Ancaster harpist reaches new high with release of two CDs

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

From extreme lows to screaming falsetto tones, Alyssa Michalsky proves the electric harp is one extremely versatile instrument.

As one of Southern Ontario's only professional electric harpists, Michalsky performs at special events and shares her performance skills with a growing list of students ranging in age from six to 73. When it comes to teaching, Michalsky promises to help anyone willing to learn. She now has more than 25 regular students.

From Pachelbel's Canon in D to the Beatles, Stairway to Heaven and Hey There Delilah by the Plain White Ts, Michalsky's musical arrangements range from classical to contemporary.

A graduate of the bachelor's and master's harp performance program at the University of Toronto, she studied with one of the world’s most renowned harpists, Judy Loman, for six years. Michalsky had the option to become a classical orchestral harpist. Instead she chose the solo path. And after years of hard work, her determination is paying off.

"I knew the orchestra thing just wasn't for me," Michalsky said.

The electric harp has an extradorinary range. It can mimic an organ or an electric guitar. Michalsky's Lyon and Healy concert grand electric harp stands more than five feet tall and has 47 strings. Each string is like a white key on the piano. To generate sharp or flat notes, the harpist lifts or depresses foot pedals on the floor.

"The harp lends itself to doing so much more," Michalsky said. "If I can sing it, I can pluck it out on the harp."

An Ancaster native, Michalsky has devoted her life's studies to music. She began playing the piano at age three, the harp at five, and the Ukrainian national instrument, the bandura at age eight. Since then she has won several musical awards and scholarships for all three instruments, including first place at the National Harp Scholarship Competition in the U. S. in 2001.

Today Michalsky is celebrating a new milestone. She has just released two new CDs, featuring her own arrangements of popular contemporary tunes. The CDs are available at six Chapters book stores in Southern Ontario.

Michalsky’s album, Divine Harp, includes 17 tracks ranging from David Foster's The Prayer, to Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper. Her second release, Divine Christmas, promises to be popular for the holiday season. It features such selections as I'll Be Home for Christmas, O Holy Night, Jingle Bell Rock and Greensleeves.

Michalsky is hosting a series of concerts to promote her new recordings, including a free performance this Sunday, Nov. 15 at the Ancaster Chapters from 1-4 p. m. She returns to Chapters Ancaster for performances on Nov. 29, Dec, 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. Visit her website for a complete schedule of upcoming concerts.

Michalsky's home-based business, Divine Harp, has provided live musical electric harp entertainment to clients throughout Ontario.

When she's not performing or teaching harp lessons, Michalsky is an elementary school supply teacher. She credits her parents, Anna and Walter and her sister, Tasya, for supporting her dream of becoming a professional harpist. Her grandmother, Myra, was the first to instill her love for the harp.

From elaborate weddings to anniversary parties and corporate functions, Michalsky balances a busy schedule of weekend gigs. It's not uncommon for her to play two or three gigs in a single weekend, especially during the spring and summer.

To learn more, visit www.divineharp.com or call 905-538-5318.

Ancaster harpist reaches new high with release of two CDs

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

From extreme lows to screaming falsetto tones, Alyssa Michalsky proves the electric harp is one extremely versatile instrument.

As one of Southern Ontario's only professional electric harpists, Michalsky performs at special events and shares her performance skills with a growing list of students ranging in age from six to 73. When it comes to teaching, Michalsky promises to help anyone willing to learn. She now has more than 25 regular students.

From Pachelbel's Canon in D to the Beatles, Stairway to Heaven and Hey There Delilah by the Plain White Ts, Michalsky's musical arrangements range from classical to contemporary.

A graduate of the bachelor's and master's harp performance program at the University of Toronto, she studied with one of the world’s most renowned harpists, Judy Loman, for six years. Michalsky had the option to become a classical orchestral harpist. Instead she chose the solo path. And after years of hard work, her determination is paying off.

"I knew the orchestra thing just wasn't for me," Michalsky said.

The electric harp has an extradorinary range. It can mimic an organ or an electric guitar. Michalsky's Lyon and Healy concert grand electric harp stands more than five feet tall and has 47 strings. Each string is like a white key on the piano. To generate sharp or flat notes, the harpist lifts or depresses foot pedals on the floor.

"The harp lends itself to doing so much more," Michalsky said. "If I can sing it, I can pluck it out on the harp."

An Ancaster native, Michalsky has devoted her life's studies to music. She began playing the piano at age three, the harp at five, and the Ukrainian national instrument, the bandura at age eight. Since then she has won several musical awards and scholarships for all three instruments, including first place at the National Harp Scholarship Competition in the U. S. in 2001.

Today Michalsky is celebrating a new milestone. She has just released two new CDs, featuring her own arrangements of popular contemporary tunes. The CDs are available at six Chapters book stores in Southern Ontario.

Michalsky’s album, Divine Harp, includes 17 tracks ranging from David Foster's The Prayer, to Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper. Her second release, Divine Christmas, promises to be popular for the holiday season. It features such selections as I'll Be Home for Christmas, O Holy Night, Jingle Bell Rock and Greensleeves.

Michalsky is hosting a series of concerts to promote her new recordings, including a free performance this Sunday, Nov. 15 at the Ancaster Chapters from 1-4 p. m. She returns to Chapters Ancaster for performances on Nov. 29, Dec, 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. Visit her website for a complete schedule of upcoming concerts.

Michalsky's home-based business, Divine Harp, has provided live musical electric harp entertainment to clients throughout Ontario.

When she's not performing or teaching harp lessons, Michalsky is an elementary school supply teacher. She credits her parents, Anna and Walter and her sister, Tasya, for supporting her dream of becoming a professional harpist. Her grandmother, Myra, was the first to instill her love for the harp.

From elaborate weddings to anniversary parties and corporate functions, Michalsky balances a busy schedule of weekend gigs. It's not uncommon for her to play two or three gigs in a single weekend, especially during the spring and summer.

To learn more, visit www.divineharp.com or call 905-538-5318.

Ancaster harpist reaches new high with release of two CDs

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

From extreme lows to screaming falsetto tones, Alyssa Michalsky proves the electric harp is one extremely versatile instrument.

As one of Southern Ontario's only professional electric harpists, Michalsky performs at special events and shares her performance skills with a growing list of students ranging in age from six to 73. When it comes to teaching, Michalsky promises to help anyone willing to learn. She now has more than 25 regular students.

From Pachelbel's Canon in D to the Beatles, Stairway to Heaven and Hey There Delilah by the Plain White Ts, Michalsky's musical arrangements range from classical to contemporary.

A graduate of the bachelor's and master's harp performance program at the University of Toronto, she studied with one of the world’s most renowned harpists, Judy Loman, for six years. Michalsky had the option to become a classical orchestral harpist. Instead she chose the solo path. And after years of hard work, her determination is paying off.

"I knew the orchestra thing just wasn't for me," Michalsky said.

The electric harp has an extradorinary range. It can mimic an organ or an electric guitar. Michalsky's Lyon and Healy concert grand electric harp stands more than five feet tall and has 47 strings. Each string is like a white key on the piano. To generate sharp or flat notes, the harpist lifts or depresses foot pedals on the floor.

"The harp lends itself to doing so much more," Michalsky said. "If I can sing it, I can pluck it out on the harp."

An Ancaster native, Michalsky has devoted her life's studies to music. She began playing the piano at age three, the harp at five, and the Ukrainian national instrument, the bandura at age eight. Since then she has won several musical awards and scholarships for all three instruments, including first place at the National Harp Scholarship Competition in the U. S. in 2001.

Today Michalsky is celebrating a new milestone. She has just released two new CDs, featuring her own arrangements of popular contemporary tunes. The CDs are available at six Chapters book stores in Southern Ontario.

Michalsky’s album, Divine Harp, includes 17 tracks ranging from David Foster's The Prayer, to Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper. Her second release, Divine Christmas, promises to be popular for the holiday season. It features such selections as I'll Be Home for Christmas, O Holy Night, Jingle Bell Rock and Greensleeves.

Michalsky is hosting a series of concerts to promote her new recordings, including a free performance this Sunday, Nov. 15 at the Ancaster Chapters from 1-4 p. m. She returns to Chapters Ancaster for performances on Nov. 29, Dec, 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. Visit her website for a complete schedule of upcoming concerts.

Michalsky's home-based business, Divine Harp, has provided live musical electric harp entertainment to clients throughout Ontario.

When she's not performing or teaching harp lessons, Michalsky is an elementary school supply teacher. She credits her parents, Anna and Walter and her sister, Tasya, for supporting her dream of becoming a professional harpist. Her grandmother, Myra, was the first to instill her love for the harp.

From elaborate weddings to anniversary parties and corporate functions, Michalsky balances a busy schedule of weekend gigs. It's not uncommon for her to play two or three gigs in a single weekend, especially during the spring and summer.

To learn more, visit www.divineharp.com or call 905-538-5318.