In 2008 the VdGSA initiated the "Circuit Rider Program" to provide support to communities that do not have a local viol teacher and wish to set up an ongoing relationship with a viol teacher. The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for players in such communities to have ongoing lessons that will give direction to practice time and help set goals.
The Circuit Rider program has expanded to include both 2- and 4-visit Circuits within the calendar year. The Full Circuit is 4 visits completed between January and December. The Half Circuit is 2 visits to be completed within 6 months, and is offered on a one-time basis as an enticement for new groups to try out the program, hopefully to help them get geared up for a full Circuit the next year.

The deadline for the 2017 Circuit Riders program is October 15, 2016 with notification by November 1. See below for full information, including the "piggy-back option" (for a group close enough to an established Circuit to be able to offer their teacher another partial Circuit with coordinated dates).

The Circuit Rider Coordinator is Isabel Hendry. Contact her for more information.

Here are the program guidelines:

  • Consult with other local players and assemble a group who are interested in having lessons and willing to make
    • a one-year commitment to the program for a Full Circuit of 4 visits, or
    • a six-month commitment for a Half Circuit of 2 visits.
    You are advised to have one person in charge of organizing the finances in advance to guarantee the success of the program. This can be done in a number of ways. Here are some examples of models for successful programs.
  • Select a teacher from the list of participants (teachers who have agreed to make the same kind of commitment to you) and contact that teacher directly. Our teachers' list includes airports nearest to them so that you can factor in the travel costs.
  • Contact the teacher and set up a schedule of 2 or 4 visits to take place before the end of 2017.
  • Agree to guarantee a minimum of 10 hours of teaching at $50/hour for each 2-day visit; this time could be used for private lessons, group coaching, master classes, and/or beginner sessions. (Note: Your group can decide to divvy the payments up as they see fit, but must provide the teacher with a minimum $500 per visit.)
  • Arrange to provide local transportation, housing, and food for the Circuit Rider during each visit.
  • Additional funds are available for a second area to "piggy-back" onto a pre-existing Circuit if it is within reasonable traveling distance from the target area listed above. This is a good arrangement for groups not large enough to support a full ten hours of teaching, but interested in benefiting from a teacher already traveling. The piggy-back group must guarantee 5 hours of teaching (a minimum of $250) and may apply for travel expenses up to $500 to cover the additional travel expense between areas. Circuit Rider applicants, both principal and piggy-back, should fill out the application form separately. It is the piggy-back group's responsibility to coordinate with the principal group on details. The terms of the CR grant are the same for both groups.

Here's what you'll get from the program:

  • Full Circuit: A grant of up to $2000 for 4 visits/year ($500/visit) OR
  • Half Circuit: A grant of up to $1000 for 2 visits/6 months ($500/visit) to cover the Circuit Rider's long-distance travel.
  • (Additional funds are available for communities that can "piggy-back" their visits so that the teacher can make one multi-destination trip.)
  • Continuity: four (or two) personalized lessons from the same teacher with time to practice in between.
  • Coaching for any size or level of group, on music chosen by you or provided by your instructor.
  • A choice of teachers who are committed to the goals of the program.
  • An hourly rate below the national average.


"...the trouble is WELL WORTHWHILE.. We've had GREAT teachers and learned from every one." Suzanne Ferguson

"...participation in the Circuit Rider Program with Viols Houston has engendered a strong sense of community and family among us, enabled us to coalesce as a viol community, and has emboldened us to tackle ambitious projects..." Brady Lanier

Here are the teachers who have enlisted in the program:

TeacherCityAirport Code
Jack AshworthLouisvilleSDF
Joanna BlendulfMadison, ALHSV, BHM, BNA
Rachel CamaPhiladelphiaPHL
Tina ChanceyWashington DCWAS
Julie ElhardMinneapolis/St. PaulMSP
Wendy GillespieBloomington, ININD
Jane HersheyBostonMHT
Lisle KulbachBoston/New YorkBOS,NYC
Josh LeeJacksonvilleJAX
Carol LewisBostonBOS
Larry LipnikNew YorkLGA,JRK
Betsy MacMillanMontrealYUL
Sarah MeadBostonBOS/PVD
Ros MorleyNew YorkNYC
Joëlle MortonTorontoYYZ
Annalisa PappanoCincinnatiCVG,DAY
Alice RenkenMinneapolis/St. PaulMSP
Lesley RetzerLong IslandISP,LGA
Tulio RondonMinneapolis/St. PaulMSP
Gail Ann SchroederAshevilleAVL,CLT,GSP
Phillip SernaChicagoCHI
Elin SoderstomMontrealYUL
Mary SpringfelsCerrillos, NMSAF,ABQ
Carolyn SurrickBaltimoreBWI

How to apply

View the application form here. Either
  • Fill it in on your computer, save it and email it to Isabel Hendry, or
  • Print it, fill it in, scan it and email it to Isabel Hendry, or
  • Print it, fill it in and send by regular mail to Isabel Hendry

Contact info:

  • Email: click here for email address.
  • Regular mail (hard copy):
    Isabel Hendry
    346 N. Colonial Pl.
    Wichita KS 67206-1903

The deadline for applications for next year is October 15 this year.

For information about applications or general information about the Circuit Rider Program, contact Isabel Hendry.