A swarm of talented musicians will converge upon Weatherford College next week for the Lone Star Guitar Festival and Competition.
Scheduled in the Alkek Fine Arts Center July 23 through July 26, the four-day event will include a packed schedule of master’s classes, competition and concerts by some of the most talented guitarists around.
Canadian guitarist Emma Rush is one of many performers on the concert schedule for the weekend and is also the muse for the Weatherford event. After her good friend, WC guitar instructor Will Douglas, witnessed the success of the Hamilton International Guitar Festival in Ontario organized by Rush he was inspired to create a similar event at home.
“Seeing what she has done for the guitar in Canada and the good her festival has done in her community was truly inspirational,” Douglas said. “It's why she was a ‘must have’ for the Lone Star Guitar Festival.”
Work on the festival began more than a year ago, which provided ample time to secure a number of talented musicians whom Douglas has encountered over the past 14 years through his university studies or through Guitar Fort Worth, a program that connects artists with sponsored school children.
“These artists know the work we have done, and when I asked them to play, the enthusiasm was overwhelming,” Douglas said.
The Lone Star Guitar Festival lineup includes Grammy-nominated composer and award winning film-director Apostolos Paraskevas from the Berklee College of Music and classical and flamenco guitarist Grisha Goryachev of Russia among many more.
“A part from being some of the finest guitarists in the world, these are truly kind people who are just a lot of fun to be around,” Douglas said. “I invited them specifically because they will talk to every student or concert goer and make them feel like they are really a part of this festival. Not just a spectator.
“Yes, the concert goer will be blown away by the shear technical ability of these guitarist. The virtuosity and power that these players bring to the stage is astounding, but what I hope they leave with is a personal experience with each artist that will really inspire them on a deeper level.”
Douglas hopes to see this festival prosper and flourish into an annual event, one that shows the guitar world a taste of something truly Texan, which makes Weatherford the ideal location.
And in the truly Weatherford spirit, a portion of the proceeds from every T-shirt and ticket sold will be donated to the Parker County Committee on Aging and the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter.
The opening concert on Thursday, July 23, by Goryachev will also feature special guests – area police officer, firefighters and first responders who have received tickets for the “Hero Plus One” initiative.
“Any local officers who would like to attend can contact us,” Douglas said. “We've already given away quite a few, but we still have a few Hero tickets for any first responders. We are honored to have them.”
More than 60 master classes are scheduled for the Lone Star Guitar Festival, and, for those wishing to compete, there are still a few spots available. Concerts are open to the public. Ticket pricing and other information can be found at www.lonestarguitarfest.com.
Select to print Lonestar Guitar Fest poster.