Friday, 6 March 2015

The International Classical Guitar Festival and Summer School

Dear Classical Guitarists,

On behalf of West Dean College, I'm writing to give you details of this year's classical guitar festival and summer school. I'm sure that over the years many of your ensemble/society's members have attended our course, but I would be grateful if you could spread the word by forwarding these attached course details onto your members or by displaying the advert at your next meeting, thank you.
15 August 2015 - 21 August 2015
The International Classical Guitar Festival and Summer School
Reference : CG 5536
Ability :Suitable for all

This annual event, now in its 24th year, offers superb learning and performance opportunities for both advanced and elementary players. Repertoire, technique classes and workshops covering a variety of topics form the core teaching programme. Playing opportunities abound in the guitar orchestra, ensembles and student concerts. In addition, guitarists receive two individual lessons and attend public recitals and masterclasses given by distinguished visiting artists and tutors including the Marcin Dylla, Morgan Szymanski, David Leisner, Amanda Cook, Chris Stell, Jan de Kloe, Alison Bendy, Gerald Garcia, The Arctic Guitar Trio, Janet and Raffaele Agostino. Bursaries are available for 16 to 24 year old students to help with fees. 
If you would like any other information regarding the festival or if you require printed versions of the brochure, please don't hesitate to ask.
I hope this will be of interest to your members and I very much look forward directing another busy summer school in August.
Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
Andrew Gough
Festival Director

Thursday, 26 February 2015

February Meeting 2015

Hi Folks

Another great turn out last Saturday for the BGS Pluckers and Strummers!

My apologies first of all for the disappearance of the January Newsletter. It is somewhere buried in the depths of your correspondent's Guitar bag and as soon as its recovered, he will no doubt furnish you with all the gory details. 

Not that it matters because the Feb meeting was almost the same as the January Meeting with the added bonus of the appearance of our redoubtable 'chair' Den Stockton who saved the day by taking notes of performances and welcoming all members- old and new

We all agreed that the evening went very well and that the attendance of fifteen members was most encouraging. Den  announced apologies for absence from Shirley Russell and Colin Baker (both unwell) and Steve Pearson.

Your correspondent also took the opportunity of having his own 'Wolf Hall' moment by taking his lute out of the mothballs for a road test. Fortunately it appeared to 'pass muster'. (At least the bloody thing kept in tune!! :)

 Special thanks to Kate Hughes for collecting the keys, which were passed to David Wheeler for the March Meeting.
We would also like to take the opportunity to  welcome Andrew Rawlings and Eduardo Gonzalvez as fully paid up members. Welcome to you both

Solo performances for the evening included

Marion Davis                Recuerdos                      Hartog
Andrew Ferrier             Calata Ala Spagnola       Dalza    (performed on the lute)

Tessa Protheroe             Minuet in C Minor          Sor
Eduardo Gonzalvez       Bambuco                      Lauro
                                      Samba de Saudade        Own Comp.

John Mann led a splendidly intensive rehearsal of Faure’s Sicilienne, even to the point of the refreshment break being as late as 8:10 pm. Thanks are due to Trevor for the home-made cakes, which were delicious.
Larisa and Trevor have asked for a reminder about the Bromley Festival guitar performances in Bromley Parish Church on March 1st, commencing from around 6:45 pm.  Larisa and Vince are putting in a performance (with guitars I hope) so it would be great if you can attend to support them.

There are also some news items added about the Beechwood 2015 concert program and the Helicon Arts festival in Italy.

See you in March 21st!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Helicon Arts Limited Music Festival Italy

Helicon Arts are offing BGS members the opportunity to attend the 2015 Classical and Jazz Guitar course in Italy this summer. The course will be run by  Bridget and Milton Mermikides.

The class will be held in the Palazzo Mannocchi set in the delightful village of Petritoli in the Marcher region of Italy.

The course will be held from 15th-22nd of August and is aimed at enthusiastic  amateur guitarists. Tuition will be tailored to the individual needs of each participant and will include group and one to one sessions as well as a flamenco master class.

For further information please visit

Eden Stell Guitar Duo

Beechwood 2015 presents a guitar concert by the

Eden Stell Guitar Duo

Wednesday 8th April 8:00pm

Beechwood Sacred Heart School
Penbury Road, Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN2 3QD

Internationally known for their dynamism, innovation and breath taking virtuosity, the Eden Stell Guitar Duo are widely regarded as one of the world's leading guitar ensembles. The have performed throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, South and Central America and Australia appearing in concerts and on radio and television

The Eden Stell Duo were the first guitarists since Julian Bream to be the editor's choice in Gramophone Magazine and they have recorded their seventh CD. They are founder members of the Vida Guitar Quartet and artistic directors of the World Youth Guitar Festival.

Tickets will be available from the door priced at 14 pounds for adults and 12 pounds for students.

For further information and to early bookings please contact

The Secretary
Beechworth 2015
Elizabeth's Cottage
The Green
Leigh , Tonbridge TN11 8QW
Telephone (01732 832459

Friday, 9 January 2015

International Guitar Federation News

We kick-start the new year with a concert and masterclass series from grammy award-winning classical guitarist, David Russell.
* 29th January - David Russell in Concert - St George's Bristol, 7.30pm

* 30th January - David Russell Masterclass - Doric Room, St George's Bristol, 9am

* 31st January - David Russell in Concert - Milton Court Concert Hall, Barbican, London, 7.30pm

* 1st February - David Russell Masterclass - Lecture Recital Room, Guildhall School, London, 10am

Bristol Tickets Here. (
London Tickets Here. (

IGF offer events for guitarists of all ages, in all genres and in locations all across the country.
These include:
Bristol Guitar Series - January
London Guitar Series - January - February
Young Artist Platform Auditions - March
Bath Guitar Festival - July
IGF Guitar Summit - July
London International Guitar Competition - July
IGF Residential Summer School and Festival, Shrewsbury - August
North East Guitar Festival - October
London Guitar Festival - October

For full details keep an eye on the IGF website and social media!
Don't Forget!
Early Bird Ticket Season ends Sunday 15th February
To get your IGF Residential Summer School, Shrewsbury place at a reduced rate please book before then.
Summer School dates are 10 - 16th August at Shrewsbury School
Classical course to be confirmed by the end of the month.
For more information click here. (
On behalf of IGF I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who came and supported us at our events in 2014 and a special thank you to all funders and private givers who are keeping our plans alive through 2015.
Find out more about our supporters and how to become one yourself by clicking here. (

Monday, 5 January 2015

BGS December 2014 Meeting

Thirteen members turned up to the December meeting and we had a most enjoyable time. It was good to see both Steve Pearson and Ray Butcher again, and we already knew that Marion, Shirley and Andrew would be unable to attend. Your Chairman thanked those who had taken part in the Beckenham and Maidstone Festivals and admired the Gold Medal awarded in the latter one.
John Mann brought a lot of extra ensemble music, all of it related to Christmas, and he spent up until the coffee interval guiding us through the following pieces:-
Carol of the Bells; Stille Nacht (arr.Freddie Carvalho); Coventry Carol; Snowflakes and In Dulci Jubilo. It made a pleasant change to have John playing in the ensemble rather than conducting us.
Refreshments were served by the ever-faithful Trevor, but there were also some delicious surprise accompaniments to the coffee.
Trevor had baked a big chocolate cake, Tessa brought some mince pies and Alex had made a truly delicious and very large carrot cake. The refreshment interval was a calorific nightmare for those of us lacking the will-power to resist copious quantities of all of these!! Our thanks go to the members who made these generous donations.
After the interval we enjoyed a high standard of playing in the following individual performances:-
Freddie Carvalho                  What A Wonderful World              Weiss / Thiele
Vince Chittenden                  Plegaria                                     G. Gomez
                                         Gymnopedie                               E. Satie
Trevor Pike                          Villancico de Navidad                   Barrios
Steve Pearson                      Romance d’Amor                         Anon
                                         Student of Salamanca                  J. Ferrer
After these performances, John rehearsed Faure’s Sicilienne and a very unusual snippet from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, provided by Tessa and involving the use of extremely rudimentary percussion in the form of saucepan lids, chime tubes and a duck call. This somewhat comical arrangement brought a thoroughly enjoyable evening to a close at 9:30 pm.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Beckenham Festival 2014

Congratulations to Paul Brown and the members of the Widmore Ensemble for a great performance tonight at the Beckenham Festival,  winning the ensemble section.

 Special thanks on behalf of the BGS members to John Mann for leading us through Note Bene!! We gave the Widmore group a good run for their money (missing out by one point).

A word of advice for the Festival Organisers...opening the car park in the front of the school for competitors would be deeply appreciated , especially when its dark and you are trudging through a rain storm.  While we are grateful for a 'competitor's car park around the back, forcing us all to walk all the way around to the front of the building to the venue entrance in the pouring rain is not good for the player or the instruments.

 And  organizing some extra practice rooms would also be great as well.

Onwards to the Maidstone Festival!!