- 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
Photo of our large group of harpists performing Janet Harbison’s “Lion of Ireland” at the Limerick Cathedral
The Brian Boru Millennium Festival in Co. Limerick, Ireland, was the experience of a lifetime. Living and collaborating with harpers from all around the world for a week in an enchanting place like Limerick was fabulous! Sleeping, eating, rehearsing, performing, and partying all week was absolutely exhausting, and absolutely exhilarating! The Irish Harp Center was beautiful, and Janet Harbison is such an inspiring woman who somehow is able to run the harp center, and put on such a grand festival as the Brian Boru Millennium. It was an honor to meet her and work with her. Being surrounded by so many talented, fun, creative and interesting harpers was a wonderful and educational experience. Working together to build something as grand as the world premiere of Janet Harbison’s beautiful piece, “Lion of Ireland” was something I will never forget.
Member Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble, Berkeley, California
New CD Innisheer, by Members of the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble and BAYHE Alumnae
The Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble’s new recording, Innisheer features arrangements of traditional Celtic tunes along with a number of original Celtic-inspired compositions by Director Diana Stork. The CD also includes performances by some of BAYHE’s illustrious alumnae.
With Diana’s careful support and supervision BAYHE members were a part of every stage of this CD: choosing the music, arranging it, rehearsing, then recording it. After this stage, there were many hours of listening back to the tracks to pick the best one. When that was completed, two BAYHE members were chosen to go into the studio with Diana to edit and mix the tracks (there was only room in the editing studio for 4 people). After another week of more listening and more choices, the girls and Diana went into the studio for final edits, mixes and then mastering. Along the way, the girls chose the cover and graphics. The last stage was choosing the duplicating house and in less than 3 weeks, they had CDs in hand. If you’d like a copy of Innisheer, contact our office. Or look for us this Fall on CD Baby.
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.