Class periods are at the following times (all times in Eastern Daylight Time):

First Period:

Second Period:

Third Period:

Fourth Period:

11am-12pm EDT

1pm-2pm EDT

3pm-4pm EDT

5pm-6pm EDT

Full time participants in the regular program may choose a fourth class, if they wish, from among our three "freebie" options. "Freebie" classes may also be taken as a regular class by participants in any program. 

arrow&v
First Period
Yoga for Freedom in Playing

Erica Rubis

Any

No Limit; Can be taken as a “Freebie” fourth class

Release your creativity with this approachable, refreshing class that rebalances both body and mind. Relieve overused muscles and bring a greater sense of physical and mental flow both while playing and away from your instrument. In addition to gentle standing postures and movements, we will utilize our chairs to find more balance and ease in our playing postures. You should bring yourself, enough space within which to move, your instrument, and your chair. This class is available as a fourth "freebie” class for those in the full-time regular curriculum.

First Period
Find your Christmas Spirit in July

Heather Miller Lardin

LI–I+

Limit 35,
all sizes

Music from the Cancionero de Palacio and other Spanish sources – a treasure trove of Christmas Villancicos. We’ll work on the technical aspects of text expression in these simple and rhythmic pieces.

First Period
Treble for a Change

Joanna Blendulf

LI–I+

Limit 35,
trebles only

If you are primarily a bass or tenor player, why not mix it up a bit and bring out the treble this week? Or is it time for a refresher course? We will work on treble-specific techniques to get your limbs attuned to the smaller size, utilizing exercises and a few consort excerpts to achieve a beautiful sound on those high notes, fast passages, and leapy bits!

First Period
Altered States: Music by Women Composers

Laury Gutiérrez

LI–I+

Limit 35,
all sizes

Explore the altered states brought on by secular and sacred love, as represented in late 16th century and early 17th century Italian music. Madrigals by Madalena Casulana and Vittoria Aleotti contrast with madrigals and motets by Chiara M. Cozzolani and Barbara Strozzi. We are including pieces from Strozzi’s rarely heard first books as well as the best of the madrigals of Casulana (ca. 1544– ca. 1590), the first pieces by a woman ever to be published. Also the first published madrigals and sacred music by other women composers, including Raffaella Aleotti (ca. 1575–after 1620) and Caterina Assandra (ca. 1590–after 1618). The music is mostly in four or five parts, but there are several pieces for larger ensembles.

First Period
Susanna Rare on Susanna Fair

Patricia Ann Neely

I–UI

Limit 35,
all sizes

We usually associate this melody with settings for viola bastarda, however we will take an exploratory journey, guided by selected composers, that will take us to the geographic destinations of France (Didier Lupi II, Orlando de Lassus, Claude Lejeune), Italy (Ippolito Tartaglino), Iberia (Hernando Cabezon), England (Ferrabosco I, Giles Farnaby), Poland (Adam Jarzebski), the Low Countries (Jean de Castro, Sweelinck), and Germany (Sommer).

First Period
Transformative Thinking: Technical Drills with a Twist

John Moran

I–UI+

Limit 35,
all sizes

What if practicing were always fun, and you got better faster? The more vivid our musical imagination, the greater is our motivation to develop the technique to realize it. Received wisdom suggests that repetitive practice is the key to advancement, but the brain stops paying attention when things are repeated ad infinitum. This class explores exercises that zero in on a problem, while also containing some diversion or even distraction so that the perspective changes continuously.

First Period
Follow me close: Michael East’s Duos for two Bass Viols

Lawrence Lipnik

UI–A+

Limit 30,
basses only

Play your bass viol surveying Michael East’s innovative duet repertoire from his remarkable collection “Duos for two Base Viols”. Explore the possibilities of compound melody “so composed, though there be but two parts in the eye, yet there is often three and foure in the eare.” Works by his contemporaries including Gibbons for contrast and comparison.

First Period
CPE Bach’s Prussian Blues

Arnie Tanimoto

UI–A+

Limit 30,
basses only

CPE Bach’s gamba sonatas are exemplary works painting the contrasting emotions popular in music of the German Enlightenment and known as the Empfindsamer Stil. This class will untangle the technical and stylistic challenges of these virtuosic sonatas.

Second Period
Introduction to the Viol

Sarah Poon

Beginner

Limit 30,
all sizes

The “Introduction to the Viol” class is offered FREE every year, and this year ONLINE, to those who would like to learn the viola da gamba. Local VdGSA chapters will make every effort to provide beginning students with instruments to use for this class. The class introduces basic technique, ensemble playing, practicing skills, and ideas for how to continue to play the viol after Conclave. Registrants may sign up for this free course, which meets online four times during the week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Participants are welcome to attend all other Conclave events, such as lectures, concerts, social events and other Open Sessions free of charge.

Contact Julie Elhard for more information.

Second Period
Feldenkrais Method – A change is as good as a rest

Elisabeth Reed

Any

Limit 35

Transform your day with Awareness Through Movement lessons with direct application of these lessons to your viol playing. Most people report big improvements in sound and overall comfort while playing.

Second Period
Viol Technique

Arnie Tanimoto

LI–A

Limit 35,
all sizes

In this technique class we will explore a number of exercises to improve fluidity and control of both hands, and to improve fingerboard navigation.

Second Period
Renaissance Notation for Beginners

John Mark Rozendaal

Any

Limit 35,
all sizes

The earliest music printed in moveable type includes the frottole, madrigals, chansons, lieder, and mass movements that the earliest viol consorts enjoyed playing. Playing 16th-century counterpoint from facsimiles of primary sources can be fun, gives us access to mountains of unedited repertoire, and most importantly, brings us into the working process of Renaissance musicians. In this class all players practice each of the parts in unison (octave transposition allowed). Then we play along with “screen share” renditions of the complete compositions. In addition to playing beautiful repertoire, we practice maintaining tactus, playing without barlines, adding ficta, and playing in unfamiliar clefs. Works of Sermisy, Senfl, Arcadelt, Gombert, Tromboncino, et alia. 

Second Period
Tone Transformer

Joanna Blendulf

Any

Limit 35,
all sizes

Learn how to quickly troubleshoot for a more consistently beautiful sound. We will start with basic exercises and then move to progressive exercises (both easy and more challenging options will be available) to stay relaxed, flexible, and in control!

Second Period
Unlocking Ortiz

Patricia Halverson

I–I+

Limit 35,
all sizes

We’ll begin to discover Ortiz as “teacher” by becoming familiar with his teachings on improvisation in his Trattado de glosas. The class will play some of his works based on vocal models and ground basses, all to lay the foundation for composing and/or improvising short pieces using the language of Ortiz.

Second Period
Three’s Company

Lawrence Lipnik, Rosamund Morley, Lisa Terry

I–UI+

Limit 90,
all sizes

Offering the ultimate week-long Zoom delight, Larry Lipnik, Ros Morley and Lisa Terry will play 3 parts of a collection of favorite four-part consorts, in a socially distanced and masked room, and you will supply the 4th part from the comfort of your own music room.  The class is geared towards players of all sizes of viol because each day a different part will be left out for you to fill. We will explore a wide range of repertoire and one piece will be worked on each day so that by the end of the week you will have worked on that piece from every point of view!  If you are a player of only 2 sizes, you could use this class as the opportunity to try a third size, or to read in a different range or clef on a familiar size.

Second Period
A Master Class: The Rhetoric of the Gods (and Goddesses!)

Sarah Cunningham

UI–A+

8 performing participants will be selected by audition; Can be taken as a “Freebie” fourth class

This master class format will let us explore, together, the tools and practices to unleash the resonance of your instrument and let the spirit of the music speak through you! This class is open to those who wish to observe and those who are selected to perform. Any solo repertoire is welcome. Intermediate and advanced players may apply to perform and will be selected by audition video. This class is available as a fourth "freebie” class for those in the full-time regular curriculum who are not performing in the class. Audition video recordings must be submitted by June 1st. SPECIAL NOTE: If not chosen to perform, you may stay in the class as an observer, or you may select a second choice class.

Submit videos to Sarah Cunningham.

Third Period
Circular Attention – Fun with Rounds and Canons

Elisabeth Reed

LI–I

Limit 35,
all sizes

Perhaps you remember singing rounds at school or on long car rides as a child? I remember being confused the first time we stopped singing in unison and began to sing parts. It was initially hard to stick to my own part when someone else was singing the same tune but not at the same time. Gradually, I was able to hear myself and also enjoy the relationship of my part to the other part. This ability to pay attention to several things at once is a fundamental building block of good chamber music playing. You will be playing two-part canons with me so make sure you can turn your volume up loud! (Speakers or headphones are helpful.)

Third Period
The “Other” Baroque Dances

Laury Gutiérrez

LI–I+

Limit 35,
all sizes

Through the Cumbe, Jácaras, Zarambeque, and other dances we can gain a taste of the lively, hip-swaying music danced by Africans on the Iberian Peninsula and in the New World, mostly in the 17th and 18th centuries. This class will explore these dances, using the literature for vihuela/guitar and harp as the sources for our musical texts. We will study and perform both the solo melody and the accompaniment. This is also an opportunity to learn to pluck or bow basic chords to accompany these rhythmically lively and harmonically simple dances. Music by Anonymous from the Salamanca and Coimbra manuscripts, Santiago de Murcia (Codice Saldivar # 4, ca. 1730), and Luis Ruiz de Ribayaz (Luz y Norte Musical, 1677).

Third Period
Fresh and Refresh, or Musical Chairs

Patricia Halverson, Martha McGaughey

I–I+

Limit 60,
all sizes

With Martha McGaughey and Patty Halverson as your ensemble mates, build your skills as we play musical chairs, switching parts, clefs, and instruments in 3-part music. If you play (and have) a bass, a tenor, and a treble, here’s your chance to improve your flexibility switching from one instrument to the others – without having to travel with so many instruments! Repertoire will be some old favorites (Locke, Gibbons, Purcell), some older favorites (French chansons, Obrecht, Ockeghem) and some 18th-century music (Marais Pieces en trio; Lully Trios pour le Coucher du Roi). Each piece will be played three times, so you’ll have a chance to play all three voices, while we cover the other two.

Third Period
The Secrets of Phrasing

Zoe Weiss

I–I+

Limit 35,
all sizes

How do you know where a phrase begins or ends? How do you choose a shape for a phrase or a particular bow stroke for each note in it? This class will begin by laying out generalized rules for phrasing Renaissance polyphony and then look at many different passages to explore their specific grammar. We’ll identify cadences, points of articulation, and strategies for guessing the mood of different figures. Students will submit pieces they want to look at together in class and will also be assigned phrases to puzzle out on their own and present to the class. Most playing will be in unison with parts available in all clefs.

Third Period
Si placet – the metamorphosis of 15th-century style

Jane Hershey

I+

Limit 35,
all sizes – Renaissance viols welcome. Pitch A=415

“Updating” the trio chansons of the 15th century by adding a new fourth part was a common practice in early 16th century secular polyphony. We will hear how these si placet voices changed the original texture of each song with the addition of new rhythmic elements and melodic cadences. Looking at Odhecaton and other sources, we will also experience how an additional fourth florid part became a common feature in compositions by Josquin and others. Tenor and bass viols must be able to read G8 clef.

Third Period
French Chef: Mastering the Art of French Style

David Morris

I–A+

Limit 35,
all sizes

There is no reason that a person with good basic viol technique cannot learn to master the basics of French music. We’ll go over those basics in a thorough, step by step manner and try them out as we go along. All you need is a little hunger for this “cuisine” and a desire to make it your own. Results are likely to be delicious.

Third Period
Viola Bastarda metamorphosis

Erica Rubis

I–A+

Limit 35,
all sizes incl. violone

Explore how the bass viol was transformed into an expressive and often highly virtuosic solo instrument via the viola bastarda style of playing in the late 16th/early 17th centuries. Participants choose from a variety of solo pieces based on familiar polyphonic music from the time, such as “Susanna un jour” and “Vestiva i colli.” We will also look at treatises, e.g. Francesco Rognoni’s Selve de varii passaggi, to give us instruction and insight into playing this music. Recordings of each madrigal will be provided (with varied tempi) so students can play along on simpler to more complex pieces. Bastarda parts available for bass viol and violone; madrigal parts for all sizes.

Third Period
Lessons for the Lyra Viol

John Mark Rozendaal

A–A+

Limit 25,
basses only

A survey of Alfonso Ferrabosco’s “Lessons for 1, 2, and 3 Viols.” Alfonso Ferrabosco the Younger is one of the under-sung heroes of chamber music, a composer whose output includes rarely heard music of ravishing beauty. This class will include mainly virtual duetting, with instructor on one part and students on the other; “master class” style work with solo pieces; and a “screen share” presentation of the two works for 3 viols in the book. Be prepared to tune your viols “Lyra-way”; “Alfonso-way”; and in “Eights”.

Fourth Period
Gentle Consorts

Sarah Poon

B+–LI

Limit 30,
all sizes

In this first foray into Consort playing, join Sarah Poon as she guides you through some beginning fantasias to whet your appetite for more. Using practice tracks, minus-one recordings and complete videos of each work, learn how to bring your part to life in class, and keep using recordings for later study. With a focus on bowing, breathing, and creating a musical line, learn how to decode this beautiful music from the comfort of your own living room. Students will have the opportunity to share as much or as little as they wish, keeping the class extremely stress-free and friendly.

Fourth Period
Rules for Robert: Ganassi’s Regola Rubertina

Lisa Terry

LI–I

Limit 35,
all sizes

Lisa has organized Sylvestro Ganassi’s famous “rules” into a progressive class where participants ingest his philosophical nuggets and sound advice on instrument care and technique, and play through the musical examples, transcribed for trebles, tenors and basses to play together.

Fourth Period
Bunches of Bicinia

David Morris

LI–I+

Limit 35,
all sizes

What began as contrapuntal teaching tools in the Renaissance eventually branched out into all kinds of two-part music in the ensuing years. We will look at some classic examples of the genre and then watch as the form evolves into different kinds of duos. You’ll get a chance to play online with the instructor every day.

Fourth Period
Salt, Mercury and Sulphur: Alchemical Fuges and Canons

Loren Ludwig

Any

No Limit; Can be taken as a “Freebie” fourth class

Michael Maier's 1618 alchemical emblem book Atalanta Fugiens encodes
the classical story of Atalanta and the history of alchemy in 50 emblems, each of which contains a 3-part musical “fugue.” These mysterious pieces were cribbed by Maier from a little-known collection of canons by the Englishman John Farmer, himself part of a community of English composers (including Morley, Byrd, Bull, Bevin, and others) fascinated by polyphony’s mystical and occult possibilities. Grab your viol (and your vial!) and let's see how deep this rabbit hole goes! This class is available as a fourth "freebie” class for those in the full-time regular curriculum.

Fourth Period
Introduction to Marais for Bass Viol Players

Martha McGaughey

I–UI

Limit 25,
basses only

Untangle Marais’s notation for ornaments, learn some basic building blocks for playing chords, play preludes, minuets, allemandes, and a few character pieces. Work on bass lines as well as solo parts. Must be able to read alto clef.

Fourth Period
Your Complete July Makeover

John Moran

I+–UI+

Limit 35,
all sizes

What better way to improve your technique than with Christopher Simpson? This class will focus on “July” from his collection of fantasias for three viols called The Monthes. This charming fantasia will serve as the basis for a variety warm-ups, technical drills, and little exercises to improve coordination of fingering and bowing. In the process we will learn the music, dissecting hard passages from each of the three parts and gradually putting all the bits back together, starting at a very slow tempo. Originally for treble and two basses, a specially arranged version of one of the bass parts will make it available to tenor players. You will hear two of the parts played live from our music room as you play a third part along.

Fourth Period
Community Service

Zoe Weiss

UI–A+

Limit 35,
all sizes

Help expand the Society’s music-minus-one offering and have fun in the process! This class will focus on creating music-minus-one recordings to be shared on the VdGSA members’ area website, a valuable resource for our entire community. Over the four class periods, we’ll record, re-record, and refine our interpretation of several pieces to be chosen by the class participants. To participate, you must have access to a quiet-ish space, a good-quality microphone (I can help you pick if you’d like to purchase one), headphones that don't bleed sound, and be able to record audio at the same time as you’re in a Zoom call (i.e. have a second device or be adept at running multiple programs).

Fourth Period
Violone Immersion

Heather Miller Lardin

UI–A+

Limit 25,
violone and string basses

The metamorphosis of adapting technique to a larger instrument and shifting octaves. Explore technique and repertoire specific to G (or D) violone, including consorts, Italian and German continuo; solo repertoire & bastarda; can allow time for master-class format. If any 4- or 5-string contrabassists want to join the violone class, they are most welcome.