Pacifica Viola da Gamba Society

In the time of COVID-19, Pacifica Viols have gone online. Our April PlayDay with Erik Anderson and Gretchen Claassen was our first online; we played some lovely music together! A special PlayDay with Shira Kammen was added for May. And our BASH for June is ON… More TBA soon! 

About the Chapter

The Pacifica Viola da Gamba Society (PVdGS; also known as “Pacifica Viols”) is an association of viol enthusiasts in the broader San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most active early music centers in the U.S. Members include players (from novice to advanced), instrument makers, teachers and performers. If you love the music of the viola da gamba, or want to learn more about it, consider joining the Pacifica Viola da Gamba Society, a chapter of the national Viola da Gamba Society of America. Member benefits include:

  • free monthly PlayDays from September to May (usually the second Saturday of the month). Our morning group session, led by a professional musician, is followed by both coached and informal consort playing sessions.
  • a performance opportunity at our informal members’ recital of solos and consorts in June.
  • our monthly members’ e-newsletter, containing information about the upcoming PlayDay and members’ activities, as well as upcoming concerts, workshops, and other events featuring the viol.
  • the opportunity to rent a viol and bow from our collection of instruments for only $35/month.
  • access to resource lists on our website, e.g., local viol teachers and where to get your viol repaired.

We support education and outreach activities related to the viol, and offer scholarships for students to attend viol workshops such as Viols West; this week-long intensive workshop in San Luis Obispo, organized by Pacifica Viols, is open to members and non-members alike (members of Pacifica Viola da Gamba Society receive a discount on registration fees). 


Become a Member

Benefits of membership in the Pacifica Viola da Gamba Society include access to rental instruments and participation in our monthly PlayDays.

Chapter PlayDays

Monthly PlayDays are led by professional musicians. Registration is open to Individual, Partner and Student Members. PlayDays are usually held in El Cerrito.

Instrument Rental

Pacifica Viola da Gamba Society members are eligible to rent viols and bows from a range of instruments kept by the Society. Rentals are available for periods from 15 days to 12 months. Contact the Rental Coordinator for further information.

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