An offshoot of our annual James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition is the fund Mr. Stroud generously set up at the Conservatory for the Classical Guitar Entrepreneurship Award. Each year, the guitar students assemble lists of their accomplishments for consideration. The intent is to encourage professionally-oriented activities over and above the required ones in the curriculum.
Brian King gave a riveting solo recital last year, his freshman year at Oberlin. This year, he decided to save his work on his solo material for a Fall program and instead to give a full program this spring with his flutist partner, Katie Kim.
Mohit Dubey gave a tremendously successful full-length solo recital last year, his freshman year at Oberlin, and he was dubious about being able to do it again the very next year. But he came through, in spades, with another highly impressive, varied and again, incredibly successful full-length solo recital.
Lenny gave a tremendous performance for his final Oberlin recital. He played in the gorgeous Stull Recital Hall to a capacity crowd. His program was a challenging combination of major solo works (Bach, Martin and Takemitsu) and a concerto, the Villa Lobos, accompanied by one of Oberlin's expert staff accompanists, Yu Sakamoto.
The students of the Oberlin guitar studio played chamber music last week on the Kulas Recital Hall stage, demonstrating some of their work for this semester's Guitar Ensemble classes.
The renowned bluegrass+ band, The Punch Brothers, has had a performers-in-residence affiliation with Oberlin for several years. They come each year for a concert and stay for several days of residency, giving master classes, workshops, participating in open jam sessions and so on. It is a highly popular annual event which draws equally from the Conservatory/College and the community. My schedule permitted my attending the guitar workshop this year.
Julius Reder Carlson was a talented and vibrant member of my guitar studio for a couple of years, in the early 00's. He left Oberlin to travel and study tango in South America. After a while I lost track of him and so was surprised and delighted when he was hired as a sabbatical replacement in Oberlin's Musicology department this year. In the interim, he'd gotten an MM in musicology from the Universidad de Chile and Ph.D.s in musicology and ethnomusicology from UCLA., along with his many travels.
At Oberlin, guitar students often play full-length solo recitals in their first years. It is part of my "more-recitals" theory of teaching, in which, when a student has suitable material that is properly prepared, they perform it, whenever that is. By following this plan, they will play three or four full recitals before graduating, rather than the required one and a half. (See More Student Recitals).
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--