MTSU's 15th Guitar Festival Starts Thursday

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Master guitarists of all ages will converge on MTSU once again this coming Thursday through Saturday, June 2nd through 4th. They are ready to perform in concert and teach in master classes at the 15th annual Tennessee Guitar Festival.

"This competition brings in world-class guitarists," said Dr. William Yelverton, festival director and a professor of music at MTSU. "This is a unique opportunity to hear some of the finest young guitarists in America compete for prestige and prize money.

"The Saturday night finals will be an awesome display of solo guitar playing. I particularly hope young guitarists from the community take this opportunity to hear this event, the largest of its kind in the state. It only happens once a year."

Dr. Elliot Frank from East Carolina University and Dr. Cain Budds from Louisiana Tech will present the festival's opening night concert Thursday, June 2, at 8 p.m. on the Hinton Music Hall stage inside the university's Wright Music Building.

Headlining this year's festival are internationally renowned classical guitarist Stephen Robinson, director of the guitar program at Florida's Stetson University, and the 2015 Tennessee Guitar Festival's first-prize winner, Stephen Lochbaum, a multi-competition-winning musician who's working on a doctoral degree at the University of North Texas. The pair will perform in an 8 p.m. concert Friday, June 3, in Hinton Hall.

You can listen to Robertson's version of the classic "Sonatina for Guitar, Op. 51: Allegretto" from his "Imagine" CD at http://youtu.be/dAyR5DNS6qI and get a preview of Lochbaum's work in a January video at http://youtu.be/y-pN6Ob5QUA.

The guitar competition, which offers $2,600 in prize money, regularly draws America's best young guitarists to compete for a $1,000 first prize. A special concert featuring the guitar competition finalists is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, June 4, in Hinton Hall.

All events are open to the public. Admission to each concert is $10, and students 16 and under will be admitted free. A single registration fee of $30 will admit the guest to all concerts, lectures, workshops and master classes.

Participants can walk in and register before any of the concerts or events or during the scheduled registration period on Wednesday, June 1, from 3 to 7 p.m.

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