The Viol Consort is an active group, coordinated and coached by leading professional, Susanna Pell. It meets weekly during term time and showcases its work via concert performances in the summer term. Recent activities include lunchtime recitals in the Chapter House of York Minster and in the Music Department as well as a ‘Try a Viol’ session hosted by Susanna Pell. No past experience of playing the viol is necessary to join the consort; some aptitude on bowed string instruments is helpful but not essential.
The University of York owns a set of six violas da gamba or viols. These unique instruments were popular amongst the aristocratic elite in England in the 16th and 17th centuries and some of the finest ensemble music by Byrd, Dowland, Tomkins, Gibbons and Purcell was written for them.