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R.I.P. VMAAI


Don Noon
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I just got the email notice that VMAAI is shutting down.  Dang, it was a great competition to hear all of the instruments being played, and hear the differences for yourself.  However, I fully understand the problems of declining attendance and membership, and the increased cost of travel and hotels adding to the difficulties.  SCAVM died some years ago from the same disease.

In a way, it's a slight relief... so I don't have to tell them that I wasn't going to go this year, since it's a VSA competition year and I only have one violin to enter.

Anyway, thanks to Bill Barnitz and all of the other volunteers that kept the organization going for so long.

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Nooooooo!

Forums are helpful. Meetings are awesome. There are talks around meals and pools and hallways and parking lots that are both informal and informative. The specifics of many of these conversations, in passing, are a blur as they are not lectures. But the ones I remember of hearing or playing are almost priceless...

Hopefully, when worldly events settle down, the ( a ) group can be resurrected. Other fun and informative events have slowly faded away due to the expense of travel and hosting events. I attended a fiddle camp at someone's remote property. One had to drive there, but the camping was only $20 a night.   

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It always surprised me that Arizona was able to support its own violin makers’ group.  Can anyone here explain how it came about?  When was it founded?  Did Arizona have a high concentration of makers?  Of string players?  Was there one person, or a small group, whose energy and enthusiasm kept it going?

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33 minutes ago, Brad Dorsey said:

It always surprised me that Arizona was able to support its own violin makers’ group.  Can anyone here explain how it came about?  When was it founded?  Did Arizona have a high concentration of makers?  Of string players?  Was there one person, or a small group, whose energy and enthusiasm kept it going?

The key to its survival for the last 40 years has been Bill Barnitz.  Here's a few lines from his message:

This year, 2022, is my 40th year of guiding this Association.  Rather than see our group struggle and strain in such an undesirable condition , I feel the proper thing to do is formally close our doors and be proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish since we started back in 1958.   Bob Wallace and his friends had a great vision of a violin makers group when he and his friends started this Association.  That was 64 years ago.

I have only been going there every year for the last dozen years.

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On 6/28/2022 at 5:32 PM, Brad Dorsey said:

It always surprised me that Arizona was able to support its own violin makers’ group.  Can anyone here explain how it came about?  When was it founded?  Did Arizona have a high concentration of makers?  Of string players?  Was there one person, or a small group, whose energy and enthusiasm kept it going?

The Michigan Violin Makers Association MVA is still around. It DOES have a large concentration of violin makers in the Ann Arbor area. David Burgess. is there, and has presented. Joe Curtin, Micheal Darnton isn't too far and both have presented, and a whole host of others that I can't remember the names of. I saw Jeffery Holmes on one of the Zoom meetings, and a couple other guys from here on maestronet. I can't remember the name of the guy from Georgia, and Jackson Mayberry on a zoom meeting on varnish, I think. Zoom can bring in people.

As much as the Zoom meetings are easier on presenters, I really miss the in person meetings. Let's get on with life! But I guess they don't want us to. Hey. The last in person meeting was at the Ferrari dealership in West Bloomfield, where one of the members is a mechanic! Not a bad atmosphere. And a presentation from a VSA judge on what he looks for in an instrument. I can't remember his name either. I showed him my 5 string Maggini viola, and he didn't hate it.

It doesn't have a convention, or a competition. Just a group of people who like to get together with others who like to talk about violin stuff. Solitary makers,  people from big shops like Shar's, or the one in Grand Rapids who have put on a few presentations, (yeah, I can't remember any of their names either)  and makers like Joe, who has a bunch of assistants, and looks for ways of innovation. 

I have one of their library books out now, I need to return it!

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I just herd about this today.  What a great resource that will be missed.  As Ken Nagy mentioned, the Michigan Violinmakers Association is an active group and we are holding our quarterly meetings / presentations via Zoom since COVID.  I am the president of the group.   I am offering to the Arizona members free membership until January 2023.  Recent presenters have included Joseph Curtin, Feng Jiang, Iris Carr, Lynn Hannings, David Orlin,  Antoine Nedelec David Burgess, Matt Noykos, Kevin Kelly, Christopher Germain and Andrew Ryan

 

  The upcoming meeting / presentation will be on August 7th and the presenter will be Christian Bayon from Portugal.  The topic will be announced in the next two weeks.  Please contact me directly via messenger here on Maestronet or email me at Peterlynchviolins@gmail.com if interested in becoming members.  Thanks

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