Front Porch Music Open Stage - March 13

by Cynthia Shelhart

Enough with the snow already... time to get out of the house! I'm bringing my harp to Front Porch Music (Valparaiso IN) tonight to host their weekly open stage. Doors open for sign-ups at 7:00 PM, and I'll open the evening at 7:30 PM with a 30-minute set. All ages, instruments and musical styles welcome - and listeners, too! Hope to see you there.

Introducing Music Stand Mondays

by Cynthia Shelhart

Happy New Year, and welcome to a new feature of my blog: Music Stand Mondays!

Music Stand Mondays is a new series I've created to share tunes with harpers and other musicians in multiple formats. Whether you're a visual learner (I want the dots!), an auditory learner (Play it again, Sam!), or a little of both, I hope that you'll find something fun and/or useful each week.

In each post, I will feature a tune (public domain or an original composition), with background information, a downloadable "lead sheet" (melody + chords) PDF, and 3 audio files:
- The melody alone;
- The melody + a "one-note" accompaniment (using chord roots);
- The melody + an accompaniment that uses chord-based patterns.

And I have ulterior motives. Recording the audio for each post (in my own studio, with GarageBand on my iPad) will also help me get studio-ready for a new project. (More on that later.)

As I experiment with the format along the way, I hope you'll let me know how you like the series.

So, on to the first tune - Eleanor Plunkett by Turlough O'Carolan!

Eleanor Plunkett

  • Composed by: Turlough O'Carolan (Ireland, 1670-1738)
  • Key/tuning and meter: Key of G tuning; 3/4
  • About the tune: This beautiful air was written by O'Carolan in praise of Eleanor Plunkett of County Meath, Ireland. It was the very first Irish tune that I ever learned on the harp.

Visual learners: Click here to download a PDF of the tune in lead sheet format from my book, Tunes to Go.

Auditory learners: Here are the audio files for Eleanor Plunkett:
- Audio A: melody alone
- Audio B: melody + one-note accompaniment
- Audio C: melody + pattern-based accompaniment

Hope you enjoy this inaugural tune. Which tune would you like to see next Monday? Let me know in the comments below!

5th annual "Friends of Francis" benefit concert

by Cynthia Shelhart

CHESTERTON, IN (Oct. 19, 2013) – Harpist Cynthia Shelhart, a nationally recognized Celtic harpist and recording artist, will present a solo concert, “Friends of Francis,” on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at St. John’s United Church, 225 W. Lincoln Ave., Chesterton IN. This fifth annual concert will benefit the Porter County Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter in Valparaiso IN.

Shelhart, the 2005 U.S. Scottish Harp National Champion and director of music at St. John’s United Church, will perform traditional music from Scotland & Ireland, as well as her own compositions. The concert is named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment.

Admission is free, and a freewill offering to benefit the Porter County Animal Shelter will be accepted. Shelter animals will be available for adoption, and Shelhart will donate a portion of the evening’s CD sales to the Shelter.

For more information, contact Cynthia Shelhart at (219) 508-3558 or