Violapalooza 2024

February 17, 2024 - 8:30am
Old Cabell Hall on the UVA Lawn, 8:30am- 5pm

Violapalooza 2024!  Calling all violists!

Violapalooza is back and will be held this year at Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia, Saturday, February 17th. This event brings violists of all ages and experiences together for a day of engaging music making and learning. Participate in an all-viola ensemble, masterclass, technique class and other topics.  

Andrea Priester Houde

Detailed schedules and program information will become available on 1/13/24.

Some of our featured guests include Ms. Andrea Priester Houde, the Associate Professor of Viola at West Virginia University and violist of the WVU Chamber Players and Dr. Ayn Balija, Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Virginia and Principal Violist of the Charlottesville Symphony.

This program is funded through the UVA Shea Endowment, Virginia Viola Society, and Youth Orchestra of Central Virginia. 

Saturday, February 17, 2024,
Old Cabell Hall 

Violapalooza Recital with featured guests Andrea Priester Houde and Ayn Balija
Saturday, February 17th, 3:30pm
Old Cabell Hall

Contact: Ayn Balija,

Andrea Priester Houde is a violist whose genuine love and dedication to her craft can be seen in performances around the world and in the unique environment of her teaching studio. Ms. Houde is Associate Professor of Viola at West Virginia University and violist of the WVU Chamber Players. She has served on the artist faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp, Orfeo (Italy), Endless Mountain, Blue Lake, and Master Players Music Festivals and was a board member of the American Viola Society from 2016-2022.

Ms. Houde has played as soloist, chamber musician, and in orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Her versatility has led to such opportunities as performing tango with Astor Piazzolla’s godson and playing in a rock band on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. She has recorded for the Delos, Parma, and Albany record labels. Her solo album, The American Viola, features early to contemporary American works for the viola, including the historic world premiere of the first American viola composition.

Violist Ayn Balija leads a musically rich life performing and teaching throughout the country.

She is currently the Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Virginia, Principal Violist of the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia and violist of the Rivanna String Quartet. She has also been on the faculty at James Madison University and Lorain County Community College. She presents masterclasses throughout the south-central region of the country, and serves on faculty at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts each summer.

As an orchestral musician, Ms. Balija has performed in such venues as Heinz Hall and Carnegie Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony.  She plays regularly with the Richmond Symphony, Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, Charlottesville Opera, Victory Hall Opera and the Roanoke Symphony. For twelve years she was also a tenured member of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, helping to promote new music for chamber orchestras through commissions and recordings of new works on the Summit record label. Ms. Balija has performed additional chamber works at Yachats Summer Music Festival (OR), North Carolina Chamber Music Festival and the Staunton Music Festival (VA).

Ms. Balija has performed solo recitals in New Zealand, Oregon, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia with programs that focus on the versatility of the viola.

Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA’s historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda. (map) Parking is available in the central grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Rd, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner.  Handicap parking is available in the small parking lot adjacent to Bryan Hall.

All programs are subject to change.

For more information please call the Department of Music at 434.924.3052 or write with any questions.


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176