Solo Guitar Night
My friend Bob Gunter once handed down a thought to me that he received from a jazz guitarist. "You don't choose classical guitar. It chooses you." I guess I have to say that I am honored then. It makes me feel rather special that such a wonderful instrument is so attracted to me. Oh the other hand, I often thinkn about what my teacher in college, Glenn Caluda, wisely asked me in my first private lesson in Shenandoah Conservatory. "Are you sure you want to do this Zeb. I mean...you realize that you will be a musical outcast most of your life." That isn't a direct quote by the way, but it was something like that, and it is still a well warranted question for anyone that classical guitar chooses.
This picture at left is from our Solo Guitar Night that happens every Monday night here in Cookeville. When I asked a fellow classical guitarist if he wanted to get together and play for each other every Monday night, I didn't know that there were other classical guitarists in the community. We just began playing music, people heard, they talked (its a small town) and eventually there were guitarists and aficionados from all walks of life that showed up with there guitars to share music.
To Collegiate Classical Guitar Majors
Your mission - whether you except it or not - is to be an ambassador of the classical guitar. Some of you will end up in a large metropolitan area where the market for what you love is at your finger tips (albiet small compared to other hobbies and professions); however, many of you will also find yourselves in places that have no pre-existing support system for your art. No matter where you end up, I recommend taking some leadership classes while you are still in college. Become a student of working with people and come up with ideas on ways that you can promote our instrument - both expand our market size and become an impressario of classical guitarists in your community. Come up with ways (in all your spare time ;) that you can bring them together and share music no matter what level of playing is present.
This little guitar night continues to grow, and now there is talk about bringing in some concert artists to Cookeville. Simply by starting this little one night a week event, we have created interest and the connections that would have otherwise remained uncultivated. Just think if we classical guitarist, luthiers and aficionados, let go of our fears, stepped out of our practice corner and our workshops and established a new platorm for promoting our instrument and increasing the interest and venues that continues to make our instruments influence grow.
It's hard work, but it's what we have signed up for.