A Final Fanfare

Welcome to the final viola studio blog from the Shepherd School of Music.

The combined viola studios at Rice

The combined viola studios at Rice

We would like to thank all of you who have followed our blog throughout the academic year and hope you have found it as interesting and stimulating to read as we have in thinking and writing about all things related to the viola! It has been a great privilege to offer our thoughts to you, and we would like to sincerely thank the American Viola Society for giving us this opportunity. Special thanks must go to David Bynog, who has collated our work each week and posted it on the AVS web page.

We would also like to thank Joan DerHovsepian for her invaluable contributions on playing and preparing orchestral excerpts and to all of our students and alums who have spent time preparing posts on such a wide variety of viola related topics.

A final, huge thanks must go to our wonderful TA’s, Stephanie Mientka and Jarita Ng, for making sure all topics were covered, that our posts were written on time, and for sending them on to David Bynog.

As a final gift we have embedded a video of a work we played recently at a Shepherd School recital with the combined viola studios and some special guests. The concert focused on the fact that we had some rather special instruments on stage, basically three Giovanni Grancino violas from the late 1600s and a Gasparo da Salò viola from 1585! Added to the mix was a double bass, also by Grancino. Our guest violists were Kathryn Plummer and Aloysia Friedmann alongside Professor of Bass at Rice, Paul Ellison. Another very special guest, whom we persuaded to play as she was coming to the concert anyway, was Kathryn Steely from Baylor University! The work, an arrangement by Sam Bergman—member of the Minnesota Orchestra—was Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man (or Common Violist, as we put in the program). It was a fun concert, which included viola duos, trios, quartets, and the Gordon Jacob octet before the grand finale offered here.


Wishing all violists out there every success, now and for the future!

Ivo van Der Werff and James Dunham


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