Here to watch the video: Marini Made Harps (An Inside Look)
Here to watch the video: Marini Made Harps (Our Story)
down to the bottom of this page for new updates....)
The article below
was published in a Lancaster Newspaper, "The Intelligencer
December 24, 2002.
The following article
was taken from the MusicMaker's Kits 2002/2003 Winter Catalog
has been four years since the article from the newspaper was
printed and we have kept busy since then with many harp programs
and producing more harp recordings. Alex still teaches school
time and builds harps the rest of the time going full time during
the summer months. Since the time of this article, Alex has developed
his own line of Italian harps, and a new line of more affordable
harps. A ten-string Davidic harp was also added to the variety
of harps that are now available. A new book was just released
by Alex titled: “Morning Meditations” and is a real
inspiration to Christian musicians.
Dena & Joanna are still at home busy teaching private music lessons and
have enjoyed taking their harps on mission trips in the last few years (Belize,
Grenada, & Haiti). They just completed their eighth recording this fall
titled “This is the Day” and have lots more plans in mind for future
CD’s. Joanna’s tendonitis in both hands (which started at the end
of 2005), together with a house fire in February 2006 (which forced us to move
out of our house for six months), slowed us down for most of 2006. Joanna’s
condition improved, so we started our family harp programs again in December
other children have grown in their music skills, and enjoy participating
in family programs. We have combined a number of instruments with the
harps to make for an enjoyable program. Sue continues to home school
the four youngest
children and enjoys being secretary for the harp business and program
manager for the family.
The Marini Family—December, 2006
Anthony (16), Emily (12), Joanna (21), Sue & Alex, Paul
(14), Dena (23), Mark (10)
Only a year has passed since the last update, but our family
life is very different these days..... mainly due to a double wedding.
Dena started a courtship with Nathan Hochstetler from Tennessee
in January of 2007 and Joanna started a courtship with Stephen
Dindinger from Colorado in April of 2007. By July both couples
were ready to take the big step and decided to get married the
same day. So on Saturday, September 15, 2007, the girls were married
in the Chapel at Garden Spot Village (which was a nice facility
close to our home). After the wedding Dena and Nathan spent a week
in Virginia and then headed west for three weeks.... they are now
living in the New Holland, PA, area.
and Stephen spent the first two weeks on Union Island in the
Caribbean and then came to PA for a week to pack up her things
and then headed for Colorado where they are now living.
started up our family programs this month—losing one musician
(Joanna) and gaining another member of the group (Nathan). Dena
was able to reorganize
our programs, and we have been busy ever since early December. We have also
scheduled some time at the studio in mid-January so that when Joanna and
Stephen come for a visit we can finish a “family CD” which
we had started before the wedding. We hope to do some of our
family’s favorites and
polish it up before the spring conventions.
(17) is looking forward to graduating this spring, so that
he can pursue other interests... like visiting his sister Joanna
and working at a cattle
ranch in Colorado, and perhaps making another trip to Tennessee. He continues
to work part time farming, driving tractor and looks forward to fall harvest
time. He enjoys playing the guitar in our programs and also plays the cello.
(15) is quite skillful in many different areas, like music,
painting, and juggling. He sings and plays a number of instruments
in the programs like
hammered dulcimer, flute, piccolo, pennywhistle, mandolin and guitar. He’s
a sophomore in high school and looks forward to completing high school as well.
(13) is in eighth grade and has developed her skills in harp
playing and has been hired this year to play for special events.
Besides harp, she
helps in our programs with singing now (since Joanna is gone) and plays the
(11) has also progressed in his skills as a musician and enjoys
entertaining people. He also plays harp in our programs, as
well as the mandolin
and pennywhistle. He is in sixth grade and does well in his schoolwork,
but would rather be reading a good book on a cozy chair.
continues enjoying her responsibilities as homemaker, home
school mom, and secretary to the harp business. There were
some adjustments to be made
after the older girls were married, but life has returned to a normal routine
still teaches at a Mennonite high school half time, and enjoys
harp making in his free time.... trying to develop new styles
of harps and does some writing
any chance he gets. He also started learning the harp himself—after making
harps for over ten years, he thought he’d try learning to play them.
You’ll often find him quietly playing a tune in the late evening after
the children have gone to bed. A sweet way to end the day!
year has swiftly passed by and we find more changes have come
upon us... we are now grandparents! We are happy to announce
that our second daughter, Joanna, and her husband Stephen had their
first baby (Nicolas Stephen) on Wednesday, October 22nd weighing
6 lbs and 15 oz. Grandma and Aunt Emily arrived in Grand Junction,
CO, the night before Nicolas was born and were glad to be a part
of the welcoming committee.
Born: October 22, 2008 -- 6 pounds, 15 oz.
Stephen & baby Nicolas
are also happy to announce that our oldest daughter, Dena, and
husband, Nathan, are
their first baby (a boy!)
the end of February. They just live 15 minutes from us and have
continued to help us in our music ministry. We averaged about 4
to 5 programs a month this past year—but this month alone we
had 12 programs; which kept us “harping” around a lot.
We’re not sure what our music ministry will be like in 2009,
but we plan to continue with whoever is available. Paul and Emily
are really progressing in their music abilities and have recently
been hired to play at weddings and special events as a harp & flute
duet, so there is a lot of potential with them. Mark is also progressing
in his music abilities and people who have come to our programs
through the years have noticed a big change in his skill level
(18) is at the end of his high school studies, and looks forward
to working some for his brother-in-law, Nathan, in construction
and also making
harps with his father at the shop. He also has done some farming this past
fall, but his most recent adventure was herding cattle in the mountains of
Colorado the old fashioned way on horseback. He just loved the wide open
and the beauty of the mountains. We really appreciate Anthony’s contribution
to our harp programs... he plays cello and guitar which adds a special touch
to the songs.
(16) just got his driving permit and is looking forward to working
this summer for his brother-in-law, Nathan, in construction and
from his high school program here at home in the summer of 2010. He juggles
many instruments in our programs.... you’ll see him go from the hammered
dulcimer to the mandolin, to a penny whistle, guitar, flute... and then sing.
He really enjoys recording music on his computer and putting together home
(14) is now a 9th grader and has really put her heart into her
music lately. She continues with harp, but also plays flute,
penny whistle, bowed
psaltery, and sings with Dena in the programs.
(12) is usually the champion at ping pong here at home, as well
as many other games. He impresses people at the programs with his ability
not only the harp, but the mandolin, penny whistle, and the bowed psaltery.
is an active guy, and flies through his 8th grade school work, so he
go outside or play a game.
took on a full time teaching schedule this fall which has been
a challenge as harp orders have increased. Recently his ten-string
popular with those using harps for ministry to hospitals, and orders
came in for his Roma Rosa harp as well. So this year he has been stretched
but seems to be on top of it. He looks forward to taking the seniors
from his school on another trip to the island of Grenada this spring,
the responsibility of organizing the whole event. Sue continues as
usual at home giving her energies to home schooling, home making,
and the home
She enjoyed her first trip out west to Colorado to meet her first grandchild,
and to spend time with Joanna and Stephen. We are truly grateful to
the Lord for good health and strength to continue in the work
that God has
us.... until He comes.
From left: Anthony, Emily, Alex, Mark, Sue, and Paul
On Sunday, March 1, 2009, at 4:59 p.m. Craig
Alexander was born to Nathan & Dena Hochstetler. Dena was
hoping to have a home birth, but needed to be transferred to
the Reading Hospital, and
after 41 hours of labor had the baby C-section. Craig weighed in
at 8 pounds and 12 ounces and was 21 inches long. Both mommy and
baby are doing fine.
Alexander (1 month old)
At the end of May, we enjoyed a family reunion when
Joanna, Stephen, and baby Nicolas came from Colorado for a two-week
visit to PA. We took four of those days while they were here, and
all of us (including Dena, Nate, and baby Craig) piled into our
large 15-passenger van and headed to the Marini reunion in Massachusetts
where Great Grandpa Marini got to hold his two new great-grandsons
for the first time. It was a special occasion to be at the home
where Alex grew up in East Bridgewater and to meet with all the
relatives again. While in MA, we enjoyed the ocean and toured Plymouth
Plantation and went aboard the Mayflower II before returning back
to PA. It was a blessing to be all together again and watch the
two cousins interact with each other.
(with Craig), and Joanna (with Nicolas)
June 5, 2009
Craig (3 months) with cousin Nicolas
June 7, 2009
Marini Family (left), Dindinger Family (center), and Hochstetler
Photo taken: Sunday, June 7, 2009
month of December is always a busy one for our family with all
the music programs that we do, although this year we did not
do as many as other years
(only 8 events compared to 15 some years). Many of them are company dinners,
and we still have a couple more programs next week to wrap up our Christmas
season. Then we will be putting our focus on the next event…. we’ve
been asked to provide music for the “We Care Prison Ministry” in
Alabama during the last week of January which will be something new for us.
continues to make harps in between teaching classes at Faith
High School, and this year he was asked to take on the administrative
position as principal.
So far it has been going well and God has given him the extra grace and wisdom
needed for that job. He’s working on a new harp design this month that
already seems to show potential (a 38-string Regency style with a Roma Rosa sound
chamber) and has a number of customers waiting for it. His waiting list for harps
keeps growing… which keeps him and the boys on their toes.
Anthony graduated high school, he has been busy with farming,
and helping his brother-in-law, Nate, with roofing in between
his trips to Tennessee
and Colorado. The other children continue on with their home schooling,
will be graduating this coming spring…. which will leave us with two students
for next year. When Paul’s not doing school work, you’ll find him
at his computer editing photos or creating a new advertisement for someone. He
has great interests in photography lately, and enjoys going with a couple friends
on “photo shoots.” You can see some of his creativity on face book.
He continues to enjoy music and developing his skills on the guitar, flute & dulcimer.
Both Anthony & Paul have been active with our church youth in helping with “Clubs” on
Wednesdays twice a month, which is an outreach to city children in a local town,
and they also go weekly to the city of Reading with another group on Thursdays
to help with a youth outreach to city teens.
has enjoyed the opportunities she’s had to volunteer at a local private
elementary school where she assists a second grade teacher once a week, and she
also has been giving private harp lessons in the home here. She amazes us with
her harp & flute skills….after Dena & Joanna got married, she rose
to the challenge and filled the needed position. She recently bought herself
a piano, and you’ll find her often playing it. Mark has been creative at
making his own flies for fishing… now he just has to find a market for
them. Mark goes with his other two brothers to the shop on occasion to help his
father build harps…. but he’d rather be fishing! He continues to
develop his harp playing, and many people who have seen us through the years
marvel at his abilities. He has also picked up guitar and enjoys playing some
new tunes with his brothers. All the children (including Dena & Joanna) have
been working on a new family CD for some time now… and we hope to get it
keeps busy behind the scenes juggling her many roles as home
maker and secretary to the harp business. It’s a challenge sometimes to teach school, invite
customers into the living room to try out harps, and keep the laundry going and
meals on the table – but it’s a fulfilling job that I wouldn’t
trade for anything. This year I have found great joy in being a grandma and look
forward to watching my little grandsons grow. I am inspired as I read in the
Bible of Timothy’s grandmother, who transferred her faith to her grandson
who lived a life that honored God.
we look to the beginning of a new year, we wonder what this coming
year will bring…. happy times or sad times, financial gain or loss, health or sickness – all
we can do is trust in the God who is in control of it all and who gives us the
grace and strength to face whatever comes our way. One of my favorite verses
from the Bible is: “And we know that all things work together for good
to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans
Hochstetler Family—December, 2009
Marini Family 2009
the last update, we’ve had lots of opportunities
as a family to minister with music. In January, we took a trip
(with Dena, Nate & baby Craig) in an RV to Alabama to participate
in the “We Care Prison Ministry” for a week. It was
a wonderful experience for the whole family.
provided a harp program in four different prisons… they
made for some of the best audiences we’ve ever played for
(very responsive and appreciative).
This spring we were back to the studio working on a family CD
which we hope to be finished by the end of this year.
This CD will be special, as it will have many of our family favorites
and will include all the children.
special event that took place this June was when our family took
a trip to Colorado (with Dena,
Nate & baby Craig) to see
our other daughter Joanna, her husband Stephen and baby Nicolas.
We had the privilege to do a harp program for Joanna’s church
in Grand Junction, CO, where all the children were together again
playing instruments and singing.
Presently this summer, Alex is busy catching up on harp orders
and the boys have been regularly coming to the shop to help. Alex
continues to make harps at the wood shop at the school where he
teaches, but we are looking into starting a new shop location in
the town of Blue Ball so that the boys can work full time on harps
this fall and winter. Pray for us.
December – 2010
the last update, we opened up a new Marini Made Harps shop in
the town of Blue Ball this August.
We’re renting a small
area in back of the Blue Ball Machine Company. It was a big project
installing new equipment, and moving harp stuff from the school
where Alex was building harps to this new location. It took a number
of weeks till we were operational, but now it has really made a
difference in productivity… we are moving quicker through
our customer list and the boys can come whenever they want to work
has recently been experimenting with a new “Ultra-Light” harp
which is 34-strings and only weighs about 14 pounds (see above
picture to the right). Hopefully if it passes the test of strength
it will be a popular one at
the conventions. We
still provide harp programs throughout the year for a variety
of events. Dena, and her husband, Nate,
continue to help with the
programs; and baby Craig usually steals the show with his cute
smiles during one of the songs where Emily holds him to play the
hand chimes. As the family grows, and the older children find other
interests, it is uncertain as to how long we will continue these
programs… but we are thankful that we have been together
this long. Paul and Emily are now playing duets for special events,
and enjoy this type of work. Emily is in her junior year, and looks
forward to graduating next year. Mark just started high school,
so he has a ways to go yet.
enjoy watching our grandchildren grow, and Grandma is looking
forward to her trip to Colorado in June
to welcome Stephen and
Joanna’s second child. God
has been good to us, and we continue to look to Him for direction
in the coming months ahead. Pray for us.
Dena & Craig Hochstetler
Joanna & Nicolas Dindinger
Summer – August
Some highlights in 2011 so far include… a family reunion
in early March. Joanna, Stephen & Nicolas came from Colorado
for a week, and we enjoyed having everyone together. After many
months of illness, “GG” (Great Grandma), especially
enjoyed her St. Patrick’s Day with the grandchildren and “great” grandchildren!
Alex, Sue, Paul, Nate & Dena with Craig
Anthony, Joanna & Stephen with Nicolas
In front… “GG” (Sue’s mother),
Emily and Mark
Craig (left) with cousin Nicolas
We had our second Christian Harpfest event held on March 18th
with special speakers: Eduard Klassen from Canada, and Joanna (Marini)
Dindinger from Colorado. We had a number of harpists join us for
the day, and then we gave a concert together to a FULL house at
Weaverland Mennonite Church in East Earl, PA.
speaking to a group of harpists
at our Christian Harp Fest
Klassen joins the Harp Workshop
for a concert at the Weaverland Menn.Church
June 6th, Joanna & Stephen gave us another grandson named
Genesis Philip who we all call “Geno.” Grandma was
able to fly out on July 4th to meet the new grandchild and to help
out for a week.
with baby Geno
Joanna, Nicolas & baby Geno
We’ve been working on the family CD, and all the recording
is finished… now the cover design, copyrights, and final
editing need to be completed. We are sure looking forward to finishing
this project (which started before the girls got married over 4
years ago!). We will let you know (with a new update) when this
recording is available.
Alex and the boys continue to produce quality
harps at our new shop. He enjoys creating new designs, and lately
developing a new minstrel harp which just sits on your lap comfortably,
without needing a stool. Sue just started learning harp using the
Bass Minstrel with the new stand, and Alex also enjoys relaxing
in his recliner chair playing hymns on his new “Lap Minstrel” harp.
working on a Roma Rosa Harp
looks sunburned after working with Padauk wood
like a new season of life is upon us with young adults involved
in a variety of ministries, and
grandchildren visiting often… so
we continue to look to the Lord to guide our family’s future.
Update – December
Alex keeps busy teaching school in the mornings and then going
to the harp shop afternoons. He continues to create new harps
that just dazzle the industry! Check
out his new “LAP” harp displayed on the harp page! We have enough
harp orders to keep Alex & all the boys busy at the shop.
is a busy mom staying after two active boys these days and we
are also anticipating another grandchild….
Dena’s little girl this February—pink for a change!
(21) has many different skills… and worked at farming this summer
part time, and remodeling this fall with his brother-in-law, Nate, part time;
and this winter he’s helping make harps at the shop. For adventure, he
loves going white-water rafting out west. He also enjoys playing tennis with
his brothers and volleyball with friends.
(19) has been working at the shop making harps, but most of his
focus has gone into theater this year. He’s been in two different Christian shows
(one in August and another this December). He loves singing, acting, and performing
with a variety of instruments. He’s also very involved in a variety of
children’s ministries and camps. Tennis has also become popular with him
and his brothers, so they try to fit that in.
(17) is a senior this year, and also got her permit. She’s looking
forward to completing the hours required so she can get her license soon. She’s
involved in Christian theater also, and is involved with a variety of ministries
to city children.
(15) is growing taller and taller each month! Mark’s got 2-1/2 more
years of schooling before he graduates… but he has lots of
interests to keep him going—tennis, fishing, volleyball and ping
pong (just to name a few!).
He also helps with making harps at the shop in the afternoons sometimes.
Sue’s life is filled with lots of activities… and you’ll find
her schooling Mark & Emily in the mornings, secretarial stuff for our harp
business like showing harps in the living room to a customer…. or at the
computer answering customer questions…. then later she’s
in the kitchen making supper—never a dull moment!
Marini Family—December, 2011
We are “still” working on the family CD, and hope to have it released
soon after all the paperwork is done. This has been a VERY long project!
needless to say, our lives are VERY full, and VERY blessed!
Nate & Dena
Stephen & Joanna
with Nico & Geno
are happy to announce the birth of our granddaughter: Dosei RuthAnn
(pronounced: "Daw-say") who was born to Dena & Nate
on Tuesday, February 28th weighing 7 lbs. 4 oz. Her big brother,
Craig, turned 3 years old two days after her birth, and loves
to hold her and kiss her face. We are enjoying this little bundle
of "pink" and praise the Lord for a good delivery and
a healthy baby and mommy!
RuthAnn (4 days old)
continues to work on harps at our shop in Blue Ball full time
during the summer months. At the
end of August, he’ll go back to teaching part time
at Faith Mennonite High School and continuing at the harp shop. Anthony helps
out building harps in between farming and traveling, and Paul also helps
make harps in between working part time for a fencing company
and his ministry opportunities
for city children. Mark has worked at the shop making harps this summer,
but will be back to schooling at home the end of August.
cutting out a harp on the band saw.
in the finish room.
constructing the sound chamber of a
putting finish on a LAP harp.
early June we enjoyed a visit from Joanna & Stephen with
their boys Nico & Geno for two weeks. We took them, along with
Dena & Nate and their two children Craig & Dosei on a trip
to New England to visit family. We rented a cabin on a beautiful
lake and spent time with relatives.
view of the lake from our cabin in
Craig & Nico
holding the fish that Mark
at the cabin on the lake.
Emily (holding Dosei), Mark with Craig, Geno and Nico
all enjoyed our time at the ocean near
were glad that Joanna and family were here to help us celebrate
Emily’s graduation from high
school. We had a nice ceremony with PHAA at the Forum in Harrisburg
on June 16th and then later
that evening had a private ceremony and party at the Welsh Mt.
A family photo taken at Emily's graduation party
on June 16th.
From left: Paul, Mark, Nate & Dena (with Dosei & Craig), Emily, Sue & Alex
Joanna & Stephen with Geno & Nico, Anthony
continues to build harps morning and late afternoons between
his Health, Woodshop, and New Testament Survey classes at a local
Mennonite High School.
He is thankful that despite the declining economy, our harp
business is thriving. Here’s some pictures of Alex working at the
shop on a harp from start to finish…
cutting out a harp
stringing a harp
Sue continues to juggle her responsibilities of homemaking,
home schooling, caring for her elderly mom, and secretary to the
harp business... and she often has customers here to visit our
showroom (which is our livingroom!)...
Anthony (22) isn’t traveling, farming or rafting down
a river he’s usually making harps too. He was invited to
join a construction crew in Colorado the last couple months, so
he’s enjoyed spending time with his sister, Joanna. He’ll
be back home next month, but he hopes to return to the northeastern
part of Colorado this summer for the annual cattle drive. This
month he took a trip with some friends to CA to do white water
rafting. Here's a picture of Anthony in a special raft called "Creature
Craft" which can handle any type of water...
rafting the North Fork of the
Craft" can handle this
Class 5 river!
Paul (20) worked part time for a fencing company this past summer
and fall, along with making a few harps. He’s been very
busy with children’s ministries, and is helping with the
production of a play this month titled: “Jesus, a Walk
of Love” at a local theater. He’ll be joining Sight & Sound’s
Conservatory next month, which will consist of being a full-time
student attending classes, and being a part of their cast for
(18) has been involved in lots of children’s ministry
activities… such as Good News Clubs twice a week (which are
held at local public schools in the area), and “Tuesday Church” which
reaches out to city children in the evening once a week. She plays
harp for two local nursing homes once a month, and hopes to increase
that in the new year. She is looking forward to her trip in January
(with six others from our church) to Kenya, Africa.
(16) got his drivers’ permit, and gets behind the wheel
every chance he gets. This is his junior year of schooling, and
he is looking forward to graduating next year in the spring. When
he has extra time he’s usually fishing, or playing tennis… or
sometimes at the shop making harps. He also joins Paul & Emily
in the children ministries on Monday afternoons & Tuesday evenings.
This past year Mark took up a few culinary classes, so sometimes
we get treated to a special lunch or supper here in the “test
kitchen” at home!
There’s never a dull moment around home here… it’s
more like an airport, with youth taking off and landing throughout
the day. Trying to keep track of everyone’s schedule is a
real challenge sometimes! Life is full and overflowing!
married children are doing very well. Here are some recent pictures
Dena & Nathan
Dosei, 9 months + Craig 3 ½
Joanna & Stephen
Geno 1 ½ + Nico, 4
mom turned 80 years old on January 5th, and lived ten more days
till she passed away on Tuesday, January 15th. She had got the
flu a couple weeks before
which turned into bronchitis and it was really hard on her weak heart. She
was born in Rhode Island, married there, and will be buried there next to
her husband. She moved to PA eleven years ago to be near her
had lived next door to the Marini's. As you can see by her smile in the picture
below, her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her much joy through
the years, and we are glad that she was able to spend these years with them.
is back to school this week, with a lighter schedule than normal
(he’s only teaching a few woodshop classes this
year). He’ll be able to devote more time now to making
harps (he’s about six months behind).
many of the children were traveling this summer (Anthony, Emily & Mark
drove to CO to visit their sister Joanna for the summer), Sue
spent her time writing an
instruction manual for the
10-String Davidic Harp. It turned into a bigger project than anticipated,
but hopefully it will be helpful to the many customers who have
been waiting for a book like this. With it almost completed, we
hope to bring it to the printers in early September.
Anthony was offered a job in CO this summer, so now he is living
out West; and Emily decided to stay and help her sister Joanna
until she has her baby in October. Mark flew back to PA in mid-August
so he could join his parents on a trip to New England to visit
made two trips to Massachusetts to visit family this summer… one
in early June and another in mid-August. Alex’s dad (now
87) needs more attention, so he and his siblings are trying to
figure out ways to help. While in the New England states, we enjoyed
seeing the ocean again…
beach in Charlestown, RI
enjoying the beach sand
enjoying the rocks at the ocean
Paul started in January
at Sight & Sound’s Conservatory,
so he has a busy schedule this year… he has classes in the
morning, and then he’s performing in the shows in the afternoon & evenings
(with only Sundays & Mondays off). He loves what he is doing,
and hopes to continue working there next year after school is finished
in December—he just auditioned for their production of “Moses” which
starts in February of 2014.
at school – Sight & Sound
Paul gives the family a tour before
the show of “Noah” at Sight & Sound
This is Mark’s last year of home schooling… he’s
a senior now, and the last one to graduate—so this is Sue’s
last year of home schooling (after 28 years!), and she graduates
too! God is good, and we're looking forward to more grandchildren
coming!... one this fall (Joanna), and another one next spring
(Dena)—that will make six grandchildren for us! We enjoy our
family, and we are very busy serving Him with all the gifts and
skills that He has
keeps busy making harps… we have a continual flow of interest, and
customers continue to be added to our waiting list. We’ve done some house-hunting
this past spring; looking at possible places that would allow us to have our
harp shop on the same property as our home, but nothing has turned up. Thankfully
we don’t have to move, so we can just take our time looking around and
waiting for the right time and the right one.
all the kids busy this summer (Mark & Emily went to be with Joanna & Anthony
in Colorado for July & August), Sue managed to write a book… an instruction
manual on how to play our 10-string Davidic harp. It was a lot of work over a
few months, but she had lots of help from family and friends. It’s listed
on our website in case you’d want to see it. She also wrote a couple more
Christmas books for this harp as well, and is now working on another book of
ten hymns. She just got back from a one-week trip to Colorado to visit Joanna
and to meet the newest grandson, Angelo.
was home for the Thanksgiving holiday for three weeks, and returned
back to Colorado early December. He’s enjoying his new home (living with Joel
Bishop’s family) in the Grand Junction area. His favorite pastime
now is learning Spanish in preparation for his upcoming trip to South America
just graduated last week from his studies at Sight & Sound
Conservatory, and enjoyed his experience this year very much.
Although he did not get a part
in the Moses show, he hopes to work part-time for S&S in the coming year,
along with making harps again for his father.
Joanna was having complications with her pregnancy this summer,
Emily decided to stay in Colorado till after the baby was born (little
was born to Stephen & Joanna
early October). We’re also looking forward to welcoming another grandchild
to Dena this coming April.
Stephen & Joanna,
Angelo, Nico & Geno
Nathan & Dena,
Craig & Dosei
family CD is finally finished… and like good wine, it took many years
to get to this point. (We started it before the girls got married 7 years
ago!) All the children helped on this one, and it includes many of our family’s
favorites (some Christmas songs too). You can see more details about this
CD if you go to the “Recordings” section of this website (it’s
featured on the top right corner of that page).
also started a Facebook page where we can let family and friends
know about new harps, CDs, and books that are available—you can
go to the top of the harp page on this website and click onto
the link, or go to Facebook’s
website and type in Marini Made Harps and “like” us to get our
again we see God’s faithfulness to us as another year comes to
a close, and we look forward to seeing what He has for us as the New Year
left: Mark, Emily, Alex & Sue, Paul, Anthony
The popular word around here lately
is “graduated”—Mark (our 6th child) graduated high school this past June… and
after 28 years of home schooling, we’re DONE! Joanna (and
baby Angelo) came for this special event, and we enjoyed having
all six children around…
From left… Anthony, Dena, Paul, Joanna, Mark, Emily, Sue & Alex
Sue is now a full time secretary
to the harp business, and she enjoys connecting with customers
all over the world. Alex
also retired from teaching (he had been teaching classes part time
at Faith Mennonite High School for the last 25 years), so he’s
full time at making harps. We have LOTS of harps on order right
now, so there’s never a dull moment around here.
welcomed a new grandson to the family:
Tyler Randell, born to Dena & Nate on May 4th
which makes six grandchildren now!
with Tyler, Dena, Dosei,& Craig
Geno, Nico, Angelo & Joanna
Anthony’s home right now for a couple months doing farming,
but he’s often in Colorado enjoying life in the west. He
had the opportunity to travel to Chili this past January & February
on a rafting trip…
(left) on a special “Creature Craft” on the
Rio Baker River in Chili (South America)
has been at the shop helping make harps this year, but he has
a number of side jobs as well. He's been involved in a number
of shows with two small acting companies (Servant Stage Company
and Piercing Word), and he was hired by Opus Project Films for
a project for Veritas Press filming a Bible Course for home school
Paul (as the brother) with actor/friend
(as his sister)
A typical day filming
Emily’s keeping busy playing harp for a variety of events,
and she started making cases for our harps. This past February
we bought an industrial sewing machine to give her an “in-house” job
Emily’s “in-home” job
making harp cases
Mark graduated he took a few weeks off this summer to travel
with Anthony & Emily to Colorado where he enjoyed some rafting,
camping and fishing adventures. Now he’s working for his
brother-in-law, Nate, with the home remodeling business, and sometimes
he’s in the shop making harps.
We look forward to the weeks and months ahead as we continue to
enjoy the work God has given us to do.
Update – December,
in September we had a visit from Joanna & Stephen
and their boys. Sure was lively with the six grandchildren playing
left… Craig holding Tyler, Nicholas, Geno holding Angelo,
had an opportunity mid-September to travel as a family (along
with Dena & Nate and family) to Turkey. We spent ten days traveling
with a Turkish friend of ours who first took us to Istanbul for
three days and introduced us to many of his friends… then
he took us to his home town of Antioch for a week, and then to
his wife’s home town of Gaziantep. We met so many wonderful
people who showed us true hospitality and treated us like royalty.
We will never forget the wonderful time we had with them.
Turkey… standing in front of the Hogia Sophia
annual Christmas concert was organized for our harp friends as
part of the Harp Workshop on Dec. 5th
at the Garden Spot Retirement
Village. This has become a tradition here in this area, and the
residents look forward to this each year…
Christmas Concert at Garden Spot Village on Friday, December
returned to Colorado beginning of November, but he’ll
be back in January to help out making harps at the shop this winter.
Paul helps at the shop making harps part time, but he’s also
very busy with Servant Stage Company and Piercing Word. Emily has
been making cases for our harps in between running around doing
shows with Paul for the Servant Stage Company. Mark has been working
for his brother-in-law Nate part time, and also helping at the
shop to make harps. Both Paul & Mark volunteer on Monday afternoons
to help with Good News Clubs at the New Holland Elementary School,
and they are also involved with Tuesday church (an outreach to
Lancaster city children) on Tuesday evenings.
News Club at New Holland Elementary
Church in Lancaster
It sure seemed different for Alex not to return to school this
fall, and for Sue not to have to get curriculum ready for another
year of home schooling. We thought it was very unique that both
of us retired the same year from teaching! The harp business is
keeping both of us very busy.
we look ahead to a new year, we trust that the Lord will give
direction as we continue to look for a home that will allow
us to have the harp shop on the same property. We look forward
to see what He has in store for us in the coming year.
Dena & Nathan
Dosei, Craig, and Tyler
Stephen & Joanna
Nico, Geno, & Angelo
Update – August, 2015
We moved! For a couple of years we’ve been looking for a
place that we could have the harp shop on the same property as
our home. In late February a friend told us of a place less than
two miles from us that had a shop already there, and that the owners
were going to put it on the market soon. So we contacted them,
took a look around, and made an offer… they accepted, and
we bought it directly from them in early May. We then put our house
up for sale by owner and sold it to the first person that came
to see it and signed papers last day of May. We moved to the new
place in early June, and then moved the harp shop over early July.
So our summer has been filled with packing and unpacking boxes.
new address is: 704 Wallace Road, New Holland, PA 17557
the end of July, we were exhibitors at the New Jersey Harp festival
and sold ten harps at that event!
Since then we’ve been getting
a steady stream of orders, so Alex and the boys are scrambling
to finish setting up the new shop so they can catch up on the orders.
Alex & Sue at the Somerset New Jersey
Harpfest – July 25, 2015
In mid-August Joanna & Stephen & boys came for a visit.
We went to a cabin for three days with Dena & Nate and their
children as well. It was fun watching all the grandchildren playing
From left: Nicolas, Tyler, Dosei, Angelo, Geno, and Craig
It’s always a joy to be together as
family and enjoy good food, lively discussions and watching the
with each other.
thank God for all His blessings to us!
Update – December, 2015
September, we had the pleasure of having Eduard & Christine
Klassen come for a visit. Eduard is a Paraguayan harpist from Canada
that travels the world giving concerts and blessing many with his
gave Eduard & Christine a tour of our new shop…
then we enjoyed watching Eduard try out our harps.
early October we took a trip as a family to Massachusetts to
celebrate with Alex’s dad for his 90th
birthday. It was great to have all the relatives together for
this special occasion…
(right) with his siblings and his dad
brought some exciting news – Emily is engaged!
Josh Aziza proposed on November 14th on the Brooklyn Bridge in
New York, and she said yes! So we won’t be bored this winter
as we plan for a May wedding…
Josh & Emily
in December, we organized a harp concert for a local retirement
community. There were 19 harps,
2 flutes, a trumpet and French
horn and a packed audience. We’ve been doing this for the
past 15 years, and residents said this one was the best ever. It
was a very special event…
Concert on December 4, 2015, at Garden Spot Village in New Holland,
are feeling at home now in our new place, and Alex is enjoying
his short commute to work (41 steps to the
shop!). We have lots
of harps on order so Alex, Anthony & Paul are kept busy…
stringing up a harp
making a few Hallel Harps
sanding Bass Minstrel Harps
sews the padded cases for the harps that they make which
keeps her stepping.
Mark started a new construction job this past summer for a shed
building company about 15 minutes from here. He enjoys the new
change and working with a crew of guys.
back over the year, we are grateful for all that God has blessed
us with… family, a new home,
a thriving home business, and good health. We look forward to
what God has for
us in 2016!
Update – December, 2016
This past year has been good in many ways, and challenging in
other ways. Harp orders continued to come in, and we have shipped
a number of small harps to Singapore this year, as well as Malaysia,
Canada, Australia, Israel and some in the U.S. as well. Keeps us
springtime was busy as we were getting ready for the big day… Emily’s
wedding—Sunday, May 22, 2016. The wedding was outdoors in a vineyard near
the Susquehanna River. Emily had a nice day (despite some raindrops!). We
had some amazing musicians and vocalists that made this wedding
special. She is
now “Mrs.” Josh Aziza and is now enjoying her new role as a wife.
They live about a half hour away from us near Lancaster city. We enjoyed a
visit from Joanna & Stephen and their three boys when they came for Emily’s
wedding. It’s always great to have the gang all together again.
Dena & Nate’s family moved to Lancaster this summer,
so they are not too far from Emily & Josh. They’re enjoying
their new place on three acres of land just outside the city, and
closer to Nate’s job.
new for us was Alex facing Lyme’s Disease! About a week before
Emily’s wedding he started feeling really sick, but we didn’t know
what was wrong. By the end of May he wasn’t getting over it, so he had
blood tests done that revealed a serious case of Lyme’s. So the doctor
put him on daily IV treatments right away, and he noticed a big difference
in a day or two. His blood results are not good yet, so after doing those treatments
for three months, he’s now just getting a shot once a week. He’s
feeling fairly normal, and has been back to making harps full time, but he
needs extra naps.
boys keep pretty busy… Anthony likes making harps part-time
because he can make his own schedule and travel out west now
and then. Paul has many
talents in addition to making harps…so he’s much in demand
by The Servant Stage Company or Piercing Word. Earlier this month he was
with LBS (Lancaster Bible School) for city children. He took a trip in
September to Europe, and enjoyed visiting countries like Norway, Amsterdam,
and London. Mark also is back to making harps in the shop, so production
is moving ahead. Sue
continues to enjoy her role as secretary to the harp business… chatting
with customers from all over the world is lots of fun. We look
forward to what God has for us in 2017!
In early December a reporter from the Lancaster newspaper
came to our shop to do an interview about our harp business and
published it in a Sunday LNP issue (see below)...
Update – December,
It has been a full year for us with many challenges
and blessings. Alex was finally “cured” of Lyme disease (after
10 months of expensive treatments). He was just finishing up the last of
his treatments when our
son, Paul, developed the same thing! So Paul has been doing the same type
of treatments since May. We will be very glad when this is all history and
An exciting event for Sue was attending the birth
of our 7th grandchild: Jesse Lee Aziza was born on August 16, 2017, to
Josh & Emily (his parents
call him Yishai, which is Hebrew for Jesse) …
enjoying baby Jesse
Josh & Emily & baby
Jesse in Colorado,
Emily has adjusted nicely to motherhood, and she continues to play harp
for a variety of events and makes padded harp cases for us (converting her
garage into a sewing center!).
is living at home most of the time making harps part-time, and travels
to Colorado now and then. This month he decided to pack up some harps to
take on a trip west to stop at interested harp teachers along the way. He
hopes to do more of this in the spring.
is also still living at home and making harps part-time as well as doing
some theater and ministry work. It has been
a half year of treatments
for Lyme Disease for him so far, and we are sure hoping that he is cured
before he begins the new year. He’s excited to be returning to Sight & Sound
Theater in 2018 as a cast member in their new show: “Jesus.” His
primary role is the prodigal son and other ensemble roles, and he’ll
be understudy and back up for Lazarus and several disciples.
also lives at home and makes harps part-time and recently applied for a
part-time job as a chef at a local restaurant.
He’s hoping he can
get paid for doing what he loves to do! He stays busy with lots of activities
like tennis, volleyball and fishing. We often use Mark as our model when
advertising new harps (see picture below).
takes harps on
with his daily green smoothie
is a very busy home schooling mom these days, and is involved with a local
co-op helping teach classes now
and then. Joanna is also
a busy home schooling mom and has her own home business making body creams
and soaps. You can check what she has available on FaceBook at: Natural Beauty
Products by Joanna. Here are recent family pictures…
Nathan & Dena
with Tyler, Craig & Dosei
Stephen & Joanna
with Angelo, Geno, and Nic
Alex continues making harps full time, and has created
a couple new harps this year. The 22-string Travel Harp seems to have “taken off” quite
well. It was specially designed with airline overhead compartments in mind
so that harpists who want to travel will have something they can easily take
along on a trip. He’s also developed a “Kingdom Harp” which
he hopes to market through retail stores in other countries.
Sue continues to enjoy her secretarial work for the harp business, answering
many emails and calls from interested customers from all over the world.
Keeps her busy full time!
As another year comes to a close, we reflect with gratefulness on the many
blessings God has given us.
Update – December, 2018
We just had our annual harp concert on the 7th
of December at Garden Spot Village in New Holland, with 27 harps
(the most we’ve had
thus far!). I told the audience that we were short one harp (because
in Revelation 5:8 it says that God has 28 harps around His throne!).
We were also privileged to have a guest harpist come from Canada (Paraguayan
harpist Eduard Klassen).
Klassen (pictured left) joins us for the annual harp concert
It’s been a good year with Lyme disease behind us now… both
Alex and Paul are done with treatments and are in good health. Sue
struggles with high blood pressure, and visited the ER a couple times,
but has it under control with some medication.
had a nice family gathering in September (Joanna & family came
from CO), and we were able to celebrate Alex’s special birthday
(he’s officially a senior citizen now—65!).
Alex’s 65th birthday with our children and grandchildren.
after the picture was taken (above) with all our grandchildren, we
were blessed with the birth of another
grandchild… Anaya Juliette
on October 26th to Dena & Nate.
Juliette was born on October 26th to Dena & Nate.
The harp business is doing well, and Alex keeps busy with making harps
for customers all over the world. Sue continues as secretary to the
business and enjoys this season of life with grown children and grandchildren.
boys are still living at home… Anthony and Mark continue to help
Alex in the shop making harps, and Paul enjoys being part of the cast at Sight & Sound
thank God for His many blessings to us, and look forward to another
year in the harp-making business.
Update – December, 2019
harp business is busy as ever, with orders consistent… which
keeps us all very busy. There’s never a dull moment. In
May, Alex and I took a few harps to the “Harp Gathering”
in Ohio, and we also went to the CHAP homeschool convention in
June, and also attended the annual Somerset Harp Festival in Parsippany,
NJ, this past July. We usually do quite well at these events,
and it generates more business for us.
May: The Harp Gathering in Ohio
CHAP Convention in PA
July: The NJ Harpfest
just had our annual harp Christmas concert on Dec. 6th at Garden
Spot Village. It’s an opportunity for young and old, beginner
and advanced harpists, to come together to provide heavenly music
for the residents at this retirement home. It was special to us
to see not only our children, but our grandchildren participate
in this event…
23 Harps at Garden Spot Village
Grandson Craig playing
cello with Uncle Tony
Dosei singing for family special
took some time this past March to take a family trip to Williamsburg,
VA, with Dena’s family and Emily’s family. During
that trip we learned that Emily was expecting another child…
and on Thursday, November 28th (Thanksgiving Day!) little Madelynn
Rose was born!
Josh & Emily with Yishai and baby Madelynn
Brother holding baby sister Madelynn
look forward with anticipation to this coming spring when Joanna
and her family move back East. Lord willing they are planning
on purchasing a bed & breakfast not too far from us and having
it as a family business called “The Harper’s Inn.”
Once this happens, we will announce it on our Facebook page…
so stay tuned!
Stephen & Joanna, with Geno, Nic & Angelo
Nate & Dena, with Craig, Tyler, Anaya & Dosei
are again thankful for all God’s blessings to us, and look
forward to what He has for us in the coming
new year ahead.
– December, 2020
I just looked over my last update from December, 2019, who would
ever think that life would drastically change since then. Many
of us have been affected by this pandemic… some of us just
a bit, while others are devastated. We have a close friend who
just buried her husband this month due to Covid complications.
For the Marini’s there were no harp conventions to attend
(everything was online this year). Our harp business slowed down
some last spring (April), but then it picked up again and we are
behind on orders right now. Our son, Paul, who is an actor on
stage at Sight & Sound Theater, stopped for a few months (March
to July), then they opened at half capacity…but just a couple
weeks ago they shut down again. When Paul was home during the
first shut down, he put together a video about our family’s
harp business. You can view this 4-minute video on YouTube by
typing into the search: Marini Made Harps (An inside look). Paul
got sick in October, and tested positive for Covid. Sue &
Mark got sick too with similar symptoms, but didn’t get
tested (Alex & Anthony just got sore throats). So we are grateful
to end this year on a healthy note.
One positive highlight of our year was when Joanna and Stephen
and boys moved back to PA from CO this July. They are currently
renting a basement apartment from our daughter Emily until they
purchase their own home. We certainly appreciate being all together
again (all 20 of us!), and have enjoyed a number of family gatherings
since their arrival.
All six of the children just did a Christmas music program together
on December 23rd at the Honeybrook Community Church where Emily
& Josh attend. It’s been over 14 years since they’ve
done music together here in PA, and it was a special evening.
If you would like to watch it, just go to YouTube and type into
the search: HBCC Christmas Worship Service – December 23,
2020 (note: the Marini’s start playing around 15 minutes
into the video).
Life is sure different now, and we look ahead with wonder and
anticipation of what the Lord plans to do with our nation…
yet we trust that He will work all things together for good!
Have a Happy, Healthy New Year! -The
– December, 2021
was a surprise present to find out on Christmas that our youngest
daughter, Emily, is expecting another child in July. That will
make ten grandchildren for us! It was a special Christmas Day
celebration to be all together for the holiday, and to have all
our children playing their instruments together and singing carols.
It has been especially difficult this December because both Alex
and I got sick with Covid pretty bad, and couldn’t do very
much for weeks. Now we are slowly getting back on our feet and
trying to catch up. Our customer list is long right now, and we
have over 80 harps that need to be made.
of the main highlights of the year was Alex building special harps
for next year’s Sight & Sound’s show, “David,”
which he was just able to complete end of November before we got
sick with Covid. It’s a special design (unlike a regular
harp with a row of single strings). This harp (pictured on right)
has strings grouped together in chords (to make it easier for
the actors to play while singing). Our son Paul (pictured on right
playing this harp) will be in the show as one of the backup Davids
and was asked to make the music arrangements for the harps in
the show, and he will be overseeing the care and maintenance of
all the special harps.
highlight this year was our son Mark was asked to make a 10-string
harp for a series called “The Chosen” (which is an
on-line TV series all about the life of Jesus and His disciples).
We were able to get it off to them in May and they used it right
away in the last episode of Season 2.
Mark’s busy working full time for us making only
the 26 and 28-Bass LAP Harps. We had such a
surge of interest in these harps this summer, that
we had to reach out to a local company to do the
spray finish for us, and another company that has
a CNC machine to cut parts for us.
& Stephen purchased a “fixer upper” home outside
of Reading this summer, and have been working at remodeling it
for months. They just moved in last week (just before Christmas),
and we are happy for them to finally have their own place nearby.
It’s only about a half hour away from us, so we will look
forward to being together at their place on New Year’s Eve.
We have so much to be thankful for this year… family,
friends, a good church and a thriving harp business.
We look forward to better health in the new year.
– December, 2022
to be very busy making harps, and this year our focus
was on a new design… a Chord Harp! In 2021 we made a few
Chord Harps for the show, DAVID, at Sight & Sound theater,
and they were such a special part of the show that some people
expressed an interest in having one. So we decided that
would try to make our own version of a
Chord Harp (pictured left).
are excited about the potential of this unique harp because
it is lots easier to play than a regular harp and can be used
by beginner or advanced musicians. I (Sue) have been
busy this year creating song
cards that clip onto the harp, making it very easy to pick
up the harp and play it right away.
boys are keeping very busy…
Anthony makes harps for us part time. He still enjoys rafting with the
special “Creature Craft” boats, and has done some training
and demos for fire departments at various locations in the US. He also
enjoys swing dance, and has been teaching classes. This December he played
cello (pictured on right) for a local Christmas show by Servant Stage called “A
Christmas Carol” and accompanied his sister, Emily, (who played the
very busy this year at Sight & Sound theater
as one of the four actors who played David for this year’s show, “DAVID.” He
was also the harp tech (tuning and maintenance of the four special harps
his father made - pictured left). He served as a liaison/ mentor for the
Sight & Sound Conservatory this year, and he’s the worship
pastor at his church (Harbor Fellowship).
Paul, pictured left, as a young David in the first half of
the show, and pictured right as an older David in the second half.
below) continues to make harps for us part time, and he’s also
a tennis coach at a local tennis club. He has students of
all ages, and has found teaching children both challenging
and rewarding. It has been very educational for him working
with a variety of personalities.
June, our son-in-law, Stephen (married to our
2nd daughter, Joanna), joined us at the shop making
harps. We are delighted
enjoys making harps, and he has been a real asset to
our little family business. He started off making
10-string harps, then 16-string, he’s now making
the 22-Travel Harps, and will soon graduate to the
24-string Lute Harp. He quickly picked up the harp
making skills, and has made many happy customers
Renee was born to our daughter, Emily and her husband,
Josh, on July 2, 2022. (Sue, pictured on left, holding her soon after she
was born). It was a delight for me to be at her birth to welcome our 10th
grandchild, and her siblings were so happy to come and greet her at the
birth center as well.
We are blessed to have all our children and grandchildren living nearby,
and enjoy our family gatherings. When all of us are together there are
21 total, so sometimes we meet in nice weather at a park, or use the fellowship
hall at our church. There’s usually lots of fun, food, music, games… and
God is so good, and we are grateful for the many blessings He has given our
family. We look forward to serving Him in the coming new year!
Holiday Blessings, The Marini Family
are recent pictures of the girls and their families…
Dena & Nate with Craig, Dosei, Tyler & Anaya
Joanna & Stephen with Nic, Geno & Angelo
Emily & Josh
with Yishai, Madylnn, and baby Sophia