A Passion For Music

January 24, 2018

Every summer hobbyists and professionals from around the world gather at the University of New Hampshire for their shared passion for music and stringed instruments. The UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute is one of the oldest stringed instrument repair workshops in the country founded by Karl Roy in 1974. The institute is held June 18 through July 20 and is sure to be informative for anyone at any level of experience. This program is one of the oldest luthier workshops in the United States and carries on luthier traditions from 16th century Europe.

            Violinists from all parts of the world have joined the institute since its creation. People from Europe, Asia, Australia, Mexico, and Canada have made the trip to Durham to join in on this challenging, hands-on, and unique program. You don’t have to be a professional to get something out of the institute, the knowledgeable and accessible instructors will be sure to help even beginners get something valuable out of each workshop. “This is their apprenticeship so it’s a serious business and it attracts people from all over the world,” said violin institute instructor Lynn Armour Hannings.

            Hannings has been teaching at the UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute for over 10 years. Her experience at the institute spans multiple decades; she began as a student and progressed to become a master instructor. She has won multiple awards throughout her professional music career and will be teaching bow repair I and II, bow rehairing, and bow making in summer 2018. Hannings focuses her classes around time-honored methods and encourages a supportive atmosphere.

Hannings and violin workshop participant share a light-hearted moment.

            “I treat them [students] and the course material with determination,” said Hannings, “they go home with the skills they need to be able to consider, seriously working in this field.”

            In addition to Hannings and other notable instructors, two new instructors will be joining the violin institute this year. Marilyn Wallin and Jay VandeKopple will be teaching classes to add to the diversity of instructors and workshops previously offered at the institute. Wallin, leading violin/viola making, has made over 220 violins, violas, and cellos in her career since 1978. She holds a degree in viola performance from the University of Iowa. Wallin has also held leadership roles in the roles in the Violin Society of America.

            As a former student of the UNH Violin Institute, Jay VandeKopple is a natural fit to to our team of instructors. He learned along side Karl Roy, the founder of the program. He specializes in instrument set-up and repair as a professional with an emphasis on the development of an instrument’s optimal sound. VandeKopple owns a bass shop in northern New Jersey and holds a Ph.D. in mathematics with a thesis in musical acoustics.

            New workshops have been added to the institute this year; bass-set-up taught by VandeKopple and cello set-up taught by Paul Wiessmeyer. These workshops have never been offered before by the UNH Violin Institute but will surely be a great learning experience for anyone interested in cello or bass.

            The summer 2018 program will also offer a visiting scholar for the first time in the institute’s history. World-renowned expert musician, appraiser, and writer, Philip Kass will be presenting on the history of fine classic string instruments and bows.

            “This is a top notch program and I am proud of it,” said Hannings.

            Summer 2018 will have many firsts for the UNH Violin Institute. Whether you are an advanced musician, a hobbyist, or looking to start a career in the luthier field, you will not want to miss out on the summer 2018 UNH Violin Institute. Participants must be 18 years or older to apply. For more information please visit https://training.unh.edu/violin.


The Violin Craftsmanship Institute:


Olivia Olbrych

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