GUTSY Grant Program



Thanks to a very generous, one-time grant, the VdGSA has a unique opportunity to share our love for the viola da gamba, its repertoire, and the fantastic community that this winning combination brings together. GUTSY funds will support programs that foster interest and excellence in the gamba for younger people, especially those from historically marginalized communities. The program is open to all members of the Society (except Institutional members) who have been members for a full calendar year.

We invite applications for project proposals, large or small, to support existing programs, implement new programs, or other creative ideas to get young people engaged. 


Strong applications can build on and support existing viol programs to serve younger players from underrepresented communities or propose a new opportunity for that population of players. Grant requests can include projects that combine resources from other programs in the viol community, internal or external to the VDGSA (e.g., Consort Loan Program, Rentals Program, EDI Committee, local Chapters). We encourage partnerships with outside organizations to expand options, to attract new students, and to provide access to venues.


Funds requested in proposals could include but are by no means limited to:


  • Purchasing instruments, bows, cases for program use

  • Instrument repairs or strings

  • Teacher stipend (up to $1500 for a semester)

  • Putting on a workshop

  • Adding a gamba class to an existing workshop

  • Any number of other ideas…


Requested funds can be up to $5000 to support continuing programs, to launch a new long-term program, to create a one-off project such as a workshop or documentary, etc. 


We will need a description of your project (ca. 200-500 words) with your goal and details of the project, including the students it will reach and how you’ll interact with them, as well as a detailed budget, along with two letters of recommendation written for this purpose. See the full application requirements below.

Application Procedure and Deadlines

To initiate your application, please first contact the President of the VdGSA, John Moran, with a brief description of your proposed project. After receiving advice from the President, you will submit a formal application, which will be reviewed by an anonymous committee. The application consists of your essay, two letters of recommendation, and supporting documents, described in detail below.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning February 1, 2022. Once your application materials are complete, we will aim to let you know within three weeks whether your proposal has been accepted. We will continue to accept applications until funds for the program are exhausted.

Application Instructions

Once you have the go-ahead from the VdGSA President, you will submit to him:

Your project proposal:

  • Description of project (ca. 200-500 words) with your goal and details of the project, including the students it will reach and how you’ll interact with them. For projects based on creating new or supporting existing long-term programs, you should tell us about how you envision being able to continue this program beyond the term of a GUTSY grant. 

    • Mention, if applicable, how you will draw from other viol community resources, including, but not limited to the Consort Loan Program, the Rentals program, Chapter resources.

    • Mention, if applicable, outside project collaborators, if any. Specify who and what they bring to the project. 

  • Ideas to secure other funding, including matching grants, especially if you are asking for funds for a program that you hope to continue beyond the scope of this grant. Those able to find such additional assistance stand a better chance of being funded by the Society, since we try to grant as many requests as possible. Remember that GUTSY grants are available on a one-time basis to launch a new idea or infuse funds into an existing program. We encourage you to think about additional financial assistance. 

  • Brief description of your experience as a viol player. Depending on the nature of your project, tell us how long you’ve played the viol, or what relevant experience you’ve had and how you are a good fit for the funding you request and will be able to be a responsible steward of those funds.

  • Brief line-item budget.

  • Supporting documentation for costs, e.g. instruments, rentals, etc.


Two letters of recommendation specific to the application: 

  • Both letters must address your project and your qualifications

  • Neither may be from someone who is materially involved in your project, such as a co-teacher or someone you would hire to help you. 

  • It is your responsibility to solicit these letters and arrange to have them sent electronically to the President of the VdGSA.

Selection Process

The President of the VdGSA appoints an anonymous committee to review the applications. For each application, the committee makes a recommendation for full, partial, or no funding. The actual amount of any award is contingent upon sufficient funds being available. The selection process should normally take no more than three weeks from the time all application materials have been received. Once a decision has been reached, you will be notified by the president.​