Sylvia Woods Harp Center
October Newsletter
It is that time of year again. So, I'm reprinting the original poem that I wrote last October.

'Twas two months before Christmas,
And all through the land
The harpists were scrambling
To meet the demand
Of music for Christmas.
They needed to know
New noels and carols
Before there was snow.
They went to the website
For music to showcase
The Christmastime calm.
They practiced and practiced
And practiced with glee
Until they were ready
To play 'neath the tree.
So if you need music,
You know where to look
For Christmas sheet music,
And maybe a book.

Your early Christmas present this year is15% off all
as part of this month's sale when you use the code word HOLIDAY. See more info in the sale section below.

You'll find all of our Christmas music books and PDFs here (but only music by Sylvia is on sale.)


P.S. If you want to contact me, please don't reply directly to this newsletter. 
Start a new email to . Thanks! 

Pumpkin Carols
In 1966, the Hallmark card company printed The Peanuts Book of Pumpkin Carols to coincide with the first airing of the TV special "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." This small booklet included eight Halloween-themed lyrics to standard Christmas carols: O Pumpkin Cards, Great Pumpkin is Comin' To Town, Pumpkin Bells, The Twelve Days of Halloween, Pumpkin Wonderland, I'm Dreaming of the Great Pumpkin, Deck the Patch, and  I Heard the Bells on Halloween.

I was in high school at the time, so I was too old to trick-or-treat. My friends and I decided to go Pumpkin Caroling instead. Each time we knocked on a door, the owner would give us a dirty look and start to tell us we were too old. But as soon as we started singing, they got very excited and often called for other family members to come and listen. Everyone loved us, and we got more candy than we ever did trick-or-treating!
Pumpkin Carols
We also wrote our own Pumpkin Carols. Here was our favorite, sung to the tune of O Little Town of Bethlehem.

O pumpkin patch in my back yard be quite sincere tonight.
The Great Pumpkin will rise from you as he starts on his flight.
I hear the lesser pumpkins, the joyous story sing.
Come visit us. Arise from us. O Thou, Great Pumpkin.

I'll tell you more about pumpkin caroling in the Living in Kauai section at the bottom of this newsletter.
Addams Family
I've been seeing a lot of commercials for the new Addams Family movie that opened in theaters this month. Did you know that I created a harp arrangement of the fun theme from the TV show? Yup! It is in my Groovy Songs from the 60s book. The Addams Family theme is a great piece to play in concert because audiences love to add the finger snaps! In honor of Halloween, I'm including my Groovy book and PDF in this month's 15%-off sale.
Addams Family
Our featured arranger: Felice Pomeranz
first pedal harp
Felice Pomeranz is our featured arranger/composer this month. Here's what she has to say about herself and her music.

When you are a professional harpist, people invariably ask, "What made you want to play the harp?"
Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to play the harp. This fall, (just like Sylvia Woods), I have played the harp for 50 years! I still look at this beautiful instrument and think how blessed I am to be able to go to work every day and love what I do!

I was born and lived first in Los Angeles. When my parents divorced, I chose to live with my mother in Lawrence, Kansas. While there, I began playing a lever harp, studying with the gracious and charming Margaret Ling. When my mother became ill, I returned to Los Angeles to live with my father and stepmother. I was heartbroken and very lonely. Fortunately, we met Dorothy Remsen through the LA Philharmonic, and she introduced me to Marjorie Call. Marjorie quickly became like a mother to me, and the harp became my best friend.

During high school, I attended the Interlochen summer camp in Michigan and met many amazing musical friends. I even played for President Ford (the first of four presidents for whom I've played)!

After high school, I went to the University of Redlands so that I could continue my studies with Marjorie Call. During my freshman year, a few of my pals from Interlochen said that they were auditioning for the Tanglewood Summer Institute. I had no idea that Tanglewood was the summer home of the Boston Symphony (BSO) or that this magical place would change my life! I won a fellowship to study there the following summer. I was humbled and honored to work with Seiji Ozawa, Sir Colin Davis, Klaus Tennstedt, Gunther Schuller, and my idol, Leonard Bernstein! I especially enjoyed having lessons and coaching with Maestro Schuller and the BSO principal harpist, Bernard Zighera. At the end of the summer, Maestri Schuller and Zighera suggested that I should come to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory (NEC). I moved to Boston and have been here ever since!

Shortly after graduation from NEC, I met Deborah Henson-Conant, who also had just moved to Boston, and Carol Kulzer, who played at the Ritz Carlton. We three founded The Gilded Harps, of which I am still the Director and now sole owner. The Gilded Harps is a music consortium of the best professional harpists, string players, flutists, and now jazz musicians, in the Greater Boston area. We provide music for all kinds of events and perform extensively all year long. I am gratified with our success and amazed at how popular the harp has continued to be! Playing in The Gilded Harps has made it possible for me to play for celebrities, politicians, heads of state, presidents, and kings and queens. Please see our website for more information about the company.

Ten years after graduating with my bachelor's degree from NEC, I returned there to pursue a Master's in Jazz Studies. To this day, I believe I am still the only harpist to receive a Master's in Jazz from that venerable institution. 
Berklee students
In the fall of 2001, Berklee College of Music decided to add harp as an instrument in the String Department. I applied for the sole faculty position and was hired in January 2002. We have grown from one harp student in 2002 to eleven this fall and have had as many as fifteen at one time! We now also offer lever harp as well as pedal harp as a major. Harp students can be Performance Majors, but they can also explore Music Therapy, Song Writing, Music Engineering and Production, Film Scoring, Video Game writing, and many other exciting fields of study. I have been so gratified and proud of my students who have gone on to prestigious careers in music. Some of the many students we've had include:

  • Mairi Chambeul (who now teaches at Berklee)
  • Maeve Gilchrist
  • Stina Hellberg Agback
  • Charles Overton
  • Pia Salvia
  • Cesar Secundino Mendez
  • and many other fine musicians!
Kenny Werner
So many great musicians give workshops at Berklee. For example, I was fortunate to work with the wonderful jazz pianist and author, Kenny Werner, on his "Effortless Mastery" clinic. Kenny is a great guy and a frequent visiting artist at Berklee.

Several of my students are collaborating with me on a new project of Contemporary Etudes for today's harp players. It will be suitable for pedal and lever harp and will be available in the next few months. We are all donating our time to this project, and the proceeds from sales of the book will go toward a Berklee Harp Scholarship.

My Berklee Harp book offers technique, exercises, and tunes to teach harpists to improvise. It is being used worldwide as a tool for improvisation.
I also have created the following:

  • recorded several recordings with my jazz quartet
  • produced a beginning Jazz Harp DVD called "Jazzy Beginnings"
  • recorded a jazz harp play-along called "Harp in the Band"
  • written many arrangements of popular pieces from the Great American Songbook
Japan poster
I have met so many amazing harpists at festivals and teaching all over the world. Many students come to Berklee, and others study with me online. I am also on the roster of Master Teachers in the Harp Column Academy. It's so gratifying to watch students progress! 

Playing our beautiful instrument has made my life (and my family's life) so joyful and full of good friends. I will cherish all my great musical memories forever.

  1. Felice with her first pedal harp, giving a workshop and concert shortly after being named Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Harp Society in 2010.
  2. Felice with her Berklee students performing at the American String Teachers' Association Conference.
  3. Felice with Kenny Werner at his "Effortless Mastery" class at Berklee. "The reason I brought the Harpsicle is that it's easier to bring to class and the point isn't what you play, but your intention as you play it!" 
  4. Felice's jazz quartet: Barry Smith (bass) Felice, Yoron Israel (drums), Marco Pignataro (saxes)
  5. Felice with the poster for her concert in Japan, 2019
This month's sale
This month's sale features Felice Pomeranz' Berklee Harp book and Christmas and Chanukah music arranged by Sylvia Woods. It also includes Sylvia's Groovy Songs of the 60s book or PDF. The code word is HOLIDAY.  

To get the 15% discount on the products below, enter the code word HOLIDAY in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by November 3, 2019. For more information, see the "How to get the 15% discount" section at the bottom of this newsletter.
by Felice Pomeranz
15% off with HOLIDAY code
by Sylvia Woods
15% off with HOLIDAY code
including Addams Family theme
Santa Hat
Pumpkin Caroling in Kauai
This article is part of my ongoing series about Hawaii .

First of all, here's some information about the Hawaiian government. The governor, state House of Representatives, and Senate are all based in the capital city of Honolulu, on Oahu.

The eight major islands of Hawaii are divided into five counties. Honolulu is the only city with local government; the rest of the state is administered at the county level. The highest official in each county is the mayor, elected in a non-partisan election every four years. Here on Kauai, the seven-member County Council has the legislative authority. Our current mayor is Derek Kawakami.
JoAnn Yukimura
JoAnn Yukimura was the mayor of Kauai when my husband Tom and I bought our house in Hanalei in 1990. She was the first female mayor of Kaua'i, and the first Japanese-American woman mayor in the U.S. JoAnn was Kauai's mayor from 1988 to 1994. She also served as a Councilmember intermittently for 22 years from 1976 to 2018.


Although we lived in California, Tom and I spent almost every October on Kauai throughout the 1990s. In 1991 our friends Mimsy and Pierre invited us out to a restaurant. Their other dinner guests were Mayor JoAnn Yukimura and her 7-year-old daughter Maile. We started talking about Halloween, and I told the story about going pumpkin caroling. Maile was very excited and wanted to try it.
JoAnn and Maile
On Halloween evening, JoAnn and Maile came down to our house. We practiced a few carols using the lyric sheets that I had printed. Then, we went pumpkin caroling to the homes of several shut-ins that JoAnn knew in the neighborhood. Caroling with the mayor and her lovely daughter was so much fun! (The photo of the two of them shown here was taken about the same time.)

There’s a P.S. to this story. The day after we went pumpkin caroling, someone wrote a nasty “Letter to the Editor” in our local paper. It said something like this: “Last night, Mayor Yukimura’s car was seen parked in Hanalei. We are sure that she was having a secret, illegal meeting with developers.”
Boy, if they only knew that she was actually bringing joy to shut-ins by pumpkin caroling!

You can make this Halloween extra-special by going pumpkin caroling with your friends and family . . . with or without your harp! Make up your own lyrics, or do a Google search for “pumpkin carols” to find lots of fun songs.

How to get the 15% discount
15% off select sale items when you use the code word HOLIDAY

Our newsletter promo codes are redeemable online and are only valid for the items featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone or email orders. This month's code word is HOLIDAY , and it is valid for 15% off the select books, sheets, and PDFs 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 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 HOLIDAY 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 HOLIDAY in the Promo Code box and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by November 3 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 November 3, 2019.

Sylvia Woods Harp Center
Princeville, Hawaii
(808) 212-9525