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5th Annual West Texas Guitar Festival in Full Swing

In the past four years this festival has hosted some of the greatest guitar professional around and this year is no different.
MIDLAND -- The 5th Annual West Texas Guitar Festival is in full swing. In the past four years this festival has hosted some of the greatest guitar professional around and this year is no different. Thursday night's concert features our Composer-in-Residence – Gabriel Ayala from Phoenix, AZ. Ayala performs an eclectic selection of music from blues, rock, classical guitar, to flamenco and jazz. He is widely recorded and travels extensively performing concerts across the globe. His concert is the 2nd of the nightly concerts in the festival this year. Thursday night's concert features Gabriel, after an opening set by UTPB faculty member Albert Madrid.

Of the many events held each year, the West Texas Guitar Festival is one of the most attended events the Music Department hosts. Guitarists deserve a dedicated festival since the only guitar event each year is a public school solo contest. Their peers in band, choir, and orchestra attend numerous festivals, contests, trips, and competitions. The disparity is obvious and disheartening to the guitar students and teachers.

Guitarists are as American as baseball and apple pie. Many kids learn to play guitar every year in the confines of their bedrooms using the radio as their teacher. As their skills improve, they form the ubiquitous garage bands that fill the evening air with music in quiet cul-de-sacs across the United States. These are the sounds of a healthy pastime - and a self-guided education in social and emotional well-being. The guitar is the most common musical instrument on the planet, yet we have almost forgotten it in our public schools!

The West Texas Guitar Festival started in 2010 after guitar soloists were judged by a violinist at the state solo contest. The music faculty at UTPB believe that guitar students deserve better and so created a steering committee of like-minded guitar teachers to host an educational festival in the heart of the Permian Basin. We bring in two professional guitarists each year, plus host a "locals’ night" to highlight the exiting guitar ensembles of the region. The concluding concert features a mass ensemble of all 100+ participants performing a piece with the guest artists and teachers. It is a memorable experience that helps to inspire the guitar students year after year. The line for autographs and pictures each night can last for hours as participants talk to the performers.

West Texas Guitar Festival
Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
Thursday, February 20th, Friday February 21st, & Saturday, February 22nd at 7:00pm

www.WestTexasGuitarFestival.com or call 432-552-3286 for more information

Concert tickets are available for $10 and are prime seats in the orchestra section. Get the tickets online or at the Wagner Noël Ticket Office.
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