Martha Bishop, viola da gamba and composer, will be teaching a viol class and holding ad hoc reading sessions for viols in the evening. She has quite an active studio of viol (and cello) students at all levels of playing, both privately and in ensembles. For Mountain Collegium she has composed a 50th Anniversary piece, “Mountain Estampie.” Her connection with Mountain Collegium dates back to its beginnings in at Emory in Atlanta when Karl Neumann, Bill Lemonds, George Kelischek, Arnie Grayson, Valerie Horst, Gian Lyman Silbiger, Richard Tauruskin, and others bring back fond memories of the early days….not to mention when the workshop moved to Brasstown, and son Gregory was small enough to sleep in a dresser drawer.
Holly received a BA from St. Lawrence University in music and religion and the MM from The New England Conservatory in performance practice of early music where she studied with Grace Feldman. Since coming to Charlotte in 1993, Holly has been a member of Carolina Pro Musica performing throughout the Southeast including concerts at Wingate, Sweetbriar College of Virginia, Davidson College and Gardner Webb. The group performs on their own series in Charlotte and has been featured on concert series in Asheville, Columbia, Lincolnton and Belmont where Carolina Pro Musica is a resident artist ensemble at Belmont Abbey College. In 2005 the ensemble presented concerts in and around London, England and in 2009 performed at the Boston Early Music Ensemble. In addition to concerts with Carolina Pro Musica, Holly performed regularly with Carolina Baroque of Salisbury and has been a guest artist with several groups in the area. Holly has recently retired from The music faculty of Central Piedmont Community College where she taught the Early Music Ensemble and Baroque Performance class.
Sarah Mead is a sought-after teacher of viol and Renaissance performance practice who has performed in consort and as a lyra-viol soloist around the USA, and overseas in places as far apart as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Brazil and the UK. She served for seven years as Music Director of the annual VdGSA Conclave, and edits a quarterly selection of music and commentary on both recent and historical works for viols for the Society. Her performing editions of historical and original works for viols are published by PRB Productions. In 2007 she received the Thomas Binkley Award from Early Music America for her work with the Early Music Ensemble at Brandeis University, where she is a Professor of the Practice of Music and has chaired the program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She is a founding member and the musical director of Nota Bene Viol Consort. Their 2020 CD of Pietro Vinci features a set of Brescian-style Renaissance viols.
Gail Ann Schroeder studied viola da gamba at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Wieland Kuijken, obtaining her First Prize and Higher Diploma, with distinction. She subsequently taught viola da gamba, pedagogy and directed the viol consort at the Brussels Conservatory from 1988 to 2002.
Gail has had an extensive career as soloist and as chamber musician, concertizing and recording with various ensembles such as the Huelgas Ensemble, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, Ricercar Consort, Currende Consort, Capilla Flamenca, and Catacoustic Consort. She has performed in many of the European Festivals including Holland Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht, Resonanzen, Innsbrucker Festwochen, Les Académies Musicales de Saintes, Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival de Wallonie and Internationale Festtage Alter Music Stuttgart.
Since returning to the USA in 2006, Gail has been in demand as a teacher and ensemble coach at workshops for the Viola da Gamba Society of America, the Amherst Early Music Festival, Madison Early Music Festival, Music on the Mountain, Retreat to Advance and Mountain Collegium, where she is assistant director and head of the viol program. Currently living in North Carolina, she teaches privately and is artistic director of Asheville Baroque Concerts.
Brent Wissick has taught cello, viol and many aspects of early music at UNC-Chapel Hill since 1982. He served as President of the Viola da Gamba Society of America from 2000-2004 and has taught at workshops around the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. His concerts and recording projects have taken him all over as well and he can be heard on numerous recordings. His most recent publication is an article about Coprario in the VdGSA Journal, accompanied by video examples recorded with Parthenia that are posted on the VdGSA website.