Harp bench, chair, benches, stools, Cello Chair
Interval HarpCello Performance Chairs
Concert Design welcomes Jeanette van Nieulande and announce that our HarpCello Chairs and ‘gig’ stools are now available at her store:
“My son loves the comfort of his ergonomic cello chair. He used to complain of the discomfort of wooden chairs. Though pricey, it is a worthy investment for the serious musician.” Louis Velazquez, S. Deerfield, MA, his son uses interval harpcello chair (2009)
“I just wanted to say thank you for your patience and letting me try out so many different legs on my cello chair. I find it absolutely perfect and love the chair a lot! I even took your chair on tour with me this spring: I played all six Bach cello suites on 4 different cellos; six suites per concert during an extensive concert tour through Alberta. 4 cellos, 1 chair! And that all in one little car… I also used it while recording the six Bach suites. I can’t imagine life without it anymore! I also love that I can adjust it so easily; while listening to a student play, I bring the back support further back, and when I am playing, the back support comes further forward. I want less tilt with my baroque cello and complete tilt with my modern cello. It is so easy to adjust. Thanks again! “Josephine van Lier, cellist, performer, teacher, Recipient of the Celebration of Women in the Arts Award from the Edmonton Arts Council, Josephine’s web site (2009)
FYI: Please visit Josephine’s spectacular web site and see the Concert Design harpcello chair assisting in her performances! And we are planning a separate web page with pictures of Josephine in performance, recording, and teaching. How sleek and modern the harpcello chair looks onstage, used by a beautiful performer and beautiful instruments, front and centre. Check back later.
“I am devoted to my Concert Design chair. It makes long hours of practice, rehearsals, and performances comfortable and much less tiring. Customer service is excellent, very prompt and helpful. Sal works with you to make sure the chair is customized to best suit your needs. It is absolutely worth the investment.”Ann Lobotzke, principal harp, Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, uses the interval harp ‘gig’ stool with back support (2008)
“The harp chair is amazingly stable and nearly infinitely adjustable. Very comfortable. It is great to have excellent quality Made in Canada; just saving up to buy a piccolo ‘gig’ stool for my celtic harps.” Kim Stefaniuk, Toronto, Ontario, uses the interval harp chair (2008)
“Anita Leschied has been a professional harpist, harp teacher and harp therapist within the Windsor community for nearly thirty years. A graduate of Wayne State University in social work, she employs those skills with her gift of music to lift the spirits of those in long term care facilities, hospitals, palliative care rooms and special needs classrooms. Celebrations, funeral services and bedside vigils are where Anita most enjoys using her musical talents.
Anita works with other instrumentalists, singers, readers, artists and dancers to create a personalized memorial celebration. She plays a diverse selection of songs. Different modes are used to create the mood needed for those listening.” See Anita Leschied’s web site for more about her fine work. Further endorsement from Anita lower on this page. (2009)
“The interval harp chair is a great chair worth every penny. The comfort and support maintains my lower back, which I never had with a conventional harp bench. I highly recommend this chair; it is a blessing to me; my back thanks you.”Jeanette Catoggio, contented harpist, graduate of The Juilliard School, harp and piano teacher at the Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth, NJ (2008)
“The interval harp chair is a bargain if you value your health and comfort. I immediately noticed fewer aches and pains in my back and shoulders, as well as much less fatigue. Plus, it is easy to adjust for other players. The back support allows my upper body to relax more, which makes it easier to play well and for longer periods. It makes playing the harp, even for extended periods, comfortable and enjoyable. Do your self a huge favour: Buy this chair! Your body and mind will thank you for it.”Laura Sherman, harpist with the Broadway production of WICKED, www.wickedharp.com (2008)
“The interval harp chair is sturdy and gives very good support, especially to the lower back. What I really like is that it is easily adjustable in so many positions. I can adjust the support to wherever I need it that day.”Linda E. Spollen, harpist, Columbia, MO (2008)
FYI: Linda goes on to mention that in recommending the chair to other harpists, especially harpists who play as a hobby, the cost of the chair is too high. Concert Design thanks Linda for her honesty. From time to time, we run specials on many of our products and often we send emails to announce our specials. Also, the ‘gig’ harp stools are more economical and, though manually adjusted, provide the same adjustments and comfort as the harpcello chair. The ‘gig’ harp stools are a wonderful alternative. The harpcello chair is more costly because of the material used, we use expensive components that, in the end, ensure that our chair lasts much longer than cheaper ones which breakdown and have to be replaced. Any quality products purchased in one’s daily life are more expensive. We refuse to cut corners or manufacture budget/cheap chairs. Give us a call if you want more details, also, read the chair tech page and our fact sheet. We are happy to answer your questions.
“The chair arrived fine and I have been working with it to find just the right positioning. It is a great advance, and I avoid significant fatigue and soreness that I experienced practicing in the past. It makes long practices enjoyable! Thanks very much for your efforts in this regard.” Jeannie Kern Chenette, harpist, Prairie Harp Music Publishing, Poughkeepsie, NY (2008)
“This is the best chair on the market for any harp/cello musician. Whether you play professionally or as a hobby, your back will thank you for buying this chair!” Marti Hall-Powers, harpist, Kansas City, MO (2006)
“I love my harp ‘gig’ stool! The slanted seat keeps my legs from falling asleep due to poor circulation during long gigs and practice sessions. The backrest is great during rehearsals and concerts when I’m not playing. Previously I had to perch on a backless bench and would end up feeling stiff and sore; now I just sit back and enjoy listening.” Kate Hazzard Rogers, Fairfax, VA, harpist (2006).
“As a professional harpist for over thirty years, I have taken pride in my ability to play gigs of 3 and 4 hours with no difficulty. For years I took my shag-covered wooden stool that my uncle made for me years ago. It was hard, a little too short, but easy to throw in the van and carry to a job. I thought it was a smart move on my part to move up to an ironing board-type folding stool, which folds down to fit under an auto seat and easily fits under my arm as I haul my equipment. It has only fallen apart once while I was performing on my Celtic harp, it squeaks when I get engrossed in my playing, and it has become a bit stiff to fold away, but it is adjustable for different sized harps.
Now as my spine is aging and sitting for longer than an hour makes me ache, I am questioning why I have not invested as much thought into what I sit on as what I play, what I wear, what I drive, what music stand I use. Recently I purchased a Canadian-designed musician-friendly harp stool for my studio, which adjusts for my different students and gives me support as I practice. It is too heavy to take to jobs but has made my playing and teaching at home much more enjoyable. Recently as I hosted an adult harp workshop in our home, Sal Porretta and Lois Stouffer of Concert Design Inc. brought a variety of stools to our workshop. These chairs have adjustable legs, an adjustable back support which is also removable for performance or transport, and a variety of coloured, durable fabric coverings. Recently, they have developed a new, lighter gig stool, which they fit to my body needs as I play my pedal harp. I bought it and I love it.
I strongly recommend these stools, as they are a lifetime purchase, the same as your harp. My generation of harpists believed that the proper technique was that you sat on the edge of a hard stool or chair and let your back do the work of playing the harp. I am quite happy to relinquish some of that control and let my supportive chair share the responsibility of supporting my harp and me as we spend hours together.” Anita Leschied, Woodslee, Ontario. Anita has both the Interval Harp Performance Chair (2003) and the new interval ‘gig’ stool (2006).
Celia Chan Valerio award winning harpist, has both the Concert Design Interval HarpCello Chair (December 2004) and the new interval ‘gig’ stool (December 2005): “Thank you for my wonderful “custom” designed ‘gig’ stool. I love it and will be taking it to all of my gigs. Although it will never replace my Interval Performance Chair, it will replace my uncomfortable gig stools! I appreciate the personal attention you have given to my special needs. Thank you again.” Celia Chan Valerio, www.celiaharp.com adjunct professor of harp for La Sierra University and former principal harpist of the Florida West Coast Symphony. Celia performs with ensembles of various sizes and has a large private teaching studio in Redlands, CA.
“I play harp and my 12 year old son plays cello. When I bought the Concert Design HarpCello chair, I asked him if he would like it and he said ‘no’. I felt like I needed to justify paying so much for a chair and that if two people used it, I would feel better. Well, now my son loves it – he also plays classical guitar. We both agree it is marvelous and comfortable. I am so happy I bit the bullet and bought your chair. It is wonderful and worth every penny. My 12 year old agrees it’s the best! Thank you.” Karin Kelly Burns, Magalia, CA. Dec. 2005
“Although I am a beginner harpist, playing or rather learning the harp would have been far more difficult on an uncomfortable or improperly fitting chair. The Harp Performance Chair is very comfortable, and attractive too. Harps are expensive. Why would I put an unattractive or uncomfortable chair beside it? I deserve the best! Customer service was excellent.” Irene Charrois, Edmonton, AB, September 2005
“I started playing the cello a couple years ago when I was 42 years old. I loved it with a great passion, but it hurt my back tremendously. I tried all kinds of stools and chairs. I went to cello teachers, body workers, and movement specialists for help. And my back pain just got worse and worse. I took a big risk (those chairs are expensive, aren’t they?) and bought an arpeggio chair. Within a few weeks of playing the cello daily on my arpeggio chair, my back pain was completely gone. I have had the chair for over a year and my back problems are still gone. And I play for at least an hour every day. My wife, who plays the harp, was having back pain. I encouraged her to buy one of Sal’s chairs. She did and she loves it. For me, even though I am an amateur musician, the expense of the chair has been well worth it. I have never had a moment of regret about buying the chair. And I’m not made out of money.If you are thinking about buying a chair but still not sure, talk to Sal on the phone. He is a good guy with integrity. He says he makes the best chair available with the best materials available. He is telling the truth. Thank you, Sal.”Christopher Doyle Santa Rosa, CA USA, March 2005
“I first came in contact with the Concert Design Harp Chair while I was searching for an ergonomically-designed chair on the net. I asked my sister whether she would be able to bring one for me (I have been living in Turkey since 1999). She had quite an adventure traveling with the chair overseas, but finally when I got the chair I made her sit on it to justify the trouble! I have been using it since that time at home and in concerts. I am actually delighted to carry it to concerts because it is so good. Using the chair made me much more aware of general posture…I definitely feel more centered and more relaxed when I play. My back and neck pain is dramatically reduced, the back of my legs usually thank me for those rounded edges. The possibility to remove the back support proves to be very useful for me. Since I mostly play solo or chamber music concerts, I like to use the chair on stage without the back. At home or in rehearsal the back support is bliss. I wonder why for years I never had a chance to rest my back this way. Anything else looks very primitive to me now. This chair is a must-have for anyone who plays the harp! Plus, I really like the modern look. It creates a nice, sharp contrast with the harp. I cannot recommend it enough to my colleagues and harp students.” Sirin Pancaroglu, Soloist, Lecturer, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey. January 2005 (Ms. Pancaroglu purchased her harp chair in March 2003)
“Some very dear friends remembered my oohs and ahs over a chair a cellist friend was using in the orchestra. My birthday rolled around and there it was on my doorstep. My first encounter with Concert Design was a marvelous phone call offering easy to follow directions and encouragement for its use. I love this chair. My students love this chair. I don’t always let them use it, as it is also so comfortable for teaching. This chair is making playing on into my “middle” years possible—what a nice way to turn 60. Thank you, Concert Design and of course, thank you, my wonderful friends.” Elisa Dickon, former Principal Harp Virginia Symphony, solo and chamber music performances, teaching studio at Norfolk Academy. January 2005
“I love the chair! It arrived in time for a workshop I was hosting, so other harpists got a chance to try it out. As well, I have had each of my students use it. I love the back support and the material on the seat and back (does not feel slippery when I wear satiny skirts). Also, the size and shape of the harpcello seat is perfect for allowing my legs to stay comfortable; it doesn’t grab the back of the knees. I also like the fact that your chair makes no noise when you adjust the height. That way, you can adjust it right in the middle of a concert.”Elizabeth Volpé, Principal Harp, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Harp Instructor, University of British Columbia. December 2004
Judith Barone of Waterbury Center, VT, writes “Thanks for a great chair. I love it! You only have one back in this lifetime, and I want to keep playing the rest of my life. I do gigs that are sometimes four hours, so having a supportive, friendly chair is invaluable. You guys are great, you care, you return phone calls promptly and answer all questions to my satisfaction.” May 2004
James Pinkerton of Springfield, VA, writes “When on a regulating trip to the Norfolk area, I stayed with a harpist who was given the “Concert Design” harp chair as a gift. I had seen the ads and the prices, and thought “couldn’t be worth it”. I had a fair amount of practicing to do between harp regulations and after sitting on this wonderful chair for two hours, promptly picked up the phone and ordered one!! Didn’t even hesitate about the price. Worth every single penny. We have known for years that playing the harp does not lend itself to good posture esp. in the lower back. After several hours on this chair, I felt as good as when I started. It literally won’t let
you sit in any position except the correct one and I discovered far less fatigue than when I used a traditional bench. James’ web site September 2004
Alyssa Wright, cellist, Toronto, Ontario, writes, “I’m really enjoying my new chair — it almost feels like I’m not having to work at all. My bottom (and back!) are definitely getting spoiled!!! I now make excuses to practise things I don’t even have to practise, just so I can sit in it again. Thanks so much!” March 2004
Laurel Wright, harpist from Salt Lake City, UT, writes: “I have back problems and your chair is a lifesaver! Whoever invented backless harp benches should be made to sit in them – that would be punishment enough! My Concert Design Harp Chair has transformed my daily practice sessions from sheer torture after the first 15 minutes into the ability to sit for several hours at a time if I so desire. This has definitely improved my skill as a musician since I don’t have to constantly fight back pain. I consider my chair to be an investment in my health, as well as making me a better musician.”March 2004
Arthur Safir, cellist from Warminster, PA, writes: “The Concert Design cello chair has enabled me to enjoy many hours of comfortable play, although I fractured my lower spine some 30 years ago. Prior to using this multi-adjustable chair, my playing time was limited to much shorter sessions as my back would “give out”. Many thanks for this wonderful product.”March 2004
“After using your harp chair in the orchestra for two years, most of my back problems have disappeared. Now I can once again enjoy rehearsals and performances without back pain and discomfort! By helping me to sit in a more comfortable manner, I find that I achieve a fuller, freer and more relaxed sound. This chair is truly amazing, and I plan to purchase a second chair to use at home for practicing and teaching.” Mary Bircher, Principal Harp, Omaha Symphony.2003
“…Musicians flock to massage therapists and chiropractors following a string of long days. Good seating is a universal problem and sitting for long periods is also a known health risk. My search for the perfect sitting machine led me to the Concert Design website…”.Click here to read the entire article. John Catchings, past principal cellist in several orchestras including Nashville Symphony, Tennessee.1999
“Playing for hospice requires sitting, often for many hours, without a break. Without your Performance Chair, this would be impossible for me as I suffer from chronic fibromyalgia, as well as lower back pain. With the flexible design and posturing of this ergonomic chair, I am able to provide a much longer and richer service to my patients. Thank you so very much.” Lynn Marks, harpist, Boerne, TX.2001
“I love my Harp Chair for both performance and teaching! In my studio, the chair conforms to the many height needs of my students! It’s wonderful! (I have 40 students!)” Candace LiVolsi, harpist, Angelikos, Redding, CA.2000
“At last, the perfect harp chair! No more sitting on folded harp covers. This chair gets me through even the Wagner Ring in total comfort. Thank you for extending my performing career!”Liz Cifani, Principal Harp, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Professor of harp, Northwestern University and Northern Illinois University.2000
“The Concert Design Harp Chair is brilliantly designed for the serious harpist.” Patty Masri-Fletcher, Principal Harp, Detroit Symphony.1996
“The Interval Harp Performance Chair has made my playing in the orchestra much more enjoyable. The Harp Chair provides the needed support and makes it possible for me to enjoy rehearsals and performances – even when I am not playing, it’s restful and supportive.” Judy Loman, former principal harp, Toronto Symphony Orchestra,
Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.1995
“I love the support and comfort the Performance Chair gives me in my cello performing and practicing. The adjustability of the Chair gives me perfect seating.” Daniel Domb, former Principal Cello, Toronto Symphony Orchestra.1999