A student perspective on the viol

Written by Katelyn Kingsbury, A Junior at Oak Ridge High School

A generally unknown instrument that goes by the name Viola de Gamba, has taken up an interest for a few select students in the halls of Oak Ridge High School. This class is offered by Pedro Funez, one of two orchestra directors at this school, and has been extremely patient and helpful with learning a new instrument of this strain.

This program started 3 years ago in 2015, and since has grown to have more attention brought to it. I myself never thought I’d be able to learn a second instrument, but with the assistance and encouragement from Mr. Funez, I decided the end of my sophomore year to give it a shot.

On our first day of class we each choose an instrument, and for myself the gamba felt very natural, yet at the same time it had its own challenges. Since I play the cello the bass gamba felt very similar, yet had its own hardships because of the six strings instead of four. Once we first started playing actual music it all started flowing to me.

Since picking up this new instrument I’ve learned multiple things that I originally didn’t think possible for myself. This class is enjoyable for everyone in it and we all help each other out, and during rehearsals make some good inside jokes that’ll be remembered by all of us. Everyday we go into this class,it’s a different experience and even better than the last time. Even with the little amount of time we’ve been working together in our little group of 9, we have all improved as a group and grown closer to one another, like a family.



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