Focus on Utah Viola Society Sponsor and Luthier Carrie Scoggins

Carrie Scoggins has been a long time supporter and Utah Viola Society Sponsor. Come see and hear her violas in action as part of Viola Day 2016 at our Instrument Demonstration on Saturday, October 15, 2016! Read in her own words about her shop, playing and performing as a violinist/violist, and what she likes best about playing and making violas! We deeply appreciate Carrie and thank her for her sponsorship of Viola Day and her support of the Utah Viola Society!


“I have been a violin player since I was 9 years old. I fell in love with the Viola when I was in college. Our school orchestra had only three viola players and they asked for recruits. I jumped on the opportunity, took my savings and bought a viola. I loved playing in the lower register- kind of rattles your brain. 🙂 I also discovered that I was in high demand for gigs. Everyone was looking for a good violist; violinists are a dime a dozen but good viola players are harder to come by. My violin teacher always said playing the inside parts (ie: 2nd Violin or Viola) was often more challenging than a 1st Violin part. You had to be able to count and be a steady, strong player to hold the ensemble together. I currently play with the Salt Lake Symphony as a violinist (although I use to play in the viola section years ago!)

I am enjoying building instruments. Although I play violin, I like the lower register instruments, violas and cellos. Violists are very open to new instruments and there is such a variety of sizes and shapes. That also has its challenges because each player has different needs. Years ago I built a number of violas for David Dalton’s students – he insisted that they were to be 16.5” body and made from poplar. There are more choices for viola woods. The lower register of the instrument allows for softer woods than maple to be used, such as poplar and beech. My latest violas were made from Big Leaf Maple, slab cut, which is a little softer than European maple. I enjoy trying new things with violas.

I moved to Salt Lake City, after three years of college, in 1979 to attend the Violin Making School of America. At the time it was the only school of its kind in the United States. I graduated in 1983 and then taught at the school from the fall of 1984 to spring 1988. I taught varnish and set up of instruments and my husband, Michael, taught the construction part. We opened our shop downtown in the summer of 1988.

As far as my other interests I like to ride bicycles, more often I mountain bike right now, but I used to race road bikes competitively. I ride a motorcycle also. I have a thing for going fast – when I was a little sprout, just four years old, I got a medal (which I still have!) for a downhill skiing race in Sun Valley, Idaho. I fly fish and go hiking when possible.

Recently I have downsized from our shop of 28 years in downtown Salt Lake City and am now working out of my home in Cottonwood Heights. I have some student instruments available but am doing more new instrument making. I am still available for repairs and professional level set up and adjustment of instruments.”

Scoggins & Scoggins Violin Shop Inc.
Carrie Scoggins
Maker of Violins, Violas, Cellos
Repair, Sales
7644 S. Twin Lake Circle
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
By Appointment Only

Don’t miss hearing Carrie’s lovely violas as part of Viola Day 2016!!





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