The American Viola Society: A History and Reference

By Dwight Pounds

" promote, study and further the research and performance of the viola"--so states the constitution of the American Viola Society. Mere words! The American Viola Society means more than words. Since its inception in 1971, the activities of the American Viola Society have helped define, characterize and identify who we are as violists and as musicians: performances at our congresses have lent personal, inspirational and even spiritual meaning to our relationship with our instrument; competitions have measurably raised the standards by which we judge our own performances; our journal articulates, informs, teaches and instructs while acting as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas; and, our library at Brigham Young University functions to collect, catalog and display our literature and memorabilia for all to share.

We grow by the vision we hold of ourselves, who we believe we are and what we believe we can become. So it is with the American Viola Society. Indeed, our leaders have guided our growth as they have blessed us with their vision. Each led us through development using just those qualities as needed for the time: Myron Rosenblum visionary, scholar and musician brought our society into existence; Maurice Riley gentle friend, teacher and scholar organized our first United States Congress; and David Dalton, colleague and mentor, artist, author and scholar collected (and still collects) our very soul by having created with Franz Zeyringer the Primrose International Viola Archive.

Our very essence and spirit as violists resonates throughout American musical culture because of the American Viola Society. One man has captured and chronicled that essence and spirit in the brilliantly written and extraordinarily thorough volume your are about to read. Dwight Pounds, a sparkling man of great wit, wisdom and intellect, has produced a work of lasting importance in our world. Every violist's library should have a copy for reference. Give your students, friends and colleagues the gift of vision by sharing with them the chronicle of our past--The American Viola Society: A History and Reference.

Thomas Tatton