By Madison Thompson–

The School of Music held the annual Guitar Festival, Sept. 14-17. This festival is open to the public, students, alumni, faculty and staff. The festival began in 2010 and has a plethora of events prepared for participants.

“It includes concerts, master classes which are lessons open to the public, workshops and a competition with three different divisions,” said Stephen Mattingly, Associate Professor of Music, Professor of Guitar and director of the guitar festival competition.

“They are the youth division, which would be performers under 17 years old, the collegiate division for undergraduate students, and then an open division for all ages called the solo artist division, which is the more elite division.”

One of the best features of the Guitar Festival is that it does not cost to attend or participate in any of the events.

“All of the concerts and workshops are open to the public. One doesn’t have to be a guitarist to come to this event. One doesn’t even need to have a background in guitar to begin enjoying some of the workshops because some of it is about the guitar,” Mattingly said.

As well as the competition, there are guest performers nearly every night of the festival. On the night of Sept. 15, Ricardo Cobo was the guest performer.

Large, upcoming events for the guitar department include a studio recital on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. and the Guitar Foundation of America competition in June, 2018. The Guitar Foundation of America competition will bring 700 to 800 guitarists each day to U of L.

Students interested in guitar and who want to involve themselves in the music school, there are a few options.

“If you are interested in the guitar, we do have a guitar RSO dedicated to the guitar. It’s called the Association of Guitarists at the University of Louisville. The officers of this RSO are currently organizing weekly events and monthly meetings,” Mattingly said.

“Another thing that interested people can do is we have a guitar class. We have class guitar for non-majors where students can take this class for credit. There are two levels of one credit hour and three credit hours. The guitar is not supplied, but can be rented,” Mattingly said.