The Free Viol Residency
In the late summer of 2017 I will launch The Free Viol Residency, a tuition free course for the private study of solo viola da gamba, at my home in Jacksonville, Florida. The idea of The Free Viol Residency has been bouncing around in my head for a number of years now, and as I find myself settling into a mature career the needs of professional artists and extremely skilled amateurs have become more and more important to me. This is the best way I feel I can give back to the viola da gamba community.
When I was in college, attending early music workshops and viola da gamba courses was next to impossible for a number of reasons. Getting enough time off work was difficult if I wanted to make rent. Paying the often high tuition was next to impossible. Many workshops only focus on ensemble playing, leaving little to no room for studying solo repertoire. And any one-on-one time was fleeting at best, making it difficult to follow up on technical and musical ideas. My aim with The Free Viol Residency is to remove as many of those negatives as possible.
Each residency will last from three to five days, and will initially be limited to only one participant at a time, ensuring anyone who makes the trip will get my undivided attention. Once I've agreed to work with someone we will schedule a mutually agreed upon time. Prior to arrival we will decide on the direction of our time together, whether that is strictly technical exploration, delving deeply into certain repertoire, or anything in between. Once in Jacksonville your housing and food will be entirely provided for, leaving travel costs as your only expense. This is the best way I can think of to remove the pressures created by limited time and finance. This is the best way I can think of to ensure that anyone attending will feel free to explore the viol in as relaxed a setting as possible.
The Free Viol Residency is specifically aimed at those viol players who are currently or have previously studied viol in a conservatory, college, or university setting, and who have a desire to work on the solo repertoire for the instrument. That being said, I will be open to possibly inviting very dedicated amateur players who are quite serious about the study and performance of the solo repertory. My goal with The Free Viol Residency is to give individuals the unbridled chance to explore the beauty of the viol as a solo instrument in the most freeing environment possible. I only want to serve as a facilitator and teacher, and help each participant attain their own goals.
Interested players must contact me directly with a statement on intent: let me know what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how you think I can help you. I will also require two letters of reference from individuals who are familiar with your musicianship. There will be no audition, driving home the fact that this program isn't only for the best of the best. The Free Viol Residency is for anyone who has a serious interest in the solo works for viola da gamba, and who wants the space, time, and help to persue their goals.
Since I plan to host my first residency in the late summer or fall of 2017 interested players should contact me now. I look forward to working with many of you, and I hope that together we can delve into the history and the possibilities of the viola da gamba!