what they're saying about the Thormahlen Serenade
Endorsements for Swans, Cygnets, Ceili
February 8, 2023
See our video of 4 customers who tell their expereience
with their Thormahlen Harp on the Swan endorsement
A few years ago my husband Eric and I bought our (my) first
harp from you. I have been meaning to get in touch with you,
just to let you know how much we truly have enjoyed our Thormahlen
Harp...it has been a wonderful addition to our home! We truly
love it! I used to play the flute, while Eric played guitar...and
now I accompany him on harp. We enjoy playing together and love
the way the sounds blend!We recently finished our first harp & guitar
CD. Take care, and thank you for making our beautiful harp!
- Karin M :-)
I just got my Serenade!!! I LOOOOVVVEEEE IT! It
is as close to the perfect harp as one can get. I
can't believe how resonant and full the tone is - wow! And
it arrived in great condition. I am very impressed with the
shipping company. A driver brought it right to my front door.
Great service. I am extremely pleased with the harp and am
looking forward to two more at least - my student already has
put her ibby dibs on the next one. When can I get it?
- Joanna Mell, Pennsylvania
See Joanna on our Swans endorsement page as well as the Cygnet
page. She is one of just a few folks who have "one of each."
|I’m very happy to report that my new Serenade arrived safe
and sound yesterday. It is as even as it could possibly be from
top to bottom. Its sound is rich and clear—very bell like.
As with other Serenades, the warmth and depth of the harp’s
tone are my favorite features. I still have yet to play a lever
harp—built by any maker—that can even come close to
the warmth and richness of a Thormahlen. You guys basically build
the best folk harps out there.
In short, Thormahlens are simply the best out there, this harp included. Thank
you again for the wonderful privilege of being able to say that I own a Thormahlen
again. I am looking forward to using this beautiful instrument as a tool with
which I can create music for many years to come.
- Brook Boddie, Louisiana
|I am so thrilled! I felt so uplifted after visiting you, and
amazed by the quality of sound. I was so blown away by the sound
your harps make! The balance of depth, resonance and clarity, the
evenness throughout the harp, the responsiveness of the strings,
and just that voice! That was more than I was hoping for. Such
an easy decision.
- Kathryn Cater, Oregon
|Just wanted to let you know I got my harp today. I love it! I
can’t even believe how beautiful it sounds. It is all the
things I told you I was looking for, with the lighter string tension,
the comfortable string spacing, and it really does have a resonating,
bell-like, tone. I think it will be perfect for me. I’ve
just tuned it and played a little, and am looking forward to playing
it more tomorrow. Again, thank you so much for this beautiful
harp! I also love the heron. All the best,
- Mia, Tennessee
Just wanted to let you know we are enjoying the harp. My daughter
Laura has performed on it the last 2 weekends - once for a youth
convention of about 1500 teens, and then last weekend for a Christmas
party for a Christian Bikers Club - a very interesting crowd,
but they loved the harp and gave her a standing ovation! We
have had lots of compliments on how pretty the harp is, with
the black color, and the pearl. Have a great Christmas.
- Vicky Stanifer, Indiana (Laura with her Black
|My granddaughter, Julia, has a very reserved temperament, but
her eyes lit up when I told her the chestnut Serenade was her
new harp. She immediately sat down to play it. My daughter (Julia's
mother) was so amazed at the beautiful sound, so very beautiful.
I could not believe
Julia's immediate attachment to her new harp. She played it during
her lesson, and then improvised on it. The resonance of
that harp could be heard throughout the house all weekend. It
- Stella Benson, Washington (Julia with her new
chestnut Serenade) Stella is the founder of the International
Healing Musician's Program.
She just arrived this morning. I am in love! After 20-odd
days over land and sea she will probably take a few days at least
to acclimatize and stay in tune, but what a beautiful tone. Thank
you so much for this beautiful gift of your craftsmanship and
attention to detail and for convincing me about the fluorocarbon
strings. I don't think I will ever need to amplify this sound!
I am happy beyond words.
Stay safe and have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Joyful
- Janet Coombes/Canada
I want to let you know how pleased I am with the new Serenade
harp. It is exceeding my expectations, and I am now thinking that
a Cygnet might be the next harp in my future! I
am amazed at how Dave is able to get such a great sound out of
such a small instrument. I have been singing its praises to all of my harp colleagues and
will probably use this harp for some upcoming concerts I have.
- R. Barnwell, Georgia (Mr. Barnwell already
owns one of our Swan harps and now has a Sereande. If he ever
gets a Cygnet, he will be the first to own a whole family of
Mr. Barnwell is playing Julianne's harp in this photo.
See Julianne get her new harp.
The photos say it all!
and her sister, Coralie, have just started making harp covers
cleverly called harp jackets, gowns and tunics. They are beautiful!
Here is a link.
|Thank you so much for your perfect customer
service. It makes
me proud to own a Thormahlen Harp. You are sooo kind. I play my
harp all the time. I played for an 84 year young friend who just
had pancreatic cancer surgery. I know that she and her hospital
room-mate were deeply appreciative of the wonderful tone and healing
vibration. Her only regret was that her husband of 59 years was
at home and missed the concert!
- Dustin Ebesu, Hawaii
I have been a pedal harpist for over 45 years. I have been
hoping to find a lever harp which would feel and sound familiar
enough that I easily could go back and forth between harps. I
had no intention of purchasing a harp at The Harp Gathering in
Ohio, but when I played this Serenade, I loved the big,
warm, mellow sound and immediately purchased it! I
found the string spacing to be just right and the feel of the
harp to be perfect. I am most pleased with my unplanned purchase! I really love how
my Thormahlen Serenade sounds.
-Diane Dunn, Michigan
Diane has authored two lovely children's book featureing a harp
|Merry Christmas to me!! I can't tell you how wonderful it is
to have a Thormahlen in the house again. This harp is even more
beautiful than I had pictured in my mind, and the sound is fantastic!!
It is every bit as wonderful as the big harp of yours I had. You
know how difficult it was for me to have to sell the Swan, but
I just couldn't carry that much harp around to all the hospitals
I play in. The Serenade is going to be perfect for my therapy work
- just the right size and lovely sound. And it has a full range
so I can also use it when I play with our harp group.
Thank you sooo much for the absolute best Christmas present!
-Dona Wonacott, New York
I picked up the harp from the airport and it
arrived in perfect conditionl!! I’m really, really happy
about the Serenade. The sound is celestial, it’s warm
and mellow as people say on the web!! It’s exactly the
heavenly sound I was looking for, I love it… I also love
the big quality of the sound, I feel the vibration of it through
my body and that’s beautiful. I didn’t
feel this enchanting sensation with my little bardic harp, because
it doesn’t have a big sound, since it’s a small instrument.
The Serenade is really a complete harp and the dimension is absolutely
perfect for me.
The strings are perfect
and the inlay is beautiful. Everything is perfect and I still can’t
believe I have a Thormahlen at home! ;-)
I’m looking forward to show the harp to my harp teacher and
to some friends.
Thank you very much for your support and for your kindness.
-Chiara Borden, Italy
An update from Chiara:
Yesterday I used my Serenade during my
harp lesson and my teacher had the occasion of playing it. She
was really amazed by the beautiful sweet tone of the harp. She
is also a pedal harpist and she really enjoyed the folk gut sound.
Other students saw and heard my harp and were enchanted not only
by the sound but also by the aesthetic aspect of the Serenade.
The big sound was also really really appreciated. Note that I’m
used to play in a “soft” way, since
I’m a beginner and I’m not used to playing loud: despite
that the harp produces a very big and full sound and it stands
out among the other celtic harps and my hand position has been
improved since I started studying on the Serenade.
The light weight together with the beautiful, sweet, big and full
sound and the elegant aesthetic aspect, make the Serenade a really
enviable celtic harp.
Thank you so much,
|Just letting you know that the harp arrived safely on Monday.
It is everything I'd hoped for and more. I've found that when I
put my hands on a new instrument I start playing tunes I'd never
considered playing before and that's the case here. I'm looking
forward to the time I can start playing it in performances
Thank you for everything
- Jim Cunningham, New York
|Thank you so much for my beautiful new Thormahlen Serenade! It
is truly “the one I’ve been waiting for”--the
harp of my dreams. Not only is this walnut-stained beauty an aesthetically
pleasing work of art, it also unassumingly offers a rich, mellow
sound. The folk gut strings are easy on my fingers, and the Camac
levers operate smoothly and effortlessly. In addition, the fact
that this instrument is light to carry and can fit in the backseat
of my Honda makes transport a breeze!
Not only is my harp a paradise for the eye and ear--your service has been a tremendous
blessing, as well. I have spoken with both of you on the phone, and you are delightful
to work with. When an extremely rare event occurred--a damage in shipping--you
immediately offered the option of building me a new harp. In the end, everything
worked out extremely well, and I am grateful for your compassion and excellent
Previous to owning this beautiful Thormahlen, I had purchased a harp from a large
company. I can tell you that there is absolutely no comparison. Being able to
speak directly to both of you, and getting to know personally the wonderful people
who crafted/strung/levered my harp, has been a fabulous experience. Each day
I practice, or play in church, or just serenade my family and friends, I will
benefit from your expertise and creativity. A thousand thank-yous!
-Marjorie, New York who is camera shy so just send a picture
of her harp in her home.
This harp is my Dream Harp! I wanted a harp that was light
enough to be transported easily. It had to have an even tone,
lush, mellow sounds in the base, bright-but-not-too-bright in
the higher end, be capable of providing volume without being
too loud while still being capable of good sustain even when
played more lightly. Last of all, I wanted the harp to be beautiful
and look special to me. You can see that I had a list of criteria
that I wanted all in one harp! My Serenade possesses everything
I had hoped for. I love the way it sounds, I love the way it
plays, I love the way it looks. I didn't have to settle for less
than what I wanted. As Marilyn Gryte says proudly in the Thormahlen
website's video, "Yes,
I have a Thormahlen!"
-Jane P. McNally, Ph.D.
A little update from Jane: Don't get sick
of hearing this: I so LOVE my Serenade. Whenever I begin learning
a new piece, it is just such a holy experience hearing the melody
on my Serenade. It's like a new gift..."here comes
something new and beautiful." Sometimes, after playing,
I sit with tears in my eyes -- not that I'm a magnificent musician,
but the tone, the beauty, it's so touching.
-Jane P. McNally, Ph.D.
Another update 2015 I just passed the
second anniversary of receiving my Serenade. Boy, it seems as
though it has always been in my life, and when I realized
that it was only two years, I couldn't believe it! The longer
I'm around, the more I realize how fortunate I am to have my
Serenade and how superior the sound is to soooo many other harps.
Blessings on both you and Dave. Be well, stay healthy, and may
all good things come and abide with you.
-Jane P. McNally, Ph.D.
I want you to know I love my Serenade. It is all about the tone
for me. The sound is silky and
smooth. It just reaches inside me and brings joy. It took about
five years for me to have enough money to get mine. I have no
regrets. Thank you and Merry Christmas.
|I LOVE my Serenade harp! I even love the way
-Becca Theis, Illinois
The sound (of this harp) is just incredible. It's probably one
of the nicest harps I have ever owned, and I have owned a lot.
I feel so grateful to have found this harp.
-Brook Boddie, Louisiana (2013)
Brook now has another of our Serenade Harps (2015):
Well, it finally
made it!! It was delivered this morning. And, despite being in
below-freezing temps for 10 days, the harp is fine, and it's
already holding pitch. The instrument is stunning visually, and
I love the sound
as well--the warm, rich, deep tones that are characteristic of
Thormahlen harps. I am playing for a wedding tomorrow and in
church Sunday and had not planned on using this harp because
I never thought it would return to pitch so quickly, but it has,
so it will make its public debut tomorrow afternoon at the wedding.
Thank you, as always, for building me such a beautiful instrument.
I could not be happier with it!
-Brook Boddie, Louisiana
The new Serenade arrived today. (early 2017) I tuned it a few
times, took a deep breath, and began playing. A harpist only
gets one chance to have an initial impression from a new harp.
Mine can be described in one word: WOW!!! It's really difficult
for me to find the right words to describe this harp. It has
a depth and warmth that few lever harps reach, especially just
out of the box. The string tension is perfect for my big hands--not
too loose; not too tight. The sound is perfectly even from top
to bottom. It is stunningly beautiful physically. The black finish
with a black soundboard look quite elegant. Above all, the harp's
warm, rich, and resonant sound is its most impressive quality.
All these come together to create a beautiful work of art that
will bless me (and hopefully others) for many years to come.
Thank you and Dave for continuing to build such quality instruments.
This one will very likely go in the "keep forever" section
of my harp collection. Again, thank you!
-Brook Boddie, Louisiana
(late 2017) I just wanted to tell you how incredible this
black Serenade is. I probably say this every time I get a new
Serenade, but this one bears having the comment repeated: this
is the best Serenade I've ever owned. The tone is-mystifying
and heart-wrenching, if that makes sense. It's the kind of harp
I'd want to sit and play all night if I didn't have to get up for work the next day. I still can't believe that I was able
at the last minute and end up with this harp. You know I've owned
lot of harps in my life; this is one of my favorites-ever.
still hoping to get a Swan one day, but until then, I've got what
has to be the best Serenade you guys have ever made. I know, though, that a lot
of people would fight me on that opinion!!
-Brook Boddie, Louisiana
| I am still enjoying my Serenade tremendously, and often prefer
to play it rather than my (very nice) pedal harp! The Serenade
is just so comfortable to play and I really love the tone.
-Diana Day, Georgia
|I LOVE my new harp, and it is amazing how
it pulls a totally new, higher level of playing out of me! My
fingers dance. And the
sound draws me into an amazing new rapport with the music I'm playing.
I could become a real harpist!
Kate Ellis, Colorado
|Just a short note to say I’ve enjoyed getting to know my
new Serenade. It is so enjoyable to sit down and play – I
like the size, the tone and the levers are great to work with.
It’s a wonderful harp, thanks--Diana Day, Georgia
|Just wanted to let you know the harp arrived today. I love it.
Right now I have the harp sitting in my office in front of my desk.
It is so beautiful, and the sound is much more than I expected.
So glad to have gotten the folk gut strings. The harp has a wonderful
mellow tone. I am joining a harp circle, and they are excited about
my harp as well.
Rick Norton, Georgia
My Serenade harp arrived today and I
instantly fell in love with it. It has a tremendous sound, is easy to play, and is light
weight (which is important to me). And I'm so glad I decided on
the black one....I think it's exquisite. My husband, who didn't
see the need for me to buy another harp, is equally pleased with
it. Although he knows nothing about harps and music, he also loves
the sound of the harp and he raved about the workmanship. He even
insisted that he do the dishes after dinner so I could go play
the new harp for him. I'm so glad I decided to purchase a Serenade...I
will highly recommend them to my harp friends. Thanks so much
for producing such a wonderful instrument.
- Avalon Berkebile, Maryland
I have been so busy playing my new Serenade harp! After telling
myself I didn't feel well, I called in sick to work, but truthfully,
I think I just wanted to spend some quality time with my harp!
I love it. The sound just fills me, and
I've been having so much fun playing new and old pieces with
bass notes!!! Thank you again,
- Barbara Von Behren, Oregon
Sarah received her Serenade for her 9th birthday she named it “Hermione” and her mother remembers her saying, "The
low notes make a hum that goes into my heart.” Here’s
a photo of Sarah at 11 years old loving her Serenade. She
performs pretty much every week with her band “Conlan” which
is made up of 5 kids!
- Pam Copus, Texas
|We made it home safe and sound last night. This beautiful baby
is makin my heart swell up. The creation…the sound, each
piece of wood so lovingly worked, the design….is unlike
I have ever known in a harp. It is such an honor to have met you
both and to have this creation. I’ll send you a testimonial
for the web site as soon as I can… (I'd say you already did!)
- Paula Zand, California
|Sharon Thormahlen played a Serenade over the phone for me and
it had a WONDERFUL tone, so I ordered one. I
was playing the new harp when my husband walked in and said he
thought I was playing the pedal harp. That's how good the tone
can carry this harp with one hand if I have to and am very, very happy with it.
- Nancy Taylor, Nebraska
|My beautiful Serenade harp arrived, safe and sound on Tuesday
commend you on the terrific job of packing that you folks do. The
harp is all that I had hoped for! The beauty of appearance; the
lovely sound; the comfort and compactness for playing and transporting;
the "perfect for
me" tension, string spacing and evenness of tone--are all most appreciated
I am happy to be a first time owner of a Thormahlen Harp.
Sincere thanks to each one of you!
- Marilyn Johnson, CMP and CTHP, Minnesota
| I am simply in love with my new little Serenade! Her sound is
magnificent--everything I want it to be and more. I am coming from
a pedal harp background, so it has taken me a little time to figure
out how to play differently to make that beautiful tone come
out, but I am getting
there. I am
unbelievably happy with what is coming out. I
have even stopped playing my big harp! I am truly, incredibly more
than pleased with my new little harp. I cannot thank you enough for your beautiful
workmanship and its wonderful outcome.
- Martha Temple, Georgia
| A neat thing happened this past month.
I loaned my Thormahlen harp to Karen Almquist for her concert during Octoberfest in Mt. Angel. Afterwards Karen's harp teacher, Marion Faust, came and visited Karen. The two of them put my little Thormahlen Serenade harp through it's paces and when finished, Marion
said "Everyone needs this harp."
- Kathi Holt, Oregon
|I love my Serenade! It has been so much
fun to have such a great instrument to practice on. Suddenly
my lessons have improved because I'm not just looking at all those
notes once a week. It took me a while to get used to the fact that
the harp was really here, but now I come home from work and
either wind up or unwind with all the things my teacher has me
- Sherry Lenox, New Jersey
|I just loveeeeeeeeeee my new harp. It's sooooooooo beautiful and elegant and I love the coloring. I
have to run my fingers over the strings everytime I pass it in
the living room. I've managed to pick out "Jesus Loves Me" and "Amazing Grace"......now I just have to refine them and practice, practice, practice.....and find a teacher. Thank you for your help and your wonderful website.
- Gail Boyden, California
| Just a quick note to let you know that I played Brown Sugar
aka "Shug" today at church and what a beautiful sound!
I received several comments from church members
and friends about how "deep and soulful" the sound was
and even a few that were particularly impressed with the design
of the harp. I am very
pleased with my choice and can't want to see how the sound will
develop even more richly over the years ahead!
- Mona Terry, Iowa
I just want to thank you again for my gorgeous Serenade, that
is now one year old. When I play, it feels like my hands are
running through water and the result is sweet notes of color.
We venture out a couple of times a week to play, the strings
amazingly hold their tune through many playings. When I play,
heads turn because they are sure they are hearing a pedal harp. I have promised myself a Swan by years end, just undecided which
wood and strings.
- Pam Stellmaker, Nevada
Usually I edit down the letters I get from our customers, but
this one is elequent that it stands as sent:
I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to write and tell you
how happy I am with the new Serenade. I bought this harp especially
for use in an inpatient hospice that I play for every Friday.
The hospice allows me to take the harp in the patients' rooms.
The tone of the harp is absolutely perfect for what I use it
for. The warm, round tone just seems to resonate through the
room, creating this beautiful music that undoubtedly touches
every single patient I play for. The majority of the patients
fall asleep while I am playing, in fact. The hospice workers
have noticed that the harp has a calming effect on even the most
agitated of patients, and they've called me to come play outside
of my normal time when they have a patient that is being especially
difficult. The harp helps to calm them even when medication cannot.
One of the most touching experiences I've had occurred a few
weeks ago I had just started using the Serenade (from the previous
harp I used, an XXXXX (edited out)), and I was playing for a
patient who was in and out of consciousness and near death. She
was moaning and agitated, and when I began playing, her entire
countenance changed. In a very low voice, she asked me if she
was in heaven and if I was an angel. My response was "not
I continued playing for her. The nursing staff told me the next
time I was there that she passed away about an hour after I left
and that her death was a peaceful transition. They credited it
to the harp music and the calming effects it had on the patient.
I know that you probably receive countless emails thanking you
and Dave for the excellence and quality that you put into each
harp, but I just wanted to share how this particular harp is
being used and how it is blessing the lives of those who are
making their transition from this life to the next. Thank you
for allowing me this opportunity to play such a beautiful instrument,
one whose effects are far reaching, probably in ways that we
can never even know or imagine.
Brook Boddie, Louisianna
Some of our customers purchase multiple harps from us, so
here is, yet another letter from Brook Boddie:
This harp sounds amazing, not that you needed me to tell you
that! I can't believe it didn't sell in Asheville. Guess it was
just meant for me to have :-). Thanks again for everything!
Brook Boddie, Louisianna
It's been a little while since I've had an opportunity to
rant and rave about my Serenade, but, Debbie, since you've given
me the platform to do so, here it is:
I purchased the serenade because it was lighter and thus more
easily transportable than either the Cygnet and certainly more
than the Swan.
I liked the sound of it. Dave had managed to produce
a harp that had a beautiful, resonant, big sound in a relatively
small harp. I was absolutely
struck with the beauty of this particular harp. And so, sound-unheard,
I purchased it. Well, I shouldn't say that, because I did have
Sharon play it on the phone to me, but I had already ordered
When it arrived, I followed the directions for unpacking, and
there, in the case, was my Serenade. It was in almost-perfect
tune; not bad for a coast-to-coast shipping journey! But when
I sat down to play it, I couldn't believe it. It was even more
resonant and even-toned than could be ascertained through the
phone sampling I had had. It's been almost three years, now,
and sometimes when I play it, I just have to stop because the
tone of this harp is just so great. The high notes are clear
but not shrill. The low notes are wonderful and not that awful "tubby" sound
that some harps have in the lower registers.
YOU CAN'T MAKE A BAD SOUND ON A THORMAHLEN !
Of course, every harp player has his or her favorite harp brand.
There are many fine harps being made. But forgive me for my clear,
unabashed, totally biased, experiential preference: Thormahlen
harps are the best!
And please, everyone, I acknowledge my bias; don't bombard me
with testimonials refuting my preference. De gustibus non est
disputandum. (Latin aficionados will know that this means: There
is no arguing with one's personal taste.)
|Ceili and Clare
out the in stock page to see what's