Surry Community College will offer a violin making course starting this month for those interested in constructing a violin from scratch.
The violin making course will be held at the Center for Public Safety, 1220 State St., Mount Airy and is offered in four upcoming sessions. Students may choose to attend class on Tuesdays, Aug. 8 through Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from 4 to 10 p.m. Students can also attend class on Wednesdays, Aug. 9 through Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from 4 to 10 p.m.
Each student will select wood from a tone wood dealer, make templates, sharpen and grind tools, carve, bend, shape and inlay their own instrument under the instruction of experienced luthier Joe Thrift. Tools are provided and all skill levels are welcome.
Thrift comes from a musical family. His father a pipe organ builder, and developed a passion for the instrument making craft early on. He attended the Newark School of Violin Making in Newark-On-Trent, England where he not only gained a wealth of knowledge on the luthier craft, but also developed close working relationships with accomplished violin luthiers including Roger Hargrave and Julie Reed-Yeboah.
Since returning to his home in North Carolina after graduating, Thrift has continued developing his craft in his local workshop. Thrift is an active member of the Violin Society of America, and in 2010, was invited to attend the international violin making workshop at Oberlin College in Ohio. Additionally, he is a member of the Southern Violin Association and recently won awards including First Choice Violin Workmanship, Second Choice Violin Tone, and Maker’s Choice Best Overall.
Advance registration and payment of $183 are required for the course. An additional $116 supply fee is required for new students. The cost of materials is extra, and those interested should be willing to commit a minimum of one year of work in order to complete the violin. Call (336) 386-3618 for questions and registration.