We are proud dealers for these brands!
Please call (865) 690-6465 and ask for Marjorie to get more information!
From the hallowed halls of the New York Philharmonic to the Bolshoi Ballet, Lyon & Healy Harps is acclaimed throughout the world for its remarkable depth and clarity of sound, breathtaking designs, and rich heritage of quality craftsmanship. With 130 years of harpmaking experience, each hand-crafted pedal and lever harp is instilled with a legacy of superior woodcrafting and commitment to the development of the instrument.
Luthier William Rees began selling harps in 1972. At that time he was living in California, teaching high school science, gigging with a band on weekends and starting a family. Building stringed instruments was something he did as a hobby and to add some income. Everything he built was made in a little corner of his garage next to the washing machine. Years passed. His reputation and family grew. When he met his current wife, Pamela, he was living between Oakhurst, California and the southern gates of Yosemite National Park. He had the Sierra National Forest, literally, in his backyard and a waterfall just across the road. It was pretty idyllic. But Pamela had figured out that building instruments was bringing in more income than teaching so in 1992 William and Pamela formed Wm. Rees Instruments and William became a full-time luthier. Then, in 1996, fifteen year-old Garen, William’s youngest son, joined William and started doing harp ornamentation. William and Pamela also added an employee, Rebecca Spellman, and a lutherie apprentice, the wonderful Jeff Lewis. The business grew dramatically.
By 1999 William and Pamela knew they needed to relocate outside of (expensive) California in order to grow the business further so they moved, along with Garen and Bryant (William’s oldest son, who worked for the business for a couple of years), to Rising Sun, Indiana. They bought a 7000 square foot building, which was part manufacturing space and part retail space. The part retail, part manufacturing space was built in 1881 and the Rees’ had the building completely rehabbed. They moved in June of 2000.
The business quintupled in size and by 2003, when William introduced his newest creation, the Harpsicle® Harp, to the world, things really took off. Now Rees Concert Line Harps and Harpsicle® Harps have spread around the world and our little harp lutherie just keeps chugging away. (For the much more detailed rendition of this story, see “The Long Version” below.)
A True Family Business
It is natural to associate the harp with the name Salvi, a reference point for musicians since the mid-1900s. The story of Salvi Harps starts in the early 19th century in Vincenza with Giranimo Salvi giving his name and starting what would become one of the leading harp brands in the world.
The family tradition continues with his son Rodolfo, who transfers the business first to Venice, then to America, where he raised five children, of which: Albert, who will be defined by Nicanor Zabaleta as “the greatest harp player of all time,” Aida who will become a composer and harpist of the Chicago Opera. And Victor, who will become harpist of the New York Philharmonic and the NBC Orchestra directed by Arturo Toscanini. George Szell, Pierre Monteux, Dimitri Mitropoulos and Victor de Sabata.
For Victor Salvi, playing at the highest level is not enough. Soon, his artistic passion merges with that of enterprise and brings him to assume the responsibility to continue the family business. His dream is to create the best harp in the world and make the instrument more accessible to harpists and to the widest possible audience.
We are a small company of people who place a great deal of importance on our customer interactions. We think you are entitled to talk to a real, live, friendly person when you call us, and we care about understanding your particular situation and helping you to the best of our abilities. Basically, we try to treat our customers the way we would hope to be treated ourselves.
There is no question too silly or insignificant to ask. We love to talk about musical instruments and will do our best to help you in any way we can. If we don’t know the answer, we will be honest about it rather than making something up. Often we can refer you to someone else who might have more information.
If you are thinking of buying a harp or hammered dulcimer, or you’re just curious about them, we are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you don’t even know what questions to ask, we can offer guidance. We believe in helping you find the instrument that will make you happiest, which means that we will not try to talk you into the most expensive model, and we won’t push you to buy a Dusty Strings instrument if ours don’t seem to fit what you’re looking for. We are a team-based organization and we like working cooperatively, and we pass that attitude on when working with our customers.
Above all, we are sympathetic people who are in this business because we love music and want to share it with you. We are proud of our longstanding reputation for ethical business practices, and we strive to uphold this reputation by continuing to make high-quality instruments and by taking care of our customers.