Violin Society of America

VSA Logo Setup Workshop 2007

VSA/Oberlin "Setup" Workshop, 2007

If you missed last years workshop, we had eight Violin Society of America Competition multiple tone award winners giving about 30 hours of presentations on what they do, how they do it and why. Some handed out graduation charts of their winning instruments or drew them on the blackboard. Some even went into great detail about varnishing. I'm glad I was there, but have yet to digest everything.

In contrast to 2006, the 2007 workshop will be mostly bench time.
You can bring any project(s) having to do with making, setup, sound adjustment or restoration, and get comments, help, tips and suggestions from our advisors.
We hope to spend some time working with various musicians who will drop by to participate in open sound adjustment sessions. We will also be conducting adjustment sessions with any participants who are interested.

The teachers and advisors are top notch people: Rene Morel, Guy Rabut (the person Rene requested to assist him) and Joseph Grubaugh.

Rene Morel is our headliner, and he has probably been responsible for maintaining and restoring more of the world's top rare instruments for more of the world's top players than anybody alive today. His original employment was in Mirecourt, France where he was a full-time violin maker, working in the Mirecourt tradition of high speed and precision with hand tools. He then came to New York and worked with Sacconi in the Wurlitzer workshop for about nine years before going into partnership with Jacques Francais. The Morel workshop has a proud tradition of training some of the best makers and restorers working today.

Mr. Morel will be joined by Guy Rabut who represents the "younger generation" coming out of the Morel shop in the early 1980's. He graduated from the Salt Lake City school before going to work at the Francais firm with Rene Morel. During this time he had the opportunity to study and restore many of the finest classic Italian instruments. In 1984, Rabut established his own shop in New York City dividing his time between making and restoring instruments. He continues to make instruments and to work with musicians to optimize the set-up of their instruments. He is a regular at the VSA/Oberlin violin making workshop.

Joseph Grubaugh is best known as a multiple gold medal winner in instrument making competitions. Building on their training at the Weisshaar shop, Joe and his wife Sigrun Seifert have continued to expand the boundaries of violin restoration with their innovative and creative approach and "outside the box" thinking. Joe has been a teacher at the VSA/Oberlin violin making workshop, and has also attended the Smithsonian Institution Conservation Analytical Lab workshop for restorers, which puts special emphasis on the latest, least invasive and reversible techniques. Joe will be involved part time, bouncing back and forth between the Setup and Acoustics workshops during this week.

I'll be in and out, playing a very minor role this year.

The workshop will be July 9th through the 13th (July the 8th is your arrival day) and will run at the same time as the Oberlin Acoustics workshop and one of the Oberlin Bow Making workshops, in case you'd like to "rub elbows" with those people and learn about bows or the latest in the field of high-tech tone research.

Tuition is $650 for VSA members, $750 for non-members.

Those interested in attending or with questions should contact:
Marilyn Wallin
Phone: 978 897-4797

David Burgess
Program Director

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