Sylvia Woods Harp Center 
August 2015 Newsletter
SylviaA Personal Note from Sylvia

You may have noticed that I'm using a new format for this newsletter.  For those of you who view it on your mobile device, this one should be easier to read.  I've tested it on my cell phone through both Yahoo mail and Gmail.  It looks a bit different on the two formats, but seems to work well.  I did discover that in Gmail only part of the newsletter showed up, and I had to click on the three white dots in the gray box to be able to see the rest.

I'd love to get your comments about the new "look."  Feel free to email me with any comments and suggestions.

Sylvia Woods

article1My wonderful employees and helpers
Since I moved to Hawaii 2 years ago, I no longer have any employees.  So now, if I don't do "it" (whatever "it" may be), "it" doesn't get done!

But for the past 45 years I've had WONDERFUL employees and helpers. In honor of Labor Day here in the US next week, this newsletter is all about some of the amazing harp players who have helped me over the years. 

This month's featured composer is Shawna Selline.  As you'll read in her article below, I met her when she was just 11 years old. She was never an official store employee, but she worked for me on numerous occasions when I had a booth selling harps at street fairs.  The most notorious of these events was 2 years at the L.A. County Fair in the 1980s: 18 days straight, 10 to 12 hours a day, outside in the September heat of southern California!    Shawna was a real trooper, and played the harp pretty much non-stop for hours and hours.  I particularly remember one day when she got so bored she closed her eyes and randomly flipped sharping levers on her harp.  Then she played her pieces!   Needless to say, they sounded "interesting."    The photo above shows Shawna in the Harp Center booth in 1983.

Shawna has recently re-issued her book of compositions for solo harp, and harp and flute, which  I'm proudly selling it as a PDF download.  It is part of this month's sale.  (See below.)

This got me thinking about how many of my former workers have gone on to publish their own music. Here's a list.

Cynthia Artish helped me out at a variety of fairs throughout Southern California in the late 1980s, including Palm Springs, Westwood, Long Beach, and more.

Paul Baker was never officially an "employee" of mine.  But he was the harp teacher at my Glendale and La Crescenta stores for many, many years.  He's definitely a major part of the Harp Center "family."  His sheet music arrangement of Angel by Sarah McLachlan is part of this month's sale.

Deborah Friou was my first real harp employee in the 1980s, before I had the store. I'm proud to say that I'm the one who encouraged her to start making her own harp arrangements!  She specializes in early music, and has become one of the best-known harp arrangers with 8 books and 8 sheets to her credit. (She also worked for me at the L.A. County Fair!)

Suzanne Guldimann worked at my Glendale store from 1994 to 2000 and then again a few years later. She has written and illustrated 8 wonderful books for lap harp.  She's currently working on a book of music from Jane Austen's novels that we'll be selling as a PDF as soon as it is done!

Another survivor of the L.A. County Fair is Margot Krimmel, who was featured in my March 2015 Newsletter.  She drove all the way from Colorado to take lessons with me.  And I roped her into playing at the fair!

And here's a little known fact. Lisa Lynne worked at my store tuning harps in the 1990s!  She lived just around the corner from my Glendale store, and came in twice a week to tune over 50 harps.  I think that was great training for her, since she now travels with 20 harps for her amazing Harps for Hearts program. Her Peaceful Heart PDF is on sale this month.

Aedan MacDonnell was an invaluable employee at my stores for 10 years.  She has a new Celtic Wedding PDF music book which is on sale this month!

Megan Metheney worked at my Glendale store from 2003 to 2004.  She also has a brand new, and very unique, PDF on sale this month: Bernard's Christmas.

Joyce Rice, who was featured in my January 2015 Newsletter, worked at my store in Glendale in the early 1990s. I now sell 15 of her books and sheets as PDFs. Moonbeams is her best-seller on our site, so it is on sale this month.

Heidi Speigel worked for me the longest (25 years), and made it possible for me to leave the store for months at a time to go to Hawaii to write music. Although she has never published harp music, she was the illustrator for many of my books including: 50 Irish Melodies, 52 Scottish Songs, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Beauty and the Beast, Jesu, Chanukah MusicIn the Bleak Midwinter, Dead Poets Society, and my entire series of sheets of American music.

Wow!  That is quite an impressive list.  I am very fortunate to have had these people as part of my team for many years.  My thanks go out to each and every one of them!

thisMonthsSaleThis Month's Sale
This month's sale features six former members of the Harp Center staff.  Three of these publications are NEW and have never been offered for sale here before!  Five of the sale items are PDF downloads, and Angel is a printed sheet that will be mailed to you.

To get the 15% discount on the music listed below, enter the code word helper in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by September 7, 2015. For more information, see the 15% Off section at the bottom of this newsletter. 

saleSale Items: 15% off with helper code 'til September 7
Selected Pieces book
Regular price: $12.00
15% off with helper code
These 8 beautiful, exuberant and challenging compositions were written for Celtic harp by Shawna Selline. Three are harp solos, one is for harp and flute, and the rest can be played either as harp solos or as harp and flute duos.
Regular price: $19.95
15% off with helper code
This new includes music from Scotland, Ireland and other Celtic countries that has been traditionally played for wedding ceremonies, as well as traditional music suitable for processionals, meditation / candle lighting & recessionals.
Regular price: $25 or
$4 for individual pieces
15% off with helper code
These 17 arrangements are from Megan's Bernard's Christmas: Variations on Works by Bernard Andrès CD. Each piece infuses a work by Mr. Andrès with a Christmas carol.
Peaceful Heart
Regular price: $19.95
15% off with helper code
This is a wonderful collection of 15 of Lisa Lynne's flowing compositions and intermediate arrangements from her relaxing CDs.
Angel sheet music
Regular price: $7.00
15% off with helper code
Paul Baker's sensitive arrangement of this popular, gentle ballad by Sarah McLachlan is playable on lever or pedal harp. Beginning to advanced. This is NOT a PDF.
Rice Moonbeams
Regular price: 16.00
15% off with helper code
Joyce Rice has compiled a very clever medley of "Moon" songs:
Clair de Lune, In the Evening by the Moonlight, Blue Moon, Moonlight Sonata and
Moon River.
arrangerShawna Selline - Composer of the Month
Shawna Selline

Shawna Selline is our featured composer this month.  Here's what she has to say about herself and her music.

Though I can't explain it, I know it is true. Even a single note on the harp deeply affects us on an emotional, physical, almost cellular level.
A few years ago, as I was playing in an intensive care unit at Kaiser Hospital, a family was tragically having to endure the "terminal wean" of their son who had been in a motorcycle accident. I had no idea at the time, but the following week, the doctor came to me with gratitude for having played. He told me that as the beeping machines were turned off, the chaos of alarms was replaced with the peaceful, gentle sound of the harp and that it had transformed the experience. Is that not a strange gift to offer at such a time of sorrow? And yet I know it is deep and true.
Shawna Selline
One morning at the Art Museum...
I was eleven years old, walking with my beautiful mom. We came upon a street musician busking. It was Sylvia Woods playing her Celtic harp. I remember feeling transparent as the sound went straight through me. We were not well to do and some said, "Don't buy her a harp, she'll give it up in two weeks." Well, Mom did scrape the money together, and Sylvia began teaching me to play my 25-string Witcher Harp.
Shawna Selline
I began playing at the Renaissance Faire and proceeded to find my community of hippies, artists, heathens, vegans and libertines who are my extended family today. Regarding the harp and learning, like knitting for some, I enjoyed busy hands. My mom would never tell me to practice, because she wisely knew that it was my choice and a relationship between the harp, myself and my teacher. I travelled with my mentor, Sylvia, played at conventions and festivals and eventually won the All-Ireland Competitions in '84.

Shawna video
A note on technique
Having taught now for many years, I see the effect of early technique enabling fast clean playing. Perhaps some will find use in this short YouTube video lesson.

Woldsong Harps
Woldsong Harps
Paul Culotta "Papa" was a mathematician and gifted school teacher. He loved woodworking and began building harps when I was about 13. He taught me how to build harps too. His designs were beautiful and based on the physics of sound. When people asked, "How long does it take to build a harp?" he liked to answer..... "About 60 hours plus another 500 to find the tool I just put down." The photo shows Bobbie Jo Curley and her daughter with some Woldsong Harps. 
Support your artistry with love and compassion
Humans are artists. Artistry comes with living, breathing and seeing. We are part of the natural world at work. As we create, we learn and as we learn, our knowledge expands to other facets of life. When considering art, I think back on two teachings, "Balance in all things", meaning that artistry has it's place in my being, and "What would love do?" Nurture myself/yourself that we may learn, grow and support the garden of our extended community.
Shawna's kids
My husband Mark and I have three beautiful kids. As they grew, they were my life's work while the harp remained constant and supportive. The picture on the left was the day my dear friend acclaimed harper/singer Bobbie Jo played with my three kids in the back yard so that I might record my Meditation album. This recording even today, is to me, a pure expression of peace.
Shawna's kids


Now the beautiful ones are grown and off to college. Music is a joyful endeavor for all of us.
I love having the opportunity to focus deeply on music and I am ever grateful.

July 2015, I was delighted to play with the Chieftains!

Shawna and Chieftains
The Chieftains are the most famous Irish band. They asked me to play with them for a concert at "Taste of Chicago". I was thrilled! Just a week before the performance, I received the"proposed" set list. I locked myself in a room and became one with those jigs, reels, set dances and ballads. I flew to Chicago and met Paddy Moloney and the rest of the band in the hotel lobby. We had one rehearsal. It was extraordinary to hear this beloved music from my childhood start up on stage next to me, and I was the harp player! What a joy! With good preparation, the concert was a breeze!
Shawna's band
This summer has been amazing. I am teaching and performing at several festivals. I continue playing for events and through music, support varied art and film projects as opportunity allows. This year, one of my goals is to work on a new recording to accompany a video of the Big Sur coastline for relaxation and healing. With Lisa Lynn's program, Harp for Hearts we provide harp music in hospitals and in therapeutic settings. I have also been working with my fantastic folk revival group, The Story Wrens, curating historical story songs and bringing them to life!
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
  (800) 272-4277 or (818) 956-1363

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promocodes15% off select sale items when you use the code word:

Our 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 or e-mail orders. This month's code word is helper and it is good for 15% off sheet music and PDFs listed in the Sale section above.
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 helper 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 helper in the Promo Code box
and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by
September 7 to get the discount!
If you forget, or if you have trouble adding it to your order,
email us immediately .   

offer expires at the end of the day on 9/7/2015.