VIOLA DAY 28th Oct 2021 – sign up now!

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September 23, 2021
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September 30, 2021

VIOLA DAY 28th Oct 2021 – sign up now!


Viola Day is designed to bring viola and violin players together with hosts UYO Course Tutor David Aspin and freelance violist and UYO alumna Chrissie Slater who will inspire, motivate & educate in a day of relaxed and informative sessions.

The sessions are over Zoom, open to violists, violinists interested in trying the viola and violin/viola teachers (all ages and non-UYO members welcome) and are free of charge.

The sessions will feature the history, repertoire and role of the viola plus interactive workshops and a masterclass. We’ll talk with those violin players thinking about taking up the viola and introduce our Pellegrinas (small violas) which are available on free loan, with lessons, as part of a scheme for UYO violinists funded by Ulster Garden Villages and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

There will be live music from our Principal Viola Jamie Howe, from Lisburn, who has recently moved from the violin to concentrate on his viola, studying at the Royal College of Music.

Places can be booked for Viola Day by emailing


Chrissie Slater (nee Agnew) grew up in Belfast and studied viola at the City of Belfast School of Music with Ruth Bebb, then a member of the Ulster Orchestra. At this time she gained invaluable experience in orchestral playing through leading the viola sections in both the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra and Ulster Youth Orchestra.

She went on to study at RNCM under Nick Logie, graduating in 1999 with a BMus (hons), and the following year took up a job in the viola section in BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Chrissie is now based in Gateshead in the North East of England, where she enjoys a freelance career, both performing and teaching. Chrissie has had a varied playing career spanning over 20 years; she has worked with many of the country’s leading orchestras, such as the Halle, RPO, Glyndebourne and Royal Northern Sinfonia, is a member of Trio Northumbria, which aims to promote new music for string trio, she records regularly with non-classical artists and has appeared on TV soundtracks such as Worzel Gummidge.

Chrissie has been heavily involved in many orchestral based education projects, she teaches people of all ages, from very young beginners to students ready to move on to conservatoire, to retired music lovers, and regularly coaches viola sections in youth orchestras and university orchestras.

David Aspin studied at the Royal College of Music with Roger Best and Simon Rowland Jones. He is a founder member of Chroma, resident at Royal Holloway, University of London. The group has forged an enviable reputation for its commissioning of new work, collaborations and education work. With groups such as Psappha he has performed at the BBC Proms, in Buenos Aires, Lisbon and St Magnus Festival as well as recording for CD, BBC Radio 3 and webcasts.

As a soloist, David has performed in the UK and overseas including the RNCM’s Turnage Festival, Mozart in Gstaad, Switzerland, Three Choirs Festival and a recital and masterclass for the New Zealand National Music Teacher’s Association. David has performed and recorded the Telemann viola concerto with the Lancashire Sinfonietta. Other concerto appearances include works by Bartok, Berlioz, Britten,

Bruch and Vaughan Williams and most recently the Walton concerto with the Orchestra of Opera North.David is principal violist of the Orchestra of Opera North. He has also appeared as guest principal with the BBC Philharmonic, Halle, Royal Scottish National, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC NOW, BBC Scottish Symphony, Philharmonia and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras.

David is a viola tutor at the RNCM and a regular sectional coach of NYO. He is often to be found walking in the Pennine hills or pursuing other activities such as yoga and swimming.

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