In 2002, the Classical Guitar Studies program of what was then the University of Texas Brownsville Music Department, now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Music (UTRGV), partnered with the Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts and other benefactors to found the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition.
About to celebrate its 15th anniversary in the Spring of 2017, it is an academically challenging program respected by classical guitar professionals, teachers, students and aficionados throughout the world. It is the largest event of its kind in the USA.
Behind it all is the renowned classical guitar master, Prof. Michael Quantz DMA, head of Clasical Guitar Studies at the Brownsville campus and past winner of the University of Texas Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award and the UTB President’s Outstanding Teaching Award. He is considered an international leader in classical guitar ensemble education. Dr. Quantz also serves as Vice President of the Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts.
Festival activities take place at the TSC Arts Center, a state of the arts music hall that accommodates from 30 to 50 guitar ensembles that travel to Brownsville from throughout the USA and Mexico. K-12 to university level participants compete and are judged by experts, celebrities and true masters in their field of study.
Past Festivals have featured star performers such as Adam del Monte, Paul Galbraith, Adam Holzman, Ruben Romero, the Texas Guitar Quartet, Duo Melis, the Tantalus Quartet, Leo Kotke, Martha Masters, Risa Carlson, Ana Vidović, Jose Feliciano, Mathew Hinsley, Shingo Fujii, Los Romeros and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ).
It’s a superb experience for students. They get to meet their idols, attend their performances and participate in their master classes and clinics. For young classical guitar students, being judged favorably by such luminaries is a major lifetime achievement and more than enough reason to practice, practice, practice! Contact Dr. Michael Quantz directly for further information on the festival. Check out these related videos:
11th Brownsville Guitar Festival & Ensemble Competition (March 2012)
11th Brownsville Guitar Festival with LAGQ and Composer Shingo Fujii
UTB/TSC Expert of the Month: Dr. Michael Quantz