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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Seventh SU Guitar Festival and Competition Apr. 24-25

Colin DavinSALISBURY, MD---Guitarists of all ages have the opportunity to participate in Salisbury University’s seventh annual Guitar Festival and Competition, Friday-Saturday, April 24-25, featuring classes, workshops and concerts.

From 4:30-9 p.m. Friday, activities include hands-on workshops in rock, blues and jazz guitar, led by Vendim Thaqi, Mike Elzey and Ian Wardenski.

That evening, participants also have the opportunity to perform in a blues and rock guitar playing competition, a new event this year. Prizes include an electric guitar, donated by Paul Reed Smith Guitars of Stevensville, MD. The winner of each age group (11 and under, 12-15 and 16 and up) also receives two hours of studio recording time, donated by Colleen Clark of SU’s Music Department, Suzanna Mallow of AMi-Seagull Studios in Salisbury and Shea Springer of Sweetfoot Studios in Easton, MD.

Saturday’s events, focusing on classical guitar, include master classes by Colin Davin and Ian Wardenski, as well as workshops, a Festival Ensemble and a classical playing competition from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Winners of Saturday’s competition vie for more than $2,000 in prizes and D’Addario and Planet Waves merchandise. Advance registration is recommended for all competitions.

Festival attendees also have the opportunity to meet Michael Byle, senior acoustic luthier at Paul Reed Smith Guitars. Instruments made by the company are played by such music legends as Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro, Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin.

This year’s Festival Ensemble will play a commissioned piece by Kevin Cope, winner of the 2011 Delaware Division of the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowship for Music Composition. He was featured on the cover of Soundboard Magazine’s 40th anniversary edition. A Suzuki guitar instructor in the Newark, DE, area, he has worked for the Bloomsburg University Preparatory Program, University of Delaware Community Music School and Darlington Arts Center in Shavertown, PA.

Davin rounds out the festival with a public performance at 5 p.m. in the Great Hall of Holloway Hall. He has performed at venues including New York’s Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (on historical instruments from the museum’s collection) and Merkin Concert Hall (with New York Philharmonic ensembles). In 2013, he served as a guest artist and faculty member at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, Afghanistan through an international music outreach program.

American Record Guide hailed his debut solo album, The Infinite Fabric of Dreams, as “some of the finest interpretations I’ve heard … achingly beautiful … a thoughtful, perceptive interpretation, filled with details often missed.” Soundboard called it “a first-rate disc,” adding “Davin knows the pieces deeply and delivers virtuosic and exciting performances.”

Classes and workshops on both days are open to all ages, skill levels and string type.  Friday registration is $20, $15 for participants in school groups or ensembles, $10 for SU students with ID. Admission for parents accompanying their children to Friday’s activities is free. Saturday registration is $50 for participants, $25 for participants in school groups or ensembles $15 for parents, including all classes, activities and lunch. Advance registration is available online at Day-of registration is available, but those registering that weekend may not be assured of participation in master classes or competitions due to scheduling limitations.

For more information, including complete competition rules, call Dr. Danielle Cumming, festival director, at 410-677-3269, email or visit the festival website.

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