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It's not so often that students of all ages get to play with multi- Grammy™ winning musicians and get their best insights in playing music, unless they have participate in this festival. Several universities brag about their ensembles winning honors as performers during the Festival Guitar Ensemble Competition.
Folks from over 50 cities across the US (including Alaska & Mexico City) have come to hear phenomenal concerts by amazing musicians from all over the world. Professionals, students, and the general public enjoy interacting with greats in acoustic music from many styles in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
In 2002, the Classical Guitar Studies program of what was then the University of Texas Brownsville Music Department, now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Music (UTRGV), partnered with the BSPA and other benefactors to found the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition. About to celebrate its 20th anniversary , it is an academically challenging program respected by classical guitar professionals, teachers, students and aficionados throughout the world. It is the largest event of its kind in the USA. Behind it all is the renowned classical guitar master, Prof. Michael Quantz, head of Classical Guitar Studies at the Brownsville campus and past winner of the University of Texas Regent's Outstanding Teaching Award and the UTB President's Outstanding Teaching Award. He is considered an international leader in classical guitar ensemble education. Dr. Quantz also serves as President of the BSPA festival activities take place at the TSC Arts Center, a state of the arts music hall that accommodates from 30 to 50 guitar ensembles that travel to Brownsville from throughout the USA and Mexico. K-12 to university level participants compete and are judged by experts, celebrities and true masters in their field of study. Past Festivals have featured star performers such as David Russell, Adam del Monte, Paul Galbraith, the Texas Guitar Quartet, Duo Melis, the Tantalus Quartet, Leo Kottke, Martha Masters, Ana Vidović, Shingo Fujii, Los Romeros and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ). This is a superb experience for the public, music lovers of all styles, professionals, and students. They get to meet their idols, attend their performances and participate in their master classes and clinics. For young classical guitar students, being judged favorably by such luminaries is a major lifetime achievement and more than enough reason to practice, practice, practice! Smash the button on the top of this page for further information on the festival.
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