•Classes •Concerts •Competition
Unlike most Guitar Festivals we offer 6 days of activities:
One-on-one lessons, Guitar Orchestra Practice (working toward a Saturday performance),
Master Classes, Theory, Technique, Composition, Performance Tips, and more.
It's about the students!
We hold our festival each year to provide classes for students of all ages. We also have concerts and hold competitions. We focus on the students and want everyone to enjoy their time with us. Each year we try to change things a little so that there is always something new to do and learn.
Join us in 2020, won't you?
We have several kinds of classes:
Students get at least 3 one-on-one classes during the festival.
Intermediate & advanced students are eligible to participate in Master Classes provided by our visiting faculty.
Technique, Theory, Ensemble:
Various classes & workshops for attendees are provided throughout the week.
Our concerts are held in the sanctuary of St. Philip Presbyterian Church. The acoustics are wonderful for guitar performances, whether you are watching soloists or ensembles. Some performances will include other instruments, but we always feature the guitar.
Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the guitarist that goes beyond the classical. NPR describes Vieaux as “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” Among his extensive discography is the 2015 Grammy Award winning album for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, “Play”.
Vieaux has earned a reputation for putting his expressiveness and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music, and his schedule of performing, and recording commitments is distinguished throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Jason Vieaux has performed as concerto soloist with over 100 orchestras, including Cleveland, Toronto, Houston, Nashville, San Diego, Buffalo, Auckland Philharmonia, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Recent and upcoming highlights include performances at Caramoor Festival as Artist-in-Residence, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Curtis Presents, Phillips Collection, National Gallery of Art, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, New York’s 92Y, Domaine Forget International Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, and Ravinia Festival.
He has forged his reputation as a first-rate chamber musician and programmer through performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bard Music Festival, Music@Menlo, San Francisco Performances, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Strings Music Festival, Grand Teton, and many others. Chamber music collaborators include the Escher Quartet; Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke; violinists Anne Akiko Meyers, Kristin Lee, and Tessa Lark; acclaimed harpist Yolanda Kondonassis; and accordion/bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro.
Vieaux’s passion for new music has fostered premieres of works by Jonathan Leshnoff, Avner Dorman, Jeff Beal, Dan Visconti, David Ludwig, Vivian Fung, José Luis Merlin, Mark Mancina, and more. Jason recently premiered Visconti’s “Living Language” Guitar Concerto with the California Symphony and has performed the work over a dozen times since.
Vieaux’s latest CD release, Dance (Azica) with the Escher Quartet, includes works by Boccherini, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Aaron Jay Kernis. His premiere recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto with the Nashville Symphony (Naxos) was also released in 2019. Later this season, he will release a new solo Bach album on Azica. In addition to his Grammy-winning solo release Play, his previous albums include Jeff Beal’s “Six Sixteen” Guitar Concerto with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (BIS); Infusion (Azica) with accordionist/bandoneonist Julien Labro; Ginastera’s Guitar Sonata, on Ginastera: One Hundred (Oberlin Music) produced by harpist Yolanda Kondonassis; Together (Azica), a duo album with Kondonassis; a recording of Astor Piazzolla’s music with Julien Labro and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra; Bach: Works for Lute, Vol. 1; Images of Metheny; and Sevilla: The Music of Isaac Albeniz. Vieaux was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” series.
In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an unprecedented technological interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the guitar department at the Curtis Institute of Music, and in 2015 was invited to inaugurate the guitar program at the Eastern Music Festival. Vieaux has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1997, heading the guitar department since 2001.
Vieaux is affiliated with Philadelphia’s Astral Artists. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious GFA International Guitar Competition First Prize, the event’s youngest winner ever. He is also honored with a Naumburg Foundation top prize, a Cleveland Institute of Music Distinguished Alumni Award, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant. In 1995, Vieaux was an Artistic Ambassador of the U.S. to Southeast Asia. His primary teachers were Jeremy Sparks and John Holmquist.
Jason Vieaux is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd and plays a 2013 Gernot Wagner guitar with Augustine strings.
Juan Carlos Laguna, has garnered many awards and distinctions as a full-time professor of the highest level at the Escuela Nacional de Musica of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico teaching preparatory, bachelors, masters, and doctoral students since 1989. His students continue to be the most distinguished in Mexico having won over 25 first place finishes in national and international solo and ensemble competitions and who have continued their careers as performers and outstanding professors at schools and universities across Mexico. In the over 80 years of existence of the Escuela Nacional de Musica, Dr. Laguna has become the teacher with the most students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and continue careers in music than any other studio.
Since the beginning of his professional career, Laguna has won multiple awards in national and international competitions, including first place in the prestigious Tokyo International Guitar Competition in 1991, the first time a Latin American guitarist ever won the prize. As a performer and recording artist, Laguna works to preserve the Mexican sound memory and is viewed as one of the most prominent personalities in the field of new music. His premieres and dissemination of contemporary works in Mexican culture are respected around the world, and has led to invitations as a featured artist in forums, meetings and festivals throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
His record production has more than 30 solo recordings, a witness to his creativity, talent and originality. Recordings were produced in England, Japan, France, and Mexico under the Audivis, Forlane, Kojima Recordings and Urtext Digital Classics record labels. He has been a recipient of the FONCA arts grant on many occasions where he has brought to life premiere projects, recordings, and disseminations of contemporary Mexican music. He has also been a member of a select group of the Fine Arts Concert Artists of the National Institute of Fine Arts where he has developed invaluable work as a concert soloist and chamber musician since 1989.
As an academic, he has served as a jury member in important national and international competitions, given lectures, presentations and workshops, and master classes at institutions of higher learning such as Southern Methodist University, Toronto University, Kansas University, Tulane University, London Royal School of Music, Havana Higher Institute of Art and Cordoba University School of Music in Argentina. His interest in Mexican concert music is reflected in his work as a reviewer and editor of various publications for guitar in Mexico, Italy and Japan. In 2019, he completed a one year sabbatical as guest professor at University of Toronto’s School of Music in Canada. Laguna obtained his masters in University Teaching from the South Anahuac University and his Doctorate in Music with Honors from the UNAM Music School.
In addition to his role as a concert artist, Juan Carlos Laguna has combined in an extraordinary way his teaching activities and concert playing with his work as a producer, presenter, and promoter of classical guitar music. Since 2000, he has achieved this through his artistic direction and coordination of the Taxco International Guitar Festival and the UNAM Guitar Summit in Mexico City. He has also held numerous positions within the collegiate bodies of FAM as Technical Advisor, University Advisor, Disseminating Commission member and PASPA Commission member.
"Brazilian-born, 2010 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award Winner Gabriel Santiago is a Composer/Arranger/ Acoustic and Electric Guitar Player with 10 albums (including CDs and DVDs) released.
Called by JazzTimes Magazine “a young master at both the acoustic and electric guitars” and his compositions defined as “stunners”, Santiago holds a Doctoral Degree in Music Composition from the University of Texas at Austin, where he won the 2013 Outstanding Dissertation Award and the 2010 Eleanor A. Stribling Award for Excellence in Jazz Studies.
His solid background also features studies with jazz masters Pat Metheny, Adam Rogers and Maria Schneider. Santiago has collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Esperanza Spalding, Chris Potter, Stefon Harris, John Clayton, Terence Blanchard, Janek Gwizdala, Carmen Bradford, André Mehmari, Romero Lubambo, Odair Assad, Gilson Peranzzetta and Recording Engineer Master Rupert Neve, being invited to be the first artist to record with Neve’s first ever line of microphones.
Gabriel has been composing music for a wide variety of ensembles (ranging from Symphony Orchestra to Chamber ensembles, Big band to Jazz Combos), styles and medias including Film, TV, and Internet. His music is fresh and carries all of his influences that range from Brazilian Music to Jazz and Classical Music."
Chieko Hata developed her passion for the guitar and music from an early age. Ms. Hata comes from a family of musicians and she began her studies with her father as a child. She graduated from the Conservatorio of Cesena in Italy under the guidance of Stefano Palamidessi, to whom she credits her musical and instrumental knowledge. In 2011 Ms. Hata was accepted, on a full scholarship, to the Yale University School of Music. During her three years at Yale, she studied with the celebrated professor Benjamin Verdery, who affected her approach and perspective towards music.
Ms. Hata has been a finalist in many international competitions and won second prize at the "International Guitar Competition Nicola Fago." She has performed in masterclasses with David Russell, Carlo Marchione, Alberto Ponce, and Betho Davezac; and she had the honor to perform for Narciso Yepes as well as attended the last live concert of Andres Segovia. Ms Hata has a particular affinity for performers and recordings from the 1920's through the 1960's which deeply influences her musical expression.
Ms. Hata has taken part in festivals within Europe, Japan and the United States as both a soloist and clinician. She enjoys woodworking, cooking, and spending time with loved ones. She believes that curiosity and involving oneself in new experiences is a way toward improving and embracing the fullness of life.
Praised for, “Virtuosity and deep musical interpretation”, Samuel Hines is an award-winning guitarist from Southern California. World-renowned Cuban guitarist, René Izquierdo has described his pupil as, “A profound musician, Samuel Hines has matured to become a remarkable guitarist. His artistry will touch many!”
An Augustine Strings Artist, Hines maintains a busy performance schedule and has been a guest artist at the 2018 Florida Guitar Festival, 2018 East Carolina Summer Guitar Festival, 2018 Latino Arts Strings Festival in Wisconsin, and the 5th Latin-American Guitar Festival in Chicago, among others.
Hines has won prizes in over 35 competition, with recent first prizes including the 2019 Houston Guitar Festival, the 2019 Gohar and Ovanes Andriassian Competition at Cal State LA, the 2019 New Orleans International Guitar Festival, the 2019 Appalachian Guitarfest, the 2017 Florida Guitar Festival, the 2017 East Carolina University Guitar Festival, and the 2015 Sierra Nevada International Guitar Festival. Hines was also a competitor at the prestigious Parkening International Guitar Competition, selected as one of 15 competitors from around the world at the 2012, 2015 and 2019 editions.
His educational background includes a Bachelor of Music from Vanguard University of Southern California with Michael Nigro, a Master of Music at University of the Wisconsin-Milwaukee with René Izquierdo and is pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts with Maja Radovanlija as teaching assistant.
Samuel Hines plays a 2014 Antonio Marin Montero on Augustine Regal Blue Strings. You can keep up to date on news and upcoming concerts at www.samhinesguitar.com or follow him on social media at www.facebook.com/samhinesguitar.
Sarah Medwick, a native of Louisiana, is a first-year clarinet music performance major at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Sarah is a member of the McNeese Wind Symphony, and other ensembles including the Symphonic Band, Dixieland Jazz Combo, and the Clarinet choir. She also regularly performs Sunday nights with the Jay Ecker Quartet as a guest artist.
She holds scholarships with the W.A Hanna Department of Performing Arts as well as the John McNeese Scholarship, awarded by the university for academic achievement. Sarah was also awarded the 2019 Chester Daigle II Scholarship for jazz performance and the John Philip Sousa award recognizing superior musicianship, dependability, loyalty and cooperation. Sarah has studied with renowned clarinetists such as Boris Allakhverdyan, principal clarinetist of the L. A. Philharmonic, Paul Cigan, clarinetist in the National Symphony Orchestra, and Jan Scott from McNeese State University, with whom she has studied for seven years. Notable musicians with whom she has performed include ”The Clarinet Queen” of New Orleans, Doreen Ketchens, and Mickey Smith, Jr., a Grammy award winning music educator and saxophonist. Sarah has performed under the baton of Mark Gigliotti, co-principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Noteworthy achievements include being principal clarinetist 2017 and 2018 for Louisiana All State bands, a three-year member of the Louisiana All State bands, a principal clarinetist at the 2018 Philadelphia International Music Festival, and a four-year member of the District V Louisiana Honor Band. Sarah is also involved in many nonprofit organizations such as Musicmakers2U, Jazz in the Arts, and the Dr. Francis G. Bulber Youth Orchestra, all dedicated to helping young musicians find their sound. When not making music, Sarah loves hiking, canoeing, and traveling with her family and friends.
We have always enjoyed providing a solid venue for serious classical guitar performers who want to compete. Our faculty are professionals who know how to judge up and coming classical guitarists.
There are 5 levels of competition:
•College Division (Includes freshmen, sophomores of 2-Year college students)
•High School Division
•Middle School Division
•Small Ensemble Division
Consider joining us this year for our Competition!