UMW Viola Day

Saturday, November 3, 2018; 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Pollard Hall, University of Mary Washington

UMW Viola Day is a one-day event that brings together violists of all ages and skill levels from around the region to enjoy master classes with guest artists, technique classes, performances, vendors, a viola ensemble reading session, lectures and socializing.  We will also have sessions especially geared toward teachers and future teachers.  All violists—and all those who love viola—are welcome!

NEW CLASS OFFERING:  String Riffs Reading Session

Karen Koger, composer and creator of the String Riffs music education program is offering a Reading Session to introduce her books to the teachers and students of Virginia.  Karen will be presenting not only her classroom materials but will also have with her music she composed for the Ohio State University Viola Day that will be used in the Ensemble Reading Session at 4:00 pm.  Violinists are welcome to bring their instruments and play with her too.


9:30 – 10:00  Check in, Registration, Coffee with the Vendors (Room 127, first floor Pollard Hall)

10:00 – 10:30  Opening Performance, Bryce Bunner, Air Force Strings  (Room 304, third floor Pollard Hall)

10:30 – 11:00  Career Talk with Bryce Bunner (Room 304)

11:00 – 12:00 CONCURRENT SESSIONS:  a) Viola for Violinists with Andrea Houde (Room 127); b) “Top Five Orchestral Excerpts – Are we ever too young to start preparing?” with Nancy Thomas (Room 304)

12:00 — 1:00  break for Pizza Lunch (provided); visit the Vendors (Room 127)

1:00 — 2:00 “Making Viola Playing more Comfortable with Ideas from Paul Rolland and Karen Tuttle” with Nancy Kredel (Room 127)

2:00 — 3:00  CONCURRENT SESSIONS:  a) Master Class with Andrea Houde (Room 304); b) Teacher Reading Session (students are also invited) to learn about String Riffs original music education system with composer Karen Koger (Room 127)

3:00 — 4:00  Roundtable Discussion of Viola Pedagogy and Strategies (Room 127)

4:00 — 5:00  Ensemble Reading Session led by Kevin Bartram, Director of the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic (Room 127)

Registration form available here.


Lynne Denig of Frisch and Denig Custom Chinrests ( will be available to explain how a custom fitted chinrest can help alleviate or prevent discomfort and pain while playing.  For those who have a long neck and experience discomfort she is taking appointments for measuring and sizing violists and violinists now on her website.

Joshua Henry ( is a professional bow maker/restorer and will have many fine bows to try out with him as well as being able to answer any questions you might have about bows.  He will be offering his expertise to re-hair personal bows at a special rate of $60 per bow during Viola Day.  Those interested in having a bow re-haired should bring it to Mr. Henry as early as possible the morning of Viola Day as this is on a first come/first served basis.

Karen Koger of String Riffs ( is an educator and composer who creates original music for young players ranging from elementary school beginners to high school musicians.  Her music offers a wide range of styles and skill levels, is aligned with federal and state standards and includes lesson planning guidance in the teacher scores.

Bill Mason of Wm. Mason II Violin Shop ( in downtown Fredericksburg is a violin maker/repairer who will have some of his step-up instruments available at Viola Day along with many of the necessary accessories.  He will be more than happy to answer any questions and help solve problems from “Do I need new strings, and if so what kind?” to “I have a crack or opening in my instrument. Can you help me?”



Kevin Bartram
Bryce Bunner
Andrea Priester Houde
Nancy Kredel
Nancy Thomas
William Wassum

For information on the clinicians, see