Chapter Events 2012-2013

Holiday Harp Ensemble

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Holiday Harp Ensemble Performances
by SVCAHS members


December 20th, 2012

San Jose Museum of Art
2nd Floor of Rotunda

The San Jose Museum of Art periodically sponsors "Art Inspired Events". We were invited to provide ensemble holiday music on December 20th on the second floor of the rotunda.

Eleven of our Silicon Valley Chapter members performed in ensemble. Rev. Dr. Lynn Bailey conducted the ensemble and Ken Dinwiddie played the flute. Harpists joining the ensemble included Martha Bailey, Kristal Barlaan, Anna Bettisworth, Sue Dinwiddie, Carol Holsinger, Jennifer Hurley, Tamara Mead, Debbi Ricks and Brian Swager.

The evening began with an hour-long concert by “Wind in the Strings”, featuring Sue Dinwiddie on harp and Ken Dinwiddie on flute. They played a lovely selection of holiday favorites in the foyer of the museum. The ensemble then played twenty-nine holiday selections arranged for harp ensemble and accompanied by Ken Dinwiddie at the flute. The music was well received by the audience at the museum, amidst the beautiful “Christmas in the Park” celebration taking place outside the museum.

Martha and Lynn Bailey, Debbi Ricks, Lynne Rovin and Brian Swager did a lot of behind-the-scenes work to help make the event a success. Many of the selections performed by the ensemble have been edited into medleys and posted on Youtube. They can be found on our chapter’s new SVCAHS Youtube channel. We hope that more chapter members will participate in these enjoyable ensemble opportunities in the future.

We are scheduled to bring our holiday ensemble back to the San Jose Museum of Art on December 19, 2013 from 5-8pm.

Review of Dr. Wendy Chuang's April 7, 2013 Workshop
“How to Protect Yourself From Getting Injured While Playing the Harp”

by Martha Bailey

Carpel tunnel syndrome, and others syndromes related to the neck, shoulders, hips, etc. are seen in harpists. Dr. Wendy Chuang has been taking harp lessons from Sonya Yu in order to have a deeper understanding of how harpists play the instrument. After getting her own experience of playing the harp, she has diagnosed a thorough plan for other harpists to prevent injuries from practicing the harp. She has also designed some exercises specifically for harpists to work on building up the strengths of their body parts.

Stretch, Push up, Pull up, and Dips, Pose…not words usually used by harpists when they get together, but the 14 who attended Dr. Wendy Chuang's informative presentation on April 7, will not forget the importance of those words and their distinct meanings for harpists.

Dr. Chuang's presentation began with participant's submission of specific physical problems they were having, which they assumed were from playing the harp. Then participants were given an overview of general anatomy, demonstrated with fabulous software, which could turn the body parts to show opposing muscle groups, color coordinated to show how they work together.

We then learned that proper alignment begins with placing the hips correctly on the harp bench and then adjusting the rest of the body to that position, which includes proper breathing.

Normal "pressure points" of pain and stress were pointed out, followed by exercises, which should be done daily as "preventative medicine" of major problems. Participants followed Dr. Chuang's lead as we all experienced the difference exercises so that we could feel the "stretches" in our own body. It was quite revealing that many of the stretches we have all experienced in various PE classes, do not work specifically on the muscles that we all use daily as harpists.

The program ended with a question and answer period. There were many handouts and the material presented was most informative and complex.

When we have an opportunity to bring back Dr. Chuang for another workshop, I am sure everyone, including those of us who attended the April workshop, will not want to miss it. Bravo, Dr. Chuang, and thank you to Sonya Yu for arranging this most enlightening program!

Dr. Chuang received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Physiology form UC, San Diego and then her Doctor of Chiropractic in 2000 from Palmer College of Chiropractic West. She is the founder of Natural Health Pros in Sunnyvale and has served as a part-time faculty at Palmer College of Chiropractic West for many years. She is an active volunteer in many international organizations, such as American Cancer Society.

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AHS Concert Artist 2011-2012
Elizabeth White Clark

The Silicon Valley Chapter of the AHS was excited to present the new AHS Concert Artist, Elizabeth White Clark, in concert September 29, 2012, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in San Jose. Elizabeth was the 2011 winner of the American Harp Society competition Young Professional division, which entitled her to serve as the AHS Concert Artist, receiving the opportunity and financial support to perform chapter recitals for a two-year term.

Elizabeth White Clark studies harp performance at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia under the direction of Elizabeth Hainen and Judy Loman. Previously, Elizabeth studied with ShruDeLi Ownbey in Salt Lake City for 13 years. Recent venues of performance include: Field Concert Hall, The Kimmel Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Temple Square Concert Series. Achievements and honors include: First place in the American Harp Society (AHS) National Harp Competition Young Professional Division, "Concert Artist" for the AHS 2011-2013, Utah State Music Sterling Scholar Finalist, Winner in the National Lyon and Healy Scholarship Competition in 2009 and 2011, second place in the AHS Advanced Division in 2009, and first place in the AHS Intermediate II Division in 2007. Elizabeth soloed at the World Harp Congress in Dublin, Ireland in 2005, at the USA International Harp Competition in the “Stars of Tomorrow” concert in 2004, and with the Utah Symphony, in the Salute to Youth concert in 2004.


Concert Review

AHS Concert Artist, Elizabeth White Clark, presented a beautiful concert September 29 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in San Jose. Ms. Clark began the program with Spanish Dance No. 1 by Manuel de Falla. She then played two Scarlatti Sonatas, which had been transcribed from piano. Her technique in these fast and complicated pieces was flawless. She finished the first half of the concert with Impromptu by Gabriel Faure.

The second half of the concert began with
Impromptu by Hugo Reinhold (arr. Elizabeth Hainen). She then played Le Jardin Mouille by Jaques de la Presle. Her final piece was Introduction, Cadenza and Rondo by Elias Parish Alvers. The audience was enchanted by the technical mastery and artistry this gifted harpist achieved with each musical selection. Her exciting encore was Bernard Andres’ Duke.

The concert was followed by a reception for chapter members and guests.

More pictures from the concert

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Harp Live! Sessions

Next Harp Live:
Sunday, November 17 at 3:00 pm
543 Jackson Dr., Palo Alto

What is “Harp Live!”?

“Harp Live!” or “performance practice” are quarterly gatherings 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.

Check out our Harp Live Gallery and Reviews

Third Annual String Fever Concert a Great Success!

String fever 2012

The String Fever harp ensemble concerts keep getting better and better. Our third annual concert was given Saturday, May 19, 2012 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in San Jose. Diana Stork, harpist-composer and director of the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble, was a featured guest artist. Teed Rockwell, percussionist, and five other members of the BAYHE joined Diana, in addition to fourteen harpists from our chapter.

The audience was very appreciative, and donations from the event went toward the Student Scholarship Fund of the Silicon Valley Chapter. A reception followed the concert and was coordinated by Sue and Ken Dinwiddie.

Chapter members who performed included: Martha Bailey, Kristal Schwartz Barlaan, Annamarie Bettisworth, Sue Dinwiddie, Bob Fonda, Gwen Halterman, Carol Holsinger, Paul Hurst, Dan Levitan, Anna Lorenz, Tamara Mead, Debbi Ricks, Linda Rollo, Diana Stork, and Brian Swager. Lynn Bailey, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, accompanied the ensemble on the organ. Videos of the concert have been uploaded to Youtube and can be viewed at:

Paul Hurst’s arrangement of Bolero for multiple harps and organ was performed for the second time, with the added contribution of Teed Rockwell on percussion. Two of Diana Stork’s original compositions; St. Martin’s Tango and Wedding Bells, as well as Pierre Beauchant’s Triptic Dance, were performed by all twenty harpists and percussion. Diana Stork and Portia Diwa performed Ms. Stork’s arrangement of Pescadero del Rio Apura, a lovely Venezuelan composition. Dan Levitan and Tamara Mead performed Jay Pierson’s harp duet arrangement of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. Also featured were Pachelbel’s Canon in D, arranged by McDonald/Wood, Campra’s Rigaudon, arranged by John Escosa, Holst’s Jupiter, arranged by Kim Robertson, Robert Barclay’s Mission at Santa Fe, and the Louck’s arrangement of Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen. We are already looking forward to next year’s continuation of this wonderful tradition.

Review by Tamara Mead