Music Student Helps Catalog, Restore Department's Instrument Collection

Violas da gamba were among the instruments restored in the Department of Music's collection. (Courtesy photo)

Condensed from a story posted on the UC Davis Department of Music website

UC Davis music student, and now graduate William Storz ‘20, an award-winning musician in his own right, helped lecturer Phebe Craig with an ambitious project during the past year. Together, they cataloged and restored the music department’s extensive collection of early music instruments. Early music is defined as anything between Gregorian Chant and Berlioz. 

student and lecturer
Student William Storz and lecturer Phebe Craig worked to preserve old instruments in the Department of Music collection. (courtesy photo).

Said Craig: “Last August we dared to open the closets in the back of Room 115 where the collection of early instruments is stored. William and I inspected, dusted, categorized, photographed, determined pitch, general quality and the need for cleaning these instruments. Then planning the weekly schedule of multiple ensembles began in earnest.”

The instruments they unearthed included: harpsichords, a virginal, a clavichord, chamber organs, a consort of violas da gamba, a group of renaissance and baroque recorders, sacbuts, crumhorns, renaissance and baroque flutes, lutes, the shawm, the vielle, cornettos, percussion instruments and a few more.

“Due to how diverse the collection is, finding repair shops that knew how to execute the repairs required contacting many different people who all offered more information about the instruments including the care they required. The final stage was finding a way for the instruments to play together in a class setting.” 

Storz’s studies at UC Davis centered on theory, history and ethnomusicology. He received the department's Davis S. Saxon Award for Excellence in the Performance of Early Music in both 2019 and 2020. Storz now plans to apply to graduate programs. Read the full story on the Department of Music site here.

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