Viola da Gamba Society-Pacifica
Site Updated 2/10/2017

About the Chapter

The Viola da Gamba Society-Pacifica, a chapter of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, is an association of viol enthusiasts in the San Francisco Bay Area. We enjoy playing chamber music of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries (as well as some contemporary music) from England, France, Italy and Germany on treble, tenor and bass viols. Members include novice to advanced players, instrument makers, teachers and performers.

Membership Activities/Benefits

  • Monthly Saturday meetings for playing in ensembles with players of similar ability and coached by leading professional players. We meet on the 2nd Saturday of the month (Sep-Jan, Mar-Jun), in El Cerrito. The class and coached ensemble time is from 9 a.m. to noon, then we have our bag lunches and uncoached ensemble playing in the afternoon.
  • Monthly Gamba News newsletter, September through June.
  • Viol rental program. For information on currently available instruments and rates, contact Lynn Lipetzky.
  • Referrals to local viol teachers.
  • Cost of a normal membership is $45 per year, a student membership is $15 per year, and a household membership is $55 per year, all of which includes attendance at the monthly consort meetings and the chapter's email announcements and monthly newsletter. A $15 non-playing membership includes the email announcements and monthly newsletter only.
  • To join or for more information, please fill out the membership form or email the Chapter.

Chapter Monthly Meetings, 2016-2017

September 10
David Morris Georg Muffat (1653-1704)
Orchestral suite Constantia from Florilegium (Augsburg, 1695)

This is terrific five-part music written by one of the most gifted exponents of an "internationalized" music style in the late 17th century. This particular collection includes not only Muffat's incomparable orchestral compositions but also plenty of technical information for performers, including bowing articulations, the use and execution of ornaments and advice about tuning. Lovely source material from a great composer and musical thinker, Constantia is full of dances with programmatic titles; we'll work on giving each piece its own character and mood as we play through the suite.

The original is scored for five-part violin band, but we will adapt it as follows:

Violin I= Treble I
Violin II= Treble II
Viola I= Tenor I
Viola II= Tenor II (or some high basses)
Bassi= Bass Viol (with any violone players more than welcome to join in the fun!).
October 8
Frances Blaker“Treasures from the Cabinet”

Treasures from the Cabinet includes beautiful pieces Frances has come across while reorganizing her music collection, including The Song Called Trumpets by Parsons, Constanzo Festa’s motet on the death of Anne of Brittany, a chaconne by Lully and more. Come share in the excitement of rediscovery!
If you want to listen to the Parsons before the meeting here is a link to a recording by the Rose Consort (on youtube)
November 12
Loren Ludwig"Cadence and Musica Ficta in Consort Music"

In Renaissance music, cadences act like punctuation--they help articulate musical thought into recognizable phrases, "sentences," and "paragraphs." We will look at some of the details of how cadential syntax works in consort music and how to spot cadences and use them to clarify musical architecture and unlock expressive possibility.
December 10
Mary SpringfelsAn 8-part Priuli and a gorgeous 5-part Marenzio madrigal
January 14
Hallifax and JeffreyTBA
February 25
Stanford Workshop directed by John Dornenburg with Julie Jeffrey, Elisabeth Reed, and Marie Dalby-Szuts Classes TBA
March 11
Adaiha MacAdam-SomerTBA
April 8
Shira KammenTBA
May 13
Yukimi KambeTBA
June 10
Pacifica Chapter Concert for Friends/Family .

Chapter Monthly Meetings, 2012-2016

Other Gamba Workshops

October 27-31
Annual Workshop of the VdGS - Southern Arizona ChapterViola da Gamba Society--Southern Arizona
July 23-30
2017 VdGSA Conclave at Miami University, Oxford, OhioViola da Gamba Society of America
August 6-12
Viols West Workshop, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaViols West Workshop

Chapter Officers and Board Members, 2016-2018

President, Newsletter Editor, Play Day Consort CoordinatorCindi Olwell
Vice PresidentRicardo Hofer
SecretaryLynn Tetenbaum
Treasurer, Membership List Manager, VdGSA RepresentativeEllen Fisher
VdGSA RepresentativeCarolyn Butler
Instrument Rental Program CoordinatorLynn Lipetzky
Viols West CoordinatorMelita Denny
Coaching LiaisonAmy Warren
WebmasterAlexandra Saur
Past PresidentDalton Cantey
Member at LargePeter Ballinger
Member at LargeJohn Dornenburg
Member at LargeRobin Easterbrook
Member at LargeMary Elliott
Member at LargeStuart Elliott
Member at LargeEllen Farwell
Member at LargeJulie Jeffrey
Member at LargeElisabeth Reed
Member at LargeAdaiha MacAdam-Somer

Chapter Classifieds

  • None currently. Ads are free for members. Please email webmaster to place an ad.

Early Music Links

Viola da Gamba Society-Pacifica is an affiliate
of the San Francisco Early Music Society

For further information, contact our chapter president: Cindi Olwell.
For site corrections/questions, contact: Webmaster