Thursday, July 16, 2009

MTSU Guitar Student wins First Prize in Houston Guitar Competition

BJ Golden wins First Prize in the collegiate division of the Classical Minds Guitar Competition in Houston on July 2, '09. The Classical Minds Competition is part of the Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston.

BJ, who will be a senior at MTSU next year, won the $500 First Prize. He played music of Mertz, Regondi, Bellinati, Morel, and his own jazz transcription of Earl Klugh's Autumn Leaves. BJ played great.

I performed at the festival and enjoyed seeing my colleagues, Doug James, Elliot Frank, Jon Akers, and festival director, Valerie Hartzell.

(photo: Doug, BJ, and I)

I also taught some very talented students. I was particularly amazed and inspired by the level of performance of the high school level students. Texas has emerged as the major 'guitar state' in America - largely through the efforts of Adam Holzman students, particularly Matt Hinsley - director of the Austin Classical Guitar Society, the largest classical guitar society in America that has developed valuable guitar education outreach programs.

I'm happy to say MTSU guitar student BJ Golden is a great example of a guitar student making a living as a performer. Just 2 days after winning this classical guitar competition, BJ took the stage on July 4th as a sideman for the country group Carolina Rain in a performance for several thousand people in Salt Lake City.

Houston was quite warm, 102 everyday and very little rain. I was amazed that it stayed so warm at night, only 'cooling down' to only about 88 degrees by the wee hours. Sooo happy to be back. See my next post.

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