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2016 James Stroud All-Ohio Classical Guitar Competition

2016 James Stroud All-Ohio Classical Guitar Competition

The latest edition of the annual guitar competition founded and funded by James Stroud (the thirteenth!) took place in Oberlin last weekend. It featured guest artists Mark DelPriora and Christopher Mallett (a 2007 Oberlin alum--see his profile here). Mallett and DelPriora split the opening concert, Friday night and I played a chamber music program Saturday afternoon. The competition took place entirely on Saturday, with the finals capping the event that evening. Finally, our guests taught some of the Oberlin students in master classes on Sunday. It was a wonderful and upbeat event that left participants and audience both smiling.

The important announcement, first, of the winners:

Left-to-Right: 1st prize, Tim Beattie (Cleveland Institute of Music), 2nd prize Jeremy Avalos (University of Akron), 3rd prize, Yeram Yoon, (Cleveland Institute of Music), and 4th prize Brian King (Oberlin Conservatory).

What follows is a photo-log of the weekend.

First, our opening concert. Christopher Mallett (all recital programs at end of post):

Closing the program, Mark DelPriora:

In the Conservatory's Kulas Lounge, guitar dealer David Conti and luthier Bob Stebbins displayed instruments:

The Quarter-Finals began at 9:30 Saturday morning and took place in Oberlin's gorgeous Stull Recital Hall. Afterwards, everyone gathered in the lounge for the announcement.

James Stroud reads off the names of the Semi-Finalists.

The Semi-Finals began at 2, also in Stull. The results were announced at the beginning of my recital. Here is my ensemble, playing the Rebaye Quartet in Am, with flutist Jane Berkner, violist Michael Isaac Strauss and cellist Darrett Adkins:

At the opening of the finals Jim and I explained to the audience a little about the history of the event.

The finals began with Tim Beattie, playing works of Legnani, Walton and Rodrigo:

Next, Yerem Yoon played works of Henze, Bach and Barrios:

After a short pause, Brian King played works of Berkeley, Barrios and Bach:

Finally, Jeremy Avalos played works of Regondi and Brouwer:

At the end of the performance and after the judge's deliberations, Mr. Stroud and the other two judges took the stage and some preliminary announcements were made, keeping the excitement high:

The finalists were asked to join them on the stage and the winners were announced:

And here are the winners, with Jim Stroud:

And here again, with all the judges:

Chris Mallett, Tim Beattie (1st), Jeremy Avalos (2nd), Jim Stroud,

Yerem Yoon (3rd) and Brian King (4th), Mark DelPriora

At a reception in the lounge afterwards, we gathered to discuss the events and visit. It was nice!

The next day, Mark and Chris taught a few lessons to Conservatory students. Here, Collin Sterne gets a lesson on the Theme and Variations of Lennox Berkeley:

Rebecca Klein played the Andante from Morel's Sonatina:

For Chris, Rebecca played the opening movement from the same Sonatina:

Mohit Dubey played Moreno-Torroba's Torija:

And Collin played for him the Giuliani Variations on La Folia:

In all, it was a delightful and music-filled weekend. Some young guitarists got a nice push forward with a win and everyone else walked away having practiced hard, and so gotten better, having heard lots of great music-making and once again, spending time with other Ohio guitar students. 

Many thanks to all who helped out and contributed to making the event possible, especially James Stroud, without whose continuing generosity the event would not have been possible.

Collin Stern's Freshman Recital

Collin Stern's Freshman Recital

Isaac Bustos at Oberlin Conservatory

Isaac Bustos at Oberlin Conservatory