Welcome from the President

Dear SVC AHS Members,

I think we would all agree that we live in a very noisy, busy, hectic, and sometimes dissonant world. On Sunday, January 26, a wonderful event occurred that provided peace, joy, and beauty. It was a very refreshing time away from the hustle and bustle that we experience. Pedals, Pipes, and Strings was performed downtown San Jose at the beautiful historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. It was a program of music for harp and organ. It was as if centuries of history was brought together in the 21st century.
It was truly magnificent. We had a great crowd for the program and everyone enjoyed it immensely. We want to thank Fr. David Bird, Dean of Trinity, Michael Joyce, and the vestry of Trinity for hosting us.
But wait! It isn't over! There is another wonderful and unusual event on the horizon. String Fever is coming up on May 17th at Immanuel Lutheran Church. There will be the wonderful vibrations of 16 harps, with organ accompanying a couple of pieces. It will be great fun to hear A Scott Joplin Montage, and Salzedo's Tango and Rumba. A very special part of the program is the first opportunity we have to hear the YES Youth Ensemble, conducted by Sonja Yu. An emphasis of our chapter this year has been providing harp opportunities for youth.
Honestly, where else would you hear such a variety of wonderful music? Thanks to all in our chapter who are working hard to make these great things happen.


Rev. Dr. C. Lynn Bailey

President, Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Harp Society

Our most recent April 2014 Chapter newsletter can be viewed here:

Recent Chapter Events

David Ren Benefit Concert: From Autistic to Artistic - A Miracle through Music

David Lawrence Ren, a member of our SVCAHS, gave a stunningly beautiful concert on Saturday, May 31 at Le Petit Trianon Theatre in San Jose. He performed on the piano, playing compositions by Bizet, Ching-Ju Shih, Beethoven and Chopin. He played the ocarina, a small wind instrument, on compositions by Schubert, Gluck, and Bizet. His technique on the piano was incredible, and as far as we could tell, David did not miss a note!

He then performed on Sonya Yu's beautiful new harp. He performed these compositions:
Dance with Obstacles, written for David by Sonya Yu, The True Meaning of Love, by Migyao Jian, arranged by Sonya Yu, Spanish Dance No. 1 by M. De Falla, transcribed by Grandjany, and La Mandoline by Parish Alvars. his performance was excellent, and it was a thrill to watch his hands, especially as he played trills. Here again, no notes were missed.

David is an inspiration to us all. He has overcome his limitations of autism by working hard to become an accomplished musician. His inspiration challenges us all not to be constrained by what we feel are our own limitations.

Review by Dr. Lynn Bailey

Under the guidance of Ms. Sonya Yu, David has won many harp performance awards, including Gold Winner of the Yvonne La Mothe Schwager Harp Competition, May 2013, and Second Place Winner in the US Open Music Competition Instrumental Solo, Senior Event, February 2014. David, an autistic man, is able to compete with normal harp players! It is clear that harp has helped him recover from autism. 

David feels that spreading word about the harp is very important. Thus, he would like the money he donates to the chapter to go towards supporting FCSN (Friends of Children with Special Needs) and the Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble. The ensemble, lead by Ms. Sonya Yu, is active in the community, having performed at many public events and participated in community service. David hopes that his support can help the ensemble widen its audience, and to promote the fact that learning harp can be helpful for special needs children by holding workshops and fundraisers. 

"String Fever" Harp Ensemble Concert

5th Annual Event featured our new
Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble

On Saturday May 17, 2014, the Silicon Valley Harp Ensemble performed at our chapter's fifth "String Fever" harp ensemble concert. This year's special guests were our newly formed Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble (also called Y.E.S., for Youth Ensemble Success), under the direction of Sonya Yu and Linda Wood Rollo.
Tiffany Jia, Kiki Kang, Haley Park, Kartika Santoso, Sophia Shan, Naomi Sun and Emily Twu on harps were joined by talented flautist Aditi Mahajan and vocalists Nicole and Elise Adamson. The youth ensemble performed
Triptic Dance, Little Waltz, Angry Birds Theme, Two Guitars and Dona Nobis Pacem. Several of the arrangements were done by Sonya Yu and Linda Wood Rollo, and the additions of the young vocalists on Dona Nobis Pacem, as well as flute on two of the selections was charming.
The adult ensemble consisted of Martha Bailey, Annamarie Bettisworth, Meredith Clark, Bob Fonda, Gwen Halterman, Liehwang Hwang, Dan Levitan, Anna Lorenz, Tamara Mead, Celeste Misfeldt, Alexandra Romanoff, Crystal Steinke, Brian Swager, Linda Wood-Rollo and Sonya Yu. Brian Swager also added organ accompaniment and Lynn Bailey conducted the ensemble.
The adult ensemble performed the first and fifth movements of Handel's
Water Music Suite, a Scott Joplin Montage for harp, Salzedo's Chanson dans la nuit, Brahms' Hungarian Dance #5, a jazzy Cindy Horstman arrangement of Wade in the Water, Paul Simon's Cecilia, Flower Duet by Delibes, and a Puccini Medley. The finale was Salzedo's Tango and Rumba, with Dan Levitan and Meredith Clark featured on the Rumba. Video recordings of each piece can be viewed on our Youtube channel.

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"Pedals, Pipes and Strings"
Harp and Organ Concert

On Sunday, January 26, 2014, a program of Harp and Organ Duets was given by SVCAHS harpists and members of the American Guild of Organists, at Trinity Cathedral, in honor of the late Anne Adams.

Playing harp were Debbi Ricks, Celeste Misfeldt, Martha Bailey, Linda Wood Rollo, Dr. Brian Swager and Gwen Halterman. Gwen's sister, Mary, contributed the beauty of the cello with harp and organ. Organists accompanying harps were Dr. Brian Swager, Rev. Dr. Lynn Bailey, and Michael Joyce, organist and choir master at Trinity. Compositions by Pergolesi, Richter/Stearns, Franck, Schubert, Manz, Bach/Gounod, Holy, Busser, and Grandjany sent beautiful vibrations throughout the cathedral.

Thanks to all who performed and put in an enormous amount of effort and rehearsing. Thanks, also, to Debbi Ricks, who provided her harp for everyone to play.

The program was enthusiastically received by a sizable audience. All of the performances were filmed and uploaded to YouTube. They can be viewed on our SVCAHS YouTube channel at:

Student Education Sessions

On February 9 and March 16, SVCAHS again hosted the popular Student Education Sessions, part of the AHS curriculum. Seventeen students participated this year. They performed first for adjudicator Meredith Clark, and then 4 weeks later in a public recital at the beautiful Maryknoll Seminary in Los Altos Hills. The recital was given to a packed house, and the students' performances were outstanding.
We are so grateful for Sonya Yu, who again headed up all of the administrative work of putting on the Sessions. Sonya would like to express appreciation to Mrs. Rollo, Debbi Ricks and Ken and Sue Dinwiddie for their help with the event. She would also like to thank Vivien Lin (Naomi Sun's mother) who provided the harp transportation, and Kiki Kang, who offered her brand new 85 CG for the use in the recital. David Ren's mother, Jennifer Chen, was the photographer. You can view her beautiful photos from the following link:

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Recent Youth Events

Joyce Chen, student of SVCAHS member, Daphanie Lin, recently performed the Gliere Harp Concerto with the San Jose Youth Symphony, and won their concerto competition. You can view her outstanding performance here.

Our Chapter has dedicated this year as "The Year of the Youth". We are encouraging our young harpists to share their talents and love of the harp with our local communities.

On December 8th, several of our young harpists were asked to play at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara for Family Art Day. The following harpists performed: David Ren, Sunny Wu, Katherine Healzer, Naomi Sun, Tifany Jia, Elise Abramson, and Lorraine Chiang. They all played beautifully and professionally and were well received by those attending the exhibit. The acoustics and ambiance of the museum made for a very memorable experience.

Have you renewed your 2013-2014 Membership yet?

Silicon Valley Chapter AHS Membership Form

Upcoming Chapter Events

June 20 "Café de la Harp" Trio Benefit Concert will include YES Youth Ensemble

On Friday, June 20, 7:30 pm, the Japanese Harp Trio “Café de la Harp” will perform at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1710 Moorpark Ave, San Jose. The concert is a benefit supporting children and schools that lost musical instruments as a result of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For more information, please view the flyer here or For a preview of these excellent musicians, you can view a recording at: Our own YES youth harp ensemble will also perform several pieces with the Japanese Trio.
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Noel Wan Recital June 22 at Trinity Cathedral

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On June 22 at 4:00 pm, Noel Wan will give a solo harp concert at Trinity Cathedral in San Jose at 81 North Second St.. The concert is being given in honor of the late Beverly Hargis (Linda Wood Rollo’s mother), to benefit the SVCAHS Scholarship Fund.
Noel is a 20 year-old SVCAHS chapter member who will graduate in May from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She will graduate as a Bronze Tablet and Edmund J. James Scholar with highest honors.  After her graduation, she will be going to the Yale School of Music for her graduate study.  She is the only student given a full scholarship at Yale this year for harp performance, and will study with June Han.
On May 31, 2014, Noel wowed the judges and was awarded the Grand Prize at the 38th Annual Carmel Music Society Competition. She was awarded $5000 and the opportunity to perform in 2015 as part of the Carmel Music Society's subscription series. The competition was open to instrumentalists between the ages of 18 and 30 who were born, live or study in California, Oregon or Washington.

Liza Wallace House Concert in Los Gatos July 13

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On Sunday, July 13 at 3:00 pm, Liza Wallace will give a concert at the Los Gatos home of Lynne Rovin. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Lynne at As a soloist and ensemble musician, Liza brings a new dimension to the harp's role in contemporary music, striving to expand the possibilities for this unique instrument in Jazz, Folk, Latin, and World Music. She grew up immersed in the vibrant musical culture of the San Francisco Bay Area and now is based in Los Angeles. Liza's music draws from the rhythmically passionate music of Venezuela, Brazil, and Cuba and the melodically enthralling music of North American Jazz and Folk traditions. Her compositions and arrangements synthesize these styles, creating a diverse musical experience meant to inspire laughter, tears, and dance!

Cindy Chen in Concert August 3

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Harpist Cindy Chen will present a solo concert August 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm. The concert will take place at Trinity Cathedral, 81 N. 2nd St., San Jose. All donations will benefit Rosyclouds, an organiation that provides instruments and music lessons for poor young people in Taiwan.
Cindy is a Taiwan-born harpist who attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and then studied harp with Susann McDonald at Indiana University. She performed at the World Harp Congress in Paris. Cindy pursued her masters and doctoral studies in music at USC before returning to Taiwan. She currently performs with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra and chamber ensembles, and teaches at the National Taiwan University for the Arts.

Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble (YES)

The SVCAHS has formed a new student youth harp ensemble called Youth Ensemble Success (Y.E.S.), under the direction of Sonya Yu and assistants. The ensemble rehearsals began in January and continue through June 2014 in San Jose. Performance and community service opportunities will be provided through this ensemble experience. The ensemble is open to harpists of all levels, and appropriate repertoire will be chosen to match the harpist's level.

Harp Live!

Next Harp Live date and location to be announced

2014 Fall Kick Off Event,

"Getting To Know You"
September 14, 2014
3:00 p.m.
at the home of Linda Rollo,

For a review and photos of last year's wonderful event, see the Chapter Events Page

Student Scholarship Program

The Silicon Valley Harp Society is devoted to helping harp students with special financial needs. If you are a harp student with a special financial need and would like to apply for scholarship funding, please provide the following information: 1) Name, 2) Address, 3) Telephone, 4) Email Address, 5) A description of your financial need, your family support, and for what purpose the funds would be used. Please tell us why you would like scholarship assistance and what your goals are as a harpist.

Send this information to Chapter President Lynn Bailey,, or Lynne Rovin, Scholarship Committee Chair,
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Silicon Valley named Chapter of the Year 2009-2010!

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SVCAHS is proud to be a member of the
Silicon Valley Arts Coalition.