Conclave 2014 Logo

Are you considering coming to Conclave for the first time? Have a look at our new videos of Conclave people telling us all about it.

Jack Ashworth Rosamund Morley
Lucy Bardo David Morris
Tina Chancey Annalisa Pappano
Sarah Cunningham John Mark Rozendaal
John Dornenburg Gail Ann Schroeder
Julie Elhard Mary Springfels
Julie Jeffrey Lisa Terry
Brady Lanier Lynn Tetenbaum
Larry Lipnik Craig Trompeter
Martha McGaughey Brent Wissick
Sarah Mead  

Download a PDF of complete faculty bios here.

Conclave Staff
Sarah Mead Music Director
Sarah Poon  
David Poon Conclave Managers
Chrissy Spencer  
Phillip Serna Scholarship Coordinator
John Pringle Viol Doctor
Harry Grabenstein Bow Doctor

Conclave 2014 Features
  • Special Programs
    • Beginning Viol
    • Seasoned Players & Special Projects
    • Consort Cooperative
  • Informal Playing
  • Drop-in Consorts
  • Viol and Bow Doctors
  • Open Readings of New Music
  • Live and Silent Scholarship Auction
  • VdGSA Store
  • Boulder Early Music Shop
  • Builders' Exhibits
  • Annual Town Meeting
  • Young Players' Gathering
  • Banquet & Entertainment
  • Multiple Mini-Concerts

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

Class Offerings

Self-Rating Guide
Class levels are based on the 2014 Self-Rating Guide, available here. You will be asked to refer to it when you fill out your Registration.

For a more detailed (and printable) PDF version of the class offerings, click here.

First Period (9:00-10:30)
Any Schroeder Mind & Muscle—Alexander Technique: find ease in movement, relieve tension, enhance performance Body work with & without your instrument
Any Chancey The Mind’s Ear—Playing by ear: set aside the music stand, and connect with your instrument
Any Terry Luscious Legato—Mastering the smoothest stroke for a greater variety of bowing gestures
B+/LI McGaughey Minding the Store—Progress from focusing on your technique to focusing on the ensemble.
LI+/I Lipnik Pulse Points—Building rhythmic skills through exercises and musical examples
I Tetenbaum Mind the Gap—Develop confidence as you learn to safely cross strings Basses only
I – UI Wissick Of Two Minds—Making music with both the cognitive left brain and intuitive right brain
I – UI Morris Native Speakers—How to express the musical vernacular of different national styles
I – UI Rozendaal Speak your Mind—Developing a vocabulary of articulations, gestures, and colors
I – UI Springfels High-minded—Playing with confidence and beauty in the treble range Trebles only
UI Jeffrey A Bit Dotty—Technique and repertoire focused on tricky dotted rhythms
UI – A Dornenburg Tech Savvy—Bass Technique: sound quality, string crossing, shifts, fingers Basses only
UI – A Cunningham Mind over Matter—Bring your hardest challenges and solve them together
UI – A Bardo Fresh Ideas—Stretch your mind & technique with new music (incl. 2013 Traynor pieces)
UI+, A Morley
30/60—Daily ½ -hour doses of technique applied to an hour of repertoire Two classes by level
Limit 6
A/A+ Elhard Mind your Step—Shifting strategies in the Simpson duo repertoire Basses only

Second Period (11:00-12:15)
B Elhard Intro. to the Viol—Free Beginners' class for all comers (instruments provided) Instruments provided by request
B+/LI Terry Sense & Sensitivity—Techniques for sensing your consort and communicating musically
LI+/I Springfels Allegro e Penseroso—Musical expressions of joy & despair in Italian madrigals
I – A Lanier Medieval Mindset—Music of Machaut & the Medieval world in modern & original notation Singers, vielles, rebecs, lutes & harps welcome
I – A Bardo Viol Orchestra—Transformations of form & style in 17th-c canzoni, dances, and sonatas doubling
I+ Lipnik Mind Games—Ludi Musici: German consorts of Schein, Scheidt & Brade
I+/UI Dornenburg Sounds of Faith—Expressing the text instrumentally in beautiful Renaissance motets
I – UI Pappano Elevated Thoughts—Reach a higher plane with ensemble music for the smallest instruments Trebles & pardessus
UI – A Jeffrey L’Esprit Humain—French solo music for tenor-players; it’s not just for basses anymore! Tenors only
UI Wissick Head Trip—A grand tour of 17th-c. Baroque styles from England & the Continent Basses (& trebles)
UI Rozendaal Mad Dogs & Englishmen—Consorts from the great English repertoire Limit 5
UI+/A Ashworth Great Minds—Contrapuntal masterworks of Ockeghem, Josquin, Bach and others
UI+ Trompeter Inside Ward—Improve your consort skills with the 6-part fantasies of John Ward Limit 6
UI+/A, A McGaughey
Inside Lawes—Explore the parallel universe of Lawes’ imagination: 6-part consorts May include organ
A Morley Inside Jenkins—An in-depth look at the mind of the master through the lens of his fantasias May include organ
A Schroeder & Tetenbaum Two Heads > One—Advanced duets: work in sectionals and in pairs with both teachers Basses only

Third Period (2:00-3:15)
B/B+ Jeffrey Booster Shot—A boost for new and recent beginners; support & followup to Intro. class
Any Morris Analyze This!—Basic Music Theory for viol-players; tools to think about your music
LI Rozendaal Head Start—Ways to develop your skills and move up from LI to I as a player
I – A Chancey Folkways—Folk music for viol folks: Irish, Balkan, Sephardic, Old-time
I – UI Ashworth States of Mind—Voices, viols, & organ: expressive texts across the emotional spectrum Voices welcome
I – UI Wissick Wolf’s Head—A survey of Lupo’s instrumental music, from 3 to 6 parts (doubling) Doubling; limit 12
UI Lipnik Byrd Brain—The many musical sides of William Byrd and the music that influenced him
UI McGaughey Master Mind—An introduction to playing the music of Marin Marais Basses only; alto clef
UI Pappano Watch & Ward—Insights into Ward’s fantasias with your teacher as a consort-member Limit 5
UI+ Terry Clarity of Mind—Turn passagework into chord shapes to improve your sightreading skills Best for basses
UI+/A Springfels Unsound Minds— Music of Gesualdo, Merula, Rosenmüller & other dangerous minds Limit 5
A Tetenbaum A Beautiful Mind—Bach’s Art of Fugue: musical brain-food for the advanced instrumentalist Limit 8
A Dornenburg Marais’ Mind—Direction & expression in Marais' bewitching Preludes; play & learn as a group Basses only; alto clef
A+ & CC Mead Consort Mechanics—How to take apart & rebuild a consort from the ground up, for coaches & players
Open Session (no registration required)
OPEN Lanier Differently Minded—Arrangements of popular and classical repertoire for big-band viols Open to everyone who is free 3rd period

Fourth Period (3:45-5:00)
Any Trompeter Mind = Body—The easy, gentle movements & directed attention of the Feldenkreis® Method Body work
LI – I Bardo The King’s Book—Beautiful tunes and settings from the Henry VIII manuscript
I – A Cunningham What Springs to Mind—Improvisation: discover the pieces that are waiting to come into being
I – A Ashworth Idle Minds and Fiddling Fingers—Devils’ playground, Devil’s instrument: traditional tunes of the British Isles Fiddles & viols
UI – A Morley Bi-Cycles—2 fantasy-cycles: Stoltzer’s Octo Tonorum Melodiae & Dowland’s Lachrimae Must play two sizes
UI – A Chancey Odhecaton—The first printed collection of music, played on early viols (bring or borrow) Renaissance viols
A – A+ Schroeder Mind… Less—Master-class on performance issues: silencing “mind chatter”, learning to focus Advanced soloists & ensembles
Open Session (no registration required)
OPEN Morris An Open Mind—Voices & Viols: grand pieces for grand forces Singers welcome

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

The Schedule
Saturday, July 26 Early arrivals after 2:00 p.m. (extra fee)
Sunday, July 27 2:00-6:00 p.m. Registration and check in; Opening night festivities
Monday, July 28 Classes begin
Tuesday, July 29 Scholarship auction
Wednesday, July 30 Afternoon/evening off for sightseeing
Thursday, July 31 Featured Performance
Friday, Aug 1 Consort Co-op performance; Town Meeting
Saturday, Aug 2 Classes end; Student Concert; Banquet
Sunday, Aug 3 Check out by 11:00 a.m.

Welcome Letter
A "welcome" letter containing many Conclave details, including travel, items to bring, etc. will be available later in the Spring.



FULL-TIME: There are four class-periods during the day. Full-time participants may take up to three classes. During the period(s) they choose to have free, they may opt to enjoy time off or take part in one or both of the afternoon Open Sessions. Those choosing to take three classes are asked to include a 1st-period class in their selections.

PART-TIME: Some people prefer to have a light schedule and take only one class. Part-time participants register for one class only but may take part in the afternoon Open Sessions if they wish to without further charge.

PRE-FORMED CONSORT: If you are part of a pre-existing consort that wishes to be coached as a group for one session, please note this in your registration. Your ensemble may select your first/second/third choices for EITHER 2nd OR 3rd period (please do not mix them). We do not offer the option of registering as a pre-formed consort in the 1st or 4th periods.


The VdGSA waives the Conference Fee for local residents interested in trying the viol for the first time; as an outreach to the community we provide the Introductory Class free of charge.

BEGINNING VIOL: The 2nd-period "Introduction to the Viol" class is offered for free to local residents and other Beginner registrants. 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 daily from Monday to Saturday, and are also welcome to audit the Open Sessions free of charge. (Contact Sarah Mead for more information.)

BEGINNERS+1: In addition to the Introductory Course, adventurous beginners may pay the single-class fee of $100 and register for the 3rd-period "Booster Shot" class designed as a power-boost for new players (just $20 a day!).

*Instruments are available to beginners free of charge with advance registration. Please check the appropriate box when you sign up for the Beginning Viol program to indicate that you are interested in borrowing an instrument.


Some very experienced Conclave attendees prefer to play together uncoached during class time. These players may register for the Seasoned Players program, or can apply to take part in Special Projects.

SEASONED PLAYERS: This program offers strong readers a chance to play through a large amount of consort repertoire in a relaxed, social, and unstructured setting. A coordinator helps to organize the players and music. Participants must have the flexibility and sight-reading skill to play the gamut of viol consort music on more than one size of instrument. Those who wish to take one coached class can choose the SP+1 option, and pay the single-class fee; all others pay only the conference fee.
For more information contact Tobi Szuts at 617-800-4517 or email Tobi Szuts.

SPECIAL PROJECTS: A subset of the Seasoned Players program, the Special Projects program is open to professional players and faculty on rotation; other players with A+ scores (based on the Self-Rating Guide) may also apply. This is also an excellent option for people who have completed the Consort Cooperative program. When you register for Seasoned Players, you will be asked if you would like to be considered for Special Projects. Each participant will propose a project for the group to spend time on during the week; this could include exploring unfamiliar repertoire, playing from original notation, or experimenting with new techniques. Participants will be chosen by the SP committee, made up of experienced faculty. For more information email Sarah Mead.


Consort Cooperative is a program for advanced players who want to hone their consort chops and develop their leading and coaching skills. Much of the intensive week is devoted to self-coached ensembles where all participants will have a chance to lead a group of their peers through a piece of their choosing. Additionally, Consort Coop members will participate in a "Consort Mechanics" class taught by Sarah Mead as well as exploring musical traditions that contribute to the development of the classic English consort tradition. Those interested in Consort Coop must register for Conclave and also submit additional materials. Please see the Consort Coop page for a more detailed description and instructions or contact Zoe Weiss with any questions. Registration deadline for this program is May 1.


Exhibitors of instruments, bows, and related materials are invited to exhibit at Conclave. Display space will be available in the Emporium, adjacent to the VdGSA Store. One table per exhibitor is guaranteed ($25 per day plus pro-rated conference fee for exhibitors not registered as tuition students). We will make every effort to provide as much display space as you require, but we can only guarantee one table. Exhibitors must register on-line. The registration process includes a special program for builders and exhibitors with the option of part-week stays and pro-rated fees. Exhibitors must complete registration—including housing requests—by June 15. Contact Tobi Szuts at 617-800-4517 or email Conclave Vendor Coordinator.


Guests and family of Conclave participants who plan to attend without participating in any of the programs must register as Non-Playing Attendees.

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

Workshop Fees


Regular curriculum, full-time (students taking 2 or 3 classes plus any number of Open Sessions) $450
Regular curriculum, part-time (students taking only 1 class plus any number of Open Sessions) $350
SP+1 (Seasoned Players and Special Projects taking 1 class) $350
Beginners+1 (Beginners taking both beginner classes) $350
Consort Cooperative (includes 3rd period CC class) $300
Seasoned Players and Special Projects (taking no classes) $250
Beginning Viol (Non-local attendees taking only the 2nd period beginner class) $250
Conference fee for all others not taking classes (includes guests and non-playing attendees) $250
Beginners+1 for locals (local beginners taking both beginner classes.) $100
Beginning Viol for locals (local beginners taking only the 2nd period beginner class.) No charge
Late registration fee (after May 15) $25
Membership Fee: Attendees who are not members of the VdGSA or a foreign viola da gamba society will need to join the VdGSA. They will receive a one-year first-time membership in the VdGSA at a discounted rate. $20
Have questions about this? Email Conclave Management.

Room and board

Room Type Cost for the week Daily rate
(for non-players)
Early Arrival
(after 2pm Saturday)
Single $625
(Previously published prices listed an incorrect amount for single rooms. This is the revised amount.)
$95 $95
Double $425 $75 $75
A few $125 subsidies for R & B are available for students and others on limited income. This option is available during the application process.
The banquet is included in the Room and Board.
If you are staying off campus but would like to attend the banquet, the cost is $40.


Conclave Work-Study positions come with full-tuition scholarships ($450) or part-time stipends ($300, for Consort Cooperative players only). Work-Study students handle the VdGSA Store, photocopying, registration, stage-managing and other similar duties. The application form for Work-Study Scholarships/Stipends is available during the online registration process. If you wish to apply but do not have internet access, contact the scholarship coordinator as soon as possible (see below). Applications must be received by May 2. Most recipients should know by May 25 if they will receive a subsidy. These positions fill quickly, so be sure to apply promptly! For more information contact Phillip Serna at 847-722-2093 or email Phillip Serna.

Consort Cooperative applicationsMay 1
Scholarship applicationsMay 2
Late registration fee applies afterMay 15
Registration closesJune 15
Last cancellation dateJune 15

Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Oxford is a small city in southwest Ohio, an hour's drive from the Cincinnati or Dayton airport. The city is surrounded by woodland and pasture and is home to Miami University. The result is a charming, green city with a town-like feel in the High Street uptown area, with brick streets and historic three-story storefront shops. Miami University is a public university founded in 1809 and named after the Miami Native American tribe that once inhabited the Miami Valley region of Ohio. The campus has expanded to a student population of approximately 17,000. Miami University values ties to its own history, featuring two museums dedicated to representing historic Ohio, and seems like a natural place to bring the historical music that we love to play.

While the Miami campus is large, we'll spend our time in a flat, three-block area near the center of campus. We'll be housed in Ethridge and Maplestreet Station, two new residence halls that share a small quadrangle with the campus' Performing Arts Center. Maplestreet Station features dining on the main floor and the VdGSA Emporium (formerly known as the "commercial space") on its spacious open-concept third floor. The residence halls are built in a "house"-style architectural layout (think Harry Potter) that has been trending recently on college campuses. Each house contains 12-15 rooms (a mix of singles and doubles), 3 shared bathrooms, and a large kitchen and living area. At this campus we give up the luxury of private baths for larger social groups that may recreate the gemutlichkeit of Conclaves past. As you plan to register, consider whom you'd like to share a house with and whether you'd like an early-to-bed or night-owl cohort.

Notes on how to get there:
For attendees traveling by air, the nearest airports to Miami University are Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and Dayton International Airport (DAY). Both of these airports are located approximately an hour from campus. Shuttle and bus services are available from both airports. See transportation info.

For attendees traveling by car, see directions on the University website.

For attendees traveling by train, there is no direct service to Oxford. The nearest Amtrak stations are in Cincinnati and Connorsville, IN.

Possibilities for Wednesday afternoon
On Wednesday, the schedule is adjusted to give you the late afternoon and evening off to explore the area. You may fancy a hike in Hueston Woods State Park, a short drive north of town; or a visit to the historic Black Covered Bridge—Ohio's longest covered bridge—a half-hour walk from campus. If visiting a small town isn't your thing, you might carpool into nearby Cincinnati to visit the Zoo, Museums, and more.

Links to other sources of information:

View Larger Map

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

Points of Contact

Responsibility Name Phone Email
Music Director Sarah Mead 508-655-2597 Sarah Mead
Housing questions Team SPoon (Chrissy Spencer, Sarah Poon, Dave Poon) 828-789-9089, 604-512-9152 Conclave Managers
Scholarships Phillip Serna 847-722-2093 Phillip Serna
Assistance in registering off-line Kate Shuldiner
847-894-7562 Kate Shuldiner
Money matters Tracy Hoover
316-648-6157 Tracy Hoover
Exhibits Tobi Szuts 617-800-4517 Tobi Szuts
Consort Cooperative Zoe Weiss 607-227-9888 Zoe Weiss
VdGSA President Marie Dalby Szuts 510-206-2652 Marie Dalby Szuts
Campus information Miami University
Local information Oxford, Ohio
Web registration issues Linda Payzant and Peter Payzant   Webmasters