Viola Bank Testimonials

2020-2021 Recipients

We are happy to announce four deserving student recipients of AVS Viola Bank instruments and
bows for the 2020-2021 school year:

Starting out at the age of nine, Dorthea Stephenson got her start as a violist in the String Project at Arizona State University. At the age of thirteen, she switched to the viola (which to this date was the best musical decision of her life). Dorthea is now a student at the University of Arizona, where she is studying to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance. She is currently studying with Dr. Molly Gebrian. 

“My name is Dorthea, and I currently hold an instrument on loan from the American Viola Society. I am currently a student at the University of Arizona studying music performance under the tutelage of Molly Gebrian. I am incredibly grateful to have been gifted with an instrument of such caliber, and I have cherished every moment spent with the instrument thus far. Having the steadfast support of AVS has renewed my hope for a better future in music, and has inspired me to continue to pursue a career in music.”

Katie Baird is a violist from Tucson, Arizona. Currently a junior, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Molly Gebrian at the University of Arizona. With a love for ensemble playing, she has played with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra, the Meraki String Quartet, and the Desert Violas, the viola ensemble at the Fred Fox School of Music.

 “Playing on a quality instrument from the AVS Viola Bank has been tremendous in furthering my education. Not only have I enjoyed practicing more, but the quality of sound has allowed me to delve into more advanced techniques that I would not have been able to explore otherwise. I am constantly in awe of the colors and dynamics this viola can produce. These technical capabilities have given me the confidence to participate in concerto and solo competitions, produce home recordings of solo works, and start personal music projects.

Using this instrument has impacted my entire future. Without the generosity of people’s donations, I would not have been able to pursue my degree in viola performance, and for that I am forever grateful. As a first generation college student, this is helping me achieve my goals of higher education. There are no words to sufficiently describe the extent of my gratitude for this wonderful organization and the person who generously donated this viola.“

Violist and violinist Teddy Froelich from Loudoun County, Virginia is currently a graduate viola performance major attending the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, studying with Brett Deubner and Daniel Phillips. He has participated in masterclasses led by Midori Goto, Kristof Barati, Stephen Rose, Richard Young, Luosha Fang, the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet, and members of the Aeolus and Dali quartets. His past summer engagements include the National Orchestral Institute and Festival and a Quartet Fellowship position at the Dali International Music Festival, both on full-tuition scholarship. Teddy also studied abroad in London at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in 2019 with Royal Academy of Music violin professor Diana Cummings. 

Teddy Froelich:


Here's his most recent performance on the AVS Viola Bank instrument 


Dr. Molly Gebrian shares her thoughts about the value of the AVS Viola Bank:

The AVS Viola Bank is a tremendous resource for students to have access to wonderful instruments that they wouldn’t otherwise have the financial means to acquire. Two of my students were recipients of Viola Bank instruments in 2020 and it’s been an absolute game-changer for them in terms of their development as musicians and what we can work on in lessons. Often, lower quality violas just don’t sound very good and so students are limited in the colors and variety of sound they can get. The Viola Bank instruments have opened up entirely new possibilities for my students. I am extremely grateful to those who have donated instruments and to the AVS to making them available to deserving students!