Gian Lyman Silbiger Grant

The Silbiger Grant is a competitive award which supports New England viol players and vocal ensembles who wish to present music appropriate for viol consort and voices. The grant is available to churches, synagogues, small choruses and ensembles eager to explore this beautiful repertoire in a service or public concert setting. Applicants may include a variety of repertoire, but with a minimum of three viol players and one vocal soloist.

For this year, performances may take place fully on line, rather than in live, in person performances.  All information about personnel and program should be provided a month before the event appears on line, including information on when and how the link for the performance will be provided, according to the publicity guidelines of the Grant.   The premiere of the video must be well-publicized to our membership and available for viewing after the premiere for at least three months. After that time, the video may be made available to other organizations, with acknowledgement of the VdGS-NE’s Silbiger Grant included in any accompanying program info.

The grant pays a total of $600 (six hundred dollars) for the viol players and an additional $100 for the viol player/organizer. The applicant must pledge a minimum of an additional $30 per player.

Duties of the Viol Player/Organizer

The Selection Committee emphasizes the following guidelines:

  • Musical excellence and repertoire of high quality should be fostered.
  • Repertoire chosen should be appropriate to the level of the viol consort and singers.
  • The viol players must be from New England, and the performance site must also be in New England.
  • Musicians may include a mixture of professional and amateur players, or may be fully professional.
  • New audiences for viol music should be actively sought through publicity provided to local media and in the printed program or bulletin.

The Grant was begun in 1995, and its recipients include: Trinity Episcopal Church, Lime Rock, CT (Weelkes, Tomkins, Mico & Gibbons), Temple Beth David,Westwood, MA (Salamone Rossi), Church of Our Saviour, Milford NH (Byrd, Gibbons, Tallis), First Parish in Framingham MA (Byrd), Saint Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church, Blue Hill ME (Ferrabosco, Tye, Byrd), and Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Natick MA (Schutz Christmas Oratorio).

The grant commemorates the life and work of Gian Lyman Silbiger, viol player, teacher, composer and organist, who taught at the Longy School of Music, McGill University, and Brandeis University in the 1960’s and 1970’s and also served as the President of the Viola da Gamba Society of America. The grant is supported entirely by VdGS-NE members and friends. Tax deductible contributions are gratefully accepted. Please send a check to: Treasurer, Viola da Gamba Society New England, PO Box 192, Belmont, MA 02478 or fill out the form below.

Donation amount USD

Applying for the Silbiger Grant:

The Silbiger Grant is awarded yearly on an academic year schedule.

Terms: This grant of seven hundred dollars ($700) is available to the successful applicant to pay for the services of a viol consort for the performance of music with soloists or choir. Six hundred dollars ($600) of the grant may be divided among the players at the discretion of the viol player/organizer and is intended only for the performers’ honoraria. An additional $100 is designated for the viol player/organizer (see Duties of the Viol Player/Organizer). It is the responsibility of the applicant’s organization to provide an additional honorarium of at least $30 per player. The viol player/organizer will arrange the details of payment. The Selection Committee reserves the right not to make an award when insufficient or inadequate proposals are received.

Application method 1: Apply online

Application method 2:  Click here to download a pdf version of the Silbiger Grant Application. Print and mail to the following address:

Jane Hershey, Silbiger Grant Committee
P.O. Box 192
Belmont MA 02478

The application period for 2021-2022 is now open with a different timeline than previous years. Applications are due by September 30, 2021 and notice of the Selection Committee’s decisions will be given by October 30, 2021. Performances must occur before August 31, 2022.

Please direct all questions about applying for the Gian Lyman Silbiger Grant to the committee at  The committee can also provide lists of local professional viol players or suggestions for repertoire upon request.