Southern Violin Association



April 2019 – SVA Makers’ Competition



The date for our event will be 18 to 21 April, 2019 with checkin starting at 4pm on Thursday the 18th and, and checkout by noon on Sunday morning, the 21st.

The Associations Second Biennial Violin Makers’ Competition will be conducted at Wildacres Retreat, Little Switzerland, North Carolina (in the Blue Ridge Mountains – just off the Blue Ridge Parkway).   This is less than an hour’s drive out of Asheville.

The competition will be open to anyone, from anywhere.  FOR 2019 WE WILL BE JUDGING BOTH VIOLINS AND VIOLAS. A maximum of 2 instruments may be submitted for any category.

Check-in begins at 4pm on registration day, and all instruments must be checked-in by 10pm on the registration day.  



* 4 pm-10pm CHECK IN North Lodge Reception Area

* 6 pm DINNER – all meals will be in the Dinning Room

* 7 pm RECEPTION on the patio between North and South Lodge, if weather permits;

otherwise it will be in the Canteen

FRIDAY April 19

* 8-9 am Breakfast

* 10 am PRESENTATION Pablo Alfaro “Crackle Technique”

* 10 am Tone & Workmanship Judging

* 12:30 pm Lunch

* 2 pm Open Table with Tone Judges

* 3:30 pm Open Table with Workmanship Judges

* 6 pm Dinner

* 7 pm BYOB “Open Mic” in the Amphitheater if weather permits, otherwise in the Auditorium

* 10 pm Quiet Time


* 8-9 am Breakfast

* 10 am PRESENTATION Douglas Boomer “Physics of the violin”

* 10 am Tone & Workmanship Judging

* 12:30 pm Lunch

* 2 pm PRESENTATION Jerry Pasewicz “Restoration”

* 3:30-6 pm Critique Period, sign up will be on Canteen Meeting Room door. You might make one appointment with a Workmanship Judge, and one wit a Tone Judge. Allow 10-15 minutes per person

* 6 pm Dinner

* 7 pm Presentations, Bussines Meeting, and AWARDS in the Auditorium

SUNDAY April 21

* 8-9 am Breakfast

* 9-11 am Critique Period

* 12 pm Check-Out. You most be packed and out of your room. Bring your belongings to the North Lodge Lobby if not leaving by noon.


Workmanship: Christopher Germain, Gary Vessel and Alvaro Corrochano.

Tone: Juan Ramirez and Alex Shlifer. 


Pasewicz; Restoration

Boomer; Physics of the violin

Alfaro; Varnish crackle


Have you only made a couple instruments but want the thrill of competing?  We will have a ”NOVICE” Category, recognizing the highest scoring violin by a maker with 10 or few instruments completed at the time of the event.  At our 2017 competition, about 1 in 4 instruments were submitted by “novice” makers.  


And, as a Southern organization, we’ll have a special award for the highest scoring violin by a Southern maker (states identified on our website), but basically Kansas East and South. 

A lot of work will be required to put this together, but the most important part of the event is participation.  Help us with the planning by letting us know if you’re interested in participating.  Just shoot me an email at  

WELCOME TO WILDACRES –We have booked 20 rooms, 2 persons per room (each room has 2 separate beds and a private bath) for the first 40 participants to stay right at the Retreat, but once those fill up, we’ll help you book something in one of the many resort lodges in the community, most within 3-5 miles away.  

FEES: 3 nights at Wildacres, plus 8 meals are included:

  • Per person on-site accommodations and meals $275 double occupancy.

  • Per person on-site accommodations and meals $425 for single occupancy if available.

  • Rate for a couple in the same room $450.

  • Fee per instrument entered $100

  • Bi-annual membership fee $100

  • Attendance fee if staying off- site $50

  • A typical member entering one instrument the cost would be $275 for accommodations, $100 membership fee, $100 instrument fee for a total of $475 for the entire conference.

You do NOT need to be entered into the competition to come and enjoy the presentations and camaraderie, just be an Association member.  We will have 2 full days of events, guest speakers and topics are being worked on, and you’ll be hearing from us as we get that together.

I strongly urge you to visit Wildacres Retreat website at

Review of 2019 Competition Requirements

  1. Entry Deadline will be 10 days before the scheduled competition start date. We always appreciate your early non-binding notice of intent to compete or attend, as this makes planning much better.

  2. Violins AND Violas only

  3. If less than 5 of a type instrument are entered, there will be limited awards in that category.

  4. Instrument must not have received any type of award in the past.

  5. Instrument must have been completed no earlier than May 2014 (that will be under 5 years at the time of the event)

  6. Application request via email to

  7. SVA membership fee must have been received for the year, and can be paid with application.

  8. An agent will be established for receiving, delivering, and returning instruments.

  9. There will be a small fee to attend on a daily basis if you are not staying at the retreat.


In addition to awards, there will be over $1,000 in store credits for winners, and door prizes being made available from our sponsors.