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The West Coast Harp Society is British Columbia's umbrella for all things harp. We feature performers and teachers, an event calendar, a mailing list which you can subscribe to, and items of interest about the harp in Vancouver and all around the province. Welcome!

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News & Events by Members

Please add all the harp news you want to share!! (click on the title to see the list of news and events or add your own)

1303/04/2018 by Elizabeth Volpé Bligh

Harp Day in Vancouver!!! Oct. 20th 

Harp Day is coming to Vancouver!

Sat. Oct. 20, 2018 - Unitarian Church at 49 and Oak. Easy to get to by transit or car, lots of parking, and easy entry with your harp!

This is a day to celebrate all things harp. There will be workshops for adult students, younger children, panels for parents who are thinking of harp lessons for their children, panels about making a living playing harp, an ensemble class for everyone, and more. The day will conclude with a concert featuring the 4 students who recently received funding for summer studies and competitions.

all the details - and tickets - here




Cello and Harp Festival a big success 

Thanks to all who participated in the Cowichan Cello and Harp Festival Feb. 23 and 24, 2018.  We had students from Powell River, Harrison Lake, and Vancouver, as well as from all over the island, from Courtenay to Sydney. Bravo to all who attended - it was a wonderful sound and playing experience with 18 harps and 9 celli!

Morag Northey was the harp clinician and Marilyn Rummel led the harps, and conducted the big ensemble.  The weekend featured instrument workshop classes, a great deal of ensemble playing and 2 concerts, one a more traditional one, and the 2nd a theatrical concert written by Morag Northey. There were parts at all levels from beginner to challenging for 4 pieces, and Morag and Marilyn are definitely ready to offer the workshop in other locations -  contact Marilyn if you are interested.

Student Harpists at work  

Elizabeth says "Here's a photo of Hayley and Madison in Vancouver Philharmonic, playing The Planets by Holst, on Feb. 25 at 2:00 at the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver"

5 harps playing Wagner 

Something for everyone - and did you know that in one piece he actually asked for 6 harps?  Fabulous. If you are in Vancouver Friday night, go hear the UBC Symphony: Elizabeth writes -

The UBC Symphony Orchestra will be playing an all-Wagner program at the Chan Centre on Feb. 9 at 8:00 pm. There will be five harps in the section: Noelle Kelbert, Hayley Farenholtz, Madison Dartana, Renee Qin and Elizabeth Volpé Bligh. Pieces with harp: Magic Fire Music, Siegfrieds Funeral March from Götterdämmerung, and the aria “Abendlich strahlt die Sonne Auge” from Das Rheingold. 
Here they are at rehearsal Tuesday night.

Sasha Boldachev - Fantastic Concert and masterclasses!! 

Here's what Lori Pappajohn had to say about the concert last Sat Feb 3rd

"That was probably one of the best harp concerts that I've ever been to. Sasha is pure genius. What an amazing player! Not only does he have a built-in genius for the harp, but you can tell he has put in thousands of hours of hard work. His playing is effortless and so virtuosic as to make you want to fall off your chair in amazement! His arrangements of pieces where the harp 'becomes the whole orchestra' are astounding (i.e. Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers). Everything is by memory. He has millions and millions of notes in his head -- and all in the right order! And he practices in the dark! Sasha is also one of those rare musicians who have total command of both the classical and non-classical world. Sasha is opening new doors in the harp world -- and what we see through those doors is fantastic. I hope he comes back to North America soon!"

Some harping resources  

Anna Dunwoodie writes from New Zealand: I am trying to promote my new project – the Harp Music Club.  I’d really appreciate if you would be able to inform your members about it.  You pay a monthly subscription and you get 3 new pieces delivered to you email address each month. Details here:

The virtual harp summit is a seven day extravaganza of harp players doing short lectures or concerts - a festival in your living room. Free for the day it is on, and reasonable for life-time access. Nathania Ko is doing a bit on the Kunghou. Sept 14 - 21

Kate Kunkel is doing a similar thing with her Virtual Harp Retreat   Sept 8 to 13???  Again free the day of, pay for ongoing access

Marilyn Rummel is experimenting with a new format for lessons - a more self-paced alternative to skype with combo of video and recordings by teacher and student and short on-line chats. She'll report in with successes and failures as it unfolds!


Canadain Premiere Konghou Concert was Fabulous! 

Nathania Ko is a Vancouver harp student, now studying the Konghou in Bejing. She performed the first Canadian solo Konghou concert Saturday night to a receptive and amazed audience. A newish invention, the Konghou is a blend of the modern pedal harp and the guzheng, and takes its name form the ancient harp which was similar to the chang (ceng).

The pieces were mostly chinese compositions, some traditional and some new, and feautured all the hallmarks pf the Konghou - bending notes, using a pick at times, and the throughout a emotional and evocative picture of the Silk Road. Rosanna Chiu joined her for the last piece in a beautiful Konghou and pedal harp duet. Brava to both!!


What is this website for??? 

Often we've had an idea to sponsor a concert or a workshop and we've struggled to get the news out. Or a local harper has a concert with a disappointing turn-out. Someone has a harp for sale, and someone else is looking for one, and they never connect.  These are all problems we've encountered in recent years, and this is our attempt to help the situations above.

You'll find listings of local teachers and performers, harp events, and more. The website will be as useful as we jointly make it. The newsletter will go out alerting people to additions in concerts, or items for sale, or workshops coming up. Let's connect the harping community on the West Coast. I feel there are more of us than we think. Please add your name to the mailing list, (and you can cancel if we write boring news) and let's see how many we are!