Rose, 16 inch Viola
...an instrument with international influences
Rose viola was completed
December 25, 2002, and brings together some of the best wood the world has to
offer. Rose is modeled after a contralto viola made by
Giovanni Paolo Maggini. The double purfling, distinctive
F-holes (with the upper eye larger than the lower eye) expansive arching, and scroll with
1/2 less turn are all typical of Maggini's work.
The top was carved from a 280 year old red spruce grown on Thurmond's 160 acre farm in Glover, Vermont. After the spruce splits were floated in Shantivanam pond for one month, they were stickered and air dried in our barn for six years. The instrument's bass bar and sound post are carved from red spruce salvaged from the Windsor, Vermont/Cornish, New Hampshire covered bridge built in 1866. The back is one piece, taken from a large quaking aspen (poplar) which was blown down in Thurmond's yard during Hurricane Floyd which passed through Vermont in 1999.
The red maple neck is from wood cut in Quebec in 1914, purchased from heirs of Arthur and Hermengilde Chamberland, violin makers and brothers who made over 350 violins in North Troy, Vermont from the 1930s to the 1980s. The maple for the ribs was cut in 1954 in Bavaria. The internal black willow blocks and linings originate from Thurmond's mother's farm in Green Mountain, North Carolina. The boxwood pegs, tailpiece and chin rest were hand carved by Suhendu Bhattacharjee in West Bengal, India. The ebony fingerboard, nut and saddle also hail from India.
Thurmond made the viola to honor his family's dear Filipino friend, Rose. In 2003 Rose Viola found a permanent home with Marilyn Barton, a violist in her community orchestra in the Midwest.