My First Folk Harp Journal


Folk Harp Journal – President’s Letter/ Winter Issue 2012

My First Folk Harp Journal

For most of us there are a handful of days that we can look back on as changing our lives.  One that has stayed with me is the day I saw my first copy of the Folk Harp Journal.  It was Issue 48, March 1985.  You have to remember that this was way before the internet.  It was much harder for people to network and share ideas. My Grandfather and Father had already set up our store as a Lyon & Healy dealer and I had gone to Chicago to learn pedal harp regulation.  For lever harps, we stocked Troubadours.  Dusty Strings was just getting into harps after starting with hammered dulcimers and it would be a few more months before we would be stocking their instruments.

Star Edwards was teaching and playing harp in Denver.  She still is.  Star went on to have a number of harp books published by Mel Bay and others.  On this particular day she came into the store for some strings.  She was on her way to teach a lesson.  I was going to make her very late.  Star casually mentioned that she had the newest issue of the Folk Harp Journal.  I remember totally losing my mind as I opened it up.  I had no idea there was a Folk Harp Society or Journal.  I couldn’t believe the ads and articles.  I still have my copy of that issue and reading it is like looking at a perfect snapshot of who was doing what.  One of the ads was for a new recording by Kim Robertson, Moonrise, which was available on cassette tape!  Betty Truitt was selling bent wood shells for people to use when building round backed harps.  There was also a full page ad for Mark Emery Bolles and his Markwood Harps.  My hand was shaking as I copied down the information for joining the society and purchasing back issues.

On page two of that issue was a letter from Linda Bruce, President of the Society of Folk Harps & Craftsmen.  In that letter she explains that for the first 12 years the Folk Harp Journal had been published by Phyllis and Robbie Robinson and that on January 13th, 1985 the Journal was put under the control of the Folk Harp Society.  At that same time the Society was incorporated.  So, this was an important issue for the Folk Harp Society, the Folk Harp Journal and for me.

Is is impossible to overstate how important the Society and the Journal were to the growth of the folk harp community.  Every time I get a new copy of the Journal I get that same feeling, this is important.  The Journal is our publication of record.  It is how we will be able to keep track of who we were and where we come from.  Thanks to all of you for being part of it.

David Kolacny

Re-printed by permission of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen.  To join the Folk Harp Society go to

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