Guitar Festival to return for third year at Troy University

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Sable Riley

Staff Writer

John M. Long School of Music will present its third annual guitar festival on Friday, Feb. 19.

Dr. Robert Gibson, Troy University lecturer of guitar, helped found the event.

“Initially, I wanted to bring greater awareness to the guitar community and boost interest in classical guitar music in the region,” Gibson said.

“This year, it’s not all just traditional classical guitar music. It kind of has a Latin-Spanish theme this year.”

Registration will be held at 8 a.m. in Long Hall and costs $30 to participate in the ensemble and all masterclasses.

The first event will take place at 11 a.m. in Sorrell Chapel with performances by Kevin Manderville and Joao Paulo that will feature Latin American and Brazilian pieces.

Manderville is an active solo recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and scholar. He has won prizes in several international competitions, including first prize at the Concours International de Guitare de Lachine.

Manderville holds degrees from Stetson University, as well as Florida State University, where he completed his doctorate in music. 

He currently resides in Montgomery, where he directs the classical guitar program at Carver Elementary Arts Magnet School and holds a faculty position at Huntingdon College.

João Paulo Figueirôa is recognized today as one of the most influential classical guitar players from Brazil. Figueirôa has also participated in many international guitar competitions. His most recent award was first prize at the Columbus State Guitar Symposium in 2007.

Figueirôa studied at The Universidade Federal da Bahia, where he earned a bachelor degree and pre-college artist diploma in music. He later earned his master and doctoral degrees in music from Florida State University. 

Currently, he serves as professor of guitar studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Figueirôa also contributes to many cultural projects with the Embassy of Brazil and serves as a board member for the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association, where he is co-chair for the Northern Virginia District Auditions.

The next event is a flamenco guitar masterclass hosted by Grisha Goryachev, that will take place in Smith Hall room 121 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Goryachev, a Russian native, is a guitarist renowned for his experimentation with both classical and flamenco styles. 

In 2005, Goryachev was awarded the prize for Best Performance of Spanish Music at the VI International Classical Guitar Competition “Julian Arcás” in Almería, Spain.

Grisha earned his Bachelor, Master and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. A firm believer in exposing the young generations to the beauty of classical and flamenco guitar, he said he likes to include Outreach performances and workshops at schools as part of his concert tours.

Gibson said the event “was a great opportunity to bring world-class artists to campus to interact with the students, to work with them and present world-class concerts.”

During the masterclass, elementary, middle and high school guitar competitions will be taking place in the Long Hall practice room from 1-3:30 p.m.

An ensemble concert will take place in Long Hall from 4-4:45 p.m. The ensemble will be a collaborative concert with students who register to participate.

The ensemble will perform music arranged and composed by Troy students.

From 5-6:30 p.m., college students from several colleges in the surrounding areas, as well as Troy University, will participate in a public competition in Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall.

The winner of this competition will be commissioned for a masterclass and concert at the next annual guitar festival.

The final and main event will be a performance by Grisha Goryachev in Long Hall that will begin at 7 p.m.

“I think it’s going to be one of the best (festivals) we’ve put on so far,” Gibson said.

All concerts are free to Troy University students.

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