Oh my, how time flies! It has been 5 months since my last post though given how much has been happening I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s actually been that long. Nevertheless, I’m well overdue to give an update and to say thank-you for the amazing support in the past months. Right now I’m in Houston International Airport waiting for my next flight to Rio and then on to Salvador.

In June, thanks to the financial support of the Avon Foundation for Women, I was able to return to Brazil to teach in Salvador as well as a full week in Rio starting a new harp class with a social project there. I also took another harp with me so there are now 8 harps that have been donated, thanks to the support of the generous donors who have contributed in various ways.

Here are a couple of photos of my time in Salvador with the wonderful students there. We had lots of lessons and two masterclasses exploring healthy harping, proprioception and all kinds of other useful concepts that help understand how we use our bodies, not just at the harp. I love how the students are so trusting, dedicated (some of them travel 3 hours each day just to practice!) and so eager to try new things. I ask a lot of them and they always play along. I can’t wait to see them again next week – once again, thanks to the Avon Foundation.

But let me backtrack a bit to the harp moving. Typically, I fly with United Airlines as they have the most direct routing (Calgary-Houston-Rio) and so far, the harps have always arrived in great condition. The flights cost more but because I’m usually taking the harp wrapped only in bubble wrap and in a bicycle box, it’s safer to have fewer transfers. The staff are always interested and helpful when I arrive to check in and even more so, people are super curious when I arrive and pick up my “luggage” in Brazil. In June, my check-in didn’t go as smoothly as usual though. Normally I pay a bit extra, about $100-$150 for the oversize box. The rules are always the same but apparently can be interpreted quite differently. So much so that this time when I arrived at the check-in, I was told it would be $500! There was no way I could pay that! So I took a big breath, chatted, asked if they could consult with a manager etc etc, waited, happily chatted more about the harp and what I was doing in Brazil, calmly waited more until finally the attendant came over, pasted a baggage tag on the box, handed me my boarding card, asked me to tape up the box (that includes doing all the bubble wrap etc which I always leave til the end so they can see the harp – and even then sometimes it still gets reopened!). Then she helped me load it on the oversize luggage ramp and wished me a good flight and successful trip. I paid $0!

There are so many examples of the generosity of people and companies that have been coming up lately. I have to say, I’m pretty overwhelmed and incredibly grateful. There are so many stories to share and I will start trying to put them out a bit more regularly! In the meantime, I’m off again, eager to see my students and also a little concerned about the security situation. There’s an extremely important second-round run off election on the 28th – the day I fly home. Really hoping that things calm down and the politicians begin to find ways to do the job they are meant to do which is serve all of the people of their wonderful country that I have grown to love so much!

I’m really looking forward to this special evening tonight and wishing all of the mothers I know and love could be there. I have met so many incredible people in my life and travels who not only were profound role models for me but for so many others. In such turbulent times, full of confusion and fear, my prayer is that everyone in the world has someone in their life who can give them that kind of mother’s love. What a world we could have if we each experienced such unconditional love every single day!

What a crazy year 2017 was! Plenty of opportunity for growth within all the challenges. 2018 was welcomed with it’s blast of warm weather after a horribly cold Christmas. This Sunday, we heat things up even more with a concert of great music for harp and brass quintet, played by the Foothills Brass. I just love putting together a programme of unexpected and interesting musical collaborations that will draw the audience out of their comfort zones and preconceptions and into something new and exciting. Here’s to a great New Year!

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the individuals who have already supported the 2017 Harping for Harps campaign. Thank-you! We’re getting so close! Can’t wait to get back to Brazil with more harps and to work with such wonderful young people again. The campaign total has just jumped past $5000 so I am catching up on 2 Live FB videos. Today’s video was of music from the Zelda video games! You can watch it below.

The $5K Thank-you performance will happen soon too. In the meantime, it would be wonderful to get some help with sharing of the campaign page. We really need to reach that full $6000 campaign target in order to purchase the two harps as well as strings and supplies to take to Brazil in August. Please help in whatever way you can!

Here's the video from the $2000K FB Live performance of one of my favourite harp pieces, Chanson dans la Nuit by Carlos Salzedo. Getting very close to the $3000 mark so another performance will happen soon. Please help in whatever way you can to get 2 more harps to those children in Brazil.

 

So excited that gradually we’re moving toward that $6K goal. Thank-you to everyone! I’ll be doing another live FB performance Friday night somewhere in Calgary. Please watch my FB page and here for details…

Happy 150th birthday to Canada in advance. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities this wonderful country provides, and for the generosity and kindness of Canadians.

Thank-you so much to everyone who is helping with this. The donations as well as sharing of the posts and videos make a big difference. Less than $500 to get to the $2000 mark and the next Facebook Live performance. Looking for a funky and not-so-windy location for it! 🙂 Stay tuned!

Thank-you so much to the people who have already supported the Harping for Harps campaign so generously. We have already passed the first $1000 mark! That means I’m due to give the first Facebook live performance – this one of Eric Satie’s beautiful First Gymnopedie. It’s going to be today (June 21st) at 1 p.m. on the Riverwalk in Calgary, at the top end of Macleod Trail across from the Harry Hays building. Stop by if you have time or watch on FB!

And at $2000 I’ll be performing Salzedo’s Song in the Night. Please help me meet that next goal!

I am really looking forward to this event coming up on Saturday, bright and early at the Calgary Tower. This will be another first in my career – finding music and modes to gently accompany yoga as the sun begins to fill the space and with the gorgeous vistas of the Rocky Mountains in the distance!

To sign up for the Summer Solstice event click here. https://app.schedulehouse.com/SH/Client/000902#shopping:passes 

This event also marks the official launch of the next

 

fundraising campaign with the goal of purchasing another harp to donate to one of the music social projects I volunteer with in Brazil. Here’s the link to the campaign which will go live on the 17th! Stay tuned!

 

 

 

As Calgary blooms in early summer, thoughts turn to romance and that’s what this concert is all about. I am thrilled to be joining Luminous Voices for my first ever performance both with them and in the stunning new Bella Concert Hall. Besides delightful a capella madrigals by Gesualdo and Monteverdi, the programme includes two major harp pieces. Benjamin Britten’s “Choral Dances” from his opera Gloriana is a set of colourful songs paying somewhat irreverent hommage to an ageing monarch. “Hesperides” by Malcolm Forsyth was composed in 2001 for chorus and two harps. Also full of whimsicle musical interjections and some rather racey 17th century poetry, this will be another fun “first” for me. Can’t wait!