Viola Day Archive


Viola Day 2017

May 21, 2017

sponsored by Lisle Violin Shop

University of St. Thomas

Featured Violists:
Joan DerHovsepian
Dawson White
Whitney Bullock
Sergein Yap
Nina Bledsoe
Meredith Harris
Anthony Parce
Sheldon Person
Rene Salazar

Featured Masterclass with Joan DerHovsepian

Breakout Sessions

– Geography: the importance of scales, arpeggios, and shifting exercises in developing hand frame and mapping the fingerboard. Middle School Violists. Lead by Sergein Yap.

– Performance Success: gain valuable information about competition/audition preparation, how to practice, dealing with nerves, creating a beautiful sound among other topics. This session is intended for students middle school and up and will be a casual place to talk about viola issues and perform for peers.

– Bridging the Gap: This session is for 8th grade violists who want to audition for region orchestras and all-state in the 9th grade. The jump between middle and high school region etudes can be overwhelming, so we will work on them together so you feel confident practicing over the summer! 8th and 9th grade violists. Lead by Nina Bledsoe.

Differential Equations: Where does the Viola fit into the Chamber Music Formula? In chamber music, the viola can perform a kaleidoscopic array of roles – not just as the “middle voice”. It can be the beating heart of the group, the earthy bass line, the ghostly echo that floats above the others, or even…the melody! Explore with chamber musician and violist Whitney Bullock how the viola fits into the Chamber Music Formula. Learn techniques for uncovering your special role in any chamber music situation, “Do’s and Don’ts” of Chamber Music, and general advice for tricky rehearsal situations.​


Sessions for Young Violists with Meredith Harris

Viola FUNdamentals 1:30-3pm

Viola FUNdamentals is a group class geared toward Elementary school students in Suzuki books 2 and above (or equivalent). In this session students will participate in activities geared towards growing the fundamental techniques of viola playing. We will explore tone production, interval recognition, bow exercises, fingerboard geography, scales, rhythm, activities for pre-shifting, and much MORE! In this session students will have the unique opportunity to engage in peer to peer learning through various teacher led games and activities! Parents, there will be activities for you too, and your attendance is required! Classes are on a first come first served basis and class size is limited so be sure to reserve your spot today!

What to bring:
Your parent
Your instrument
A notebook for your parents to take notes!
A snack

3:00-3:30pm BREAK

Viola Ensemble (Elementary and up) 3:30-5pm

Ever wondered what an all viola ensemble would sound like? Come to this session to find out! During this session we will rehearse an all viola ensemble piece that will be featured on the UST Viola Day final concert! This session will cover rehearsal techniques, musicianship, and will be conducted by violist and Houston Symphony Community Embedded Musician, Tony Parce!

What to bring:
Your parent
Your instrument
A notebook for your parents to take notes!
Your music and music stand
A snack

Ensemble Rehearsal in Cullen Hall 5-5:30pm

Final UST Viola Day Concert 6pm

Participants in the Viola Ensemble class will perform on the concert with professional violists from the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Apollo Chamber Players, and more! Certainly an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Viola Ensemble sheet music will be distributed at a later date, please check your email.


Venue Details

UST Viola Day will be held in Cullen Hall at the University of St. Thomas – 4001 Mt. Vernon St. Houston, TX 77006 located in Houston’s Museum District. Performances and classes will occur in the recital hall and various classrooms throughout the day.


Viola Day 2019

April 6, 2019, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Sponsored by Lisle Violin Shop

University of St. Thomas

Join the Houston Viola Society for VIOLA DAY 2019: a day full of viola classes, workshops, performances and camaraderie.


10:00 am Registration

10:30 am Morning Sessions

11:30 am Masterclass 

1:00 pm Lunch Break

2:00 pm Afternoon Sessions

4:30 pm Recital

2019 Sessions include:

Masterclass with Suzanne LeFevre

Level: Advanced High School, Hobbyist, College, and Professional

Instructor: Suzanne LeFevre

Yoga for Viola Players

Level: High School and Up

Instructor: Linda Gilbert

Tone Class for Young Players

Level: Elementary and Middle School non-beginners

Instructor: Meredith Harris

Public Mock Audition

Level: College and Professional

Instructors: Joan DerHovsepian and Rene Salazar

Essential Techniques for the Advancing Violist

Level: Middle or High School

Instructor: Penny Meitz

Upbeat: A Guide to High School, Business and Life for Young String Musicians

Level: High School Sophomores, Juniors and Parents

Instructor: Pasha Sabouri

Practice Can Be Fun!

Level: any hobbyist, student, or professional

Instructor: Pasha Sabouri

Viola Day Ensemble Performance

Level: all ages and levels welcome!