Sylvia Woods Harp Center
February 2015

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Sylvia Woods Harp Center logo
newA Personal Note from Sylvia Woods Happy - large

In the past two newsletters I announced that my newest arrangements were available as PDF downloads.
I'm now happy to tell you that the lovely Irish That Night in BethlehemChristmas carol That Night in Bethlehem and Pharrell's hit song Happy are now also available as printed sheets as well as PDF downloads.

I hope you enjoy this new music!
PDFSomerset Folk Harp Festival  

What are you doing this July????

I'm very exited that, after a 5 year hiatus, I will once again be attending the wonderful Somerset Folk Harp Festival in New Jersey this July.  I'm also proud to announce that I will be the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Thursday night concert!  I feel very honored to join the ranks of the previous recipients of this annual award.

I'll perform a set on the Thursday night concert, and present a workshop on how add your own fingerings to music. I will also have a booth in the exhibit hall selling all of my books and sheets; so I'll be easy to find!

The Somerset Folk Harp Festival has always been my FAVORITE festival, convention, or camp.  If you play the lever harp, I highly recommend that you join us in Parsippany, New Jersey from July 23-26, 2015.  I'd love to meet you in person.

As you'll read on the Harp Festival web site, there will be over 100 workshops for players of all levels, presented by 37 harp players from around the world.  Some of these greats include:  Grainne Hambly, Deborah Henson-Conant, William Jackson, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Kim Robertson, Sunita Staneslow, Angi Bemiss, Rhett Barnwell, and many, many more!  Don't miss this opportunity to schmooze and learn from the best of the best.

Early-bird reservation ends on May 15, so be sure to register today
teacherAre You a Harp Teacher?    Harp Teachers

Every week we get requests from students all over the U.S. (and the world) asking for a referral of a harp teacher in their area.  To help facilitate this, I'm adding a teacher list to our website.   If you are a harp teacher looking for new students, I would like to include you in our list.  The listing is FREE if you complete our short survey to tell us about yourself and your teaching.

I've been working on this list 24/7 for the past 2 weeks, and so far there are over 250 teachers on our list . . . with more are coming in every day.  I'm currently concentrating on teachers in the US, but the list will also include international teachers, as well.  
If you would like to be included in our listing of harp teachers, please click on this link and complete our questionnaire.

If you're a harp student looking for a teacher, check out our list.  Just be aware that this is currently just a small sampling of the teachers who will eventually be included.  So check back often.

If you notice that your favorite teachers are not on the list, encourage them to sign up.  I want to make this the most comprehensive teacher list on the web! 
PDFs2 New Stories about O'Carolan
In the past 6 months, two new e-books about Turlough O'Carolan have been released. I really enjoyed reading both of them.  

Stone of Kings Stone of Kings

In the January 2013 newsletter I introduced you to harpist Shea McIntosh Ford who had just written Harp Lessons, a "young adult romance" about a harp player.  At that time she told me that her next story would be "an Irish historical fiction fantasy with Turlough O'Carolan as one of the characters."

I'm happy to announce that her new book, The Stone of Kings, is now available from Amazon for only $3.99.  She describes it as "more of an adventure story with Turlough O'Carolan as a key character.
Twelve-year-old Ardan is hopelessly distracted because he wants to meet a real faerie. But when he gets his hands on a mysterious red book loaded with faerie spells and accidentally sends himself three hundred years into Ireland's future, he soon learns that there are more important things on which to focus his attention. Throw in some immortal druids, fun storytelling, a touch of forbidden romance, along with the music and antics of the legendary Irish harper, Turlough O'Carolan, and you'll become swept up in a very real Irish mythological adventure.

 O'Carolan: A Screenplay   O'Carolan screenplay        


The second new eBook is a screenplay by Paula DiSante.  In 1993 she attended one of my "I've Always Wanted to Play the Harp" workshops and then came to a Patrick Ball concert at my store. Here's part of what she says in the foreword of her screenplay. 

Between songs, Patrick told stories about the life of Turlough O'Carolan. Some were humorous, others dramatic and tragic, and some lyrical and mystical.


Then he told one story in particular -- recounting an event that, unbelievable as it seemed, really, incredibly, happened to Turlough O'Carolan -- that made my writer's heart do a flip. As soon as Patrick told it, I leaned over and whispered to Sallie: "That is so romantic. That would make a great screenplay."


When, weeks later, I still couldn't get that story out of my head, I was compelled to do some research, to see if there were enough bones upon which to hang a screen story about an itinerant harper in late 17th century Ireland.


There were. So I put them all down on paper, and wrote this screenplay.  

O'Carolan, A Screenplay is available for download from Amazon for $3.99. It is written in the style and format of a screenplay, so it can take a little getting used to.  But I found that I got comfortable with it very quickly.  Here's the book description:  

When smallpox blinds Turlough O'Carolan, a young man from a poor family in late 17th century Ireland, he loses more than his sight. He loses Bridget Cruise, his beautiful bride-to-be, and all his hopes for the future.

But his patroness, who gave Turlough his education, refuses to let him succumb to self-pity, and sends him off to be schooled as a harper - a revered vocation in the long history of the Irish people.

The mystic, captivating music he creates with the harp - the symbol and soul of Ireland - restores Turlough's hope, brings him great renown, and sets him on a new road.

But that road has unforeseen destinations, and Turlough is swept around a bend he was almost fated to travel. And two paths of the heart - long thought abandoned and overgrown by time - unexpectedly reappear, rise up, and cross again.  


In honor of these two new eBooks, I'm adding my 40 O'Carolan Tunes book, PDF, CD and mp3 to this month's 15% newsletter discount.  To get the 15% discount, enter the code word morrison in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by March 9, 2015. For more information, see the "Save 15%" section at the bottom of this newsletter.
  SchoolJo Morrison  Jo Morrison


This is the 7th installment highlighting the composers and arrangers whose music is available through  This month we're featuring Jo Morrison.  Here's what Jo has to say about herself and her music.    


I can't remember a time when music wasn't present in my life. From the time I was an infant, my mother kept music playing in our house every waking hour. This music ranged from classical to pop and covered most genres in-between, so I was exposed to a lot of styles. We didn't have any neighbors my age when I was very young, and I can remember swinging on the swing-set and singing at the top of my lungs, and also wandering through the woods making up tunes and words as I rambled.


Jo Morrison That said, I never set out to be a musician professionally. I enjoyed accompanying groups on piano starting in 5th grade, but always saw it as a fun hobby, not a profession. I took a break from work after we bought our house to build an addition on the house, and my husband gave me a harp during this project. I would spend all day working on anything from plumbing to plastering, and finish the day playing the harp for about an hour prior to going to sleep. I slept better then than I have ever slept before or since. The harp was a natural fit for me.


  It didn't take long for me to be in demand to play for local weddings and events, since I lived in a rural area where harp wasn't known. People also started asking for recordings, which was unexpected. By that time I was having a fair bit of pain while playing. I feared my time harping would be severely limited, so I made my first recording (The Three Musics) to have something to remember my playing by. The recording process led me to write down my arrangements, which resulted in several well-received music books. I ended up finding the solution to the pain through help with Alexander Technique, and spent several years relearning to play the harp as well as relearning to walk, sit, stand, and drive.  

 Jo Morrison

Simultaneously there were requests for a local harp teacher. It was hard to say "no" when there weren't any nearby teachers, so I took the plunge. I found I enjoyed sharing my passion for the harp, and made it my mission to make sure no one else had to relearn to play the harp due to minor physical issues and lack of relaxation.


 I also found that many adult students couldn't learn as rapidly as the existing tutor books progressed, so I started arranging pieces to meet their needs. These arrangements filled the gaps between levels with interesting folk tunes in very simple arrangements, while my students learned comfort in hand position and the coordination between two hands with proper technique. This led to my book,

The Beginning Harper's Tunebook


Jo MorrisonHarp will never be my only passion - I love many kinds of music (I'm currently learning to play the organ) as well as a wide variety of other things, from writing to photography. However, I could never imagine the harp not being a major part of my life.


 Archimedes said that with a long-enough lever he can move the world. I've found that I can do something much harder -- with a lever harp, I can move the heart.


-- Jo Morrison


To get the 15% discount on the following books and PDFs (listed below), enter the code word morrison in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by March 9, 2015. For more information, see the "Save 15%" section at the bottom of this newsletter.   
Three Musics

Jo Morrison's collection of 35 Celtic tunes contains harp arrangements from all of the 3 musics required of ancient harpers: the music of mirth, the music of sorrow, and the music of sleep. Most pieces are in the key of C, or 1 or 2 sharps, and are for advanced beginner to intermediate players. Jo's composition The Three Musics is in 1 flat, with some lever changes needed. There are no fingerings. Also included are music parts for other instruments for 12 of the tunes and lyrics for 10 of them. Notes about the tunes are listed at the back of the PDF. 79 pages.  

Product #p7113
Regular Price: $13.95
Newsletter Sale: $11.86
Flights of Fantasy by Jo Morrisone

Flights of Fancy  


This collection of 25 original tunes was inspired by Scotland, the Northern Lights, waterfalls, friends, mountains, Renaissance festivals, and dancing bison.

The tunes range from emotional airs to upbeat strathspeys and reels, all painting vivid musical pictures.

The pieces vary in difficulty, but most are at an advanced beginner to intermediate level.

There are no fingerings, and no lever changes needed.

Chord symbols are included. The keys range from 3 flats to 2 sharps. 59 pages.


 Regular Price: $16.95
Newsletter Sale: $14.41
Christmas Gifts 


This is a collection of 26 Christmas and winter tunes for the holiday season, including both easy and more elaborate arrangements of most pieces. There are also 11 scores for other instruments, including bagpipes! Lever changes (which are mostly in the "more elaborate" arrangements) are marked. There are no fingerings. The keys range from 2 flats to 4 sharps. Chord symbols are included. Jo has written helpful historical notes for each tune, as well as an index of alternate titles. 79 pages.


Regular Price: $16.95 Newsletter Sale: $14.41
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 morrison and it is good for 15% off PDFs by Jo Morrison, as well as Sylvia Woods 40 O'Carolan Tunes products.


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
morrison 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 morrison in the Promo Code box and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by March 9 to get the discount!
If you forget, or if you have trouble adding it to your order,
email us immediately.  
Offer Expires: March 9, 2015
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