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Circuit Rider Program
Wendy Gillespie on a Circuit Ride in Flo

Apply here. Applications due by October 15th. 

In 2008 the VdGSA initiated the "Circuit Rider Program" to provide support to communities that do not have a local viol teacher and wish to set up an ongoing relationship with a viol teacher by covering the cost of travel for a teacher to visit the community. The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for players in such communities to have ongoing lessons that will give direction to practice time and help set goals.

The application deadline for the Circuit Rider program is October 15 of each year with award decisions announced by November 1. The contact person must be a VdGSA member in good standing. See below for full information, including the "piggy-back option" (for a group close enough to an established Circuit to be able to offer their teacher another partial Circuit with coordinated dates).

The Circuit Rider program has expanded to include both 2- and 4-visit Circuits within the calendar year. The Full Circuit consists of 4 visits completed between January and December. The Half Circuit consists of 2 visits to be completed within 6 months, and is offered on a one-time basis as an enticement for new groups to try out the program and hopefully get ready for a Full Circuit the next year.

Contact the Circuit Rider Coordinator, Isabel Hendry for more information.

Program Guidelines:

Ready to apply? Here are the steps you'll need to take:

  • Consult with other local players and assemble a group interested in having lessons and willing to make either,

    • a one-year commitment to the program for a Full Circuit of 4 visits, or

    • a six-month commitment for a Half Circuit of 2 visits (The Half Circuit is a one-time only, introductory option to the Full Circuit Rider program)

  • Agree to guarantee the teacher a minimum of 10 hours of teaching at a rate of $60/hour for each visit (Canadian subsidies available). These teaching hours may be private lessons, group coachings, master classes, or beginner sessions. Your group may decide to divvy up payments as they see fit but must provide the teacher with a minimum of $600 per visit.​

  • Select a teacher from the list of participating teachers (below) and contact that teacher directly.​

  • Contact the teacher and set up a preliminary schedule of 2 (Half Circuit) or 4 (Full Circuit) visits.

  • Arrange to provide housing, food, and local transportation (as needed) for the teacher during each visit. The teacher's airfare, taxis, shuttles, and possibly rental car, can all be included in the travel budget paid by the VdGSA, as long as the total falls within the $500 per trip allowance.

  • If your area is too small to guarantee 10 teaching hours per visit and is geographically close to an existing Circuit, you may apply to "piggy-back" on the existing Circuit. Piggy-back groups must guarantee 5 hours of teaching ($300) and may apply for a travel stipend of up to $125 per visit.

  • Here are two examples of successful programs that may be used as a model to help guarantee the success of your new program.

Here's what you'll get from the program:
  • Coaching for any size or level of group, on music chosen by you or provided by your instructor.

  • Continuity: personalized lessons from the same teacher with time to practice in between.

  • A choice of teachers who are committed to the goals of the program.

  • A special hourly rate below the national average. Because of the Circuit Riders’ generosity and desire to reach as many interested players as they can, the teaching rate for a Circuit is discounted by the teacher and set at only $60* per hour.

  • Full Circuit: A stipend (paid directly to the teacher by the VdGSA) of up to $2,000 for 4 visits per year ($500/visit) to cover the Circuit Rider's travel; OR

  • Half Circuit: A stipend (paid directly to the teacher by the VdGSA) of up to $1,000 for 2 visits over 6 months ($500/visit) to cover the Circuit Rider's travel.

  • Additional funds are available for communities that can "piggy-back" their visits so that the teacher can make one multi-destination trip.

*Canadian applicants may submit a request with their application for a subsidy to cover the difference between CAD$60 and USD$60.


Circuit Rider Teachers:

You must choose a teacher from amongst the VdGSA teaching members who have agreed to participate in the program. To browse the list of participating teachers and read about them, please visit the Circuit Rider teachers page.

How to apply:

Click here to fill out the application form.

Deadline: The deadline for applications for each calendar year is October 15 of the previous year.

For information about applications or general information about the Circuit Rider Program, contact Coordinator Isabel Hendry.

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