I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
I think that I shall never see
Lyre Association of North America
By Sandi Zeese, Silver Spring, MD
In 2017, Colleen Shetland and I played for the Washington Waldorf School for the opening day assembly welcoming first graders, and the Rose Ceremony at the end of the school year. In December we played for their Advent Gardens (now called Evergreen Gardens), along with Anne Frances Martin. There were classes pre-K through twelfth grade, a total of 16 gardens covering three days.
Anne Frances, Colleen, and I also played for a homeschoolers’ garden and for the Acorn Hill Waldorf Nursery and Kindergarten’s Midwinter Gardens, for seven different classes.
We met with Pat O’Connor as a foursome and had some seasonal practice sessions in a classroom at the Riderwood retirement community. In March, Pat and I played lyres and sang a spring seasonal selection for our church group’s monthly dinner meeting at Riderwood. About 19 people came, and at the end of the dinner they were given the opportunity to hold the lyres and make tones. People expressed how much they enjoyed the evening and experiencing the lyre—many for the first time.
Mostly recently, Pat, Colleen, and I played a prelude together at a memorial service for Portia Imle at Riderwood Chapel on February 9, 2018.
Dear Friends of the Lyre!
Cântaro represents in Brazil an important pillar of study: of lyre, kantele and Werbeck singing.
We have worked throughout the year in our classes, both in groups and with individuals, always bringing a precious soul quality to the musical work.
We periodically organize meetings with all students as an opportunity to play and sing, in a large group, the repertoire that all students have the opportunity to develop. From the most beginner to the most advanced students, everyone is prepared to participate in the great musical arrangement, each one in their level of learning,
We are always providing and valuing reflections about the spiritual being that dresses in the tone that manifests through our instruments and our voices.
We also work with parents and teachers of young children, nurturing them musically, transforming their relationship with children, as we show which is the music to play and which are the most appropriate musical games for the child from 0 to 7 years.
We believe that Cântaro is a point that radiates light for our city, for our country, and also for the rest of the world, whenever we gather together and express through music what is best in our souls and our hearts.
Karla and Flávia
Cântaro-Centro de Desenvolvimento Musical
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By Sheila Johns, Cuenca, Ecuador
For the 4th year in a row, four intrepid North American Waldorf teachers living in Cuenca, Ecuador hosted a community Advent Garden on the first Sunday of Advent. Officially sponsored by our Uriel Center for Human Renewal through the Arts and Education, we have been welcomed each year by a local church which has now made what they call the Advent Meditation Garden a part of their annual Advent activities. LANA member Andrea Lyman and I play lyres into the otherwise completely silent space while our artist colleagues Sandra Doren, who moved from the DC area, and Michael Pinchera, who moved from Sandpoint, Idaho, facilitate the spiral walk with candles. We provide bilingual information about the history and purpose of this tradition in advance, and it has been well attended by adults and children from the local area and abroad with interest growing each year. Many have expressed how much they appreciate the conscious preparation of this beautiful, meditative space and how the tone of the lyre has brought solace and peace to their souls. After years of creating and attending Advent Gardens in Waldorf Schools, it has been very gratifying to bring this tradition to a new culture and community as a way of introducing an experience of silence, beauty, and the tone of the lyre.
By Julia Elliott (for the Lyre Rentals Committee)
The Lyre Rentals Program helps to promote LANA’s mission of encouraging and supporting the work of the lyre in North America. By making lyres available to rent to new or experienced lyre players, lyrists are offered the possibility of “test-driving” an instrument before investing in a purchase. The Lyre Rentals Committee often acts as the first contact that many musicians have with LANA. We love responding to queries like: “I am new to the lyre and don’t know where to start. Can you help me?” By equipping new lyrists with an instrument and helping to connect them with a teacher in their area, we hope to facilitate a healthy and joyful relationship with the lyre that will last a lifetime.
In 2017, LANA owned a total of nine rental lyres. During the course of the year, we added to our inventory a beautiful Derscheid Legacy lyre (made for us by Alan Thewless) and a small Derscheid soprano lyre, purchased from Gundolf Kuehn in Germany. As of this report, three of our small soprano lyres are available for rent, five are currently rented, one was sold, and one is under contract through our “rent-to-buy” program. For lyres that are available for purchase through our “rent-to-buy” program, we encourage renters to make a decision regarding such an investment after a year of renting.
The following are the rental lyres LANA had available in 2017 and their current status:
Choroi solo soprano lyre (39 strings) Rented
Gartner solo soprano lyre (39 strings) Sold
Choroi soprano lyre (35 strings) Rented
Gartner soprano lyre (35 strings) Rented
Derscheid Legacy large sop. lyre (37 Strings) Rented
Derscheid small soprano lyre (27 strings) Rented
Gartner small soprano lyre (27 strings) Available
Rose soprano lyre (27 strings) Available
Gartner small soprano lyre (27 strings) Available
As we look toward 2018, it is the hope of the Lyre Rentals Committee to purchase more lyres to make available to LANA members. We would like to support the Derscheid Legacy initiative by ordering more of these instruments from Alan Thewless, offering them for rent or sale in the future. We also hope to purchase and rent more lower range instruments (especially altos) as we continue to receive requests for them. It is the Committee’s greatest wish to make the lyre available and affordable to all who are drawn to it through our Lyre Rentals Program.
By Samantha Embrey
The Music Sales service of the Lyre Association was created in 2003 so that lyrists in North America could have access to lyre music published throughout the world. It is the only such service on the planet!
Most sales take place at LANA conferences, where participants can look at the music first hand and don’t have to pay shipping costs. Of purchases made between conferences via email or snail mail, many are by beginners and many require guidance, both regarding the selection of music and the need for a teacher.
In the eleven or so years that I have managed the service, I’ve enjoyed communicating with the lyrists purchasing music as well as with the publishers. Because currency exchange rates and shipping expenses can add greatly to the cost of the music we buy, I have tried to negotiate a discounted price with each publisher. I have then tried to sell the music at an affordable price that will cover our costs and earn enough to let us buy more music.
Every year I have tried to replace sold-out inventory and add a few new items. Currently, we have 112 publications with a total retail value of about $7800.
In 2017, I notified the board that I wish to hand over management of music sales in the next year or so. Thus, much of my recent work has been to explain the ins and outs of the music sales and to get materials ready to transfer to Margo in May.
By Catherine Decker as told by Channa Seidenberg
Lyre builders worldwide craft their instruments in various ways. Each builder has a signature style which gives it a unique place among other lyres. What follows is one account of the Dersheid lyre and its present incarnation.
Having already played various lyres for many years, Channa Seidenberg first met the Derscheid lyre in the early 1990’s. As she had lived in both Europe and the U.S., Channa had tried many types of lyre and had opportunities to listen carefully to variations in qualities in each instrument.
In 1993, Channa was invited to teach lyre at a Verbeck singing workshop offered by Ursula Koepf who taught singing at Michael Fields in Wisconsin. Channa asked to try the lyre Ursula used, and she immediately felt connected with the tonal resonance of the instrument. This was a lyre created by Heinz Derscheid. Channa found in the Derscheid instrument a balance of warmth and light that enabled the tone to expand into the space. In Channa’s words, "After this experience, there was no going back." For her, she found the sound of this Derscheid lyre to be immensely satisfying, and she began recommending them to other lyre players.
During the ensuing years, Channa had numerous phone conversations with Herr Derscheid, placing orders and talking about his instruments. She visited him in his workshop near Stuttgart, Germany. However, in August 2008, Channa received the unexpected news that Herr Derscheid had crossed the threshold. He had been on vacation in Norway, on a fishing boat, when he died of a heart attack.
Because Heinz Derscheid did not have an apprentice, there was no one to continue the work of building these fine instruments. Soon afterward, Channa approached the LANA board with the suggestion to obtain the rights so that someone else could carry on the tradition. She did not want this type of lyre to be lost to the world.
Channa thought of Alan Thewless, a teacher and artisan who was building his own lyres under the name Tir-anna. She inquired whether he would be interested in pursuing lyre building in the style of the Derscheid instruments.
In November of the same year, Alan went to Germany to meet Herr Derscheid’s widow and toured the workshop. He asked if she would be willing to sell the legal rights so that her late husband’s instruments could continue to be made. It was a challenge to meet her price, so the Lyre Association put out a request for funds to the North American lyre community. Fortunately, an anonymous donor stepped forward with a sizable gift towards the endeavor.
Some years later, Alan returned to Germany to speak with Frau Derscheid, and a second major sum was given by the same generous donor. Frau Derscheid then sold the rights to the Derscheid instrument, and Alan was able to secure the templates, which were sent to him in Pennsylvania. Since that time, Alan has built the first “Derscheid Legacy “ lyre, which many lyre players are now eager to try!
It has been a quarter of a century since Channa first held an original Derscheid instrument and experienced its particular balance of light and warmth. Although the process took nearly ten years, the continued focus on this mission has paid off.
Alan Thewless is taking orders for these Derscheid Legacy Lyres, along with his own design, Tir-anna. We are grateful for the persistence of Channa and the LANA board members as well as for the generosity of those who saw the value of this project. How fortunate we are that these lyres are now available to us in the U.S.!
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By Joanna Carey, Durham, NC - email@example.com
This year the lyre has been used primarily for festivals, for the Dead and for the Christian Community.
During Holy Week: Each day during Holy Week, eurythmist Eve Olive and I worked with the planetary tones, scales, and movement for each day. Roger Schultz brought reading material, and together we provided a daily offering for contemplation during the week. As a beloved member of our community had just crossed the Threshold, we also included her in our efforts. In addition, we offer a special eurythmy/lyre musical event for members in their first three days after crossing the Threshold. We play and move with all the planetary spheres as a recognition of the journey of the Dead.
Michaelmas: Lyre music was part of the beginning and the end of our offering.
Advent: Numerous activities occurred. An adult Advent Spiral walk was accompanied by lyre music. Zodiacal music was played for each painting/sculpture of the Madonna Sequence on two occasions during Advent.
We have a bi-monthly reading for the Dead where lyre music is played, also as an improvisation around the planetary scale of the day. Eve and I are also involved in a performance piece on the mysteries of birth and pre-birth. This offering is accompanied by lyre.
Occasional Christian Community services are blessed with lyre music.
I have almost entirely resorted to improvisational music now, as I find it so much more interesting than most written music. Also, because I am a solo lyre player, it works best for me. I love to experience what occurs in the moment. It becomes as a kind of offering for the spiritual world that often comes as a wonderful surprise, almost as if I am played upon myself. It’s difficult to explain, but I am learning to allow greater forces working through me to play the music. I then become the vehicle for its manifestation. I’m very grateful for these experiences and for my lyre and the ability to engage in this way. I encourage others to try it if you haven’t yet. It’s full of mystery and a feeling of goodness and beauty.
A Polish legend from The Deeds of Michael: A Collection of Tales and Legends from Around the World; submitted by Sandi Zeese, Silver Spring, MD - firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you seen, gleaming up in clear and exalted autumn nights, the sparkling stars in the sky? They rise like hope in a human soul; and they dive down in radiant force, like a human heart’s resolve. Then they are called “falling stars” by human beings. Yet whoever loves their angel, and from childhood on, knows no fear, recognizes their true being. One sees in the clear autumn nights amidst the stars, the “Great Warrior,” who is called “St. George” on earth, but “St. Michael” in the heavens, and one sees his countenance shining in golden wisdom, which unconscious of itself, reflects the heart of the highest Godhead.
One sees his arm, with its shimmering weapon, which strong and pure, seems to be hardened by divine justice. And with his valiant hand, St. Michael strikes the sword, which will destroy the crawling, the desirous the wallowing, the corroding impurity. And when St. Michael strikes his sword, the stars tremble and diamantine sparks fly through the air.
Have you seen, gliding in the dark winter nights, the delicate moon crescent above the gossamer white clouds? There is around them something like a rustling of distant grass growing on the wide and fair meadows of Heaven. The hearts of human beings looking at the crescent on wintry nights are seized by a longing to be far, far away. Yet whoever loves their angel, and from childhood on has harbored purity of heart, sees something else. That one sees the heavenly Virgin Mary standing on the narrow sliver crescent, and knows that she is a queen. For she smiles at those who are longing and hungering on earth. And she bestows on them heavenly wheat-corns which fall down from her rosy hands and bring blessings to earth.
She prays the depths may become filled, and may become good, and may become penetrated with the miracle harbored in the heights. She bestows blessings with hands that are folded in prayer.
And one day it will happen that the birch tree, when its leaves are falling in autumn, will not weep because of its bereavement. Then the leaves will joyously fall down to earth.
And one day a stairway, whose steps resemble milk-white stone, will appear above the moon. And Maria, waving her hands in a promise of redemption will walk up the white steps to a golden table spread from Heaven with the Thanksgiving of human beings on whom the harvest has been bestowed. And it will seem as if her feet were treading on the fluttering wings of doves.
Thenceforth the moon’s crescent will not be forsaken. A song will resound from it, such as has never been heard in Heaven or on earth. St. Michael will stand on the crescent. As a heavenly smith, he has forged his sword into the frame of a lyre, whose strings are fashioned from human beings’ valiant thoughts. The dragon slayer will play and sing. He will perform his office as “heavenly lyrist." Strength is alive in his song, and he will sing of consolation and fulfillment of his old promises. He will sing of the outflowing of the highest light, encompassing the smile of Maria.
And the birch tree will tremble down to its very pith in its joyfulness, whenever this song is sounded. And autumn will be the same to it as spring.
Many a person will not see it; and many will not hear it. Yet whoever loves their angel and harbors faithfulness in their heart, such a one knows the song full well, and will want to be better.
By Wendy Polich, Littleton, CO - email@example.com
Ever since the lyre came into my life it has given me wonderful experiences and opportunities. It has also asked much. It seems a simple instrument, yet it's not necessarily easy to play. It has beautiful tone and resonance, but to actually free its tone beautifully requires my attentiveness and generosity. It also has great healing potential.
Through much practice and patience, alone or with lyre friends and teachers, I'm becoming more skilled at playing. Through attending the Resonare music course and the various lyre conferences, I'm being given a deep wellspring from which to continually draw inspiration.
Recently, I've decided to take everything I've done and learned so far with the lyre to another level and put its healing potential to use in the wider world. I'm exploring this through the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP). It was introduced to me through several lyre friends who are currently in, or graduates of, the program. Graduates of MHTP become Certified Music Practitioners (CMPs) playing at the bedsides of patients in hospitals, hospices and nursing homes. CMPs are not music therapists, but therapeutic musicians creating an environment that fosters healing through live music.
The program takes place through five modules, or intensive weekends, and a practicum. In between the modules there is reading, study, putting together a repertoire, and lots of practice. The modules are where students come together to learn, to practice what they've learned with their instruments, and to support one another. So far, I've completed two modules here in the Denver area, which, I'm happily told, is a welcoming place for CMPs.
It's a bit lonely being the only lyrist in my class, and at times my confidence wanes in the presence of a roomful of accomplished musicians, but I couldn't ask for a more supportive and encouraging group of people to be learning with. Harpists, guitarist/vocalists, keyboardists, flutists, dulcimer players are my classmates and teachers. Most of them have never heard the lyre, but everyone recognizes its very special tone and resonance.
What I'm learning is that there are different patient conditions that call for different types of music in regard to tempo, rhythm, melody, pitch, etc. It matters what you play, but not specific pieces because it also matters how you play. There are times when you want to play familiar music and other times when you don't. We are being trained to observe each patient moment by moment, to be open and receptive to their physical, emotional and/or spiritual needs, to adjust the music accordingly for each one, and to use our intuition.
For example, we might adjust tempo, rhythm and meter by how the patient is breathing, how stable they are, how much pain or anxiety they have or how they are responding to the music. We are learning how different modes affect different moods. We might begin playing in a mode that matches their mood, then move to another mode that helps them to relax or gives them more energy. We might lower the pitch or play very simple melodies if they are very fragile. And for the actively dying, we accompany them with very simple tones and silences, unstructured yet beautiful, being present with what is needed in every moment. When all else fails, and we don't know exactly what to play, we are encouraged to trust the music and not underestimate the power of beauty.
I am also learning (and through practice actually beginning to understand) that being able to play "by heart" and to improvise, what one teacher calls "untethering yourself from the sheet," is the best way to be present and observant to what is needed in the moment.
I'm still in the first stages of learning how to be a therapeutic musician and have quite a ways to go and a lot of practice, but I'm grateful that my lyre is, once again, giving me this opportunity and asking much.
By Debbie Barford, Chicago, IL - firstname.lastname@example.org
The lyre was present at the All Souls Festival and Retreat of the Central Regional Council and the Twin Cities Branch of the Anthroposophical Society in America.
For the past year, the Central Regional Council sponsored a study called The Bridging Project, focusing on Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on The Influence of the Dead on Destiny. The culmination of the 2017 study was a weekend workshop in St. Paul, MN, attended by about thirty people from around the region. Another thirty from the local community also attended the Saturday evening festival.
When I first read of this event, I wished to attend but found that a packed schedule and other commitments would not allow me to participate. Our lyre colleague, Nancy Carpenter, was part of the planning and was to be there to play lyre for the event. At the last minute, Nancy was unable to attend due to some extenuating circumstances, and reached out to the LANA board to help. There arose in me an inner ‘yes’ and in speaking of what would be needed for me to attend, I found that all I needed was provided. I am very grateful to the Central Regional Council for providing my transportation and to Marianne and Dennis Dietzel for providing a place to stay. I was delighted and honored to play lyre with Marianne Dietzel, Yushi Zhang, and Joan Daelande, with our singer, Dawn Spanton.
The planning group had committed to the integration of eurythmy, lyre, song, poetry, and art in the weekend events. For the group’s own exploration and preparation for the public event Saturday evening, we experienced the planetary realms the soul meets after death with both the lyre and eurythmy. Lyres first played the planetary tones and mirrored scale with a brief improvisation, and then we sang the related planetary song from Songs of the Seven Planets by Colin Tanser. Eventually, the participants also sang these songs, accompanied by lyre. Raven Garland guided us in the eurythmy gestures and colors for each planet and spoke inspiringly of the questions each planetary realm presents to the soul on its journey through the spiritual world.
These eurythmy and lyre sessions with the planetary realms were interspersed with small and large group discussion and sharing, exercises for "listening from behind" and connecting with our beloved dead, planning for the All Souls Festival, and shared meals with opportunities for more individual conversation.
The hall of the Minnesota Waldorf School was transformed with a beautiful 450' hand-dyed silk rainbow banner hung from above around the entire meeting area. At one end, artistic work was displayed, some done during the study preparation, and a memorial table held photos and objects representing loved ones of the gathered whose journey after this life was already underway.
For Saturday evening, another beautiful rainbow silk was unrolled – this one dyed in rainbow stripes and so large (150') that it could be placed in a lemniscate form on the floor. The oval at the lower end had the purple moon stripe of the rainbow on the inside and moved outward, the same order experienced in life between birth and death. The point of crossing represented the threshold, where Raven stood as Guardian, and the upper oval had the rainbow reversed with the purple stripe on the outside. The planetary realms were represented twice – once going outward, and again in reverse order on the descent to earth. One person as moon (or other planet) gave the eurythmy gesture, and the opposite person gave the gesture for the vowel. In the pause in the area of the zodiac, when the soul comes to the “midnight hour,” a large crystal bowl rang out before the descent back to earth.
With the lights dimmed, each person had an opportunity to walk the path inside the lemniscate from earth to spiritual realm and back, while the lyres played a ‘tone bath’ of the planetary tones up and down the intervals, the eurythmic movements resounded, and the crystal bowl rang out. All this was a very powerful experience, one which I will revisit again and again.
On Sunday morning we had the opportunity to reflect on our time together before we left for our various earthly homes. Many expressed how the sounding of the planetary scales and related music on the lyre added a whole different dimension to the experience of life after death and the planetary spheres, giving them a whole new appreciation of dissonance. See more photos here
By Flávia Betti, Belo Horizonte, Brazil - email@example.com
In gratitude to the beautiful musical path we walked this year we will make, on December 8th, in our little school, a Festival where each group will present a song to the whole Cântaro school, prepared with great affection. In the last weeks before the holiday season, in each class we will have a Christmas ritual with the Advent spiral and the sound of liras. We´ll also be offering, at the end of the year, lectures and meetings for parents, teachers and those interested in preparing a beautiful Christmas with their children. Meetings where adults can nurture themselves, where we can pause and look inside, prepare our manger, clean our stables and pour these inner actions into our songs, filling the voice with love and pouring them into our children. Little stories will be presented, accompanied by Kántele and small songs.
Attached is a Christmas song, with the central A, that says:
Open your heart! Open your heart!
For the light that will be born!
For love, for love to grow!
Singing is a human gift! It can bring calm and cheer! Songs are what most tightly connect children to the true Christmas meaning and can protect them from the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season, reminding us of the true meaning of birth that takes place within us at this time of the year. The Bethlehem of today is conceived in the heart. No CD or technological device can replace a soul that sings.
Warm regards from Brazil!
Cântaro-Centro de Desenvolvimento Musical
Nossa página no facebook: https://www.facebook.com/C%C3%A2ntaro-492391004155918/
tel: (31) 3344-3236 -Rua Mangabeiras 275 - Sto Antônio Belo Horizonte - www.cantaro.com.br
By Marianne Dietzel, St. Paul, Minnesota
The Central Region of the Anthroposophical Society in America is concluding a year of The Bridging Project: Between Life and Death from Soul to Soul with a weekend retreat in St. Paul, Minnesota, on November 3-5. We will be working throughout the weekend with eurythmy, color and music to create a Saturday evening festival depicting the journey of the soul between death and rebirth. Participants will have an opportunity to walk a lemniscate path through life, beyond death, and back to earth again in remembrance of loved ones, but also to reflect on their own journey and prepare for the one beyond.
Nancy Carpenter, from Michigan, will join local lyrists Yushi Zhang, Christina Martinez and myself in bringing an experience of the tone and scale for each planetary sphere. Dawn Spanton will lead the group in singing Colin Tanser's Songs of the Seven Planets with lyre accompaniment.
More information and registration for this event can be found here. All are welcome!
By Holly Richardson, Carbondale, CO
I had the great privilege of attending the Lyre Intensive this summer in East Troy, Wisconsin. This was my third LANA conference and it proved to be inspiring and challenging as well as fun.
Once again I was welcomed by all of the lovely lyre ladies who are wise, smart, and inspiring in so many ways. Many of them have been working together for many, many years. A highlight of my time was when Margo said to me in the kitchen, “I am so glad that you are one of us now!” I suppose that since I have made the effort to come to three conferences and since “All good things come in threes,” according to Hartmut Schiffer, my lyre patron, that I am officially a lyre lady as well.
The conference took place in a lovely building that felt like a contemporary barn with wonderful acoustics, plenty of space, air-conditioning, and places to walk where beautiful fruit trees and flowers grew. There was even a beautiful stained glass window of a rose in the large room where we gathered. In the farm house, just a stone’s throw from the barn, amazing meals were prepared for us by two more lovely ladies.
Our teacher, Martin Tobiassen, was unlike any music teacher I have ever had. He encouraged us to play with strength and to touch the strings of the lyre in ways I had never considered. He also worked with us by teaching us songs by ear. After much practice in this way, we would eventually get sheet music. Being a music student who long, long ago learned to play first by reading music, I found Martin’s approach refreshing and challenging in a way that strengthened my ability to both listen and play.
My fingertips ached where they touched the strings due to the intensity and duration of our practice sessions during our days together. I had never played so much and with such strength before ever in my short lyre career! My aching fingertips inspired me to take a field trip with a few of my lyre friends to the Uriel pharmacy and buy a special cream for blisters and soreness! I also purchased some of Uriel’s Aurum Lavender Rose oil which Kerry Lee showed me how to apply around my heart for maximum benefit, morning and evening. I am happy to report that my fingertips are fine now and that my heart is also happy, thanks to all of my lyre playing, as well as the added element to my self-care regime inspired by Kerry Lee.
At the lyre conference, we learned about next summer’s international lyre conference. Martin said that he would be there and that perhaps those of us at East Troy could continue working on some of the music that we began together at the next conference. He also made the simple statement about how we only improve when we practice. So, I made a pledge to myself to practice regularly. I decided that if I practice regularly than I will earn the privilege of going to the international conference. Hartmut is in total support of my plan! I have been practicing, working on both Martin's "Tarantella", the Marylynn Wilson piece that is reminiscent of the theme from Close Encounters, The "Cattlefold of Kintaile" and more. I have been practicing regularly with Hartmut, who is my listener. I am also playing folk songs that Hartmut sang as a child in addition to some other seasonal songs.
The Carbondale Lyre Choir has just reconvened for the school year and I am hoping to bring some of my Colorado Lyre friends to the international conference so they can experience a real teacher! We hope to see you all next summer!
By Marianne Dietzel, St. Paul, Minnesota
When I sit down to play my lyre, feeling frustrated at my lack of progress, many of Martin Tobiassen's words from this summer's lyre conference come sounding into my consciousness: “Play slowly and strongly"..."Don't be afraid to make mistakes”...“Do this over and over.” The way he worked with us in finding the patterns in a new piece of music and working through them in a systematic way was a great reminder of how to practice economically.
The two pieces composed by Martin and the stories behind them were delightful in their reflection, in my mind, of a very European way of life. “Unter Eichelberg” portrayed the many anthroposophical endeavors going on in a certain area of Germany around the mountain called Eichelberg. I picture little villages with a curative home here, a farm there, a school here, a clinic there...with anthroposophists working away, giving their best and doing their part to make the world a better place...with all the moments that maybe push them beyond their comfort zones, as well as those that bring joy or satisfaction.
The short and lively “Tarantella” depicted a dance that we were only able to imagine at the intended, dizzying speed.
Perhaps we will have our opportunity to play or hear these pieces again in the Netherlands!
On July 16, LANA held our 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) just before the opening of the summer conference in East Troy, WI. Among items of business was election of three LANA board members who renewed their three-year terms: Channa Seidenberg, Margo Ketchum, and Nancy Carpenter.
The board is seeking names for consideration as nominees for future election to the board. Any member of LANA may recommend a name for the board’s consideration. See the criteria for board membership here.
The board will be working to update our By-Laws in the coming year.
The 2017 slate of LANA Board officers was announced: President Sheila Johns; Vice-President Nancy Carpenter; Secretary Colleen Shetland; and Treasurer Margo Ketchum.
A treasurer’s report was presented by Margo Ketchum. There were also reports on lyre rentals, soundings, Lyre Notes, the website, and music sales.
Members gave regional reports on lyre activities in the Northeast, Midwest, Colorado, and Ecuador.
· Julia Elliott reports playing with friends at the House of Peace in Ipswich, MA.
· Cate Decker reports Christina Porkert and Diane Barnes are active in the Hawthorne Valley, upstate NY area. Cate is in contact with Channa Seidenberg several times a week by phone. Channa has remarkably increased strength, using a walker, going inside and outside. She has an uprightness and willpower back in full force. She will resume teaching the Resonare course in the fall.
· Kerry Lee reports from PA that in May, she visited the countries of Georgia and Armenia, and gave a talk about music therapy to a fledgling Camphill. Back in the US, she gave instruction to Lifeways students about Mood of the Fifth and Werbeck singing.
· Veronika Roemer reports from PA that she has translated from German into English, Gerhard Bielharz’s book about playing the kinderharp. She also has two lyre students and is also returning to China to teach for the second time.
· Sandi Zeese reports from Maryland that she, Anne Frances Martin, and Pat O’Connor recently gave a small concert at a rehab unit in Pat’s elder care village, Riderwood.
· Colleen Shetland reports from Maryland that she has completed her classroom requirements in the Music for Healing and transition Program, and is now halfway through her internship, playing weekly at a hospice in the DC area.
· Samantha Embrey reports from Virginia that she held a lyre retreat last November at her home in Piney River, VA.
· Mary Lynn Channer and Nancy Carpenter continue to play for the Christian Community in Detroit. They both also have lyre students.
· Debbie Barford in Chicago has done less with the lyre this year because of illness in the family.
· Marianne Dietzel in Minnesota plays lyre and sings with people in a Memory Care unit. She plays with Yushi Zhang and helped her learn to read music. She is also assisting Yushi with making videos for people in China who want to learn to use kinderharps. Marianne is also active for festivals and threshold work and is part of the planning committee for the conferences on Death and Dying.
· Minnesota: Marianne Dietzel and Sheila Devlin are active in Minnesota.
· Chicago: Carol Eisen, Beth Kelley, and Debbie Barford held a workshop in Madison, WI entitled “Lyre Space,” with Colin Tanser’s music.
· Detroit area: Mary Lynn Channer continues to teach and play the lyre with the community around southern Michigan. She hosts festivals which include lyre playing and community singing, often with pieces she has arranged for lyres or composed herself. The Greater Detroit Branch went to the Channers for the St John's Festival which included five lyres, classical guitar and Chopin before going outside for the traditional bonfire. Mary Lynn also gave kinderharp classes for the kindergarten children at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor last spring. Michael Brewer continues to compose music for the lyre, both for the Christian Community services and his expanding collection of blues and ragtime pieces. We have played for the festivals and Nancy Carpenter continues to play for the Christian Community services most Sundays. She continues to play for the pre-K to 5th grade Eurythmy classes at the Detroit Waldorf School. Nancy had 2 six week kinderharp sessions for first and second graders after school. The third graders wanted more so they had a third session in the spring. Her three six and seventh graders have continued to improve and are enjoying Colin Tanser's music. The seventh graders and Nancy accompanied the eighth grade Eurythmy performance of "The Crystal Ball" at the end of the last school year.
Rocky Mountain area:
· Holly Richardson and Wendy Polich play together in a three-lyre ensemble in Colorado. Wendy also played at a Sardello conference. They realize that seeds planted in one beautiful tone, can grow into something greater.
· Sheila Johns will begin giving anthroposophic music therapy at the new Uriel Center for Human Renewal through the Arts and Education, which also sponsors events, speakers, festivals, study groups, and an Advent Garden and Spiral.
Criteria for Board members of the Lyre Association of North America
I. To prepare for the future, LANA is looking for new members who are aligned with the mission of the lyre in our time, particularly as expressed in LANA’s mission statement:
The Lyre Association of North America is a non-profit corporation, the mission of which is to promote the modern lyre and support the lyre community on this continent.
II. LANA is seeking Board members who have energy, initiative, vision, and enthusiasm for our mission. Board members should be willing and able to contribute at least one or more of following to this initiative: work, wisdom, or wealth.
III. LANA is seeking Board members with communication skills, who can work within a group process. The board is geographically spread out, so communication takes place via email and telephone. Participation in monthly conference calls is a major part of our work.
IV. Other skills that would be appreciated in a new board member include legal expertise, financial oversight, and website content management.
V. Board members are asked to serve on various sub-committees as needed for the smooth running of our organization. In addition, Board members are expected to be involved with the planning and execution of our annual summer lyre conference, which may also include serving in an ad hoc mandate group of the Board.
VI. LANA Board membership terms are for three years, with the option to continue serving if re-elected. Officers of the Board are selected internally by the serving Board members each year.
VII. LANA is seeking for more board members from the Midwest and Western US, as well as from Canada, because at this time most are located in the Eastern US.
How are nominees selected?
Any member of LANA can recommend a prospective nominee at any time by communicating with a current member of the board. The executive committee and LANA board assess the extent to which a recommended person meets our criteria, and the full board then makes the final decision.