Sylvia Woods Harp Center
April 2021 Newsletter
Somerset logo
I've mentioned several times in this newsletter that my favorite harp event is the Somerset Harp Festival in New Jersey. This year's July 22 - 25 event will be entirely online. I'm happy to announce that I will be presenting two Zoom workshops: Figuring Out Fingering and Transposing Tips & Tricks. I'll also be in my "virtual vendor booth" for several hours each day, so you can stop by and visit with me. If you haven't already registered for this great event, be sure to do so before May 1st to get the discounted Early Bird rate. I hope to "see" you there!

-- Sylvia
The Guinness Harp -Volume 2
Guinness statue
In last month's newsletter, I told you about the Guinness Harp logo. This follow-up article falls into the category of "If you don't ask, the answer is always no."

A few weeks ago, I saw this harp statue in the Guinness display at my local Safeway grocery store. I talked to Lisa, the manager, and asked if I could buy it. She said that the vendor created the display, and she would ask him the next time he came in.

A few days later, Lisa called and said I could come and pick it up -- for FREE! It now has a place of honor in my living room.

The statue is about 3' (1 meter) tall and weighs 22 pounds (10 kg). Through an internet search, I discovered it is made of fiberglass resin. And, I found the same statue for sale on Etsy for $559.99! Wow, I got a great deal!
New music on
Here are some of the great PDFs that I've added to my site this past month.

River Right Rhumba - original harp solo
Willow Weeping in the Wind - original harp solo
La Llorona - ensemble for 3 harps

New Fantasy Novel Featuring a Harper
Moonrise book cover
Last month, I received an email from a customer, Jane Sullivan, saying she had recently completed writing a trilogy of adult fantasy books featuring a harp player: Return to Faërie.
Here's part of what she wrote to me.

The central character is a folk harper, and music (especially harp music) figures very prominently in the books. At this very strange and stressed time in our world, many people will be charmed and uplifted by a voyage to Faërie --- a realm of beauty and wonder, fantastical creatures and fairies. Readers will also be touched by the philosophies of non-violence, ecology, faith, and hope at the heart of my tale.

You will be amused when you read my novel, for you are represented in the first volume --- the heroine is listening to one of your recordings. Although I didn't use your name, every harpist who reads it will know it is you!  

Hmmm -- this intrigued me -- so I asked her to send me the quote from that section. The following is from Chapter One of "Moonrise," pages 20-21.
Elf illustration
   She turned on the music again as she drove: a CD of harp pieces recorded by an American teacher that Eli had worked with in her youth in L.A., and who had produced collections of folk-music for the small harp. This CD was a sampling of short pieces, mostly little dance tunes, which complemented a book of musical arrangements of these well-known Irish airs. Moreover, on this somewhat ‘educational’ CD, the voice of the harpist-arranger would clearly give the title of each piece before she played it. Eli wanted to learn a few of these tunes while at the Abbey of Ligugé, so she was trying to decide which ones would suit her style and tastes.
   But, of course, Eli’s mind was not completely concentrated on selecting appropriate pieces of music to learn. Her thoughts were flying back and forth, from her vision of silver turrets in a frame of kittenish-clouds to the crazy claims of Annick, from the lines of Keats left on her pillow to the colourfully-painted dulcimer-like instrument barely remembered but often evoked by her ‘little moon’, her mother. Eli wished with all her heart that she had even such a similarly hazy memory, any memory at all, of what her father had been like.
   Alas, she had not yet turned two years old when he had died, and so it seemed she had been too young to retain any image of his face, or his eyes, or being carried in his arms and feeling her own chubby baby-arms clinging around his neck…. No memories at all remained to her of him.
  A haunting Irish air, ‘Carrickfergus’, was just finishing on the CD, and Eli sighed resignedly with the final note. “Oh my dear Daddy,” she murmured, and then added in an even more distinct voice, as if asking the vanished moon, or the clouds, or the silver towers, or the silence between the Irish tunes: “What were you like, Daddy? Who were you, really?”
  Abruptly, just as Eli’s question was asked aloud, the bright American accent on the CD made her jump. “The King of the Fairies”, it said clearly.
   And the famous little dance tune began.
book illustration
How fun! Yes, Jane was right. Anyone who has listened to a companion CD from one of my books will recognize the format. Eli was listening to my Irish Dance Tunes CD, and the "bright American accent" is mine!

I can't wait to read Jane's entire trilogy of books. My copies are in the mail to me now.

This month's feature article is a bit different from the usual. Instead of highlighting one of the composers and arrangers whose music I sell, I asked Jane to write something up for us.
Our Featured Author: Jane Sullivan
Jane Sullivan is our featured author this month. Although we don't sell her products, she has a special offer for our readers at the bottom of her article. Here's what she has to say about herself, her books, and her music.

Hello, my dear fellow-harpers!

I'm Jane Sullivan, a 60-year-old artist and calligrapher by profession and a harpist-at-heart! Though American-born, I've lived for the past twenty years in France. In the late 80s, when I left my 'home town' of Los Angeles, I lived for about ten years in the south-west of Ireland --- my family having roots in that enchanted Emerald Isle. From there, I moved to England for a couple of years, and then to France.
I play a 38-string Camac "Mélusine" harp, giving the occasional recital and teaching a few students. I began my harp studies at the age of 19 while doing my B.A. in English Literature at Mt. St. Mary's College. Their small music department boasted an old pedal harp – which no one was using! Therefore, I took my first lessons on the concert harp and practiced at the College. Once I graduated, I didn't have the money to buy (or even rent!) such an instrument. And so I put the harp to one side until a few years later when I moved to Ireland. In one of my first exhibitions of calligraphy and fantasy art in Cork, I sold a large piece (a quotation from Tolkien about elves . . . well, what else?!). The money I received was exactly the cost of a little Irish harp I'd seen in town. So I bought the harp and a copy of Sylvia's Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp, and I never looked back!
harp decoration
That was over thirty years ago, and I've had many harps over the years, made mainly by Camac here in France. Two of my harps "invited" me to decorate them: these were a 34-string and also a little lap-harp (which I've even taken to Western Australia with me, camping and trekking --- with the harp traveling in a back-pack). These projects gave me the idea to really "illuminate" my latest harp, and when I ordered it from Camac, I asked for it "in pieces!" These I covered with Celtic interlace, as well as fairies, a mermaid, a dragon, and a flying horse, before sending the various parts back to Camac to be assembled, varnished, and strung. A few other harpists have also commissioned decorated harps from me, especially if they're looking for something unique and fantastical. For example, I did one for a young harpist who asked for mauve and pale blue dolphins frolicking all up the soundboard!
drawing of harper
I'm the author of many books on calligraphy, illuminated letters, and fantasy art (both in French and in English), as well as a facsimile edition of a 300-page manuscript I created containing the Book of Psalms.

I've now branched out into another exciting direction: fantasy literature! "Return to Faërie" is my first adult fantasy novel to be published. Although I call it a novel, it's actually three books: Moonrise, A Delicate Balance, and Windy Hill Prayer.
Delicate Balance
The heroine Eli, a 50-year-old folk harpist, discovers herself to be not human, but a fairy-changeling. She was exchanged at birth with her parents’ true child, a baby girl stolen away to be raised in the “parallel reality” of Faërie. Eli returns to her true home on three subsequent visits to decide if she wishes to remain in the world of humans or take her rightful place, once again, in the realm of her birth (over six hundred years earlier).

This delightful foray into Celtic legend and fairy tradition contains musical, philosophical, spiritual, and ecological themes. The books will appeal to lovers of Irish, Scottish, and Breton culture and Celtic traditional music. They will also resonate with readers engaged upon personal development paths and the awareness of a rich interior life. Though filled with mystery, tension, and even some conflict, "Return to Faërie" is a gentle tale. It creates an ambiance of peace and hope, non-violence, and deep respect for nature and life in general.

You can find more details about the story on the Return to Faerie website. And to learn more about my other works, artistic activities, and books, please visit my Calligrafee website.
Jane's Special Offer for Readers of this Newsletter:
Jane's Return to Faërie trilogy is presented and described on the website. The three books are available to purchase (separately) on at their normal US dollar, public prices: Moonrise ($18.99), A Delicate Balance ($19.99), and Windy Hill Prayer ($24.20).
Moonrise book cover
Jane is happy to offer harp lovers a special discount on the trilogy at 42.31 euros -- which is about $50 USD instead of the $63.20 USD price for the three books on Amazon.
-- OR --
She is offering the first volume, Moonrise, at 13.79 € -- which is about $16.30 USD instead of $18.99 USD on Amazon.
Both of these offers include free shipping! 

Here's how to get one of these offers
Send Jane an email at telling her that you heard about her books in Sylvia's newsletter. Be sure to let her know your country and currency. She will then give you a private, direct link for secure payment at the reduced price --- for either the trilogy or just volume one.

I hope you enjoy your journey to the land of Faërie!
This month's sale
In the hopes that Jane's books will someday be made into movies --- this month's sale includes music from fantasy and science fiction movies. The following books, sheets, and PDFs by Sylvia Woods are 15% off when you use the Movie code.

Also, since Jane's heroine is listening to one of my Companion CDs, all of my products that are available with a Companion CD are part of this month's sale.

To get the 15% discount, enter the code word Movie in the "Enter Promo Code" box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by April 30, 2021. For more information, see the "How to get the 15% discount" section at the bottom of this newsletter.
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Movie code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Movie code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Movie code
Dragons and harp-playing mermaids are featured in Jane's trilogy.
Here's some music about these fantastical creatures.
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Movie code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
including Puff the Magic Dragon
15% off with Movie code
including Pete's Dragon,
The Reluctant Dragon and
The Little Mermaid
15% off with Movie code
How to get the 15% discount
15% off select sale items when you use the code word Movie

Our newsletter promo codes are redeemable online and are only valid for the products featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone or email orders. This month's code word is Movie.

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 Movie in the "Enter Promo Code" box and click "Apply."
The actual price of the featured sale products on this page will then automatically change to reflect the discount. For example,

   Unit Price: $9.95 (which is the original price)
   Total Price: $8.46 (the discounted price)

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 this month's code word Movie in the Promo Code box and click "Apply" on your shopping cart page by April 30, 2021 to get the discount!
If you forget, or if you have trouble adding it to your order, email Sylvia immediately.  
Offer expires at the end of the day on 4/30/2021.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
Lihue, Hawaii
(808) 212-9525