JCJC guitar students attend 10th annual Mississippi Guitar Festival

Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: teresa.martin@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2012-02-16 16:29:03

ELLISVILLE – Three Jones County Junior College guitar students recently had the opportunity to hear some of their peers perform and get lessons from the ‘masters’ in their field at the 10th annual Mississippi Guitar Festival in Jackson. George Hensarling of Petal, Latisha Hamilton of Raleigh and Chace Thrash of Taylorsville made the trip to Jackson recently to immerse themselves into the world of classical guitar. According to the hosts of the event, Belhaven University, the guitar festival is the state’s only collegiate conference on the art of classical guitar, attracting guitar students, professionals, hobbyists and enthusiasts.
“While these three students represent only a fraction of the guitar students at JCJC, they are all majoring in music with guitar as their principle instrument. This is just the kind of event they all are happy to be a part of,” said Dr. Michael Boyd, JCJC guitar instructor. 
He added the Festival gives students the chance to be exposed to guitar literature, playing techniques and networking with professionals, but it also gives instructors the chance to meet and gage the growth and popularity of classical guitar in the region.
JCJC sophomore, Chace Thrash of Taylorsville was afforded a rare break by being selected to receive a personal lesson with classical guitarist, Isaac Bustos, whose performing and clinical talents are in demand. Bustos is also a founding member of and performs regularly with the award-winning Texas Guitar Quartet. He has made TV appearances and has appeared as a soloist with the Orchestra of New Spain, The Baytown Symphony Orchestra, The Nicaraguan National Symphony Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, to name a few. Thrash said he felt privileged to have a private lesson from an international and acclaimed performer, like Bustos.
“It was a great opportunity to meet and play for Dr. Bustos. Since this was my second time to attend the guitar festival, I was able to be more relaxed, to focus more on my playing and less on the audience to get more out of the master class,” said Thrash. 
JCJC sophomore, Latisha Hamilton has also attended the state guitar festival and added, “Guitar Fest is a great opportunity for ones who are passionate about guitar to come together and celebrate the instrument. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances, competitions as well as the master classes. I learned many valuable techniques that will assist me throughout my guitar career.”
When Bustos isn’t performing or recording, he is the head of guitar studies at Texas A&M University Department of Performance Studies and he is the artistic director of the Texas A&M International Guitar Symposium and Competition. Boyd said Thrash represented JCJC extremely well during his ‘master’ class.
JCJC’s guitar program is one of a few offered at two-year colleges and universities. Guitar lessons from Dr. Boyd are available to any JCJC student regardless of their major. For more information contact the JCJC Fine Arts Department at 601-477-4094.


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