Composers/Arrangers

Armin Abdihodzic

Armin began playing classical guitar at age 8 which led him to a wide range of solo and chamber performances in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Brazil, and all through the United States. He finished elementary and high school in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina, graduated Summa cum Laude from William Carey University, received his Master’s degree from the East Carolina University, and completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas.

As a performer, Dr. Abdihodzic received top prizes in many international competitions: Columbus State Guitar Symposium, Appalachian State International Guitar Competition, Allegro Guitar Competition, Rosario International Guitar Competition, North Carolina Academy of Music Guitar Competition, Mississippi Guitar Competition, Pine Belt Guitar Symposium, Mississippi Federation of Music Clubs; and many other awards. As a composer/arranger, Dr. Abdihodzic was one of the finalists in KCACTF competition in Washington D.C. for his performance and original score written for Jules Tasca’s play “The Balkan Women.” Recently, he has appeared as a guest soloist with the Anchorage Civic Orchestra and the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra; as well as with the Anchorage Opera in the production of “Maria de Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla. Besides being a full-time professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Dr. Abdihodzic is a frequent collaborator at the Karlovac Summer Guitar School (Croatia) and one of the founders of Bihac Summer Guitar Workshop (Bosnia and Herzegovina). He is also a member of Borealis Guitar Quartet (Anchorage, Alaska), Duo Alisio (with Josinaldo Costa), and commonly performs with local soloists and ensembles.

For more information and updated performance dates you can visit www.arminabd.com

John S. Arnold

 John Arnold

John presently teaches guitar at Moravian College where he teaches private lessons (classical, flamenco, lute, fingerstyle), guitar ensemble, flute & guitar ensemble, guitar literature & guitar pedagogy. Additionally, Mr. Arnold teaches the guitar program at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts in Bethlehem, PA. Prior to these positions, he taught guitar at Bennington College in Vermont. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has performed with numerous ensembles including the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Sage City Symphony, Satori, Two Part Invention, Gabriel Chamber Ensemble, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Kennedy Center, Musikfest, Godfrey Daniels, Wall Guitar Festival, Bach-Handel Festival, Philadelphia Classical Guitar Series, Festival of the Human Voice, HCC Guitar Mini-Fest, Hartt International Guitar Festival, and on National Public Radio & Television. Recently, Mr. Arnold was featured on NPR’s “Behind the Guitar” hosted by Craig Thatcher and sponsored by C.F. Martin & Company.

In 2002, John was awarded the T. Edgar Shields Prize for distinguished studio instruction at Moravian College where his students have won many competitions, including the MC Concerto Competition, Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society Competition, Friends of Music Competition, and the prestigious GFA Competition (Youth Division). From 2000-2012, he founded and directed the Bethlehem Guitar Festival, bringing to the Lehigh Valley some of the most outstanding guitarists the world has to offer. In 2011, Shenandoah Conservatory presented John with the Alumnus of Excellence Award, recognizing alumni for doing outstanding work in their field. In addition to teaching and performing, John has been a judge for many guitar competitions including the Schadt String Competition, Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition, John & Susie Beatty Competition, and the Godfrey Daniels Competition. Recent recording projects include the works of William Foden and his contemporaries and the guitar compositions of Glenn Caluda.

Mr. Arnold holds an Artist Diploma degree from the Hartt School, University of Hartford, where he studied with Richard Provost; Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Guitar Performance and Guitar Pedagogy from Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University, where his teacher was Glenn Caluda.

Scott Borg

Praised as having “enormous facility on the guitar, a fluent technique, who plays with total confidence and professional expertise, panache and artful spontaneity”, Australian classical guitarist and Augustine Artist Scott Borg performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, and is known for his colorful, refined, and daring performances. With a string of international scholarships and prizes under his belt, including the Australian Music Examinations Board highest honor, the Fellowship in Music Australia (F.Mus.A), his previous engagements have included performances at the Festival Internacional de Guitarra Mérida (Mexico), ICPNA Guitar Festival (Peru), the Shell Darwin International Festival (Australia), New York’s Apollo Theatre and Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Ateneo de Madrid, and performed for the Westminster Kennel Club. In 2006 he was invited to perform for President Hu Jintao, Peoples Republic of China, at his internationally televised address to the United States of America. As a winner of Artists International, NY Concert Review described his Carnegie Hall debut as “well balanced, gracefully presented, and expertly played… each note was purposeful and focused, as was each rest.” His performances have been broadcasted on Australian and American radio stations including ABC Classic FM and NPR. He was also featured on MTV2.

Mr Borg began his guitar studies at the age of seven with his father, Victor, and was soon after accepted into the young artists program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts (New England Conservatory), Artist Diploma (Yale University), Masters of Music (The Juilliard School) and a Bachelor of Creative Arts with First Class Honours (University of Wollongong). His previous mentors have included Eliot Fisk, Sharon Isbin, Benjamin Verdery, Gregory Pikler, and Christopher Keane.

As a conductor, he is the director of the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society Orchestra, and was previously director of the Boston Guitar Orchestra (2009-2016) and have performed in diverse venues ranging from the Ateneo de Madrid and Boston’s Jordan Hall, to the Newburyport Lantern Festival and the 2014 VietAID. He has conducted and given guest lectures at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention and Competition, New Hampshire All State, Peabody Conservatory’s ‘Fretfest’, Mid-Atlantic Guitar Ensembles Festival, and the New England Guitar Ensembles Festival.

His debut CD, ‘On an Overgrown Path’ is available on the Odradek Label. Mr Borg is currently on faculty at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, and is Artistic Director of the Mid-Maryland Guitar Festival. Mr Borg is a Augustine Artist and uses Augustine Regal strings. He plays a 2006 Smallman & Sons, and  “Aranda”, a guitar by Stephan Connor.

David Burdick

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David Burdick earned his DMA from the University of Texas at Austin.  He has taught commercial music, composition, and guitar at Millikin since 1989, and is faculty adviser for the Millikin Songwriters Guild. He has recently installed and wired his own recording studio, which during its first seven months of operation released fourteen CDs. He continues to perform professionally on guitar and acoustic bass in the Central Illinois region. His last two compositions have enjoyed a number of performances around the country and his most recent piece has been performed at two festivals.

Keith Calmes

Keith Calmes earned degrees in Classical Guitar Performance from California State University Northridge, The Juilliard School, and the University of Southern California. His performance credits include a Carnegie Hall recital debut, concerti with the Monmouth Symphony, a performance with Maestro Carlos Barbosa-Lima and a decade of concerts and recordings with flautist Marjorie Koharski. Many composers have written for Keith, including Roger Aldridge, Will Ayton, Timothy Broege, Frank Campo, Ruben Delgado, Jurg Kindle, Chiel Meijering, Maximo Diego Pujol, Stepan Rak, Kevin Siegfried, Jean-Maurice Mourat and Jim Scully. Keith has several solo recordings (All We Know is Now; Still Life and Simple Dreams) duet recordings with Chiel Meijering, (The Girls Collection) and (Classic Surf Guitar) available at CD Baby and iTunes.

Although usually considered a classical guitarist, Keith’s musical diversity can be attested to: He has jammed with Jazz master Jim Hall and opened for artists such as Surf legend Dick Dale and Flamenco virtuoso Juan Serrano. A deep interest in Indian rhythms has led to studies and performances with percussion virtuoso Selvaganesh Vinayakram (Remember Shakti, Arka, etc.).  As a guitarist in the US Army band program, Keith toured as part of Jazz and Rock bands. He even grew up playing in bands during the formative years of Punk Rock in Central California.

Keith teaches guitar at Wall High School in New Jersey and was presented the Outstanding Teacher Award from The College of New Jersey. He has also taught at USC, Drury University, Monmouth University, Kean University, Brooklyn College, Harford Community College and Ocean County College. Mel Bay Publications has published several of his books, including Guitar Music of the 16th Century, Sacred Solos for Classical Guitar and The Eight Masterpieces of Alonso Mudarra.. Keith endorses Godin Guitars and strings and K & K acoustic pickups. He also performs on a  guitar built for him by Kristopher Barnett. His interests include the 21-string Classical harp guitar.

“Varied and innovative…a real artist, his primary concern is the music, first and foremost.” The Aquarian

“Diverse performing skills…extremely well played…very listenable”- Classical Guitar Magazine

Glenn J. Caluda
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Glenn Caluda was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. From 1970-1973, he served as guitarist and bassist with the Soldiers’ Chorus of the United States Army Field Band in Washington, D.C. After military service, Dr. Caluda earned a Master of Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D from Louisiana State University. In 1975, he became the first full-time guitar teacher at Shenandoah College and Conservatory (now Shenandoah University) in Winchester, Virginia, where he established the classical guitar program. In 2013, after thirty-eight years, he retired from Shenandoah University.

Mr. Caluda studied guitar with the renowned guitar pedagogue Aaron Shearer as well as other fine teachers and players. He has presented classes and clinics at various state and national music educators’ conventions. His publications include journal articles, compositions for solo guitar, arrangements for guitar ensemble, and music for children’s choir. Dr. Caluda is also an active performer as a soloist and in various ensembles. He is published with Theodore PresserClear Note Publications, Mel BayLes Productions D’oz and CanticaNova Publications.

 

John Cardoni

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John Cardoni is an Adjunct Instructor of Guitar at Belmont University, where he teaches commercial guitar, guitar class, and performs with the Faculty Jazz Group. He came to Nashville from the Midwest, having been born in Indiana and spending most of his formative years in Central Illinois.  He earned his M.M. in Commercial Music with an emphasis in guitar performance from Belmont University in 2013. His graduate recital and research focused on exploring the music and playing styles of some of Nashville’s most prolific guitarists. He received his B.M. in Commercial Music from Millikin University in 2004. His undergraduate studies centered on both classical and jazz guitar, music theory, arranging, and recording studio work. In 2008, Mr. Cardoni joined the Millikin faculty as an adjunct guitar professor. He taught classical and commercial lessons, directed the secondary guitar ensemble, and led a pop/rock combo. He also composed and arranged multiple pieces for classical guitar ensemble. His arrangement of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is featured as the title track for a 2010 Christmas album by the Millikin Guitar Ensemble.

Mr. Cardoni regularly performs across the country with Nashville-based bands and artists. Currently he works with the 12 South Band, an event/wedding band.  From 2014 to 2015 he was lead guitarist and band leader for American Idol alum Josh Gracin. He has also played alongside Amy Grant, Danny Gottlieb, Kristin Kelly, Amber Carrington (from The Voice), Maynard Ferguson, and Chuck Day. In addition, he has had the opportunity to open for Little Richard, Craig Morgan, Keith Anderson, NEEDTOBREATHE, and Blue Rodeo. So far, Mr. Cardoni has recorded nine albums with four different bands, along with various session and demo work. For six years he helped lead a 9-piece funk/fusion band out of Normal, IL, called Public Display of Funk. The band recorded three albums that featured many of his original compositions and arrangements. He recorded four more records with an original alt-country group called The Micah Walk Band while living in Springfield, IL. Mr. Cardoni believes much can be learned from all varieties of music.

Ruben Delgado

 

Ruben Delgado is well known for his artful arrangements of Latin music through the Music of Mexico series published by the Mel Bay Company. He earned a Master’s Degree in guitar performance from CSU, Fresno and has recently retired from a full-time teaching career to pursue his love of composition. Ruben has many years of experience as an arranger, composer and performer. He composes in a tonal style which he feels reflects the true nature and beauty of the guitar.

*Ruben would like to thank Tony Manjarrez for his invaluable and ongoing assistance with the music notation software used for these works.

Julie Goldberg

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Named Guitarist of the year by Classical Guitar Alive, an internationally-broadcast radio program, Julie Goldberg is a dynamic performer whose concerts win critical acclaim throughout the U.S. She is the first guitarist to receive a Doctorate in Music Performance from Northwestern University and holds degrees from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Dedicated to the exploration of music from this century, Julie has premiered many new works for solo guitar and guitar ensemble. Composers Thomas FlippinMartha Horst, and Tiffany Sevilla have written and dedicated new compositions to Julie Goldberg.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Julie began studying classical guitar at the age of 15, quickly winning a scholarship to attend the prestigious National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. Before graduating with a Master of Music from Cincinnati, she won both the WGUC Fine Arts Radio Competition and the Three Arts Award for Music Performance. Julie has studied guitar under Claire Callahan, Robert Guthrie, Sonia Michelson, Pamela Kimmel and Ann Waller. She has performed in the master classes of Oscar Ghiglia, Manuel Barrueco, Pepe Romero, David Russell and Sharon Isbin, among others.

An active and versatile recitalist, Julie has performed in solo and ensemble concerts throughout the United States including concerts in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Michigan and Washington, D.C. She has been featured on the internationally known Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago and has been nominated to the Illinois and Heartland Council Touring Rosters. She performs regularly with the Avanti Guitar Trio. Dr. Goldberg is currently on the faculty of North Park University, and VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. She has the privilege of working with talented and dedicated students who have won the Society of American Musicians Competition, Evanston Music Club Competition, and Northpark University Performance Award. They have received high praise, scholarships, and admittance into top college and conservatory guitar programs across the United States.

A sought-after clinician, Julie has been a guest artist at the Interlochen Adult Guitar Workshop, University of Cincinnati Summer Guitar Workshop, Wisconsin Center of Music Education, Illinois Music Education Association, Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival and the Michigan Music Conference. Overseas, she taught master classes at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, Hanoi and the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music. Her newly published instructional book, 100 Classical Guitar Lessons, is available through Hal Leonard Publications. Julie believes music can change a person, help a society and improve the quality of life. She is founder and director of the Chicago Community Classical Guitar Ensemble, an outreach organization that presents concerts in community centers, nursing homes, and senior centers. She directs the New Chicago Young Guitarists Program, which provides free lessons to underserved children and is a founding and performing musician in the Healing Arts, a live Music Program at Edward Hospital which brings music to hospital patients and their family members.

 

Joe Hagedorn

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Joseph Hagedorn teaches Applied Guitar, Class Guitar and directs the Guitar Ensemble at UW-River Falls. Since his career was launched by winning the 1990 Guitar Foundation of America solo competition, Joseph has maintained an active performing career as a soloist and chamber musician. Praised for his passionate performances and flawless technique as well as his varied programs — on guitar and Renaissance lute — Joseph’s solo and concerto appearances have taken him to more than 25 American cities and to Canada. In 1995 he was awarded the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and is now a performing member and the Managing Director of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartetwww.minneapolisguitarquartet.com

With the passion, style, and musical sophistication borrowing from the best chamber music and string quartet traditions, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet has successfully made its case as one of the world’s leading guitar ensembles since its founding in 1986. “Flawless, musical and witty” (Classical Guitar Magazine, England), the MGQ has performed throughout the United States both in recital and concerto appearances, balancing a dizzying array of first-rate repertoire ranging from Renaissance and Baroque to Spanish, Latin American, and Romantic, to highly imaginative existing and commissioned contemporary works. Cutting-edge composer/performer Daniel Bernard Roumain, one of more than 20 composers commissioned by the MGQ, calls the group “more than a guitar quartet, more than superb musicians, and more than a great chamber group. They are ambassadors of sound, style, and substance.”

Joseph has also performed regularly with Violinist Leslie Shank as the Shank-Hagedorn Duo since 1989 with concerts in Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin, California and Mexico. They have performed on the nationally broadcast Saint Paul Sunday with host Bill McGlauglin and premiered new works written for them by Janika Vandervelde, Homer Lambrecht and Dean Magraw. Joseph Hagedorn earned the Bachelor of Music degree at Cornell College and the Master of Music from the University of Minnesota.

Philip Hemmo

Philip Hemmo is known throughout the Unites States as a teacher and performer of the classical guitar. As a faculty member at the Universityof Arizona, Pima Communtiy College, the University of Illinois, Springfield, and his new post at Notre Dame Preparatory High School in Scottsdale, AZ, he continues to foster the next generation of classical guitarist. His academic training includes degrees from the University ofArizona (B.M.) and Illinois State University (M.M.), as well as study at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv. He has been featured in concert throughout the US and Mexico as a soloist as well as working with symphonies and chamber ensembles. He has performed such large ensemble works as RamanceroGitano by Castanuavo-Tedesco, Concerto in D Major by Antonio Vivaldi, Fantasia para un Gentilhombre by Joaquin Rodrigo, as well as numeroussmall ensemble work. Mr. Hemmo’s students include international competition winners, performing artists, and current University Instructors. Mr. Hemmo is the author of the guitar method text ‘Beginning Classroom Guitar’ (Thompson Learning 1998 & 2004) which is the textbook of choice for guitar courses across the United States. His recordings ‘Guitar Recital’ (2013), ‘The 20th Century Guitar’ (2012) as well as ‘Romantic Works for Classical Guitar’ (2010) have been released on the Project Aurora Recordings label to national acclaim.

Wes Hixson

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As a solo guitarist, chamber musician and composer, Wes Hixson writes accessible classical music for guitar, paying homage to his early influences of classical, prog-rock, metal, jazz, and folk music from around the world. While much of his music draws inspiration from nature, psychology and film, he often borrows form and harmony techniques from classical, jazz and pop as a foundation for his compositions. All of these elements combine in a transparent blend of styles create stirring, new music for the guitar. Over the years Wes has made several recordings with various groups, as well as a solo recording titled CAPRICE, which features his original solo guitar compositions and classical guitar favorites from the last 500 years. Since 2005, Wesley has been on the faculty of Elmhurst College and frequently serves as clinician and adjudicator at festivals and competitions throughout the U.S. Currently he is a member of the Avanti Guitar Trio http://www.avantiguitartrio.com/.

 

Nate Jackson

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A native of Martinsville, Illinois, Nate Jackson has been a member of the Lincoln-Way District #210 music faculty since 2001, where he teaches all levels of guitar. Nate earned degrees in guitar performance from Millikin University and Northern Illinois University, as well as obtaining education certification through NIU. Mr. Jackson’s Guitar Studio Ensemble has been an annual participant of the Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival.  Guitar Studio has been featured in performance at the  Illinois Music Education Conference, and has toured extensively across the United States and Canada.

Mr. Jackson’s motivation for composition, born out of need and desire to create new works for performance by his Guitar Studio class, has resulted in the creation of exciting and accessible repertoire for guitar ensembles of many levels.

In addition to teaching, Nate is a sought-after professional guitarist who performs in various venues throughout the Chicagoland area. He resides in New Lenox with his family.

 

Adam Kossler

ADAM Kossler

Virtuoso technique, beautiful sound and a sincere musicality” are terms music critics are using to describe American guitarist Adam Kossler. In addition to performing regularly as a solo artist, Adam joins his father William and brother John in both duo and trio concerts.

Kossler is a top prizewinner in a number of national and international guitar competitions including the Boston Guitarfest, Columbus Guitar Symposium, East Carolina Guitar Competition, MANC Guitar Competition, Texas International Guitar Competition, Music Teacher National Association Competition, and the Appalachian Guitarfest Competition. Kossler’s international performance career has taken him throughout the US, Canada and Central America. He has been a featured artist with numerous concert series including the John E. Marlow Guitar Series (Bethesda, MD), Isle Newell Concert Series (Appalachicola, FL), and the Seven Hills Guitar Series (Tallahassee, FL) among many others. In 2015, his Marlow Guitar Series performance was aired in its entirety on Classical WETA’s weekly program, “Front Row Washington”. In addition to his performance career, Kossler is also in demand as a teacher and clinician. Recent engagements include The Denver Guitar Summit (Denver, CO), Festival Internacional Suzuki (Guatemala City, Guatemala), University of Alaska Guitar Festival (Anchorage, AK), Rantucci Guitar Festival (Buffalo, NY), and in 2015 Kossler was the featured Artist in Residence for Utah Classical Guitar (Salt Lake City, UT).

In 2014, Kossler released his first solo recording, Guitar Recital. The album was received with enthusiasm by critics and audiences and was featured Tom Cole’s show, “The G String” on WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington D.C. In 2015, Kossler released his second solo record, Ekloge, an album of 20thcentury music, including works by Joaquin Rodrigo, Manuel Maria Ponce and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, as well as his own new transcriptions of music by Jean Sibelius.

Adam Kossler began his musical studies with his father, William Kossler. He went on to earn his BM degree at East Carolina University with Dr. Elliot Frank, his MM degree at Appalachian State University as a teaching assistant to Dr. Douglas James, and completed a DMA in Guitar Performance at Florida State University where he served as a teaching assistant to Bruce Holzman.

John Kossler

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John Kossler started his guitar studies through the Suzuki Method with his father, William Kossler, at the age of four years old.  He eventually attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, North Carolina, studying under Joseph Pecoraro.  Placing in competitions such as the ECU Guitar Festival in Greenville, North Carolina, the Young Arts Festival in Miami, Florida, and the Music Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina, John then attended Wake Forest University, studying under Patricia Dixon. During his education at WFU, he performed in European cities including Milan, Italy and Postojna, Slovenia.  He has also won the New York Artists International Competition for 2016, performing at Carnegie Hall.  John has just finished his Masters of Musical Arts degree in guitar performance with Ben Verdery.  Along with writing and arranging music, he currently teaches and performs throughout the country.

 

Manley Mallard

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Manley Mallard has completed twenty nine years of teaching at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. He earned his undergraduate degree at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia, studying with Glenn Caluda. He completed his graduate studies at Kent State University in Ohio and Webster University, St. Louis, MO. He has taught both classical and jazz guitar since 1981. In 1991, he initiated and hosted the first Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival at Millikin University and subsequently hosted it again in 1995, 2001 and again in 2014. At the 20th Mid-America Festival on March 25, 2012, he was honored by MAGEF and received an award for outstanding Leadership, Dedication and Service to the Guitar Community.

Early in his career, he became keenly aware of the importance of guitar ensemble in nurturing young guitarists, especially in improving reading skills and musicianship. In the early eighties, when there were few arrangements for guitar ensemble, Manley, like many other guitarists, started transcribing and arranging works for guitar ensemble and has continued to do so over the past 30 years. To date, he has over one hundred works that he has transcribed, arranged and or edited for various publishers including Clear Note PublicationsLes Productions D’ozMel Bay and Guitar Chamber Music Press. His most recent publication is the complete Solo Lute Works by Ernst Gottlieb Baron. See an example here: Music 

William Mallard

Currently a student at Berklee College of Music.

Jonathan Marshall

Jonathan Marshall is a Michigan born Classical Guitarist/Composer, and he currently teaches at Grand Rapids Community College and Cornerstone University.  Mr. Marshall also owns and operates Jonathan Marshall Guitars (Concert Classical Guitar Dealer), and runs Grand Rapids Community College’s International Guitar Series. He studied under the classical guitarist and vocalist Brian Morris at Grand Rapids Community College, Carlos De La Barrera at Grand Valley State University, and Completed his Master’s degree at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati under Professor Clare Callahan.

Jonathan teaches and composes in a wide variety of styles, from classical, to jazz and pop.  His recent performances include various classical guitar concerts, performances with The Brass Band of Battle Creek, and weddings/private parties throughout Michigan.

Joseph Mayes

Joe Mayes

Joseph Mayes was self-taught until 1963 when he began his studies with Mr. Peter Colona at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. In 1968, Mr. Mayes was awarded an invitational scholarship by the government of Spain to study with the internationally renowned concert guitarist Andres Segovia. Mayes holds degrees in guitar from Thomas Edison College and Shenandoah University. He has performed at prestigious venues both in the United States (Carnegie Recital Hall) and in Europe (the Wigmore Hall, London). Since 1972, Mr. Mayes has been on the faculty of Rowan University where he teaches Guitar, lute, vihuela, and mandolin. With his wife Kathleen, as the Mayes Guitar Duo, he has performed throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The duo recently premiered the work, “On the Heath,” a three-movement duo for renaissance lutes written for the duo by Ronn McFarlane, and “Sayings of Yogi” a song cycle for two guitars and tenor based on the quotes of Yogi Bera, by Roger Hudson. Mayes’ solo recordings span the complete range of the enormous repertoire for the guitar and lute. The Mayes Guitar Duo has released two CDs: Sketches for Two and Romance. They appear regularly at festivals and university concert series. Joe is also published with Clear Note Publications and Mel Bay.

Maja Radovanlija

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Maja Radovanlija was born in Belgrade, Serbia. As a child, she won several awards in music school festivals and competitions in former Yugoslavia. During her high school period, she won second prize at the Petar Konjevic International Competition in Belgrade, performed her first solo recital and took part in a classical music show for National Television of Serbia. Other than classical repertoire, she was strongly attracted to jazz at the end of her High school education and decided to take part in several annual workshops called Classical Musicians Play Jazz led by Vojin Draskoci. Maja continued seeking ways to incorporate improvisation in her musical experience, mostly through playing with a variety of small and chamber ensembles.

Maja completed her Bachelor degree at the University of Belgrade, as a student of Prof. Srdjan Tosic. While studying with Prof. Tosic she won, 1st prize at the International Competition in Kjustendil, Bulgaria and has performed frequently as solo and chamber musician, touring Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Macedonia, Greece, Tunisia, Switzerland and other European countries. Her interest in experimental and improvisational music grew at the same time as her interest in different approaches within the classical guitar repertoire.

As a graduate student (M.M and D.M) at Indiana University, she studied with Ernesto Bitetti. She also had the chance to study early music with lutenist Nigel North, and broaden her repertoire in this direction, as well. Maja won second prize at the Latin-American music competition in 2009 and was included on two compilation CDs in production at the Latin-American Music Center at Indiana University. She has also performed new music written for guitar by D. Freund and A. Travors as a duet and has been collaborating with numerous composition students of the Jacobs School of Music. Beginning in the fall of 2011, she has been appointed as guitar faculty at the School of Music, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.

Anita Thomas

Multi-instrumentalist Anita Thomas delights audiences with her energy, exceptional skill and sincerity. Equally adept at playing clarinet, saxophone and acoustic bass, Anita can be heard performing in jazz as well as classical ensembles. From New Orleans and Dixieland to bebop and contemporary styles, Anita’s accomplishments and experience as a jazz musician are considerable, and her contributions as an arranger, composer, teacher and classical chamber musician are additionally substantive.

Anita was born in the tiny town of Ceduna, Australia but grew up in Sydney, surrounded by many types of music. At the age of ten, she was already studying guitar, flute and clarinet as well as singing in choirs and playing in ensembles. Anita attended a special arts high school affiliated with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she focused on playing classical piano and clarinet. After hearing a live jazz performance at a music store, Anita was inspired to shift her musical focus. She taught herself to play the alto saxophone, attended many music camps and formed a jazz quartet with her bass-playing sister. The family ensemble performed on television and radio, and gave concerts around Sydney. Anita soon earned an Associate Diploma of Jazz Studies in arranging from the Sydney Conservatorium of Musicshe and her early career included teaching instrumental lessons, playing in bands, performing in pit orchestras for musical theater and backing local and international acts.

Anita toured Australia with the virtuosic, multi-instrumentalist James Morrison and was the featured clarinet soloist in John Morrison’s Swing City Big Band. She played in Europe and toured Thailand as lead alto saxophonist with the Mell-o-tones. From 1994 to 2001, the Anita Thomas Quartet/Quintet played at festivals and concerts throughout Australia and made two full-lenth recordings. In addition to performing, Anita was the co-host of a weekly jazz radio program in Sydney for six years and taught for the Pan Pacific Music Camps, where she had once been a student.

In 2001, after enjoying a highly successful musical career touring Australia and parts of Southeast Asia, Anita moved to the Los Angeles area and quickly became an active performing and recording artist on the West Coast. She also began studying with jazz masters Jeff Clayton (saxophone) and Eugene “the Senator” J Wright (bass).

Anita has worked with many diverse artists, performed in celebrated jazz festivals and made recordings with Australian and American jazz, pop, rock, blues and gospel artists. Highlights include performances at the Sydney Opera House and the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage. She was featured playing didjeridoo on the Grammy-nominated composition by Tim Davies, “Counting To Infinity,” and has recorded for soundtracks and with the famed children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles.

In 2004 and 2005, Anita was the reed instructor at the AFDJS Adult Jazz Camp in San Diego and, in 2005, she joined the staff of the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee Jazz Camp and the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Jazz Camp. Work for the jazz camps has been especially meaningful for Anita because her early education and deep-rooted love for jazz was cultivated through similar camps in Sydney.

Since 2008, Anita has resided in the greater Baltimore/Washington DC area where she has performed with the Brooks Tegler Big Band, Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes, and the Blue Crescent Syncopators. In 2014, she released her third CD, “Dominos.” Featuring original compositions, the album has been described as “hard swinging, quirky and fun…jazz from the heart.”

Mark Tonelli

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  • B.M. in Jazz Performance – William Paterson College
  • M.M. in Jazz Studies – University of North Texas
  • Ed.D. in Music Education – Columbia University

Mark Tonelli has enjoyed a diverse career performing with artists such as Clay Aiken, Jon Faddis, Rita Moreno, Carol Channing, Lynn Seaton, Denis DeBlasio, Greg Bissonette, Ed Soph, Andrea McArdle, Al Martino, Bobby Rydell, The Coasters, and The Platters. He has been seen on FOX News and is featured in the Emmy-nominated PBS musical special Marina At West Point. He has had residencies in three major music hubs— New York City, Dallas, and Kansas City— performing at renowned clubs, including NYC’s 55 Bar, Dallas’s Sambuca, and Kansas City’s Green Lady Lounge. His group has released three critically-acclaimed recordings on the MTonal Music label. In addition, Mark has performed in the orchestras of forty musicals, including regional productions of RENT and Evita and a touring production of Les Miserables.

For ten years, Mark was the guitarist for the West Point Band’s Jazz Knights, touring and performing in some of the nation’s top venues, including Jazz Standard, Blues Alley, Jazz Showcase, Kennedy Center, Jazz Kitchen, Avery Fisher Hall, Count Basie Theatre, and The Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame. With the Jazz Knights, Mark performed with a who’s who of jazz legends: Benny Golson, Billy Cobham, Bobby Watson, Randy Brecker, Steve Turre, Rufus Reid, Bob Mintzer, John Riley, Claudio Roditi, Adam Nussbaum, as well as the Boston Pops and the New York Philharmonic Brass Quintet. At West Point, he entertained many dignitaries and public figures, including Colin Powell, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Tom Brokaw.

Mark’s original music has been featured on National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered and he has won composition awards from Billboard Magazine. His jazz ensemble music is published by UNC Jazz Press and FJH Music. His books, Everybody’s Jazz Guitar Method and Way To Play: Jazz Guitar Riffs And Chords, are published by FJH Music. He has written instructional articles for Guitar Player, Downbeat, The Jazz Education Journal, JazzEd, Jazz Improv, Just Jazz Guitar, and The Instrumentalist. He has made presentations on entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary learning at major music conferences, including the Jazz Education Network and College Music Society. For three years he directed the West Point Jazz Festival and has given performance clinics at The National Jazz Workshop, NY State Band Directors Association Conference, and at colleges and universities across the country. His blog, “A Life In Music,” offers entrepreneurial strategies for musicians. www.mtonalmusic.com

Ryan Trommer

Curt Warren

Curt Warren is an active jazz guitarist, known primarily in the southwest, who is quickly making a name for himself on the national scene.  The El Paso Conservatory of Music welcomed Curt to its guitar faculty in the spring of 2011. 1963: Curt began his professional career playing the Frankie Laine show in Las Vegas.1968-1970: Curt played shows in Hawaii including Teresa Brewer, Tony Martin and a televised appearance with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. 1970-1972: Curt was the leader of the El Paso Sheraton house band where he worked with Della Reese, Billy Eckstein, Fran Jefferies, Jerry Van Dyke, Joanne Summers, etc. 1974-1978: Performed with the United States Navy Band, “The Commodores” (the official Navy jazz ensemble) in Washington, DC. While performing with this band, he was a featured soloist at the Newport Jazz Festival, the Midwest Band Convention in Chicago, and at the National Association of Jazz Educators Convention in Dallas, TX. 1978: Curt began his employment as a Professor of Guitar at the University of Texas at El Paso, teaching jazz guitar and jazz improvisation, and performing at various functions and concerts at the university. He continues to work with his own trio in jazz clubs in El Paso where he has played with such greats as Herb Ellis, Bill Watrous, Carl Fontana, Rob McConnell, Bud Shank, Eddie Harris, Joe Newman, Tommy Tedesco, Al Viola and others. 1984: Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Fellowship Grant. 1986: Again received a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Fellowship Grant.

He has three albums to his credit. The first one, I’ve Got the World on a String , was recorded with legendary jazz bassist Monty Budwig. The second, Jazz Ruined My Life, was recorded in Chicago and features the great Chicago jazz pianist Larry Novak, Rusty Jones on drums, and Nick Tountas on bass.  The third album “Jazz Ruined My Life II” was recorded both in Chicago and El Paso, Texas. It was released in October of 1998 by Innovative Strings Records, and is available online via amazon.com. Curt performs annually at the Texas Jazz Festival in Corpus Christi, Texas. He performs and gives clinics around the Chicago area, and in the Albuquerque, El Paso, and Houston areas. Curt is looking forward to expanding his excellent career even further.”