Conclave 2015 Logo

Registration is now closed.

Welcome Letter and Auction Catalog

The welcome letter and auction catalog are now available for download here:
Conclave Welcome Letter:
On-line Auction catalog:

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

This year we extend a special invitation to singers who would enjoy the opportunity to work with viols in consort and as accompaniment. Take classes with renowned tenor Jason McStoots, sing in coached consorts with viols, and take the free Beginning Viol class, for which instruments are provided! Classes involving singers are marked in the "levels" column thus: *Voice.

Martha Bishop Catharina Meints
Joanna Blendulf John Moran
Wendy Gillespie Pat Neely
Janet Haas Annalisa Pappano
Julie Jeffrey Elisabeth Reed
Josh Lee Alice Robbins
Larry Lipnik Gail Ann Schroeder
Loren Ludwig Mary Springfels
Elizabeth Macdonald Lisa Terry
Jason McStoots (voice) Emily Walhout
Sarah Mead Brent Wissick

Download a PDF of complete faculty bios here.

Conclave Staff
Sarah Mead Music Director
Sarah Poon  
David Poon Conclave Managers
Chrissy Spencer  
Robert Bolyard Scholarship Coordinator
Heather Spence Auction Coordinators
Anne Duranceau  
John Pringle Viol Doctor
Harry Grabenstein Bow Doctor

Conclave 2015 Features
  • Special Programs
    • Beginning Viol
    • Seasoned Players & Special Projects
    • Consort Cooperative
  • Informal Playing
  • Open Readings
  • Viol and Bow Doctors
  • Live and Silent Scholarship Auction
  • Mini-Concerts
  • Operation Treble Viol
  • VdGSA Store
  • The Von Huene Workshop
  • Builders' Exhibits
  • Annual Town Meeting
  • Young Players' Gathering
  • Banquet & Entertainment
  • Featured Concert by Nota Bene with guest Jason McStoots

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

Class Offerings

Self-Rating Guide
Class levels are based on the 2015 Self-Rating Guide, available here. You will be asked to refer to it when you fill out your Registration.

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

Hover over the yellow more... for each class to see more class details.

First Period (9:00-10:30)
Any Reed Shades of Grey: Feldenkrais—Linking musical & physical expression more... Limit 10, with Instruments
B+ ‑ I Haas 50 Shades of the Bow—Expand your bow’s color palette more... Limit 10
LI ‑ I Blendulf Primary Colors: Treble edition—Fundamentals of technique for newer treble players more... Trebles only
LI ‑ I Macdonald Primary Colors: Bass edition—Focus on technique for the developing bass player more... Basses only
I Jeffrey Green Light GO!—Exercises and music to improve your velocity more... All sizes
I Walhout Semper Bow-land—Focus on bowing, using Dowland’s dances more... Doubling
I – UI Gillespie Color Wheel: Tenor edition—Navigate your tenor confidently via the circle of 5ths more... Tenors only
I – UI Lee Shades of Sound—Making the most of your bow’s color-range more... Doubling possible
I – UI Lipnik Seeing Red, Feeling Blue—Emotional expression in dramatic ensemble music more... 5-part consort
UI Moran Prismatic Practice—How to practice challenging passages more... Limit 10
UI Pappano Wild Blue Yonder—Going with confidence “above & beyond” the frets more... All sizes
UI *Voice McStoots Cultural Exchange—Sing like a viol; play like a voice more... *Voices & Viols
UI/UI+ Springfels Lighting the Grid: Left-hand tech—Historical fingering systems to improve the left hand more... Any size
UI ‑ A Meints Sacré bleu! the French Treble—Technique for trebles, using Heudelinne’s model more... Trebles only
A Terry Color Guard: Daily Drill—Simpson’s Division Viol as a technique primer more... Basses only
UI+, A, A+ Mead
Pie Chart: 30/60 —A half-hour of technique, an hour of repertoire more... Limit 6 per consort

Second Period (11:00-12:15)
B Reed Introduction to the Viol—Beginning Viola da Gamba more... Instruments provided on request
B+/LI Terry The Viol’s Voice—Unlocking your viol’s voice more... Doubling
LI+ Macdonald Color Forms—An introduction to consort music more... Limit 8
I Haas Yellow Light: Go Slow! —Slow & steady wins the race: Jenkins at a stately pace more... Limit 6
I Jeffrey Night’s Black Bird—Dowland part-songs for voices & viols more... Limit 8 singer-players
I/I+ Springfels Burgundy—Music for princes & venture capitalists more... Limit 12
I+/UI Wissick Copper-colored—Coperario’s Italian colors for a grey English sky more... Limit 6
I+/UI Robbins Red Byrd, Blue Byrd—Consort music of William Byrd more... Limit 5
I+/UI Walhout Blendulf Grey Wolf—Thomas Lupo’s 6-part fantasias more... Limit 6 per section
I+/UI Lipnik Tho’ Amaryllis Dance in Green—Songs of dancing and lively dances more... Limit 5
UI/UI+ Gillespie Silver Sounds—Renaissance music on Renaissance viols more... Ren. Viols
UI+ Lee Spectrum—The moods of music: affect in consort playing more... Limit 6 (some doubling)
UI+/A Neely Summer Whites—6-part consort music of William White Limit 6
UI+/A Moran Orlando Magic—6-part consort music of Orlando Gibbons Limit 6
A Ludwig Color Me Cranford—The colorful & eccentric consorts of William Cranford Limit 6
A+ Meints Kaleidoscope—From Chaos to Clarity with William Lawes more... Limit 6
Any Schroeder Pre-formed Consort—Color in your own picture more... Minimum 5

Third Period (2:00-3:15)
B/B+ Macdonald Booster Shot—Beginners +1 more...
LI/LI+ Wissick Red Roses for a Blue Lady—The Romance of the French Chanson more... Limit 8
LI+/I Blendulf Line Drawing—Hearing and playing polyphonic lines more... Limit 6
I Meints Dowland sings the Blues—Playing the Lachrimae with expression and passion more... Doubling possible
I/I+ Haas Consort Colors—What color is your consort? more... Limit 10
I+/UI Walhout Color Scheme—The In Nomine: a common thread in many patterns more... Limit 5
UI/UI+ Pappano Reading Rainbow—Shut up and play! more... Limit 6
UI+/A Neely Color Bursts—Diminutions for the daring more... Trebles & Basses
UI‑A Lee Aqua Marin—Introduction to the solo works of Marin Marais more... Basses only
UI+/A Jeffrey Red-hot off the press!—Jenkins trios newly arranged for treble/tenor/bass more... Limit 9
UI+/A *Voice Terry McStoots Complementary Colors—Recitative skills for viols/Solo song with continuo. One class, two teachers, two rooms. more... Bass viols, solo voices
A Springfels Black Notes—Variations & Sonatas by British ex-pats more... Basses only
CC & A+ Gillespie Black & White (& read all over)—Original notation and what it teaches us more...
Open Bishop
Mixed Palette—New music, New ideas, New techniques more... Open to anyone who is free 3rd period

Fourth Period (3:45-5:00)
Any Schroeder Earth Tones—Alexander in the afternoon. more...
LI – I Robbins Colours in the Ayres—Ayres of different colors, both cheerful and doleful more... Doubling
I‑UI Reed Food Coloring—Johann Hermann Schein’s Musical Banquet more... Limit 5
UI‑A Ludwig Tudor Rose—Early English polyphony from the age of Henry VIII more... Some doubling
A *Voice Pappano Background Color—The art of accompaniment from the viol more... Bass viols, Solo voices
OPEN *Voice Lipnik The Age of Gold—Musical treasures of the Spanish Renaissance more... Open to anyone who is free 4th period

Faculty | Programs | Fees | Classes | Contacts

The Schedule
Sunday, July 26 Registration and check in (2:00-6:00 p.m.); Opening night festivities
Monday, July 27 Classes begin
Tuesday, July 28 Scholarship auction
Wednesday, July 29 Afternoon/evening off for sightseeing
Thursday, July 30 Featured Performance
Friday, July 31 Consort Co-op performance; Town Meeting
Saturday, Aug 1 Classes end; Student Concert; Banquet
Sunday, Aug 2 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, there is a pre-formed consort class in period 2. We do not offer the option of registering as a pre-formed consort in other periods.


As an outreach to the community we provide the Beginning Viola da Gamba class free of charge. For area residents and those living off campus, the VdGSA also waives the Conference Fee for those interested in trying the viol for the first time.

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.

*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. Consort Coop members will also participate in a class on playing from historical notation taught by Wendy Gillespie, as well as a special session with other Conclave faculty. 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 Adaiha MacAdam-Somer with any questions. Registration deadline for this program is May 9. While the official deadline has passed, we will continue to accept applications for possible consideration.


Exhibitors of instruments, bows, and related materials are invited to exhibit at Conclave. Display space will be available in the Emporium, which also hosts the VdGSA Store and the full service vendor. 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 more display space if requested, but can only guarantee one table in advance. Exhibitors must register on-line. The registration process includes a special category for exhibitors that allows the option of part-week stays. Exhibitors must complete registration, including housing requests, by June 15. For any questions, please contact Tobi Szuts, the Conclave Vendor Coordinator at 617-800-4517 or


All participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. We are able to accommodate accompanied underage participants who wish to reside on campus; please email Conclave Manager for details.


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


Makers Marc Soubeyran and Francis Beaulieu will join forces to make a treble viol in the Emporium during Conclave: in addition to demystifying the building process, Francis and Marc will then donate the finished instrument to the VdGSA to be raffled away at the Saturday banquet. Aside from the learning experience, this is a rare opportunity to get a world-class instrument for the mere price of a raffle ticket (and without the years it would take to commission an instrument from either maker!) Click here for more details.

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
Consort Cooperative (includes 3rd period CC class) $300
Seasoned Players and Special Projects (taking no classes) $250
Beginning Viol (On-campus residents taking only the 2nd period beginner class) $250
Beginning Viol for off-campus community (Off-campus beginners taking only the 2nd period beginner class.) No charge
Beginning+1 (Any member of Beginning Viol class may add this course) $100
Conference fee for all others not taking classes (includes guests and non-playing attendees) $250
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)
Singles with semi-private bath $650 $95 $95
Singles with shared bath $600 $90 $90
Doubles with semi-private bath $450 $65 $65
Doubles with shared bath $400 $60 $60
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. Applications must be received by May 9. While the official deadline has passed, we will continue to accept applications for possible consideration. 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 Robert Bolyard at Scholarship Coordinator.

A 5% discount will be offered to Canadian residents. This discount applies to tuition + room & board only.

Consort Cooperative applications (deadline passed but applications still bing considered)May 9
Scholarship applications (deadline passed but applications still bing considered)May 9
Late registration fee applies afterMay 15
Registration closesJune 15
Last cancellation dateJune 15

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is the largest metropolitan area in the southern US, and has a reputation for Hip Hop, sprawl, and summer heat and humidity. However, once inside the I-285 loop, called "The Perimeter" by locals, the city starts to show off its tree canopy and its historic neighborhoods with their old-fashioned shopping districts and restaurants. A modern city yet a mecca of southern culture and history, Atlanta is home to many national and international corporations, a major inland Aquarium, and several major universities, including Emory.

Atlanta is surprisingly hilly for its geographical location, and Emory's small Main Campus does have hills and staircases. We'll spend our time in a roughly four-block area that includes our two residence halls—LEED-certified Evans Hall and apartment-style Sorority Row—dining in the Dobbs University Center, and concerts in Cannon Chapel near the center of campus. The VdGSA Emporium will be in Few Hall, adjacent to Evans Hall. Evans Hall is a traditional bathroom-down-the-hall residence, with kitchens and study rooms on each floor. Sorority Row is a set of townhouses with four bedrooms and two bathrooms on each floor, and housing in these accommodations will be limited. Both residences have elevators. As you plan to register, consider whom you'd like to be housed near and whether you'd like an early-to-bed or night-owl cohort.

Notes on how to get there:
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is one of the busiest in the world, but it's also easy to navigate using the Plane Train and is accessible by MARTA, Atlanta's light rail and bus public transportation system. All trains from the airport go north to Midtown Station, where the #36 bus runs eastbound to Emory University.

For attendees traveling by car, see directions on the University website: We'll have parking on campus two blocks down the hill from our residence halls.

For attendees traveling by train, the Atlanta Amtrak station is about a 20 minute cab ride from Emory.

Possibilities for Wednesday afternoon
On Wednesday, the schedule is adjusted to give you the late afternoon and evening off to explore the metro area—indoors or out! The southeast is good at air-conditioned indoor options for summer entertainment. If you enjoy museums, try Emory's Carlos Museum on campus, or venture off campus for the High Museum of Art, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and the Fernbank Science Center. For a tour of US history, visit the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum at the Carter Center or the King Center in the Sweet Auburn district. Just want to have fun? From the King Center, the new streetcar line can shuttle you to the downtown tourism district: Centennial Olympic Park (outdoors) and the nearby World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, which has both belugas and whale sharks! Or instead visit the Center for Puppetry Arts. Foodies will enjoy Your Dekalb Farmers Market in Decatur. If outdoor entertainment is more to your liking, pack your water bottle, sunscreen, and bugspray and head over to Emory's Lullwater Park for a short stroll, or go further afield to Stone Mountain Park or Kennessaw Mountain for a serious hike. The Atlanta Zoo in Grant Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Piedmont Park have outdoor and indoor exhibits.

Links to other sources of information:

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 Robert Bolyard Scholarship Coordinator
Assistance in registering off-line Kate Shuldiner
847-894-7562 Kate Shuldiner
Money matters Tracy Hoover
316-648-6157 VdGSA Treasurer
Exhibits Tobi Szuts 617-800-4517 Tobi Szuts
Consort Cooperative Adaiha MacAdam-Somer 832-491-8787 Adaiha MacAdam-Somer
Auctions Heather Spence and Anne Duranceau Auction Coordinators
VdGSA President Marie Dalby Szuts 510-206-2652 Marie Dalby Szuts
Campus information Emory University
Local information Atlanta, Georgia
Web registration issues Linda Payzant and Peter Payzant   Webmasters