SOLA's Story

Together we work with players of all levels, from students to professionals, and from all genres, from Cajun & Creole to Classical.

Our shop is in downtown Lafayette, LA, and we serve musicians throughout the region, including Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, New Orleans and Alexandria.

Anya Burgess, Owner of Sola Violins

I am a violin maker, restorer and player. I spend my days working with wood and hand tools, repairing and building instruments using traditional methods and designs. My work is very satisfying  and blends my interests in craft, design and music.

I studied violinmaking at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, and apprenticed with luthier Otis Tomas in Nova Scotia. I have continued learning through building and restoration workshops hosted by the Southern California Association of Violin Makers and the VSA at Oberlin College. I also serve as a board member for the Violin Society of America.

Local Workshop

In 2002, I started in a shop behind my home (pictured here) about 30 minutes from Lafayette, LA.

In the fall of 2014, I opened a full-service violin shop, Sola Violins, in the heart of downtown Lafayette.   This move has allowed for the expansion of inventory and services, and greater accessibility to most of my clientele. 

Player at Heart

In addition to building and working with violins, I play the fiddle in two Grammy-nominated Cajun bands, Bonsoir Catin and the Magnolia Sisters. All instruments aside, I love spending time with my two young sons and my husband, and enjoying the woods around our home on the Bayou Teche. 

Chris Segura, Shop Assistant

Chris Segura began his lifelong obsession with the violin at age 4, when his parents rented him a 1/16 size violin and he started taking lessons. He's a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band Feufollet, plays with the Lafayette Rhythm Devils and Les Ferailles, and can be found sitting in with various bands around Lafayette. He's also the digital archivist at the Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore, where he leads efforts to digitize historic field recordings.

In 2008, he and Anya were awarded a Fellowship Grant through the Louisiana Division of the Arts, which allowed him to study violin-making under Anya’s guidance. Over the course of two years, they went through the entire process of making a violin by hand. The resulting violin is Chris' main gigging instrument.  Since then, he's been building violins in every spare moment.

Emily Boyt, Rental and Outreach Coordinator

Emily Boyt started playing the violin at her middle school in Natchitoches, Louisiana, at age 11.  She quickly fell in love with the instrument and continued playing at Natchitoches Senior High, where she was given the opportunity to travel to New York and Europe with the school's orchestra program.  "My greatest accomplishment that really make me want to continue music in college was making Louisiana All-State Orchestra my junior and senior years of high school, and seeing myself grow as a musician and fall more and more in love with performing."

Emily studied music education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and graduated with a bachelors degree from the School of Music and Performing Arts in December 2020.

Emily oversees the rental program at Sola Violins and serves as a liaison for teachers and music schools throughout Louisiana.

Louisiana Strings Teachers

Click here to view a list of violin, viola, cello and bass instructors available for private lessons.