Conclave 2011 Logo
49th Annual Conclave
St. Xavier University
Chicago, Illinois
July 24-31, 2011

This is the page for the 2011 Conclave.
To go to the 2012 Conclave page, click here.

The following forms are available for download as printable PDFs:

Who's registered so far? Check it out in the Members' Area (password required).

Conclave 2011 Features

  • Special Programs
    • Beginning Viol
    • Seasoned Players
    • Consort Cooperative
  • Concerts and Lecture
  • Drop-In Classes
  • Ad Hoc Playing
  • Boulder Early Music Shop
  • VdGSA Store
  • Builders' Exhibits
  • Live and Silent Auctions
  • Town Meeting
  • Young Players' Gathering
  • Banquet and Entertainment

Martha Bishop Alice Robbins
Joanna Blendulf David Schrader
John Dornenburg Gail Ann Schroeder
Wendy Gillespie Elin Soderstrom
Jane Hershey Mary Springfels
Julie Jeffrey Lisa Terry
Larry Lipnik Lynn Tetenbaum
Catharina Meints Craig Trompeter
David Morris Brent Wissick
Sarah Mead
Download a PDF of complete faculty bios here.

Conclave Staff
Sarah Mead Music Director
Kathy Schenley Conclave Coordinator
Alice Renken & Jean Seiler Conclave Assistants
Sarah Poon Scholarship Coordinator and
Concert Manager
Russell Wagner Viol Doctor
Louis Bégin Bow Doctor
Ken Perlow Local Host

Featured Events

  • Lecture: The Muses' Speech
    A Grammar Lesson, with Mary Springfels
  • Mini-Concert: Trio Settecento
    Rachel Barton Pine, John Mark Rozendaal, David Schrader
  • Faculty Concert: Sing, Heavenly Muse
    Nine Sets for Nine Muses

Need a ride to Conclave, or a viol to use, or able to provide either?

Check out the Ride Board.

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

Class Offerings

New Self-Rating Guide!
The guide to finding your appropriate level has changed, and so has the rating system. Make sure you review the guide and determine your new rating before registering for classes. Click here to see the new guidelines.

For a printable PDF version of the class offerings, click here.

First Period (9:00-10:30)
Multiple-level classes:
Any Schroeder Alexander Technique for Viols   Move with ease, relieve tension, enhance performance limit 10
LI‑UI Tetenbaum Warm Up Your Viol & You   Warm-up techniques & exercises for both your bow & left hand T & B only
I‑A Gillespie Musing in Circles   Use the circle of 5ths to learn your fingerboard, read clefs, & transpose
I‑A Jeffrey Your Inner Teacher   Teach yourself to teach yourself: ideas for your home practice routine
Matched-level classes:
LI Lipnik The Bowed Word   Phrasing vocal & vocally-inspired music from England and the Continent limit 8
LI‑I Robbins Left-Hand, Right-Brain   Fingering, shifting, extensions: when, why, and how do you do it? limit 10
LI‑I Soderstrom At First Sight   Learn the tricks to becoming a better sight-reader, using easy consort literature limit 10
I Morris Italian for Beginners   Using the Italian madrigal as a basis for bowing fluidity & expressivity limit 10
I Bishop Basics for Basses   Exercises and ensemble music chosen exclusively for basses limit 6, Basses
I‑UI Blendulf Technically Treble   Treble-specific bowing & fingering techniques in a fun and relaxed setting Trebles only
I‑UI Hershey Totally Tenor   Expand your technique & explore repertoire well-suited to the tenor viol Tenors only
UI Springfels Masters of Word & Gesture   Bowing and text-setting in the motets of Willaert and Lassus limit 6
UI‑A Meints Left-Hand Technique   Learn how good left-hand habits can affect the quality of your sound limit 10
UI‑A Dornenburg Bass Technique   Bowing work, finger independence, string crossing, correct shifting, chords Basses only
UI+ Trompeter 30/60   Daily workout with 30 minutes of focused technique and 60 minutes of consort repertoire limit 6
A Wissick limit 6
A+ Mead limit 6

Second Period (11:00-12:15)
* Voices welcome
B Schroeder Beginning Viol   Open to all, no experience necessary; instruments available
LI Hershey Fit for a King   "Henry VIII's Songbook" - music of the Continent, the Isles & the King himself! limit 8
LI‑I Bishop Women's Lib   Music named after women, written about women, or composed by women limit 10
I Dornenburg Intro. to Solo Bass   Learn easier solos in the safety of a group: Ortiz, Hume, Abel, Couperin Basses only
I‑UI Lipnik/Morris Ori & Dori   "I trionfi di Dori" of 1592 and its English spin-off, “The Triumphs of Orianna” limit 15*
UI Schrader Organ Consorts   Viol consorts with chamber organ, from the keyboard-player’s point of view limit 6
UI Gillespie Lawes Sectionals (tr,T,B)   Master your parts to the fantasias à 6, then join others in consort 6 Trebles
UI Jeffrey 6 Tenors
UI Wissick 6 Basses
UI‑A Soderstrom The Decorative Arts   Learn when and how to embellish your consort playing limit 6
UI‑A Terry Learning by Teaching   Enhance your playing by learning to teach others (w/ Beginning Viol)
A Tetenbaum Marais, Book IV   The “Pièces à trois violes” with both solo and continuo lines for basses 6 Basses
A Meints Lawes Consorts   The great consort repertoire of one of the last great consort composers 5 or 6
Drop-in Option (no registration required)
All Springfels Terpsichore  
Join hands with the Muse of Dance in Praetorius’ eponymous collection of dances.
No limit: all levels, all sizes, from the smallest to the very largest

Third Period (2:00-3:15)
* Voices welcome
B+/LI Jeffrey The Adventurous Beginner   Dip your toes in the polyphony-pool together – the water’s fine! limit 10
LI‑I Wissick O, Suzanna   Multiple settings of "Suzanne un jour" by Lupi, Lassus, Byrd, Dowland, and more limit 10
I Gillespie Sweet Muses   East’s "Third set… apt for Viols & Voyces" sung & played (some from facsimile) limit 10*
I Blendulf Read like a Pro   Improve your sight-reading skills through theory, counting, clefs, and more limit 8
I‑UI Soderstrom Ferrabosco the Younger   The four-part fantasias of Alfonso Ferrabosco II (doubling class) limit 8
I‑UI Mead Viol as a 2nd Language   A consort for musicians highly proficient on other instruments or voice limit 6
UI Trompeter Voix et Violes   Les chansons françaises de Josquin, Sermisy, Sandrin, Gombert, et plus d’autres! limit 8*
UI Robbins Lupo Fantasias   Get to know Thomas Lupo with a consort-a-day from his 6-part fantasias limit 6
I‑A Morris Continuo Demystified   Learn to decipher the little numbers & become a supportive bass player Basses only
UI‑A Meints Pardessus & Treble   Explore technique, solo & ensemble music focusing on the smallest viols 6 Pard/Tr
A Schroeder Jenkins Fantasias   Roll up your sleeves & dig deep into the great consorts of a master-craftsman 5 or 6
Drop-in Option (no registration required)
All Terry Erato’s Orchestra  
The Muse of Lyric Poetry invites you to join her all-lyra-viol orchestra.
Easy parts to challenges, all levels of experience, tablature & notes - explorers welcome!

Fourth Period (3:45-5:00)
* Voices welcome
Any Trompeter Feldenkrais®   Gentle, easy, novel movements help you be more comfortable, coordinated & smart!
LI‑I Dornenburg Safety in Numbers   Easier consorts and ensemble music made more fun by doubling your part limit 10
I Robbins Ward’s Words   Experimenting with the sounds of consonants in the madrigals of John Ward limit 10
I Lipnik L’Amorosa Ero   A heartbreaking legend set by many composers of the Italian Renaissance limit 8
UI Blendulf A Tonne of Hingston   Take a tour of the beautiful fantasia-suites for 3 & 4 parts (doubling) limit 8
UI Tetenbaum Jenkins Plus One   Jenkins’ 6-part fantasias with the teacher playing one of the bass parts limit 5
UI‑A Bishop Composers’ Round Robin   Bring your compositions to share in group reading and critiques limit 10
UI‑A Springfels Playing from a Work of Art   Music from the beautiful color facsimiles of the “Dow Partbooks” limit 5
A Schrader Fantasia-Suites w/ Organ   3-part fantasies & dances w/ organ by Jenkins & his contemporaries limit 6, Tr/B
Drop-in Option (no registration required)
All Hershey Polyhymnia  
Invoke the Muse of Choral Poetry with sacred works of Cristóbal Morales.
All voice parts, all sizes of viol; come one, come all*

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

The Schedule

Saturday, July 23 Early arrival (after noon, extra fee)
Sunday, July 24 Main registration in McCarthy Hall: noon to 5:00; Viol maintenance; Opening-night introductions; Social hour
Monday, July 25 Classes begin; Evening lecture: The Muses' Speech; Ad hoc consorts; Young players' gathering
Tuesday, July 26 Area reps meeting; Scholarship auction
Wednedsay, July 27 Afternoon/evening free for sightseeing; Enjoy a brew at the campus pub, Gilhooley's; Ad hoc consorts
Thursday, July 28 Concert: Sing, Heavenly Muse; Reception
Friday, July 29 Consort Co-op performance; Banquet
Saturday, July 30 Final classes; Town meeting; Student concert
Sunday, July 31 Check out by 11:00 a.m.

A "welcome" letter containing many Conclave details, including travel, items to bring, etc. will be mailed out beginning in mid-April.

Special Programs


As a community outreach, this class is offered free to local residents and to guests of Conclave registrants. The class introduces basic technique, ensemble playing, practicing skills, and ideas for how to continue to play the viol after Conclave. Instruments are available free of charge with advance registration. The class meets in the late morning Monday through Saturday. For more information contact: Sarah Mead.


Pre-existing groups may register to take ONE class as a consort. Due to class-size limitations, priority will be given to 6-part ensembles. To assure placement together, all members should register early.


This program is for professionals who are not on faculty, highly advanced amateurs, and semi-pros who want to work on specific projects or just read through consort repertoire. Participants in the SP Program pay only the Conclave conference fee and do not take classes (or take just one class at the one-class rate). Applicants for this program should be strong readers and sufficiently competent with the consort literature to be comfortable playing more than one instrument on the more difficult repertoire. Contact Alice Renken, (760) 729-6679, for more information. Email: Alice Renken.


is an intensive, peer-directed program for pre-professional and professional viol players that runs concurrently with Conclave. CC participants hone their directing skills as they explore both traditional and unusual consort repertoire in peer-coached consorts. Participants in CC will perform an afternoon mini-concert. Applicants to the CC program are required to register for Conclave. They must also supply additional information to Brady Lanier by May 15. See details at Consort Cooperative.


of instruments, bows, and related materials are invited to exhibit at Conclave. Secure display space will be available 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 guarantee one table only. Exhibitors are strongly urged to register on-line at The on-line registration includes a special program for builders and exhibitors with the option of part-week stays and pro-rated fees. Exhibitors must complete all registration forms—including housing requests—by June 15. Contact Susan Marchant, phone: (662) 816-9959.

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

Workshop Fees


Full tuition (2 or more classes) $425 $445
Partial tuition (one class only) $325 $345
Non-participants (guests, non-playing partners, Seasoned Players and Consort Cooperative members not taking classes) $225 $245
Participants in the Beginning Viol Class only No charge No charge
Late registration fee (after May 15) $25 $25
*A member is any member of the VdGSA or a foreign viola da gamba society. Non-members will receive a 1-year first-time membership in the VdGSA as part of their tuition fee.

Room and board

Room Type Cost for the week Saturday arrival
cost (includes
Saturday supper)
Daily rate
Suite Single $600 $75 $120
Suite Double $450 $55 $90
Traditional dorm Single $500 $60 $100
Traditional dorm Double $350 $40 $70
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 $35.


Conclave Work-Study positions come with full-tuition scholarships ($425) or part-time stipends ($225 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 April 25. Most recipients should know by May 23 if they will receive a subsidy. These positions fill quickly, so be sure to apply promptly! Contact Sarah Poon 604-512-9152, email: Sarah Poon.

Scholarship applicationsApril 25
Consort Cooperative applicationsMay 15
Late registration fee applies afterMay 15
Registration closesJune 15
Last cancellation dateJune 15

St Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois

Founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier University is a Catholic, coeducational, comprehensive university grounded in the tradition of the liberal arts and offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs to 5,705 students from across the country. The Chicago Campus, built in 1956, is a 74-acre space that offers all campus amenities including six residence halls. In 2006, SXU opened its first green student residence facility, Arthur Rubloff Hall, which became Illinois' first university building to receive the coveted LEED Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Two housing options are available. Apartment style dorms consist of suites of 2 bedrooms (each of which can be a double or single). Each bedroom has its own bathroom. The living room area features sofa and chairs, 2 lamps, floor to ceiling windows, and room enough for a consort of 6 good friends. The kitchenette has an eat-at bar, microwave, fridge, and sink. Traditional dorms are economy rooms with shared bath down the hall, however each room has its own sink. Rooms have more space if beds are left bunked. All facilities are air-conditioned, ADA accessible and have elevators.

On Wednesday, classes are shortened, opening up the afternoon and evening for exploration and relaxation. Though most museums close by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, Millennium Park in the Loop is a festival of sights and sounds, often with free concerts in the evening. And there's miles of lake shore to saunter. Take a cruise tour of Chicago's architecture, delight in a sunset cocktail at the Signature Room of the Hancock Building, or shop the stores and markets. The difficulty will be choosing!

For more information:

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Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

Points of Contact

Responsibility Name Phone Email
Music Director Sarah Mead 508-655-2597 Sarah Mead
Scholarships Sarah Poon 604-512-9152 Sarah Poon
Housing questions Kathy Schenley 919-918-4159 Kathy Schenley
Money matters, forms Ken Perlow
708-989-1729 Ken Perlow
Exhibits Susan Marchant 662-816-9959 Susan Marchant
Local host Ken Perlow 708-989-1729 Ken Perlow
VdGSA President Wendy Gillespie 812-336-1810 Wendy Gillespie
Campus information St. Xavier University
Local information Chicago, Illinois
Web registration issues Linda and Peter Payzant   Webmasters


Need a ride to Conclave, or a viol to use, or able to provide either?

Post your situation on or look at the Conclave Connection Board.

The Conclave Connection Board aims to help hook up those who need transportation with those who can provide it, and those who may be able to bring extra instruments with those who will need them. Note that we no longer administer a rental program for Conclave. Instruments will be made available to adult beginners free of charge. If you expect to need an instrument at Conclave, and you're not signing up for the adult beginners' class, please use the Connection Board to make your situation known.