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. 

This year we are trying something a little different by offering a couple of two-period classes. If you are interested in either of these classes, you will need to sign up for both periods of that class (1st and 2nd periods).

Unsure about your level? Please refer to our Self-Rating Guide.

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First Period
Gentle Consorts

Poon

B+–LI

Limit 20, all sizes

Learn to play consorts in a supported and friendly way. Each day we will take the fantasia-du-jour part by part, solving tricky fingerings, rhythms, and other pitfalls, then reassemble the fantasia until we can not only play happily through it, but also find some musical pleasure in our efforts. Doubling.

First Period
Music Theory Review for Viol Players

Morris

Any

Limit 20, all sizes

A refresher course in the basics of “modern” (tonal) music theory, with a review of Renaissance (contrapuntal) and Medieval (modal) theory thrown in. Bring the viol you have and use it to figure out more about the music you play.

First Period
Corralling Your Chorales

Ellis

LI–I+

Limit 8, all sizes

This course will be a reading of several of J.S. Bach's famous 4-part chorales which, while brief, can be very deceptive. Players will work on the basics of healthy ensemble sound, how intonation works within an ensemble, how to play *truly* together, and how to convey sung lyrics with the bow.

First Period
Compleat Your Return

Domingues

LI–I+

Limit 10, all sizes

In this class we will explore Benjamin Hely’s The Compleat Violist from a technical point of view, using his psalm tunes as warm-up exercises and progressing to the airs and dances, including how to play those tricky rhythms and bowings.

First Period
Your Friends the Frets!

Gillespie

I–I+

Limit 15, all sizes

Get reacquainted with your fingerboard. This class will focus on the left hand with repertory to practice your new skills!

First Period
Rondeau, Round, and Reprise: The Art of the Return

Morley

I–UI+

Limit 12, all sizes

The satisfaction of musical repetition of all kinds permeates the viol’s repertoire. This class will explore the beautiful rondeaux of late-15th-century composers like Brumel and De La Rue. Then sample the Spanish villancico, investigate the Italian canzona, revel in pavans and galliards of the Elizabethan and Jacobean composers, and enjoy some catches of Purcell’s generation. The music will be in 3 to 6 parts so expect to be doubling some of the time.

First Period
Tenor Viol Made Easy: or, It’s Harder Than It Looks!

Halverson

I–UI+

Limit 10, tenors only; Alto clef a must and G clefs might be useful.

Some of the juiciest writing in consort music is for tenor viol, but the parts can be scary! This class focuses on gaining skills in starting pieces and mastering the tenor’s high and low ranges, and will include a daily dose of instruction on challenging fingering and bowing excerpts for tenor from the consort repertory. Alto clef a must and G clefs might be useful.

First Period
Captivating Coprario

Wissick

I–UI+

Limit 10, all sizes

Did he really visit Italy? Was it difficult to have Lawes as his student? Dive into the 6-part fantasias of Coprario, along with some of his music of 2 to 5 parts. Doubling possible.

First Period
Welcome Back to the Tune with Marais!

McGaughey

I+–A

Limit 10, basses only

An in-depth exploration of some of Marais’s pieces in rondo form: there are pieces with rondeau in the title in all five of his books, as well as other pieces where Marais doesn’t use the word but clearly was influenced by the rondo form. Students can choose pieces to perform, or there will be suggestions.

First Period
The Dances of Schop & Schein

Neely

I+–A

Limit 10, all sizes, doubling possible

Polish your knowledge of these distinct, early Baroque German dance suites. Selections from Schein's Banchetto Musicale will provide challenges for treble players and invite ornamentation from basses. Doubling possible.

First Period
A Musical Diaspora

Lipnik

UI–UI+

Limit 5, tr tr T T B, tenors reading G & G8 clefs

An exploration of works by Jewish composers from the Continent who flourished in England and English composers who flourished on the Continent. Survey the rich and varied consort repertoire by some of the finest composers of the Renaissance and early Baroque, including Bassano, Lupo, Philips, Dering, Brade, and Simpson.

First Period
Dido’s Lament: “Dulces exuviae” Settings on Renaissance Viols

Jeffrey

UI–UI+

Limit 8, all sizes, Renaissance viols available for use in this class.

More than 100 years before Dido’s famous lament by Purcell there was “Dulces exuviae.” Lifted from Virgil’s Aeneid, this text, spoken by Dido at the moment of her death, was a favorite with composers throughout the 16th century (at least sixteen of them, and counting). Playing settings by Josquin, Ghiselin, Orto, Willaert, Lassus, and others, on both Renaissance viols and “standard” viols, participants will enjoy a many-layered compare-and-contrast experience.

First Period
Violone Immersion

Miller Lardin

UI–A+

Limit 8, violones

We'll use solo repertoire to explore solutions to technical issues specific to the very largest viols. Our main focus will be music composed on ground basses, divisions on a tune, and rondo-type material: from Ortiz & Selma to Rognoni & Bonizzi. While this class is for advanced musicians, extensive violone experience is not essential; activities can be adapted to where you are right now.

Please contact Heather Miller Lardin with any questions or concerns.

First Period
London Homecoming

Terry

UI–A+

Limit 5, tr tr T T/B B

This richly beautiful cycle of eight 5-part fantasias for viols from Michael East’s Third Book of Madrigals (1610) makes for an emotional journey where we all arrive tired, but whole and content.

First Period
“Get Back” – Periods 1 & 2, Return to our 16th-c. Roots.

Mead

UI+

Limit of 8 experienced players for this two-period class. All sizes.

An immersive two-period course in the theory and practice of music in 16th-century Europe. For experienced players who play more than one size of viol in different clefs and have the instruments available for use in this class. Develop new insights into Renaissance polyphony by putting it into its historical context. 1st period class will provide hands-on explorations of Renaissance concepts of how music works; 2nd period class will apply those concepts to the repertoire. To be considered for this class, please select it for both 1st and 2nd Periods.

First Period
Master Class – Periods 1 & 2, by AUDITION only

Cunningham

UI+–A+

Limit 6. A special two-period class for 6 advanced players selected by video audition. All sizes.

Our master class during 1st period will be flexible enough to allow for discussion and practice of essential technical issues that arise. Repertoire will be focused on three areas: Tobias Hume or other lyra viol rep, and playing polyphony on the viol; Marais and Forqueray, building on a thorough practice of enflé and jetté bow strokes; Schenk, Telemann, or other rep of your choice, integrating technical and musical skills. Participants should choose pieces from two of these categories. Some of the important things we'll work on: breathing, relaxed shifts, accurate string crossings, release and resonance in melodic lines, rich and varied chordal playing, phrasing, and rhetorical and harmonic structure. To be considered for this class, please select it for both 1st and 2nd Periods.

Submit videos to Sarah Cunningham by May 15th.

First Period
Gracing the Ayre

Springfels

A+

Limit 8 with doubling, 2tr 2tr 2B 2B

The class will study Charles Coleman's table of Graces in Simpson's Division Viol and apply them to Ayres by Coleman, Simpson, Locke, and Lawes. The repertoire is 4-part music for the advanced player.

Second Period
Introduction to the Viol

Poon

B–B+

No limit, all sizes

This beginning viola da gamba class is free to off-campus beginners, ages 18 and older, and open to all who are curious and would like to learn to play the viol in a relaxed and supportive group environment. This class is tuition-free for those staying on campus. Instruments will be provided upon request as much as possible. Please check the appropriate box when you sregister for the Beginning Viol Program to indicate that you are interested in borrowing an instrument.

Contact Julie Elhard for more information.

Second Period
Time Stands Still (not!)

Halverson

LI–I

Limit 10, all sizes

Simple arrangements of Playford tunes and Dowland songs, including Time Stands Still, progress to more challenging textures and rhythms in pavans, galliards, and hornpipes by Holborne and Purcell. Emphasis on ensemble cohesion in articulation, intonation, and rhythm.

Second Period
Welcome Back Bach! “Ich bin so lang nicht bei dir"

McGaughey

LI–UI

Limit 8, all sizes, doubling possible, tr T T/B B

We will play two different Bach chorales every day, using these timeless and beautiful pieces as a starting point to discuss musical issues, ways the text can inform our performance, and how to lead an ensemble.

Second Period
Double Your Return

Domingues

I+–UI

Limit 8, all sizes, tr T T/B B, doubling possible, tenors reading G, G8 & C clefs

Bliss out with double-choir anthems, including works by Gibbons, Parsons, Gabrielli, and Tomkins.

Second Period
Exotic Elizabethans

Morley

I+–UI

Limit 6, tr tr/T T T T/B B

Daman, Mallory, Merricocke, Mundy, Strogers, and Woodson are among the composers we might have heard of but have never played. Explore this exotic repertoire in 5 and 6 parts and discover an unfamiliar sound world. Players must be prepared for occasional doubling and for playing some In Nomine lines. The ability to play at least two clefs is a plus for this class.

Second Period
A Return to Basics on the Treble Viol

Szuts

LI+–UI+

Limit 10, trebles only

Spend some time working on beautiful tone and technique for lovely treble playing--we'll do exercises and pieces as a treble chorus, as well as sectionals on "hard bits" from common consort treble parts.

Second Period
Welcome Back to Early Notation

Gillespie

I–I+

Limit 5, tr T T B B, tenor and bass must read G and G8 clefs

Practice reading the old clefs and notation used in the Renaissance. Five-part music for mostly lower instruments with only 1 treble! No previous experience necessary.

Second Period
Return to the Theme

Terry

I–UI

Limit 8, tenors & basses

A comfortable exploration of Baroque pieces for viol in rondeau form, where we study fingerings, technique tips, and musical expression. Tenor players will need to read bass clef in addition to alto and octave treble.

Second Period
Gibbons a6

Jeffrey

I–UI+

Limit 6, tr tr T T B B

Gibbons’s beautifully-crafted viol fantasies, famed for their kaleidoscopic variety of mood and expression, have earned their place among the finest gems of the standard consort repertoire. There is nothing like the joy and satisfaction of digging into a good Gibbons fantasy! The six fantasies a6 will be the core repertoire for this class, but we may also branch out into other 6-part works, both instrumental and vocal.

Second Period
Amorous Fire, Liquid Silver

Lipnik

I+–UI+

Limit 10, tr tr T T B B doubling possible

An exploration of the enigmatic madrigal fantasias and textless pieces of Coprario, Lupo, Ward, and contemporaries in 5 and 6 parts with teacher playing the 6th part!

Second Period
Found in Translation: Getting Your Bow to “Speak"

Keller

I+–UI+

Limit 10, all sizes, Renaissance viols available for use in this class

Texted Renaissance music for bow articulation. Add text to your playing, along with shapes and colors, and further the energy you send out to others. With Renaissance music, mostly homophonic in nature, we seek to better our bow articulation in accordance to the text and the musical line.

Second Period
In Nomines

Walhout

I+–A

Limit 12, all sizes

We’ll make sure we know the origin of the In Nomine genre, and that everyone leaves being able to sing the In Nomine tune in full. We’ll focus on challenging In Nomines a6 and a7 by Jenkins, Lawes, Ferrabosco, and Purcell, with warm-ups on easier renditions (with doubling and teacher playing In Nomine line) of Byrd, White, Johnson, and others.

Second Period
Traynor Winners

Wissick & Morris

UI–A+

Limit 8 in each class, up to 16 participants

Come and be part of consort history in the making! Class members will work with a coach on a curated subset of the latest submissions for the Traynor Competition, with a goal of public performance at the Friday night concert during Conclave. Alongside our preparation of the Traynor pieces, students (and coach!) will spend part of every session playing standard consort repertoire for our own enjoyment. This will be two separate classes.

Second Period
Music for a Monster

Springfels

UI–A

Limit 10, all sizes, doubling possible

Galeazzo Maria Sforza of Milan was a fanatical music lover, and sociopath of hideous cruelty. Music by Josquin, Agricola, and Compere.

Second Period
Lawes and Jenkins

Blendulf

UI–A

Limit 6, tr tr T T B B

The enigmatic consort sets of William Lawes will be compared to the sublime fantazias of John Jenkins.

Second Period
The Viola Bastarda: the Art of Playing Diminutions

Neely

UI+–A+

Limit 10, basses, tenors and trebles welcome

We will explore a few works by Ortiz, Rognoni, Rogniono, Bassano, Dalla Casa, giving every participant a chance to learn a bastarda piece, working on technical facility, phrasing, and more. Each participant will be assigned a piece to learn before Conclave, and the soloist for the day will be accompanied by the other instrumentalists in the class. We will all work on the accompaniment (madrigal or chanson associated therewith), to help the soloists in preparing and interpreting their solos.

Second Period
“Get Back” – Periods 1 & 2, Return to our 16th-c. Roots.

Mead

UI–A+

Limit of 8 experienced players for this two-period class. All sizes.

An immersive two-period course in the theory and practice of music in 16th-century Europe. For experienced players who play more than one size of viol in different clefs, and have the instruments available for use in this class. Develop new insights into Renaissance polyphony by putting it into its historical context. 1st period class will provide hands-on explorations of Renaissance concepts of how music works; 2nd period class will apply those concepts to the repertoire. To be considered for this class, please select it for both 1st and 2nd Periods.

Second Period
Master Class – Periods 1 & 2, by AUDITION only

Cunningham

UI+–A+

Limit 6. A special two-period class for 6 advanced players selected by video audition. All sizes.

Our consort session during 2nd period for 6 advanced players (must participate in 1st period class as well) will take a deep dive into musical and technical issues of consort playing, working on glorious six-part pieces by Byrd, Ward, Tomkins, and Lawes (and maybe some Jenkins too!) To be considered for this class, please select it for both 1st and 2nd Periods.

Submit videos to Sarah Cunningham by May 15th.

Third Period
“Turn, turn, turn” – Songs of the Seasons

Mead

B+–LI+

Limit 20, all sizes, voices welcome

From winter's cold to midsummer frolics, songs and madrigals that celebrate the turning of the seasons.

Third Period
Semper Dowland

Walhout

LI–I+

Limit 10, all sizes

A bow technique class using Dowland’s Lachrimae, songs, and dances. Work toward a more varied and expressive bowing, and explore those complicated rhythms that trip us up!

Third Period
Renaissance Ornamentation in Three Easy Steps

Keller

I–UI

Limit 8, all sizes

Ever been amazed at the audacity of someone to add extra notes to their parts? Ever want to give it a try? Well, let’s look at what our forebears said on the matter. Learn how easy it can be to start implementing the ornamental language of our favorite masters using Italian manuals to add ornamentation in 16th-century madrigals. Out of the books and onto the streets!

Third Period
Many Happy Ren-Turns: Explore a Consort of Renaissance Viols

Gillespie

I–A

Limit 8, Renaissance viols available for use in this class.

An introduction to Italian Renaissance viols, among the forebears of our English, French, and German instruments, with typical stunningly beautiful repertory from the early 16th century, presented in both modern editions and original notation. Players will take turns (insofar as is practical!) trying small and large Renaissance viols in A and D that have been lent by their owners; technical work will emphasize geography and is completely transferable to any size viol.

Third Period
Simpson Duos for Tenors

Jeffrey

I–UI

Limit 12, tenor viols only, doubling

Two equal voices vie for attention in these endlessly inventive dialogues by Simpson. Built on the “divisions to a ground” model, but with all the conversational “give and take” of the best duos in the viol kingdom. Formerly the province of bass viols, these duos are adapted for two tenor viols.

Third Period
Brent’s Bowing

Wissick

Any

Limit 20, all sizes

The class will be an overview of important bowing principles and techniques, helpful to both experienced and intermediate players.

Third Period
Coming Home to the Viol

Cunningham

Any

Limit 20, all sizes

A technique class to engage the whole body, from feet to fingertips. Starting without music stands, we'll explore all the elements of making sounds with viols and bows, and how to stay relaxed through all the complexities of coordinating left and right hands. Then we'll use selected examples from consort music, to practice connecting this relaxation and freedom with the musical effects we want to create. Recommended also for those who are learning to teach.

Third Period
The Age of Gold

Springfels

LI+–UI

Limit 10, all sizes, doubling encouraged

The undreamed-of wealth, wrested from the New World and showered upon the Old, enabled the Spanish nobility to amass treasure troves of art and music. This was the age of Velasquez and El Greco, Morales and Guerrero. Spanish missionaries to America used the music of these masters as a way of winning the hearts of indigenous populations. That tactic was hugely successful. The Black/Indigenous/White choirs of Puebla and Durango were thought to be amongst the best in the world. We will explore their music. Doubling encouraged!

Third Period
Consort Music by Leonora Duarte and Thomas Lupo

Blendulf

I+–UI+

Limit 5, tr tr T T B

Duarte's seven sinfonias for 5 viols will be the focus of this class, in addition to the challenging 6-part fantasias by Thomas Lupo (teacher will play the sixth part!).

Third Period
Return to Scheidt’s Creek

Domingues

I+–UI

Limit 10, all sizes, 4 tr 2T 2B (or basses reading G8 or C clef)

Doubled canzonas and dances from Scheidt’s groundbreaking Ludi Musici. Experience the exuberance of these pieces composed at the crossroads of the Renaissance and Baroque.

Third Period
Size Matters: Low Consorts

Miller Lardin

I+–UI+

Limit 6, T T B B B/V V

How often do you get to play 6-part music? Find out what happens when we choose mostly tenors, basses, and violoni for the lowest possible orchestration. Brace yourself for maximum resonance! NOT for the faint of heart. Byrd, Gibbons, and much more.

Third Period
Rewarding Ward

Neely

I+–A

Limit 10, tr tr T T B B, doubling possible

Explore the melodic and original 5- and 6-part fantasies of John Ward with the teacher playing the 6th part! Doubling possible.

Third Period
The French Connection

Morris

UI–A

Limit 15, all sizes

Suites and dance music in the French style, by non-French composers: 4- and 5-part dance music written by brilliant composers who were inspired by the French, but who gave the music their own personal spin. Works by Muffat, Purcell, and more.

Third Period
Return to Dust: Requiems on Viols

Szuts

UI–A

Limit 6, tr tr T T B B

The afterlife never sounded so good--sink into delicious harmonies of the requiem masses by composers from Ockeghem and Richafort to Fauré and Mozart.

Third Period
Marais’s Les Folies d’Espagne: Beginning with Baby Steps

Halverson

UI–A

Limit 10, bass viols only

With the most accessible couplets as our focus, we will implement Marais’s notations, provided by the composer as a means of influencing and indicating articulation and phrasing. Must be comfortable with alto clef.

Third Period
Jenkins 5-part Fantasias

Ellis

UI–A

Limit 5, tr tr T T B

The music of John Jenkins can be moving, complex, and sometimes simply bizarre. Because of its complexity and occasionally intimidating difficulty, this music is often performed solely by the most experienced consort players. We aim to digest one fantasia a day, breaking down each difficulty with regard to technique and musicality.

Third Period
Uncommon Lawes

Moran

UI+–A+

Limit 6, tr tr T T B B

While William Lawes was appointed as “musician in ordinary” by Charles I in 1635, his music is anything but. You will engage with five other players in the sublime musical dialogues that four centuries later still sound strikingly unusual in a way that just makes you want to return to them again (and again). We will develop deep listening and sensitive interaction.

Third Period
Revisiting Jenkins

Morley

A–A+

Limit 6, tr tr T T B B

After two years in which it was difficult to gather for 6-part music, many of us will be aching to play Jenkins. Ache no more! Each day of this class we will study and play one or two different Jenkins fantasies to catch up on two lost years!

Fourth Period
Voices & Viols

Lipnik

Any

Freebie class for in-person and online participants! Limit 70 in person, and live streamed for all others. Voices welcome!

Roma, La Città Eterna: Glorious works by Palestrina, Victoria, and their contemporaries who were drawn to Rome by their fervent Catholic faith. The “Eternal City” was a center of musical activity during the height of the Renaissance, welcoming composers from across the continent and inspiring some of the most transcendent musical treasures ever created. Explore madrigals both sensual and spiritual including Marenzio and Giovannelli, selections from Palestrina’s Madrigali spirituali (1594), and Victoria’s Motecta festorum (1585), as well as movements from Palestrina’s magnificent Missa Sine Nomine and Missa Papae Marcelli.

Fourth Period
The More the Merrier

Moran

B+–UI

Freebie class, in-person only. Limit 30 in person

This freebie class embraces the social aspect of consort music, welcoming players of all levels to enjoy playing together in a judgment-free zone. Less experienced players will appreciate the chance to steep themselves in consort music, selected for ease of reading, bolstered by plenty of others playing their part. More experienced players are invited to come along for the ride, because…consorts. Come and make a joyful noise together!

Fourth Period
Feldenkrais: Return to the Floor

Reed

Any

Freebie class, in-person only. Limit 20

Unwind from your day and reconnect to your body and breath with these gentle Awareness Through Movement™ lessons. Lessons will be clearly applicable to viol playing although we will do them without instruments. Bring loose, comfortable clothes and a mat or blanket to lie on.

First Period
Tone Transformer II

Blendulf

Any, all sizes

Online only. Limit 40, 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. Back with new tunes for the new year!

Second Period
A Joyful Noise

Miller Lardin

LI–I

Online only. Limit 35, all sizes

The rich array of 4-part psalm settings by Tallis, Ravenscroft, and many others are stunning when played on the viol. We'll take advantage of their relatively simple texture to develop a beautiful resonant sound and experiment with text expression through the bow. In this online class you'll play your part against each of the others while muted, with the option to switch instruments. You can even sing along!

Second Period
Pastime with Good Company

Moran

I+–UI+

Online only. Limit 35, all sizes

Remotely share in the spirit of Conclave by joining in consorts with experienced players eager to make music together with you. Each day a group of advanced players at Conclave will join John on site at Miami U. to play a wide range of consort repertoire. You can choose your part and play along from your music room at home. We will have drop-in appearances from familiar faces, so that we can vary the number of parts.

Third Period
Follow the Phrase

Terry

LI–I

Online only. Limit 35, all sizes

Using texted madrigals and motets, this class will learn to find and shape phrases from beginning to end.

Third Period
Invitation to the Dance

McGaughey

I+–A

Online only. Limit 35, all sizes

Each day we'll play two pieces of different dance forms (one form per day): allemande, courante/ corrente, sarabande, minuet, chaconne/passacaglia, gavotte/bouree. One of the pieces will be pulled from the solo repertoire (Marais, Schenck, Couperin) while the other one will be less challenging.