New Zealand Harp Society
Meet The Committee
I own two L&H Style 30 concert grands. One is the NZSO's old harp and was my first pedal harp, and the other I got in 2006 when I outgrew the older harp's sound.
I first said I wanted to play the harp aged 4 1/2, and started lessons with Carolyn Mills in Wellington when I was 11. I did my BMus at VUW with Carolyn and then went on to further studies in Australia and Toronto. I came back home to NZ as a freelance professional in 2013, and in 2018 I was appointed to the position of Principal Harp with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. I now have a busy performance schedule alongside my private harp teaching.
I also have a Masters degree in Philosophy, and in my spare time (and in orchestra rehearsals during the rests!) I love to knit.
I currently own two Rees Aberdeen Meadow fully levered 36 string harps and one Rees Morgan Meadow 23 string lap harp.
I first wanted to play the harp when I was 9, we couldn't afford a harp so I took up the viola instead. Therese Elder Wunrow was the harpist in our youth symphony and I never lost the desire to play and loved the opportunities I got to hear her play. After graduating from university and working for a year I got my first harp, a Salvi Daphne petite pedal harp. I took lessons ins Chicago, then moved for work and stopped playing much due to other life pressures, I then moved to San Francisco and studied with Marjorie Chauvel before work became all consuming. I sold my harp when we decided to sell up everything and go sailing for a bit. My husband tired of my saying I miss my harp, and surprised me with my 23 string lap harp which I enjoyed playing whilst we sailed the South Pacific. The harp is a fantastic icebreaker when travelling! After landing in New Zealand I attended one of Anna and Lisas Harpenz and started getting involved again. A few years later, after being part of starting a robotics company which was then sold, I got my first Aberdeen Meadows.
Outside of being a professional research and development engineer who enjoys being part of startup companies, I also once liked to draw and have resumed the hobby of drawing and painting again during lockdown.
Rhiannon Swift (Taranaki),
Lana Breed (Auckland),
Cherie Maffey (Marlborough)
I live in Marlborough, in the Onamalutu Valley, which is around 20 minutes out of Blenheim. I own 2 harps, a Kim Webby minstrel 34 string and Davy Stuart 27 string. I decided to buy a harp after going to a concert and seeing the harp played for the first time and thought it was something I would like to do. I joined the harp society after meeting Helen Webby at the Mussell Inn over at Takaka. I used to play with a friend guitarist but she decided to stop playing so I had also not played for some years. This year during lockdown I joined DHC’s harp academy in America on-line and currently learning jazz, blues and improvisation which I love.
I have several interests and hobbies outside music. I’m farming with my partner and we are re-generating a 100 acre block with natives, so that’s ongoing, love my animals - Angora goats, sheep, cats, dogs, chooks. I’m involved with creative fibre - felting, and exhibit my work. We love the outdoors and go around the country in our motorhome.