2024 Buffalo International Guitar Festival

UB Dept of Music

collage of guitar players.

Festival Activities

Solo Adjudication
Showcase Competition (Virtual)
Masterclass Lessons
Ensemble Coachings
Community Guitar Orchestra
Honors Guitar Ensemble
Vendor Expo


FRI 3/8 @ 7:30PM
Buffalo Guitar All-Stars (BAIRD 250)
*Fundraiser for HHC Guitar Initiative

SAT 3/9 @ 7:30PM
Jason Vieaux Solo Recital (SLEE Lippes)
*Slee Visiting Artist Series

SUN 3/10 @11:00AM
Festival Showcase Concert (SLEE Lippes)
*Registered Ensembles, Festival Ensembles & Showcase Competition Winners

Solo Adjudication

-open to students of all ages and levels
-solo classical guitar
-opportunity to perform up to 8 minutes of solo guitar repertoire
-written comments from two adjudicators (professional teaching artists)
-performances are open to the public
-limited spots (24)
-$20 add-on to Primary Festival Registration

Showcase Competition (Virtual)

-SEE competition pages for all details – CLICK LINK

Masterclass Lessons

-for intermediate and advanced guitar students
-students are assigned teachers based on preference and availability
-each student can sign up for up to two masterclasses maximum
-these lessons are open to the public often times with an audience auditing the lesson
-limited spots
-up to two lessons for $40 per 40 minute masterclass lesson

Pre-Formed Ensembles

-pre-formed groups that register as an ensemble will receive a complimentary coaching and have the opportunity to perform in the Festival Showcase Concert (Sunday)
-each ensemble member must register for the “Primary Festival Registration”
-one person will be designated the ensemble representative, which may be an instructor

Festival Community Guitar Orchestra

-included with Primary Festival Registration for all guitarists including beginner, intermediate, and advanced students
-the group will rehearse throughout the festival and perform at Festival Showcase Concert (Sunday)
-sheet music (parts) will be distributed via email to all participants upon registration prior to the festival

Festival Honors Guitar Ensemble

-advanced level guitar ensemble (must be accepted by video audition)
-audition excerpt: https://shorturl.at/biT57
-video audition instructions:
-submissions are DUE Friday 2/16 at 11:59pm EST
-participants will be announced the week of Monday 2/19
-unedited, single take video
-start with the following introduction “Hello, my name is FULL NAME and this is for the 2024 Buffalo International Guitar Festival Honors Guitar Ensemble audition.” And, immediately follow with your performance.
-play the requested excerpt
-do not edit and cut out the transitional moments at any point of the video
-the performer’s entire body from head to feet with clear visibility of both hands in the video frame is required
-use of external microphone from video source is allowed
-do not add any artificial audio effects such as reverb
-you may record in a space that has natural reverb such as a concert hall, church space, etc.
-upload video file as a YouTube video and set as “public” or “unlisted” and copy/paste link into submission form here:
-questions can be sent to sungmins [at] buffalo.edu

Workshops, Presentations and Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion on Teaching Guitar in the Community (Collegiate, Professional and Pre-Professional)
Panelists: Lynn McGrath, Tim Shannon, Matthew Sperber, and Josh Wagner
Time: Friday 3/8 from 5:00pm-6:00pm
Location: TBD
Description: Come join highly experienced and successful guitar instructors from the WNY area that have a particularly strong background in working in the community at large. Various questions and issues in teaching guitar effectively to students of all ages and levels will be address as well as any questions for the panelists from participants.

Play like Baden Powell: Adapting Brazilian Right-Hand Techniques to Any Genre (Intermediate/Advanced)
Presented by Dr. Stephen Guerra
Time: Saturday 3/9 from 11:00am-12:00pm
Location: TBD
Description: Do you know who Baden Powell the Brazilian guitarist was? If so, you’re ready to appreciate this workshop. If not, go right now and listen to and watch as much Baden Powell as possible. Baden is known for his astonishing right-hand rhythm techniques (fun fact: he was left-handed). As amazing as these techniques are to behold, they are also incredibly frustrating to learn, especially for the foreigner. In this workshop, we’ll practice a few of these techniques and learn how to apply them (using some modern ideas of music theory) to the rhythms of whatever music the student pursues.

Jazz Improv 101: Nailing the Changes (All Levels)
Presented by Jared Tinkham
Time: Saturday 3/9 from 1:00pm-2:00pm
Location: TBD
Description: I’ve always felt like guitarists have a natural tendency to improvise and explore the guitar. Something about the visualization of the fretboard has always made it felt so easy to take risks and try new ideas. In this workshop, we’ll examine the parallels between scales/patterns we already know as guitarists, and expand upon them to approach improvising in Jazz at perhaps its most important characteristic: navigating various non-diatonic key centers.

Interlocking strings: Merging musical expressions of classical guitar and Balinese gamelan in Issus for two guitars
Presented by Dr. Tom Torrisi
Time: Saturday 3/9 from 3:00pm-4:00pm
Location: TBD
Description: As a classical guitar student at Eastman, I had the unlikely fortune to be introduced to the mesmerizing sounds of Balinese gamelan and it quickly became my second love in music. Since then I had a desire to combine the vastly different musical expressions of gamelan and classical guitar in a single work. The result of that effort, and the subject of this lecture recital, is my guitar duo, Issus. With the help of my duo partner Ken Luk, I will demonstrate some of the unique characteristics of Balinese gamelan music, including the distinctive interlocking kotekan patterns, and identify those same characteristics in Issus and show how the shared layers of music merge together to represent different instruments and functions heard within a gamelan ensemble.

international guitar festival poster.