- January 2012 The cueca dancers took their final bow and I entered to play for a sea of faces from all over Latin America. On January 26th, 2012, I performed in the Festival de Arpas al Sur de Chile, an international annual harp festival in Concepción, Chile. Taking part in this event was a marvelous […]
- This Spring, the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble will be learning and performing a unique program of Celtic music. Dubbed, “California Celtic”, all the pieces have been composed by their Director, Diana Stork. You wouldn’t notice that these pieces are not traditional unless you heard their titles–”Off to San Diego”, “The Blooming Jacarandas”, “Planxty John […]
- BAYHE graduate Amelia Romano teaching harp in South Africa
The Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble will be recording a new CD in May 2014. This recording will feature the Celtic harp and will include traditional dance tunes and ballads arranged for the ensemble by BAYHE Director Diana Stork. Also included on this Cd will be performances by BAYHE alumni such as Portia Diwa, Amelia Romano, Liza Wallace and Laurel Wong, among others.
In March, Diana Stork and Portia Diwa brought multicultural harp music to towns throughout SE Alaska. Sponsored by MCMF and the Alaska Folk Festival, Diana and Portia taught 6 workshops to children in schools in the Juneau-Douglas area, as well as one in the small town of Haines. Many of the students had never seen a harp before! Moving their harps through snowstorms, loading them onto ferries in 20 degree weather, & driving an SUV on icy roads was quite an experience–happily a safe one! Some of the many highlights of their tour were playing in the Shrine of St. Theresa 40 miles out the road from Juneau surrounded by spectacular beauty and utter stillness, playing harps on the ferry from Juneau to Haines, and teaching classes to the attentive children at Glacier Valley School which had received awards for their music programs.
Summer 2013 – Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble alumnus Liza Wallace just returned from Mexico where she has been performing and studying for the last month. She started out the trip in Durango performing in the Festival Latinoamericano de Arpa Durango. This annual festival hosts performers from all over the Americas including Paraguay, Venezuela, Chile, and Colombia. Liza represented the United States with her diverse repertoire of Jazz, Latin Jazz, and Classical music. Her concerts included a performance of El Concierto de Aranguez by Joaquin Rodrigo in a beautiful Mexican Cathedral and her own compositions and arrangements at the Ricardo Castro Theater in downtown Durango.
Liza then traveled to Mexico City to study the traditional Son Jarocho music from Veracruz. She took lessons with Pedro Sosa and Balam Ramos Cruz, two excellent arpistas. The style of harp playing is extremely virtuosic, focusing on intricate fingering patterns in the right hand juxtaposed with a syncopated but continuous bass line. Liza also went to see several concerts of traditional Mexican harp music which of course all included La Bamba!
and joining Liza…
another Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble Alumnus, and former BAYHE assistant Director, Amelia Romano and her group StringQuake returned from a successful two weeks in Mexico. During their stay they recorded 8 tracks for their new album and enjoyed busking daily in Ciudad de Mexico and Durango. They performed in the Festival Latinoamericano del Arpa in Durango for the Gala Inaugural in Theater Ricardo de Castro and were featured as the main act Friday, at theater Victoria, reaching over 1000 people,total. Their music was well received in the parks, plazas and theaters and are excited to release their new album this Fall.
The Multi-Cultural Music Fellowship (MCMF) provides support for interactions between World Musical Traditions with a focus on the harp. Our goal is to increase appreciation and respect for different cultures through musical communication.
Our Festival of Harps(sm) concert series, begun in 1990, is a series of concerts and educational outreach programs featuring the harp. The vision for the Festival is to bring the different races, styles and periods together on one stage—showing the basic unity of the human spirit through the harp. The Festival of Harps brings together master musicians from places as diverse as Paraguay, Ireland, China, Germany and Peru.
We believe it is natural to love and respect people whose music has moved and delighted you. Every culture expresses itself through music. When you learn how to appreciate another culture’s music, you learn what is most precious to people who are very different from you, and soon that essential beauty becomes precious to you as well. Melody, harmony, rhythm, the ebb and flow of tempo and dynamics, have a universality that transcends language, customs and politics.