Studio Recital 4:00 June 7, 2015

These students played on the 4:00 recital which was short in length but long in talent!

Harp Recital
Sunday, June 7, 2015, 4:00 p.m.
Reston, Virginia

The old pond/A frog jumps in/The sound of water………………………………… McDonald-Wood

Barcarolle……………………………………………………………………………… Marcel Grandjany

Katherine Nelson

Charlie and the Windmill………………………………………………………………Isabelle Frouvelle

Snowflake Fairies……………………………………………………………………… Bonnie Mohr

Macey McIntosh

Carnaval…………………………………………………………………………………Isabelle Frouvelle

Mountain Stream………………………………………………………………………. Skaila Kanga

Charlie Goes on a Long Run…………………………………………………………… Isabelle Frouvelle

Victoria Tozeva

Sinueux the Serpent…………………………………………………………………… Isabelle Frouvelle

Marelle No. 11………………………………………………………………………… Bernard Andrès

Leland McIntosh

Glissando Waltz………………………………………………………………………….. W. A. Mozart

Reverie………………………………………………………………………….. Alphonse Hasselmans

Nadia Thompson

Gigue……………………………………………………………………………………. Bernard Andrès

Olivia Tilley

Clair de lune………………………………………………………………………………. Claude Debussy

Shirley Burt

This entry was posted on June 10, 2015.


These students played at the 2:00 recital and proudly display their hard-earned trophies and medals awarded for practice minutes in the month of May.

The Program:

Harp Recital
Sunday, June 7, 2015, 2:00 p.m.
Reston, Virginia

Charlie in the Woods………………………………………………………… Isabelle Frouvelle

Charlie Lost in the Woods………………………………………………….. Isabelle Frouvelle

Night Falls………………………………………………………………………. Isabelle Frouvelle

Charlie Finds His Way Home………………………………………………. Isabelle Frouvelle

Lottie Parrish

Sound the Trumpets……………………………………………………………….. Skaila Kanga

The Anvil………………………………………………………………………. Marcel Grandjany

A Feast Fit for a King…………………………………………………………. Isabelle Frouvelle

Kelsey Kwan

Lullaby for Violet………………………………………………………………. Jane Weidensaul

Sinueux the Serpent…………………………………………………………. Isabelle Frouvelle

Lea Kung

The Keys of Heaven………………………………………………………….. English Folk Song

Barbara Allen……………………………………………………………………….. English Ballad

Spooky City…………………………………………………………………………… Skaila Kanga

Olivia Li

El Número Uno………………………………………………………………… Jane Weidensaul

Daffodil Dance………………………………………………………………………. Skaila Kanga

Riding Sunflower………………………………………………………………….. Kathryn Cater

Elisabeth King

A Feast Fit for a King…………………………………………………………. Isabelle Frouvelle

Midnight Stars…………………………………………………………………. Jane Weidensaul

Glissando Waltz………………………………………………………………… Jeanne Chenette

Natalee Cannon

Being chased/The firefly/Hides in the moon………………………….. McDonald-Wood

Jade Temple……………………………………………………………………. Nancy Gustavson

Annette Wright

Steady Rain……………………………………………………………………… Jeanne Chenette

Max Stratmann

Muscade………………………………………………………………………….. Bernard Andrès

“Sarabande” from Violin Partita #1………………………………………. Bach-Grandjany

Helen Lim

Sarabande…………………………………………………………………………….. G. F. Handel

Fire Dance………………………………………………………………………….. David Watkins

Amy Lim

Studio Recitals June 7, 2015
June 10, 2015

Mary Duplantier on the Millennium Stage, May 18, 2015

Mary Duplantier is a junior in high school and joined my studio three years ago when her family moved to this area. She had previously studied for about eight year.

Mary is Principal Harp in the American Youth Philharmonic, the top youth orchestra in the area. A select chamber ensemble was chosen to perform on the Millennium Stage. Mary is playing the Debussy Danses sacrée et profane, which is second on the program at 14:15.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/videos/?id=M6311&type=A

This entry was posted on May 19, 2015.

Kai-Lan Olson on the Millennium Stage, May 13, 2015

One of my finest students, Kai-Lan Olson, is a junior in high school and began her harp studies with me about six years ago. She is a participant in the Youth Fellowship Program of the National Symphony Orchestra. Through this program the students get weekly lessons, ensemble coaching sessions, and opportunities for side-by-side with the NSO–all on full scholarship. It is a very competitive application process.

Kai-Lan has thrived, playing the Dussek Trio in the fall semester, the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique in side-by-side, and here, in her second Millennium Stage performance of the year, she plays the Pescetti Sonata in c minor, Tournier Jazz Band, and the Persichetti Serenade #10 for Flute and Harp.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/videos/?id=M6306&type=A

This entry was posted on May 14, 2015.

Master Classes with French harpist, Isabelle Frouvelle, April 24, 2015

Last October I met Isabelle Frouvelle during her visit to Washington, D.C. She shared her beginning teaching materials, “Play the Harp with Charlie the Kitten” and “Les amis de Gribouille.” These materials are carefully put together and match my teaching sequence. They have been a big hit in my studio!

Isabelle returned to D.C. in April and I invited her to present a master class for my students. We had two sessions. The advanced students played prepared solos. Isabelle gave thoughtful and constructive critique to each student.

• An-Ya Olson — Fantasie by Saint Saëns
• Kai-Lan Olson — Jazz Band by Marcel Tournier
• Mary Duplantier — Danses sacrée et profane by Debussy

The younger students attended the second hour, playing excerpts from “Play the Harp with Charlie the Kitten” and “Les Amis de Gribouille.” Isabelle congratulated each student on her progress at the harp and explained the thoughts behind the pieces. She finished the class by autographing their books.

This entry was posted on April 25, 2015.


Studio Recital April 6, 2014

It must be spring, because we just had a studio recital! I have a pretty even split between lever and pedal students right now and they all played brilliantly, demonstrating lots of musicality and technical polish. Enjoy the photos!

Pedal harp students

Lever Harp students

All students

Recital Program

This entry was posted on April 6, 2014.

“Etudes and Ensembles” March 17, 2013

My apologies for the almost four-month hiatus in posts. I will try to "catch up" and post programs and comments from events since March 2013.

On St. Patrick's Day I split my studio into two groups and each student performed an etude plus a piece with another musician. Some of the beginners did not play an etude, but most students did.

This recital serves several functions: I am a strong advocate of the study of standard etudes, but most of my students are not convinced of the value. With the recital I know that they will learn at least one etude thoroughly!

The ensembles are important and I believe reinforce the primary objective of music study: to be able to share beauty through sound with other people. The middle and high school students often want to perform with their friends and I encourage that. Several of the groups also performed at other studio recitals or in retirement or nursing homes.

Another value of this recital is that I don't require memory. My students perform solos in studio recitals in November and in June, as well as for many competitions and festivals in the community, and I expect solo performances to be thoroughly memorized. But this recital does not require memory and so the atmosphere is a little more relaxed, and those students who don't have strong memorization skills have a chance to shine.

Here are the programs from March 17, 2013:

This entry was posted on June 30, 2013.

Katie Buckley, Harpist with the Iceland Symphony

As part of the Nordic Cool 2013, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra performed in the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center. The Washington Post gave a favorable review.

On Sunday, the harpist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Katie Buckley, gave a master class for my students. Her comments were insightful and very kind. We enjoyed hearing all about the culture and life in Iceland!

The master class program:

Amy Lim: Rossini Sonata
An-Ya Olson: Gershwin Prelude #2
Helen Lim: Corelli Giga
Kai-Lan Olson: Glière Impromptu
Elise Kolle: Bach-Grandjany #6
Kelsi Gray: Grandjany Fantasie–introduction, theme, and first variation (four pages)
Francesca Savoia: Prokofiev Prelude in C
The students played beautifully and I was proud of each of them!

Photo taken following the Master Class

On Tuesday evening Katie Buckley and percussionist Frank Aarnink, together forming "Duo Harpverk" performed a collection of contemporary works of Iceland composers on the Millennium Stage. Here is a link to their performance.


Duo Harpverk

This entry was posted on March 7, 2013.

“Nordic Cool 2013” at the Kennedy Center: The NSO Performs a Concert of Music from Finland


February 19 – March 17–the Kennedy Center celebrates "Nordic Cool 2013" with programs and artwork featuring the cultures of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. At night the image of the Northern Lights is projected onto the building, creating an aura of excitement about the festival before one even enters the Kennedy Center!

Last week the NSO presented a program of music from Finland featuring works by Lindberg, Sibelius and Saariaho. There were two harps in "Orion" by Saariaho.

The harps parts were not difficult technically, in fact almost sight-readable. But it required a great deal of mental and physical stamina to get through it! There were many complex rhythms throughout the piece. I found the second movement challenging.

It opens with a tremolo in the bass wires which lasts for about three minutes. I am short (5'2") and had to stretch my arms, straining my shoulders and neck, for that passage. I took ibuprofin before and after each performance, but am still feeling the consequences. Note to any composer reading this: please avoid this sort of writing for the harp!



Excerpt from "Orion" by Sariaaho. This figure continues without break for over 40 measures!



This passage was also problematic. It is very audible, but impossible to stretch a seven-note glissando over the entire measure at this tempo. My solution was to play random slow glisses (not measured, but as slow as possible) for the duration of each measure indicated. At the same time the first harp is doing rapid swirl glissandos over a larger range of the harp.


Here is a recording of the second movement of "Orion."

This entry was posted on March 4, 2013.

2013 Mid Atlantic Harp Festival and Competition

This past Saturday, February 23, the D.C. Chapter of the American Harp Society hosted a regional harp festival with concerts, workshops, and a competition. Unfortunately I was unable to attend, but several of my students did and said they had a wonderful time and learned a lot.

There were two divisions to the competition: Emerging Artist and Young Artist. An-Ya Olson placed first in the Emerging Artist Division, playing the required "Gigue" by Bernard Andrès, and "Quest-Reunion" by Gary Schocker as her choice piece. Emma Rood, who won the Emerging Artist Division in 2012, competed at the Young Artist level, placing third. She played the required "Giga" by Corelli, and Sonatina #5 by Naderman as her choice piece.

The following day the two girls had their lessons back-to-back and so I took this impromptu photograph. They are each 12 years old and in the 7th grade. I'm very proud of them!

Emma Rood and An-Ya Olson

This entry was posted on February 25, 2013.

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