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Welcome from the President

Dear SVC AHS Members and other friends of the harp,

Thank you for visiting our website. Our chapter got off to a great start this season with a fun kick-off party at the home of Linda and David Rollo, featuring a recent addition to the California harp scene - popular artist, Ricky Rasura. We have some exciting programs lined up for the Fall and Spring, including workshops presented by esteemed jazz harpist and teacher, Carrol McLaughlin, on January 9/10, 2016. We encourage you to join us and participate in our events, and we welcome your suggestions and ideas for new programming.

We are a dynamic chapter, consisting of over 80 harp enthusiasts including professionals, teachers, students, amateurs, and fans. We were honored last year to receive the Chapter of the Year Award from the American Harp Society for the second time. This past season we sponsored many wonderful concerts, details of which can be found on our Recent Chapter Events page. We hope to see you at many of our upcoming events – most especially at our annual String Fever concert held in the spring.  Stay tuned for more dates!

Mary Pless

President, Silicon Valley Chapter American Harp Society

Upcoming Chapter Events

We have an ongoing calendar of exciting harp-related events, which can be viewed on our Upcoming Chapter Events page.

Past years' events can be viewed using the Events tab.

2014-2015 Chapter Events

Student Education Sessions

On February 7 and March 19, 2016, SVCAHS will once again host the popular Student Education Sessions, part of the AHS curriculum. The public recital will be held at the beautiful Maryknoll Seminary in Los Altos (pictured below) on March 19.

Twenty-one students participated last year. They performed first for adjudicator Dominique Piana, and then 4 weeks later in a public recital. This will be an annually recurring event in February and March.
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Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble (YES)

The SILICON VALLEY YOUTH HARP ENSEMBLE, sponsored by the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Harp Society, has gained recognition and become sought after for community performances since its inception in January, 2014. The ensemble has performed in the chapter's Spring Fever concerts, the 311 Earthquake Relief Benefit Concert, the annual Christmas Celebration of the San Jose Museum of Art, Relay for Life of the American Cancer Society, Chinese New Year Celebration, and many retirement communities. Having received high praise and excellent feedback from recent performances, it was decided to record a CD to more widely share the performances of this group of outstanding young harpists in our chapter. The first piece the ensemble has recorded is Christmas Combo, arranged by its director, Sonya Yu.

The recording session took place on October 4, 2015 at Maryknoll Seminary in Los Altos, which has generously loaned their beautiful chapel to the ensemble. The recording engineer was Heidi Trefethen. The ensemble would like to "Kick-Start" a fundraising drive by releasing the Christmas Combo in iTunes and in crowd-funding medias, to seek public support and donations to raise enough funds to record additional pieces of music for a full-length CD.

The young ensemble members (aged 8-16) not only play the harp well, but also learn the qualities of leadership, management, technology skills, and the discipline to work with professional recording specialists. There is a huge amount of teamwork involved in the project, which seeks to promote the harp and its music. The funds raised will also be saved and used for the chapter's events or scholarship programs to benefit those in the community. You can find more information about joining the Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble, and about its future performances at
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"String Fever"
Annual Harp Ensemble Concert

6th Annual Event featured our talented
Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble

On Saturday May 2, 2015, the Silicon Valley Harp Ensemble performed at our chapter's sixth annual "String Fever" harp ensemble concert. This year's special guests were our Silicon Valley Youth Harp Ensemble (also called Y.E.S., for Youth Ensemble Success), under the direction of Sonya Yu.
The youth ensemble is improving by leaps and bounds and gave a wonderful performance. They performed
Fengyang Drum Dance, The Songs My Mother Taught Me, Music from Totoro, Polka, and a medley from Frozen. Most of the arrangements were done by Sonya Yu.
The adult ensemble joined with the Youth Ensemble on
Frozen and also on Tamara Mead's new harp ensemble arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner. The adult ensemble also performed the five movements of Handel's Water Music Suite, a Scott Joplin Montage for harp, Carolan's Concerto, Spring Daze, the hauntingly beautiful Recuerdos de la Alhambra (originally written for classical guitar), Clog Dance, Canon in D and Offenbach's Can-Can. Video recordings of each piece can be viewed on our Youtube channel.

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Find us on Facebook!

(Our Facebook page is continually updated.)
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2015 Fall Kick Off Event,

"Getting To Know You"
September 6, 2015

at the Saratoga home of Linda Rollo,

featuring Ricky Rasura

The SVCAHS had another great start to the coming year with our Kick-off meeting, which featured San Jose High music teacher and harpist, Ricky Rasura with his wife and vocalist, Amber.

Ricky performed several solos as well as duets with Amber – all original music in their own special style. Ricky enjoys bringing the harp to the club scenes where they perform to enhance the experience of the listeners and show them that the harp belongs just about anywhere.

We had almost 30 members in attendance and well over 40 people altogether – everyone from children to grandparents. The food was fabulous, thanks to our hosts, Linda and David (master griller) Rollo and all the people who brought appetizers, munchies and desserts. Thanks also to our wonderful hospitality chair, Sue Dinwiddie and all of her helpers. And finally, thanks to all of those who renewed their memberships and a big welcome to our new members!

Look for an announcement of our next Harp Live – coming soon!

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Have you renewed your 2015-2016 Membership yet?

Silicon Valley Chapter AHS Membership Form

Silicon Valley Chapter named AHS Chapter of the Year!

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The Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Harp Society designated the 2013-2014 year as "Year of the Youth", a year in which we provided special opportunities for our young harpists, who are the future of our chapter and the American Harp Society. While concentrating on the young, we also continued to provide opportunities for our adult members to socialize with each other, learn together and play music with each other. It was a busy year, but also a year of variety and excitement, and a year of building the local harp community.
For all of our diverse events and offerings to harpists, our chapter was honored once again by the American Harp Society as Chapter of the Year. (We shared Chapter of the Year honors with the Seattle Chapter in 2010.)
You may read about all of our 2013-2014 Chapter Events using this link, and can also see previous years by using the Events tab.
And you can click to find out about all of our Upcoming Chapter Events!

American Harp Society Concert Artist, Alexandra Mullins, Gave a Stunning Concert on March 21 in San Jose

Called, "a rare and brilliant harpist", Alexandra Katelyn Mullins, 20, a junior at Indiana University studying with Distinguished Professor Susann McDonald, and recently prizewinner in the the USA International Harp Competition, gave a wonderful solo performance in San Jose on March 21. Alexandra has performed throughout the US and Europe in many venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. She has received awards, including Frist Place in the Advanced and Young Professional Divisions of the American Harp Society, First Place in the Lyon and Healy Awards, First Place in the 18th Petar Konjovic Serbian International Harp Competition, First Place in the Jacobs School of Music Concerto Competition, as well as numerous regional awards. Performances have included appearances with the Charlotte Symphony, the IU Orchestra, and the Radio and Television Orchestra in Belgrade in 2014.

Participation in AHS competitions since 2005 has contributed greatly to her success as a musician, and she is thrilled to serve and perform in the capacity of Concert Artist for the next two years. The AHS Concert Artist Award is the highest level award granted by the American Harp Society. Alexandra's former and current teachers and coaches include Dr. Carrol McLaughlin, Dan Yu, Sivan Magen, Dr. Maria Luisa Rayan-Forrero, Bette Roth, Christine VanArsdale and Jaqueline Bartlett.

Alexandra Katelyn Mullins in Solo Concert
Saturday March 21 - Immanuel Lutheran Church

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Harp Live!

Next Harp Live Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm
at the San Jose home of Lynn and Martha Bailey
contact for details

What is Harp Live!?

Harp Live!, formerly called “Performance Practice”, is a quarterly gathering where chapter members are invited to bring their favorite pieces to share or play for the group. Sessions include solos, harp duets, and/or chamber ensemble pieces. All are welcome to bring music they are working on, or just come to listen and enjoy the company of other harpists. Remember, you do not have to perform; you can participate by coming to hear others play. You will always hear or learn something new. Most participants give a history of the piece or the composer, how they found the piece, or why they enjoy playing it. And, if you do play, it does not have to be a polished performance! Wonderful refreshments are served and harps are provided. It is a great time to rekindle your harp spirit.

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 Mary Pless,, or Lynne Rovin, Scholarship Committee Chair,

Silicon Valley named Chapter of the Year 2009-2010 and 2013-2014!

Our April 2014 SVCAHS Newsletter can be viewed here:

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