A painted violin by Aaron Eichorst featuring a pair of luna moths on a purple background.

Silent auction for CHSO Painted Violin Project begins February 21

The Charlottesville High School Orchestra (CHSO) has officially launched its 2020 Painted Violin Project, a special fundraising effort to support the CHSO String Ensemble’s performance at the Lisbon International Youth Music Festival this June.

10 painted violins

10 area artists have generously contributed their time and talent to transform real violins into objects of art. These beautiful, witty creations will be auctioned at the CHSO’s exciting online Silent Auction beginning on February 21, 2020. Bidding is open to the general public and anyone interested in bidding can visit the CHSO website chsorchestra.org between Friday, February 21 and Sunday, March 15.

“The idea of artistically transforming violins has been used by orchestras across the country to raise
funds and to celebrate the marriage of art and music,” said CHSO Director Laura Mulligan Thomas. “For
this project, 10 violins were given to area artists, among them Charlottesville Schools Fine Arts
Coordinator Aaron Eichorst and local favorite artist Meg West.”

An Opening Reception will be held at Tavola on Thursday, February 20, from 6-8 p.m., featuring live music performed by members of the CHSO. This event is free and open to the public. Until then, these beautiful violins will be displayed in various storefronts on the Downtown Mall.

Additional 2020 Painted Violin Artists include Sally Bridgeforth, Andy Faith, Eileen French, Heidi Hutson, Sri Kodakalla, Judy McLeod, Jeanne Mulligan, and Christen Borgman Yates. For more information about the CHSO including a link to the silent auction and list of locations where the violins are displayed, please visit chsorchestra.org.


The 2020 Lisbon International Youth Music Festival features more than 30 concerts in the best halls and open-air venues in Portugal and celebrates youth orchestras, choirs, symphonic bands and ensembles from all over the world.

At the Lisbon International Youth Music Festival, young musicians will gather to build friendships and share uplifting performances with 15,000+ music lovers. In addition to their time in Lisbon, the CHSO String Ensemble will travel to Spain to experience the art, history and splendor of Madrid culminating with an evening performance in a sacred venue such as the Baroque church of San Millan y San Cayetano or the Basilica de Jesus de Medinaceli. Perhaps most importantly, CHSO musicians will serve as ambassadors — a vital reminder of music’s power to unite and inspire.

The Charlottesville High School Orchestra has traveled to Europe five times, performing in international competitions and festivals including the City of Charlottesville’s Italian and French sister cities and venues such as Chartres Cathedral, the Votivkirche and Santo Stefano al Ponte.