GREATER SEATTLE AND SILICON VALLEY, CHAPTERS OF THE YEAR 2009-2010
The Greater Seattle Chapter and our board of officers would like to thank The American Harp Society for the honor of being awarded Chapter of the Year 2010. Our work in preparing the application was done by our historian, Joyce Rice and outlined many of the activities of our past year such as:
We’d like to take a moment and expound on a bit of history of our chapter. In 2008 the Greater Seattle Chapter of the American Harp Society celebrated its 40th anniversary! In 1968, Seattle harpist Joan Clark began seeing the need for more support and teachers for the then far-flung students learning on the relatively new Troubadour harps. She interested local harpists Lynne Wainright Palmer and Dawn Paggeot in the idea, and on September 17, 1968, Marcel Grandjany and Catherine Gothoffer signed and sent out an Authorization to Organize a Chapter, which was followed on October 30, 1968 by the chapter’s new charter.
In the decades since then, the nucleus of a dozen or so members has grown to almost 200 in 2010-11, and many of the original members are still active today. Ours has been a vibrant chapter, hosting the AHS national conference in 1974, the World Harp Congress in 1996, and the AHS National Conference in 2010, presenting premieres of several works for harp and concerts and workshops by many of the world’s leading classical, jazz and Celtic harp players. We also have had frequent locally-led workshops for teachers and students. Some of our officers have gone on to fill officer positions nationally and internationally, such as Patricia Wooster who has Chaired both the AHS and WHC, Lynne Wainwright Palmer, AHS Chairman of the Board (1989) and Vice-President (1989-1990), and Susi Hussong, Regional Director 2008-2010. Former chapter students like Heidi Lehwalder and Paul Baker have risen to national prominence thanks to fine local instruction, and several of our members are published composers and arrangers. As well, we are one of very few chapters to have held annual adjudications almost since our inception, a good indication of the interest and support of our teachers.
Have you visited the Harp Spectrum website? Chapter members along with some of Seattle’s folk harpers were the founders in 1999 and still manage and maintain it.
In 2010 our chapter was named AHS Chapter of the Year! (along with the Silicon Valley Chapter) for our many activities, including concerts by visiting artists, workshops, camps, adjudication, ensembles, media visibility and for our work in presenting the 2010 AHS National Conference. This follows achieving Honorable Mention status in 2004 in recognition of our having doubled our membership in two years, held student workshops, harp regulations, adjudications, and a concert and teachers’ workshop with Judy Loman.
As we approach our half-century mark, our feet are firmly planted toward the future: International Artists, the company of our current Chapter President, Mark Andersen, videos chapter-related events, like student performances at meetings, or concerts by Pacific Harp Institute participants, or local student ensembles, for its TV program “Crescendo!”, as well as making them available as a Podcast and YouTube videos.
Striving for Chapter of the Year has been an exhilarating endeavor from beginning to end and we hope that our activities will be the motivation for others chapters to do the same.
Joyce Rice – chapter historian
Mark Andersen – chapter president
The Silicon Valley Harp Society is very honored to have been chosen as one of the chapters of the year. We have had a very progressive year, changing our name and logo, but also respecting the original Santa Clara Chapter and its founders. Our logo now includes a silicon chip, representative of the progressive Silicon Valley. We have preserved “Harp Live” programs which happen 4 times a year. Harps are provided in a home and anyone is invited to simply come and play, or just listen. This is a great time of fellowship, an introduction to new pieces and composers and is always accompanied by great refreshments.
Back row, from left: Tamara Mead, Linda Rollo, Stephanie Janowski, Mike Lewis, Gwen Halterman, Beverley Herz, Karen Kueter.
Our concerts this year have been diverse including Destiny, Harpist from the Hood, Deborah Henson Conant, Cheryl Ann Fulton with her triple string harp ensemble, and culminated with our first annual “String Fever” concert by the Silicon Valley Harp Ensemble showcasing Dan Levitan accompanied by Lynn Bailey on the organ. Proceeds from the ensemble program began our Student Scholarship Program and we awarded our first scholarship to David Ren. Music from the ensemble program opened our lending library for members to check out.
We sponsored AHS Student Auditions with Ellie Choate as adjudicator. Twelve students participated and everyone learned from this fine program. We also updated our website and our newsletter format. Newsletters are published four times a year and are most informative and attractive.
All in all it has been a very busy, productive and fun year. Thank you for recognizing us.