Sylvia Woods Harp Center 
May 2018 Newsletter
A Personal Note from Sylvia
Hawaii Map Volcano
Last month I told you about the historic flooding here on Kauai.  And this month, the volcanic eruptions on the Big Island have been in the nightly news throughout the country. Luckily for us on Kauai, we are over 300 miles away from the volcano.  The people in the eruption area of the Big Island are not so fortunate.

In honor of the volcano, my arrangement of Lava, from Disney-Pixar's short film that was shown in theaters with Inside Out, is part of this month's 15% off sale.  (See the sale section below for more sale items.) 
Many of you have said how much you enjoyed learning about Hawaii last month.  So check out the bottom of this newsletter for a Kauai flood update, and more fun info about the Hawaiian islands. 


Franco Extravaganza RobinHappy Birthday to Me
May is my birthday month. In honor of this personal milestone, my harp arrangement of Happy Birthday To You is part of this month's sale! (See the sale section below.) 

Do you want to know how old I am?  The final answer of this quiz will tell you my age!

Start with the number of pieces in my Christmas Carols book
ADD the number of pieces in my Irish Melodies  book
DIVIDE by the number of pieces in my Holiday Favorites book
ADD the number of pieces in my Romantic Songs book
SUBTRACT the number of pieces in my Chanukah Music book
ADD the number of pieces in my O'Carolan Tunes book
SUBTRACT the number of pieces in my Andrew Lloyd Webber book
ADD the number of pieces in my John Denver Love Songs book
SUBTRACT the number of pieces in my La La Land sheet music
ADD the number of pieces in my Music from Disney-Pixar's Brave booklet
SUBTRACT the number of pieces in my Music from Disney's Frozen booklet
And . . . finally . . . TAKE the number of pieces in my new Favorites from the 50s book,  
          divide that number by 4, and SUBTRACT that amount from the previous total
The final number is my age! 
As they say in Hawaiian: hau`oli la hanau . . . Happy Birthday (to me)! 
PDFs Extravaganza RobinMore new music PDFs: Anna Dunwoodie
Anna Dunwoodie 
I'm happy to announce that I'm now selling PDFs by New Zealand harpist, teacher, and composer, Anna Dunwoodie.

Fairytales - original compositions for beginners
Harp Moments - 2 volumes of original music for beginners 
Land of the Long White Cloud - 4 books of original music for intermediate players
BegEnz - Beginning Ensemble pieces in 2 volumes
Sightreading for Harp - 4 volumes of music for students to practice their sightreading skills

(These PDFs are NOT part of this month's special sale.) 
thisMonthsSale Extravaganza RobinOur featured arranger: Rachel Hair
Rachel Hair is our featured arranger this month.  She'll be teaching and performing at the July 19-22 Somerset Folk Harp Festival in New Jersey. Here's what she has to say about herself and her music.

Rachel Hair
I was born and brought up in the beautiful fishing village of Ullapool in the North-West Highlands of Scotland. I first got to try out the clarsach (harp) when I was 10 years old at "Feis Rois", a Gaelic music camp. When I signed up I couldn't decide whether to do bagpipes or clarsach. I eventually settled on harp . . . I think my mother was relieved!

The first days of camp finished with a tutors' concert. I remember sitting in the village hall mesmerized by the fingers of the harp tutors dancing over the strings. I was hooked! A week after the Feis ended I was called down stairs as my parents wanted to speak to me about something. I thought I was in trouble, but they were wondering if I'd like to start regular lessons. And so started 5 years of hour long (thank you mum and dad harp roadies!) Saturday morning drives down twisty Highland roads (I used to get so travel sick that I was green for the first half of every lesson!) for lessons with the ever-so-patient Bill Taylor.

At this time, I hired a harp through the wonderful Clarsach Society's affordable harp hire scheme. Many of the professional harpists in Scotland started playing this way, and today the society still has over 100 harps that it hires out. Today I own 2 Scottish-made light-weight "Starfish Glenelle" harps, beautiful sounding instruments that are easy to fly with.

When I was 16 we moved to Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh. This was a major culture shock to me. I left a school of 215 students to join one with over 1800 students in it! I discovered I'd really taken the Traditional music that I was surrounded with in Ullapool for granted. It can take losing something to really value what you did have. I missed the music that I was once was surrounded with.  That made me play and work at sourcing it out even more, learning and arranging tunes from CDs and out of books from the city's music library.

Rachel Hair
Following school I went on to study music in the city of Glasgow. A lot of Highlanders come down to Glasgow as a right of a passage following school and I immediately felt at home there. My father was also from the city. At this time I also started to connect a lot more with Irish music. Some say that Glasgow is the capital of Donegal . . . there's so much Irish music there, and so many folks with Irish roots.  So, with a Northern Irish mother, I fitted in well.

My teacher whilst at university was Corrina Hewat, the teacher who'd first taught me at Feis Rois when I was 10 years old. She was a great inspiration to me and allowed me to discover my own style of playing.

I was incredibly driven whilst at university and was determined not to have to waitress in a restaurant, so I started playing weddings and events. Eventually people heard I was available to teach, too, and so when I eventually graduated I'd picked up enough work to properly turn my passion into my full-time career. I've now settled with my boyfriend in Glasgow (he's also a touring Trad musician) and we have a great network of friends and colleagues working in music and it's surrounding industries in the city.

Rachel Hair
Every week for me is different. My performing and teaching involves a lot of travel (I average 70 flights a year) but I'm lucky that it allows me to see the world.

Right now the main stay of my performing work is with the Trad guitarist Ron Jappy. In recent years I've recorded with my trio, (harp, guitar and double bass), but I've decided to rest this for now to concentrate on work with Ron. We're having lots of fun sourcing through old tune collections, recordings and our memories for finding new sets.

Rachel Hair
I still regularly teach and I have a few private students that I see week to week. They're incredibly understanding students who know that I have to go off on tour at times.

I also visit the Isle of Man once a month to teach harp. The smallest of the Celtic nations (32 x 14 miles), it's an island of 80,000 inhabitants in the middle of the Irish sea with it's own Celtic culture and music. I teach 23 youngsters "Manx" harp music there and lead the harp ensemble "Claasagh". When I started my boss was the harp player Charles Guard. It was through him that I was first introduced to Sylvia Woods! Culture Vannin had recently funded me to publish a book on Manx Harp music and he encouraged me to get in touch with Sylvia and allow all my books (Mostly Scottish Harp Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 and Claasagh Vol. 1 & Vol. 2) to be available for download on her Harp Center website. (See the sale section below.)

I find it's very important to give back to the harp community, and I do this through my volunteer work as one of the organizers of the Edinburgh International Harp Festival. We have such a strong team organizing it . . . a very special harp family!

Rachel Hair
I believe the festival scene is one of the most unique and special things we have in our harp world. Fellow musicians are always in awe that I keep popping off to teach and perform at harp festivals throughout the world. We have a wonderful circuit of them, and I love running into fellow performers, teachers and attendees. We should treasure this part of our harp world, as it can be such a lonely, solo instrument at times. Really do take every opportunity you can to meet fellow harp players at these gatherings, whether it be an actual festival, an online festival or a harp circle event. Oh, and if you see me at any come and say hello. This year I'll be performing and teaching at the Somerset Folk Harp Festival in New Jersey in July and the O'Carolan Harp Festival in Ireland in October.

-- Rachel Hair

Photo 1: With my first ever harp, hired from the clarsach society  
Photo 2: Performing with Manx Harp ensemble Claasagh, at the 2018 Edinburgh International Harp Festival (photo credit: Joost Lighart) 
Photo 3: with duo partner, guitarist Ron Jappy (photo credit: Sam Hurt) 
Photo 4: Sightseeing in Moscow following performance at ArfaVita Harp Festival 
Photo 5: Teaching Scottish tunes to harp students in Osaka, Japan
MonthSaleThis month's sale
This month's sale features Rachel Hair's PDFs, and two of Sylvia's special sheets and PDFs. The code word is rachel
To get the 15% discount on the products below, enter the code word rachel in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by June 11, 2018. For more information, see the 15% Off section at the bottom of this newsletter.       
Mostly Scottish #1
by Rachel Hair
15% off with rachel code
by Rachel Hair
15% off with rachel code
Claasagh #1
 Claasagh Vol. 1 
Manx Music for Celtic Harp
by Rachel Hair
15% off with rachel code

Manx Music for Celtic Harp
by Rachel Hair

15% off with rachel code
Lava Sheet
from the Disney-Pixar short film - by Sylvia Woods
15% off with rachel code
Happy Birthday sheet
 Happy Birthday to You
 by Sylvia Woods  
15% off with rachel code

WhereSylviaKauai Flood Update
Things here on Kauai are starting to get back to normal in the flood areas.  There's still a lot of work to be done, but we are on the "road to recovery."   
Several communities here on the north shore were completely isolated for weeks, and were only accessible by boat or helicopter.  One lane of the road is now open for local residents part of every day, which is a BIG step forward.   
Samaritan 1
I'd like to send a special "thank you" to an amazing group of people who are making a big difference here on Kauai: Samaritan's Purse.  According to their website, they are "a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Here in the US, "Samaritan's Purse mobilizes staff and equipment and enlists thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters in the United States. We often stay behind after our initial response to rebuild or restore houses for needy families."
A wonderful Samaritan's Purse group from North Carolina has been helping people here in Kauai by tearing out waterlogged drywall, removing and suppressing mold, rebuilding walls, foundations, and roofs, and making other necessary repairs. 
One homeowner that they have helped is my friend Rayven Hockett, She has been a harp customer since 1988, and was the first person that I knew on Kauai.  Her home in Hanalei suffered major damage from the flood.  You can read part of her story on the Kauai page of Samaritan's Purse website.  I'm so grateful to Samaritan's Purse for their assistance to Rayven and others.
Samaritan 2
One of my neighbors, Marsha Southworth, has been helping Samaritan's Purse by volunteering to do their laundry.  Since the Samaritan volunteers do hard, dirty, exhausting work, laundry is a daily need. Several of us here in our condo complex have happily donated the use of our washers and dryers to "Marsha's laundry service."  We're happy to do our small part to
help this amazing organization.        
Here are two links from Samaritan's Purse's website regarding their work here on Kauai.
A recent update on their site states:  Samaritan's Purse is also now supporting relief efforts on the Big Island (Hawaii) in light of recent volcanic eruptions. We are distributing thousands of half mask respirators that filter both particulates and sulfur dioxide gas. Residents have already expressed their relief and thanks upon receiving these items. In addition, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are ministering to the displaced.  
Photo credit:  Photos are from the Samaritan's Purse website, and are used here by permission.
WeatherHawaiian Leis
Tourist lei
"May Day is Lei Day."  
Leis have been an important part of Hawaiian culture since the first Polynesian settlers came to the islands. They have been celebrated in ancient chants and are often featured in modern songs.  They are a "tangible expression of aloha, and as such are given to show love, joy, or sympathy, and as greetings and farewells." *  
Since 1928, May 1st has been celebrated as Lei Day throughout the Hawaiian islands. This annual tribute to the lei includes hula dancing, parades, lei-making contests, Hawaiian songs, and more.  
On May 1, 2001, Hawai'i Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka said, "Lei Day is a nonpolitical and nonpartisan celebration. Indeed, its sole purpose is to engage in random acts of kindness and sharing, and to celebrate the Aloha spirit, that intangible, but palpable, essence which is best exemplified by the hospitality and inclusiveness exhibited by the Native Hawaiians -- Hawai'i's indigenous peoples -- to all people of goodwill." 

Leis are not just for tourists. It is customary to bring a lei for birthdays, graduation, retirement, prom, and any other festive occasion . . . or "just because". They are also given as a token of welcome or goodbye (including funerals).  
Last week my book club had a party for my birthday, and to celebrate the retirement of another member.  We both received a variety of beautiful leis from our friends.    
Flower leis are the best-known.  But leis can also be made out of leaves, vines, shells, seeds, feathers, nuts, fabric, or ribbons.   
Leis are either made as a closed circle, or open-ended (as shown below.)  A lei worn on the head (in the photo on the left) is called a haku lei.    
Open Lei
Leis are not just for women.  Men also wear flower leis, as well as leis made of kukui nuts, or leaves.  Grooms often wear maile leis, which are open-ended vine leis.
Most high school and college graduates in Hawaii wear a lei (or MANY, MANY, MANY leis) along with their cap and gown. And it is very common for Hawaiian politicians to wear leis at official events.  
1. A closed lei is worn on the shoulders, draped with half of the lei in the front, and half in the back.  It should not be worn around the neck like a necklace.  
The center of an open lei should be behind the neck.  Both ends should hang loosely and evenly down the front.  
2. It is disrespectful to refuse a lei when it is offered to you. And you should continue to wear it while in the giver's presence. 
3. It is bad luck to wear a lei that you will be giving to someone else.  
4. It is OK to make or to purchase a lei for yourself.  You can wear a lei at any time; no special occasion is needed.
5. Don't give a closed lei to a pregnant woman, as it is unlucky for the baby.  Only give her an open-ended lei. 
6. It is OK to wear a lei more than once.  It can be misted and kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to help keep it fresh.  
P.S. Since the Hawaiian language doesn't differentiate between singular and plural . . .  the correct plural of the word "lei" is actually "lei".  But, even if it is technically incorrect, "leis" is more commonly used in English.     
  *quote from  

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

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 rachel and it is good for 15% off the select books, sheets and PDFs in the sale section above.  Just because an item is mentioned somewhere in this newsletter, that 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 rachel 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 rachel in the Promo Code box
and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by June 11
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 6/11/2018.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
  (808) 212-9525

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