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Meet the Staff at V.A. Hill Fine Strings Ltd.: Calgary’s Preferred Musical Instrument Store


At Calgary’s V.A. Hill Fine Strings Ltd., we are proud of our professional, fully qualified staff and in-house luthiers. Our musical instrument store is a hub for Calgary musicians.

Curious about what our customers have to say? Visit our testimonial page to hear about their experiences and discover why musicians love our string instruments. We invite you to drop by the shop to visit us in person!

Vickie Hill - Owner


Vickie's violin career began in 1985 by assisting in violin and bow repairs in the family's workshop in their backyard garage. As time and her knowledge progressed, she became involved in customer service, bookkeeping, and inventory control. She eventually gave up a 23-year insurance career to take a full-time interest in the violin trade. What started as a hobby to Vickie became V.A. Hill Fine Strings Ltd., Calgary's largest and best-selected violin shop.

Vickie's extensive knowledge of violin construction and restoration and her dedication to precise set-up and repair techniques provide the basis for her demands of excellence in shop standards. With this knowledge, Vickie has hand-picked only the most skilled professionals who share or exceed her vision.

Vickie enjoys hobby crafts, gardening, and the wild critters in her backyard.

Vickie Hill - Owner

Stephanie Hill - Sales Manager


Stephanie comes from a military family and calls Victoria, BC, her hometown. Throughout junior and senior high school, Stephanie was involved in various music endeavours involving clarinet, percussion ensemble, and vocal jazz. She served as Concert Mistress for the final two years of high school. Stephanie earned her Legal Secretary Honours Diploma with a 4.0 GPA. and has taken two years of a psychology degree, which she hopes to complete in the future. Stephanie has taken charge of numerous managerial tasks at our shop, including bookkeeping and website maintenance.

Her administrative and customer service skills and music background make her a valuable asset to V.A. Hill Fine Strings Ltd. It is the intent that when Vickie retires (a few years from now), the business will remain in the family and Stephanie, her daughter-in-law, will take over as General Manager.

Stephanie Hill - Sales Manager

Velik Hobbe - Sales/ Customer Service


Velik grew up in a musical family in France. He began playing the cello at age 4, and at age 12 was accepted into the National Conservatory of France, where he studied until moving to Canada in 2010. In addition to playing with various orchestras and chamber groups as a cellist, Velik also enjoys playing piano. He is passionate about most genres of music, including classical, jazz, fiddle, classic country, and classic rock.


Velik enjoys forming strong customer relationships. His years of experience in music have helped him work with teachers, students, and professionals alike. He finds great satisfaction in helping them choose the right instrument, bow, and accessories. His trained ear and genuine enthusiasm are among the assets he brings to our shop.


Velik can be found at his cabin in Jaffray, BC, whenever time permits.

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Kristof Sokulski - Sales/ Customer Service


Kristof has always been passionate about the violin and has honed his playing skills since childhood. Now a professional musician, he is tenacious and dedicated to his craft. Kristof is well acquainted with the Calgary music scene and has been involved with numerous local ventures throughout his career. His primary focus is chamber music, but Kristof has also been involved with orchestras and, in university, he even ran a jazz quartet.

Kristof has taught the violin to individuals of all ages since he was sixteen years old. His experiences, both as a teacher and while attaining his bachelor's in music from the University of Calgary, have inspired Kristof to develop unique musical programs. His Protégé Method, designed with the exceptional in mind, addresses the many inefficiencies of traditional teaching methods.

In addition to finding great fulfilment in his work as a teacher and performer, Kristof enjoys leading an active, mindful lifestyle and spending time with his wife, little dog, and family.

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Eric MacDonald - Sales/ Customer Service


Originally from Edmonton, Eric has extensive violin experience. He has played traditional Irish music for more than thirty years, and learned directly from a master traditional musician. Eric is both humbled by and grateful for the opportunity of continuing this proud and ancient musical lineage.

Eric studies bow repair with Acme, Alberta-based bowmaker Robert Jackson. He enjoys developing his craft at V.A. Hill's while also fulfilling the needs of Calgary's string players.

In his rare spare moments, Eric is fond of reading, playing his violin, and flying kites.

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Luke Sandham - Luthier


Luke earned degrees in music in 1995 and education in 2003. Between degrees he has been a freelance musician, composer, and private music teacher.

After earning his teaching degree, Luke worked as a music teacher for Rocky View Schools for nearly 15 years. It was during this period that he began making guitars and other string instruments as a hobby. Finding fulfilment in his new passion, Luke left teaching in 2017 to become a full-time luthier. Luke has had the honour of training with Chris Sandvoss, and he joined the team at V.A. Hill's to further explore the orchestral string world of luthiery. Luke is thrilled to have this opportunity to expand his knowledge of orchestral stringed instruments and enrich his luthiery skills.

In his spare moments, when he's not spending time with his family, Luke makes and repairs a wide variety of instruments.


Visit to view Luke's custom guitars, basses, and mandolins.

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Andrew Scholz - Luthier


Born into a musical family, Andrew started violin lessons at the age of 5 and then switched to viola. He developed a deep appreciation and love of stringed instruments. Andrew also gained an appreciation for the trombone. With trombone as his principal instrument, he received his bachelor's degree in music performance from the University of Calgary. Andrew continues to freelance gig and teach on both trombone and viola whenever he can.

While Andrew was in university, he worked as a sales rep in a violin shop.  He became very interested in luthiery and began studying the profession in 2016.  Since joining the team at V.A. Hill's in 2023, Andrew dedicates his skills to instrument repair and restoration.

When not in the shop, Andrew loves going camping and hiking, fixing his vehicles, and playing in quartets with his family.

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