Sylvia Woods Harp Center 
June 2019 Newsletter
PersonalA personal note from Sylvia

I missed a major anniversary a few months ago.    
I took my first harp lesson in February 1969.  So, I've been playing this wonderful instrument for 50 years.  When I walked into the harp room at the University of Redlands for the first time, I had no idea that the harp would completely change my life. These past 50 years have been totally amazing, and I'm looking forward to serving the harp community for another 50.  Well, maybe not 50 more years . . . how about 30 more?
There was another big anniversary recently.  On January 1st, the Dusty Strings company turned 40!  Ray and Sue Mooers started their business making hammered dulcimers in 1979, and in 1985 they crafted their first harp. They've been great friends of mine and an essential part of my business ever since.  Congratulations to Ray and Sue and the whole Dusty Strings gang!  Thanks for making such awesome harps!    
Also, July will be the 20th anniversary of my favorite annual harp event: The Somerset Folk Harp Festival in New Jersey.  Unfortunately, I won't be there this year. But, if you play a lever harp . . . YOU should be there!  Congratulations to the festival directors Gerry Serviente and Kathy DeAngelo for 20 years of fabulous concerts, workshops and exhibits. 
If you want to contact me, please don't reply directly to this newsletter.
Start a new email to  Thanks!  
Burma"Chicago's Secret Wilderness" documentary
Writing the June newsletter about playing the harp on movie soundtracks led me on a trip down memory lane. It inspired me to see what else I could find on the internet about some of my other early harp projects.  This month, I'm telling you a bit about some of my television work in the 1980s.  

Sylvia in Chicago
I gave several concerts in Chicago in 1982 as part of my solo concert tour in the mid-west. Michael Hirsch, an Executive Producer at the Chicago PBS Station WTTW saw one of these shows.  He really liked my Harp of Brandiswhiere suite, and he hired me to create the music for his 30 minute TV documentary, "Chicago's Secret Wilderness." He flew me and my harp out to Chicago for three days to record the soundtrack.  At his request, I improvised most of the music from my Brandiswhiere compositions.

The show aired on October 27, 1982. Here's the description that was in WTTW's monthly television guide magazine, "The Dial."
Within forty-five minutes of Chicago, there are prairie lands, woods, streams, canyons, marshlands, and wildlife as they existed before anyone dreamed of a city. Against a background of railroad trestles and factories, with the city's skyscrapers in the distance, the redwing blackbirds take fligh t, egrets and herons breed, a fox hides out in the underbrush, and deer make tracks in the snow. "Chicago's Secret Wilderness" was a revelation to its producers, and they share their "unexpected and pleasant surprise" with viewers in this WTTW production. The seldom-seen beauty of Chicago's wilderness inspired the words of a famous poet: "The prairie sings to me in the forenoon and I know in the night I rest easy in the prairie arms on the prairie heart." So wrote Carl Sandburg, a man familiar with the moods of these lands. Studs Terkel reads Sandburg's verses in "Chicago's Secret Wilderness," while Sylvia Woods, who plays the Celtic harp, provides the background accompaniment she composed especially for the program.

I recently did an internet search to see if I could find a copy of this old program and came across the website that said: "this videotape is not yet digitized. Please email us to let us know you're interested in watching it, and we'll see if we're able to make it available online sooner." I emailed them, and two days later they sent me an email saying " Chicago's Secret Wilderness has been digitized and is now available"  Wow!  That was quick! 

I asked Media Burn to tell me about their company, so I could share their vision with you, and here's their reply: Media Burn Archive is a nonprofit organization in Chicago that collects, preserves, and distributes documentary video produced by artists, activists, and community groups. This particular tape came to us from Studs Terkel's collection of his appearances on TV shows and movies that he donated to us before he died.
Since the video was old, the digitization isn't of the highest quality. But, it is still fun to see . . . and listen to!  You can watch the entire documentary here:
1982 was a long time ago, so I don't remember a lot about creating this soundtrack.  But here are a few things I do recall.

#1. When I showed up at the TV studio, the recording engineer said: "I'm an expert at recording harps."  He then stuffed the entire sound box of my harp with fist-sized pieces of foam!  I tried to stop him, but he said that he knew what he was doing, that he was in charge of sound, and for me to shut up.  When the producer arrived, and I played my harp for him, he said: "Your harp sounds terrible!"  I told him that was because his idiot engineer had filled the harp with foam!  The producer made him take it out . . . and my harp sounded great!  What was that guy thinking?????

#2. Some of you may remember the Sara Lee desserts jingle from the 1980s:
"Everybody doesn't like something. But nobody doesn't like Sara Lee." 
At one point in the documentary, a muskrat is eating a "frozen fish dinner" from the lake.  The narrator says "Dinner's over. So, it's back to the icy water to look for dessert."  The producer suggested that I play the "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" tag line here. You'll hear it about 13 minutes into the show, followed by a glissando as the muskrat dives into the water.

#3. While I was in Chicago, the producer set it up for me to be interviewed on Studs Terkel's daily WFMT radio show that was syndicated around the country.  I'll tell you more about this in the July newsletter.  So, stay tuned for more!
Romper Room
Romper Room
Here's a fun bit of TV trivia.
The March 1981 episode of the Los Angeles version of Romper Room that featured my harp and me was nominated for a local Emmy Award!  Unfortunately, our episode didn't win.
But, as they always say: "it was an honor just to be nominated!"   
 And, speaking of television, my recordings have been featured on several shows. Ninety seconds of "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" from my 3 Harps for Christmas Vol. 1 was used on Episode #709 of Homicide on December 11, 1998.  And 42 seconds of  "O Tannenbaum" (from Volume 2) was part of the December 14, 2000 episode of General Hospital.    
I also did recording sessions in person for a Rockford Files Movie of the Week and an episode of Murder She Wrote.  
Check out this month's sale for great music from TV shows. 
MonthSaleThis month's sale
This month's sale features songs from television shows.  The code word is TV.      
Since I used my Harp of Brandiswhiere suite on "Chicago's Secret Wilderness," it is part of this sale.  The printed music ( book or PDF) and the recording ( CD or mp3) are all 15% off.

To get the 15% discount on the products below, enter the code word TV in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by July 1, 2019. For more information, see the 15% Off section at the bottom of this newsletter.
by Sylvia Woods
Book or PDF
15% off with TV code
"(Meet) The Flintstones"
"The Addams Family Theme" 
by Sylvia Woods
Book or PDF
15% off with TV code
"Mickey Mouse Club March"
"Ballad of Davey C rockett" 
"Theme from Zorro" & more!
Favorites 50s L Book
Favorites from the 50s
by Sylvia Woods
Book or PDF
15% off with TV code
"It's Howdy Doody Time"
"Dennis the Menace"

Game of Thrones
by Sylvia Woods
Sheet or PDF 
15% off with TV code
Theme from the HBO series  
Charlie Brown Christmas
by Sylvia Woods
Sheet or PDF
15% off with TV code
"Christmas Time is Here"
"Linus and Lucy"  
The Harp of Brandiswhiere
composed by
Sylvia Woods
Book or PDF
CD or mp3
15% off with TV code
RoadsCongratulations to all graduates!
Th is article is part of my ongoing series about Kauai, Hawaii.

In my November 2018 newsletter, I mentioned that billboards are banned on all of the Hawaiian islands.  However, at this time of year, smaller signs congratulating high school graduates show up everywhere.  
Some of the signs are professionally printed with photos of the graduates. Over 100 of these are posted on the chain link fence of a playing field next to the main road in Kapaa.

Grad sign - Angelina
But, up here on the north shore of Kauai, most of the signs are hand-painted on large white bed sheets and placed anywhere near the road.   
Grad sign - Kalina
My favorite sign this year is for Kalina Jones, the surfer granddaughter of a dear friend of mine. Her whole family worked on this beautiful piece of art. 
 Congratulations to graduates everywhere! 
promocodes15% off select sale items when you use the code word:
Our newsletter promo codes are only redeemable online and can only be used for the items featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone or e-mail orders. This month's code word is TV, and it is good for 15% off the select products in the sale section above. Just because an item is mentioned somewhere in this newsletter doesn't mean that it is on sale. It must be listed in the sale section .  

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 TV 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 this month's code word TV in the Promo Code box
and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by July 1
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 7/1/2019.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
  (808) 212-9525

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