About Us

The Northumbrian Recorder and Viol School (NORVIS) was founded as an annual summer school in Durham in 1971 by Layton and Christine Ring. It has flourished ever since. Our musical director is Andrew Fowler. Our Golden Jubilee course also sees the start of a new era with our move to the splendid surroundings of Barnard Castle School.

viols at NORVIS
Viol class with Jacqui Robertson-Wade

NORVIS covers a broad range of early music interests, welcoming viol-players, recorder-players, lutenists, baroque string players and harpsichordists – not to mention solo and choral singers as well as renaissance instrument enthusiasts. There is usually a large team of around 13 expert tutors, unusual for the size of course.

But more than that, NORVIS is enjoyable, sociable and has a friendly rapport between tutors and participants.

As part of our charitable activity, we offer generous bursaries towards the tuition fees to encourage young people and those in full-time education and others who might not otherwise be able to participate in NORVIS.

We want all participants to have a safe and happy time at NORVIS. You can refer to our policies page for more information.

2021 – please note that, as part of making NORVIS COVID-secure, there will be a ‘new normal’ which will concentrate on:

  • making your musical experience fabulous
  • making your social experience safe
In concert in Bede Chapel, Durham


NORVIS is a registered charity no. 1014801

NORVIS is run by a dedicated team of Trustees together with:

Musical Director – Andrew Fowler
Tutor Organiser – Elizabeth Dodd

Administrator – Harriet Gilfillan

Harriet, Simon, Sarah, Elizabeth, Andrew, Mark, Maureen, Eileen

Trustees (2019-2021):
Mark Lawrence – Chair
Maureen Jackson – Secretary
Simon Squires – Treasurer
Sarah Kirk – committee member
Eileen Finlayson – committee member

For further information, contact the Administrator.