Sylvia Woods Harp Center
June 2021 Newsletter
moon and palm trees
As I mentioned in the November 2020 newsletter featuring the Hawaiian names for moon phases, my father was a space scientist. And so, lunar and solar eclipses were a big deal when I was growing up. My parents went on a cruise once to see a total solar eclipse in the middle of the Atlantic ocean!

Last month, there was a total lunar eclipse here in Hawaii, lasting from 1:11 to 1:26 am on May 26th. And I recently learned about another local astronomical event on our nightly news: Lāhainā Noon. You can read all about this fascinating phenomenon in the article below.

By the way, have I told you how much I LOVE living in Hawaii?!?!? I'm so glad I moved here in 2013!

Aloha from Kauai.

-- Sylvia
Broken Strings
broken string
I received this email from one of my favorite harp students, Regina.

Last night around 3 am an absolutely massive sound woke me up. It kept reverberating a while, and then it stopped. This morning I found a harp string had detached from the soundboard. Interestingly, it was the high B, the very string I replaced in 2015. So it had a good life. :-) But wow . . . talk about a sound experience . . .
-- Regina

Since I usually have about a dozen harps here at my house in Kauai, this is a relatively common middle-of-the-night occurrence for me.

Regina's email reminded me of a funny story from my past. After college, I lived with two friends in a small house at the end of a dark cul-de-sac. There wasn't much room, so I kept my pedal harp right next to the head of my bed. One weekend when my roommates were out of town, someone broke into our next-door neighbor's house. I freaked out. The next night, I was awakened about 2 am by a HUGE bang. I thought it was a gunshot. I can remember lying in bed and running my hands over my body to find any bullet holes. I eventually got brave enough to get up and look out the window. I then checked out the living room. Nothing. When I turned on the light in my bedroom, I saw that one of the pedal harp's bass wires had snapped. Those wire strings make a REALLY LOUD explosion when they break, especially about two feet away from your head! I was very relieved that I hadn't been shot, but I don't think I got back to sleep for a long time.

String Necklace
I recently had a conversation with two friends I've known for over 40 years: Paraguayan harpist Alfredo Ortiz and his wife, Luzma. I've been selling Alfredo's music for many years, and I sold Luzma's exquisite harp jewelry when I had my store in California. While we were chatting last week, Luzma mentioned that she once made a necklace using a broken harp string and small metal parts from a pedal harp. She sent me this photo but asked me to tell you that this fun string necklace was made as a joke and is NOT a good representation of her harp jewelry.

Our conversation got me thinking that I should start saving broken harp strings to "string" Hawaiian flower leis! (I've never made a lei, but, who knows, I could start any day!)
Luzma has a special offer for our newsletter: 10% OFF all jewelry on her website (except for items already on sale) through the end of June when you use the code Luzma21.
(PLEASE NOTE: This code is only valid on the website. It is NOT for
Here's a song I wrote one night at about 3 am, sung to the tune of the popular 1950s song "Mack the Knife."
Now my harp has many strings, dear, and they're strung so very tight.
Now these strings make pretty sounds, dear, but not when they break in the night.
Lāhainā Noon
Lahaina Noon map
Twice a year, in May and July, the Sun passes directly overhead in Hawaiʻi. On these two days, around local noon, the Sun will be exactly overhead, at a 90° angle, and an upright object such as a flagpole will have no shadow. This phenomenon only occurs in the tropics; the Sun is never directly overhead on any other part of the planet. Hawaiʻi is the only U.S. state in the tropics and thus the only state where this occurs. In 1990 Bishop Museum held a contest to give a name to this phenomenon. The winner was “Lāhainā Noon.”
(Quoted from the Hawaiian Bishop Museum website.)

The word Lāhainā means "cruel sun" or "relentless sun," and is the name of a historic fishing town on Maui.
World Latitutes
The "sub-polar point" is the scientific name for what Hawaiians now call the Lāhainā Noon. Every year, it travels through the tropics, between the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° north) on the June Solstice and the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° south) on the December Solstice. Because Hawaii is in the northern hemisphere, the Lāhainā Noon happens here in May and July.
Lihue Post Office
It takes a little over two weeks for the Lāhainā Noon to travel through the Hawaiian Islands. This year it started on the Big Island of Hawaii (18.9° north) on May 14th, slowly moving north to Kauai (22° north) on May 30th. In July, it will travel from Kauai on the 11th, moving down the island chain through the 27th.

This is a picture of the Lihue post office, near my house on Kauai. I took the following photos of the base of the flagpole during the 30-minute period from 12:22 to 12:52 pm on Sunday, May 30th. You'll see the shadow shrinking, then disappearing at 12:35, and then growing on the eastern side.

Please visit the Bishop Museum website for more fascinating information about Lāhainā Noon.
shadow at 22 minutes
12:22 pm
westward shadow
shadow at 36 minutes
12:26 pm
shorter westward shadow
shadow at 33 minutes
12:33 pm
tiny westward shadow
shadow at 35 minutes
12:35 pm
shadow at 41 minutes
12:41 pm
short eastward shadow
shadow at 52 minutes
12:52 pm
longer eastward shadow
This month's sale
This month's sale features songs about the sun. Save15% off of these books and PDFs when you use the Shadow code!

To get the 15% discount, enter the code word Shadow in the "Enter Promo Code" box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by June 30, 2021. For more information, see the "How to get the 15% discount" section at the bottom of this newsletter.
including "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" and "The House of the Rising Sun"
15% off with Shadow code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
including "I'll Follow the Sun"
15% off with Shadow code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
including "Sunrise, Sunset"
15% off with Shadow code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Shadow code
by Meg Robinson
15% off with Shadow code
by Beth Kollé
15% off with Shadow code
How to get the 15% discount
15% off select sale items when you use the code word Shadow

Our newsletter promo codes are redeemable online and are only valid for the books, sheets, and PDFs in the Sale Section above. They are not valid for phone or email orders. This month's code word is Shadow.

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 Shadow 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 Shadow in the Promo Code box and click "Apply" on your shopping cart page by June 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 6/30/2021.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
Lihue, Hawaii
(808) 212-9525