

Author's Note Songs for the Midnight Sun comprises fifteen Nordic folk melodies, dance tunes, songs and ballads that have captured my imagination over the years. I am completely enamored with the depth and beauty of the music from Scandinavia. It is with great joy that I offer them to you. For me, Scandinavian music is the expression of the unparalleled beauty of the Nordic countries. The exotically different modes and harmonies evoke wild nature, and unseen beings of the ancient folk beliefs. This is music meant to be sung, danced to, or crooned to sleepy children, preferably in an age-old log cabin redolent of sweet, mellow resin and many years of comforting fires. As with all my other books, these arrangements are meant to be adjusted to your own playing style. Use them as a stepping-off point for making the arrangement your own, or use some of my ideas in a different song. Consider yourself warned: many Scandinavian tunes are addictive and tend to roll around in your head. The cure for that, of course, is to find another tune to replace the one in your head. And so on . . . good luck with that.


Regular Price: $20.00 - Newsletter Sale: $17.00
codeOur newsletter promo codes are only redeemable on-line, and can only be used for the products featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone, fax, e-mail, or in-store orders. This month's code word is beth and it is good for 15% off PDFs by Beth Kolle.


Here's how to get your newsletter discount at 

#1. Put the items you want to purchase in your cart. 
#2. On the page where you view the items in your cart, type this month's code word
beth in the "Promo Code" box, and click on "Enter Code."
The actual price of the featured sale products on this page will then automatically change to reflect the discount. You'll also see a note below the Promo Code box saying the name of the promo code you entered, and the percentage amount of the discount.  


REMEMBER:  you must enter the this month's code word beth in the Promo Code box and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by August 25th to get the discount!
If you forget, or if you have trouble adding it to your order,
email us immediately.  
Offer Expires: August 25, 2014
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