Sylvia Woods Harp Center 
March 2017 Newsletter
Sylvia   A Personal Note from Sylvia

Harp with shamrocks
I'm sorry that this month's newsletter is so late. It is coming to you just under the wire before the end of March.  I hope you all had a happy St. Patrick's Day, and that some of you made money playing your harp on that festive harp-friendly day!

I'm featuring my own compositions in this month's newsletter.  To begin, I'm sharing a great video by the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble, playing of one of my pieces for an important environmental cause.  Watch the video and read the following article about the great work they're doing to save the redwoods.


RedwoodsPlaying to save the redwoods
The Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble (BAYHE) is a group of young (San Francisco) Bay Area harpists, directed by Diana Stork with the assistance of Jasmine Low.  They are using their music to help save the endangered ancient redwood trees and redwood forests of northern California.

They recently released a YouTube video playing their Harpsicle Harps in a redwood forest.  And, I'm proud to say that the song they are playing is "Dialogue With a Brook" from my "Harp of Brandiswhiere" suite. 

Harps in Redwoods

"Living in a world without these majestic trees would be like living in a world without the beauty of music."

Harps in Redwoods

"The time has never been more important to give back to Mother Earth, for the many generations of children, animals, and all living things to come."

Harps in Redwoods

Please visit to learn more The Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble.
Click on any of the images above to watch the YouTube video.

ThronesHarps in TV Commercials - Issue #2
I got lots of fun emails regarding last month's feature about the harp in commercials.

Diane Moss sent me the following:
Farmers Insurance

"Here's another one... the harp appears right at the start where the nice insurance man (aka the scary guy from "Whiplash") says it's good to take a photo of your belongings."

The harp is a Triplett R-30, and we're pretty sure that my former employee Aedan MacDonnell rented them the harp for this commercial.

And, speaking of Aedan . . .

Mayim Bialik
Another former employee of mine, Joyce Rice wrote:
"I wonder if the plethora of harps has anything to do with the fact that Mayim Bialik's character Amy plays a harp on The Big Bang Theory?"

Well, it just so happens that we rented the harps to "The Big Bang Theory," and Aedan taught Mayim Bialik how to play the three tunes she played on various episodes.   Aedan wrote an article for me in January 2012, telling about her Big Bang experience.  You can read the article in the Fun stuff section of my web site. 

And here's an update.  Aedan emailed me a few weeks ago saying "The Big Bang Theory called yesterday asking if I played autoharp. Ha ha!  After a YouTube video search I realized how incredibly easy they are to play. I called them back saying if they couldn't find an instructor I could probably teach her. So I am now on the lot for the afternoon. After figuring out what chords and strum pattern she needed, I have been asked to stick around for the run through."  Afterwards she emailed, "It went great. During the rehearsals one of the producers turned to me and said, 'great job Aedan.' So for sure it looks like I'm their music go-person. Yay!"  We're not sure when the episode will air, but it should be very soon.

Now . . . back to the harp in commercials.

Jennifer Deel
Another email I received was from Jennifer Deel.  I really loved what she wrote, and asked her permission to include it here.  Thanks, Jennifer!

I look forward to your monthly newsletters for the harp news and articles. I love this month's piece about harps in commercials. Since 2015, I've made it a fun hobby to pay attention every time I saw a harp in a tv show, movie, or book, and I've tried to keep a list. It's like a fun treasure hunt for me. 

I started playing the harp in October 2013 after attending a local Celtic Festival in my hometown of Big Stone Gap, Virginia and seeing a harpist perform. I tracked her down, bought a used Flatsicle and drove over an hour twice monthly for nearly 3 years. I eventually also purchased a Triplett Sierra harp. Your multi-level books have been such a help to me along the way! I had a baby in September and have put my official lessons on hold for a while. A baby is a lot of work! :)

Playing the harp is one of the best stress relievers I have! It is such a comforting instrument!

I wanted to share my list of harp sightings with you! I didn't screen capture or describe the moment a harp came into view, just the name of the show, movie or book.  Here they are:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Saphira's Promise chapter)
Talisien by Stephen Lawhead

TV Shows
Dr. Who Season 2, episode 5  
Dr. Who
Season 7 Special The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
19 Kids & Counting
Parks and Recreation Season 2, episode 15
The Simpsons episode 2601
The Big Bang Theory - Amy 
Bob's Burgers Episode 5X13
Roswell Season 3 episode 6
Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 4, episode 16

King Kong
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Great Gatsby
Cinderella (2015)
The Giver
10th Kingdom
Teen Witch
Tin Man (in one scene a lever harp is being played backwards!)
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
Bicentennial Man

VTech Princess Toy Commercial (castle has a little harp) Commercial
Expedia Commercial
Geico Genie Commercial "a Million bucks"

- Jennifer Deel

arrangerPDF update
Last month, I told you I had added several PDFs by Alfredo Ortiz to my site.

This month's announcement is that in the past few weeks I've also added more PDFs by Deborah Henson-Conant.  The recent additions are:
Deborah Henson-Conant

Gurl's Guide to Amplification
Fur Elise - for solo pedal harp
Off She Goes & She's Gone - for lever or pedal harp duet or ensemble

  Check out Deborah's PDFs on her author page.

P.S. Deborah's PDFs are NOT part of this month's 15% off sale.
ExtravaganzaOur Featured Composer: Sylvia Woods
In my June 2014 Newsletter I started a new feature, highlighting composers or arrangers whose music is available through So far, 18 amazing harpists have been introduced. You can read about them in our previous newsletters.

Several of you have emailed asking "What about Sylvia Woods????"  So, this month I'm featuring . . . myself . . . talking about my original compositions.

I started learning the pedal harp during my freshman year at the Univeristy of Redlands in January 1969. Two years later, my sister moved to Paris, France, and sent me an LP by the Breton harper Alan Stivell.  I fell madly in love . . . with Alan (though he never knew it), and also with Celtic harps.  That's what started me on this journey.

Not Bizarre PDF
 Alan Stivell was also the inspiration for my only composition with lyrics:  Harpers Are Not Bizarre.  In 1982 I drove to Santa Barbara for an Alan Stivell concert. 
Not Bizarre Concert
On the 90-minute drive home, I wrote the lyrics for this silly song. It has nothing to do with Alan, and he definitely is not bizarre, but his concert must have inspired me. Ever since then, I've ended my concerts with this wacky sing-along, complete with shooting an arrow from my harp strings.  You can watch a video of me performing this song on the sheet music or PDF pages of the music, or on YouTube.

Merry Band
From 1976 through 1979 I toured the U.S., Europe, Great Britain and Canada as a member of Robin Williamson and His Merry Band. (By the way, harper and future harp maker Chris Caswell was also a Merry Band member. He's 2nd from left in the photo.)  I was allowed one harp solo per performance.  For the first year or so, I played Alan Stivell's tune "Ys ", which I learned off of his "Renaissance of the Celtic Harp" album. Eventually Robin convinced me to try writing my own music. That was something I had never really considered doing before!  So I sat down at my harp . . . and my first composition was what eventually became known as "Metamorphosis " in my Harp of Brandiswhiere suite.

For the next few years I continued to write the music for the suite.  I wrote "Brandiswhiere's Triumphant Return" in about 30 minutes.  Some of the other songs took over a year to "get right."

Tom Woods, my husband at the time, had the idea for the Brandiswhiere story.  He's the one who named the characters Brandiswhiere and Gourenspur, and came up with the initial concept of a harper who saves the world with his music. Tom, my
Brandiswhiere CD
brother Don Snyder, and I all collaborated on writing the story. We hired Steve Duglas, an amazing artist from England, to create the illustrations.  My brother Don was a recording engineer, and he recorded and produced the LP.  His musical and orchestration ideas were invaluable to me. The book and LP (now on CD) were both released in 1982. The recording has won numerous awards including "Best Fantasy Album" by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, and several Popular Music Awards by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
Christmas Vol 2 CD

My brother Don and I also created my two Christmas recordings: Three Harps for Christmas Volume 1 and Volume 2.  Don suggested that I write an original Christmas tune, so I wrote Winter Bells for Volume 2.

Gecko Tails
Tom and I started coming to the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 1989, and we bought our first house here in 1990.  I had wonderful employees at my store in Glendale, so I was able to come to Kauai for several months per year. This is where I wrote many of my books in the 1990s and early 2000s, and I also got back into composing my own music.  My 2003 Gecko Tails suite was inspired by the cute (but annoying) geckos that live in all the houses here in Hawaii.  The best-known piece from this suite is "Gecko Stroll," which is the tune that you hear whenever you enter my site.  I recorded a CD of the music, which comes with the book.

So, those are all of my original compositions that I've published (so far!).  If you want to know more of my history, you can check out the About Sylvia page.

- Sylvia Woods

thisMonthsSaleThis month's sale
This month's sale features my original compositions.

To get the 15% discount, enter the code word bizarre in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by April 10, 2017. For more information, see the 15% Off section at the bottom of this newsletter.   
Harpers Are Not Bizarre
15% off with bizarre code
Winter Bells
15% off with bizarre code

15% off with bizarre code

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

Our newsletter promo codes are only redeemable on-line, 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 bizarre and it is good for 15% off the Sylvia Woods books, PDFs, CDs, and mp3s featured 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 bizarre 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 bizarre in the Promo Code box
and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by April 10
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 4/10/2017.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
  (808) 212-9525

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