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The Board of Trustees is elected by the membership. The Board of Trustees maintains final authority over any decisions of the Executive Committee and staff.

2015 Board of Trustees 

Mary Akerman is a former first prize winner in the Guitar Foundation of America competition and is a frequent performer both as a soloist and with the Akerman-Teixeira guitar duo. She is head of the classical guitar program at Kennesaw State University and is president of the Atlanta Guitar Guild, a non-profit guitar society. She has performed/taught/adjudicated at GFA festivals, the Festival de Guitarra Paracho in Paracho, Mexico, the Festival Intrenacional de Guitarra del Noreste in Saltillo, Mexico, the Southwestern Guitar Festival in San Antonio TX, the Classical Minds Festival in Houston, and the East Carolina University Summer Music Workshop, and the Columbus Guitar Symposium. Her education includes guitar studies with John Sutherland at UGA and Bruce Holzman at FSU, as well as masterclasses with Josè Tomàs in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She also performed in the masterclass of Andrès Segovia at the University of Southern California.

Stephen Aron is a well-established figure on the American classical guitar scene. He performs regularly across North America and Europe and has released eight CD’s to critical acclaim. Notably, the music Aron has recorded is almost entirely of his own creation, either by arrangement or composition, and includes volumes of music of Chopin, Mendelssohn and Schumann, and the complete guitar works of Burle Marx. His works are published by Tuscany, Mel Bay and Clear Note. Aron holds teaching posts at the University of Akron and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Aron was a GFA Board member 1989-92, and acted as Chaiman, 1990-92.

William Bay is Chairman of the Board at Mel Bay Publications, Inc. He is an accomplished guitarist and trumpet player and has performed on both instruments in a wide variety of professional settings. He is experienced as a performer and composer of music ranging from jazz and rock to the classics and sacred. He received his bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his master's from the University of Missouri. Bill has received international acclaim for his innovative teaching methods, and he has authored over 200 books with sales in the millions.

Sean Beavers is active as a guitar soloist, chamber musician, scholar, and teacher. He has performed in Europe as well as in North and South America, including performances on West Virginia Public Radio and Bolivian television. He has appeared as a guest artist at the Asolo Song Festival in Italy, the Alexandria Guitar Festival near Washington, D.C, and the Saudade Festival in central Virginia. His principal teachers were Mary Akerman, Adam Holzman, and Bruce Holzman. Beavers earned the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin and the Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees from Florida State University. Beavers serves on the Education Committee of the Guitar Foundation of America.Beavers serves as Associate Professor of Music at Liberty University, where he also serves as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Joanne Castellani and her husband, Michael Andriaccio, have enjoyed a celebrated career as one of the foremost guitar duos in the world. Having received numerous awards and distinctions including two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships and a scholarship to the master classes of Andres Segovia in Spain, they have toured internationally as recitalists and concerto soloists. 
The Duo has recorded ten acclaimed CDs, two named “Best of the Year” by Fanfare Magazine and American Record Guide and two DVDs. She is cofounder, President and CEO of Fleur de Son Classics, a record label with over one hundred acclaimed titles. Joanne has served as Board member and Executive Director of the Guitar Foundation of America International Competitions and is currently Artistic Co-Director of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.

Mark Delpriora is co-chairman of the guitar department at Manhattan School of Music and is on the faculty of the Juilliard School in the Undergraduate Studies department. Delpriora’s compositions are published by Editions Orphee,  Berben Edizioni Musicali, and Guitar Arts Publishing. Sections of his work "Variations on a Theme by Sor" were used as the set piece for the 2011 Guitar Foundation of America Competition. He has been on the juries of several international competitions including the Naumberg, Guitar Foundation of America, Lagonegro (Italy),  Barrios and the D’Addario Concerto competitions. He has recorded for Koch International Classics, Soundspells, Philips, Tzadik, and CRI and has 6 CDs with flutist Laurel Zucker on Cantilena Records.

Nicholas Goluses is Professor of Guitar, founder and director of the guitar programs at the Eastman School of Music, where he has been the recipient of the Eisenhart Award for Excellence, and also has served as chairman of the string department.  He has held the Andrés Segovia Faculty Chair at Manhattan School of Music where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, and was the recipient of both the Pablo Casals Award "for Musical Accomplishment and Human Endeavor” and the Faculty Award of Distinguished Merit.  Nicholas appears as soloist, chamber music player and with orchestras across North America, South America, Europe, and the Far East to critical acclaim.  He has recoreded several highly acclaimed CDs for Naxos, BMG, and Albany Records.  Committed to performing new music for the guitar, hes has given world première performances of over 100 works, including solo pieces, concertos for guitar and orchestra, as well as chamber music by many of today’s leading composers.

Julian Gray's career over three decades include critically acclaimed recordings on the Dorian-Sono Luminus label and concert appearances and masterclasses throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. His work in helping to establish the guitar duo repertoire include his many arrangements for duo with partners Ronald Pearl and Serap Bastepe-Gray and the commissioning and premieres of works by composers such as Roberto Sierra, David Leisner, Gilbert Biberian, Loris Chobanian, William Bland, Oliver Hunt and Benjamin Verdery. His students are frequent top prize winners at major national and international solo guitar, guitar concerto and chamber ensemble competitions and his many former students are members of University, College and Conservatory faculties in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Julian Gray is on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he is Chair of the Guitar Department and The Shenandoah Conservatory of the Shenandoah University where he is Professor of Music and Director of Guitar Studies.

Brian Head, Chair, is Assistant Dean for Academic Programs at the USC Thornton School of Music where he holds a dual faculty appointment in composition and in classical guitar which he also chairs.  He performs with numerous chamber and symphonic groups including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Jacaranda and the Firebird Ensemble, and also performs and records as a soloist and in small chamber settings particularly in the realm of new music.  His own compositions have been recorded on many labels including Delos, Denon, and GSP Recordings, and have been performed on six continents and throughout the U.S. in venues including Merkin Hall in New York, the Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.  From 2004-2010 he led the Guitar Foundation of America as its president, and since 2010 has served as Artistic Director.

Pamela Kimmel, Associate Professor Emerita, taught on the faculty of Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University since 1972 when she was hired to initiate one of Chicago’s first degree programs in classical guitar. Throughout her long teaching career, Ms. Kimmel has been an active solo and chamber music recitalist appearing throughout the Midwest on concert series and on WFMT radio. She has collaborated extensively with flutists Kaye Clements and Carlyn Lloyd and has recently formed the Cecilia Guitar Duo with Helene Rottenberg. Ms. Kimmel’s scholarly interests include the study of various schools of guitar technique and pedagogy as well as physiological problems of musicians with special emphasis on focal dystonia.  She is a contributor to classical guitar publications, including the Guitar Foundation of America’s Soundboard journal.   Ms. Kimmel is past president of the Chicago Classical Guitar Society and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Guitar Foundation of America since 2007.

Petar Kodzas comes from a musical family. Petar was guided toward a career in mechanical engineering until he discovered a 19th century parlor guitar in his grandfather’s closet. It was love at first sight. Before graduating from the University of Belgrade, he had toured and recorded as a lutenist with an early music ensemble, played over 100 shows at the professional musical theatre, sat in jazz sessions, and performed throughout the former Yugoslavia as a musical ambassador for the international organization Jeunesses Musicales. Following his studies in Europe, Kodzas moved to the United States. Peter is currently Senior Instructor in Guitar for the Eastman Community Music School. As a clinician, he has presented for American String Teachers Association, Guitar Foundation of America, College Music Society, and New York State School Music Association Conference.

Frank Koonce has directed the guitar program at Arizona State University since 1978 and is internationally acclaimed as a performer, teacher, and writer. He produced an authoritative edition of Bach’s solo lute works and other publications through Mel Bay, Kjos, and Productions d’Oz. Additionally, he recorded Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s “Platero y yo” and is featured in a live concert video with Nikita Koshkin. A founding partner of Soundset Recordings, he is now President of the label. Mr. Koonce has served on the GFA Advisory Board, including two terms as Chair, and was the Pedagogy Form editor for Soundboard for many years.

Robert T. Lane holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with an emphasis in Finance from the Marshall School of Business and a Juris Doctor from the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California.  Having practiced law for over 23 years, Bob has represented and advised corporations in litigation, transactional, and compliance matters as both outside and in-house counsel.  A student of the guitar and its history for many years, Bob has become an avid advocate and collector.  He has been a member of the GFA Board since 2000.

Randy Leff is a business lawyer with over 30 years of experience trying and resolving “bet the company” disputes in both state and federal court.  He brings to the table substantial knowledge and experience for his business clients, who appreciate his consistently customized, high-quality legal services with his signature enthusiasm, creativity and passion. By working collaboratively with his clients, he is able to solve problems creatively and minimize the impact of litigation. Many of Randy’s clients ask him to become a member of their management teams in the role of outside general counsel.  In this capacity, he can further influence the business by bringing his business acumen, entrepreneurial zeal and problem solving skills to the management team. Randy has been playing guitar for more than thirty years. During that period he has had the honor of studying with Peter Yates, John Dearman and Martha Masters.

Richard Long was the editor of Soundboard, the Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, from 2001 to 2012. He has a Ph.D. in European History from Florida State University and has written many articles on the period of the French Revolution and Napoleon and on the history of the guitar during that era. He has also published dozens of transcriptions, arrangements, and critical editions of music for the guitar, solo and in various ensembles. He is the owner of Tuscany Publications, specializing in music for the  classical guitar. He has performed in various chamber ensembles, including Camerata (a quartet consisting of violin, viola, cello, and guitar), and in a series of concerts of rare music for machete and guitar in California and Portugal with the late John King.

John Olson is President of the New York City Classical Guitar Society. In this role since 2007, he has revitalized the organization and made it a thriving and central part of the New York guitar community, presenting one of the city’s most successful guitar concert series and producing a highly-regarded monthly series of educational forums. As a musician, his teachers include David Leisner and early music specialist Rick Erickson. He performs regularly in a number of ensembles. Also a scientist, John received his Ph.D. from MIT and has worked in biomedical research for over twenty years. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2014.

Stephen Mattingly has been warmly received by audiences as a soloist and founding member of the Tantalus Quartet. As recipient of the Theodore Presser Award, he recorded the complete guitar chamber works by Franz Schubert. Stephen enjoys a vibrant career as Assistant Professor of Guitar at the University of Louisville. He is a member of the Kentucky Arts Council Performing Arts Directory and has been featured at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Silesian Guitar Autumn in Poland, Panamá Guitar Festival, GFA Convention, Iserlohn Guitar Symposium in Germany, and the Columbus State Guitar Symposium.


Helene Rottenberg is a Professor of Music at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, and also taught at the Herb David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor for 39 years.  She has a MM degree from the University of Michigan and was a student of the late Argentinean guitarist Manuel Lopez-Ramos.  Helene has performed extensively in the Midwest- particularly in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area, since 1975. She regularly performs in a flute/guitar duo, Divertimente, with flutist Susan Lazar and has recently joined with Chicago guitarist Pamela Kimmel to form the Cecilia Guitar Duo. She has been studying Iyengar Yoga since 1976 and has been teaching yoga since 1986. She currently teaches three hatha yoga classes a semester to college students at Madonna University and maintains a private yoga studio in her home.  She credits the yoga practice with allowing her to play the classical guitar pain-free for the past 35 years!

David Tanenbaum has performed in over 40 countries, and has had works written for him by many prominent composers, including Hans Werner Henze, Aaron Jay Kernis, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison and Roberto Sierra. His more than thirty five recordings can be heard on EMI, New Albion, Naxos and other labels. He has toured extensively with Steve Reich and Musicians and has worked with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kent Nagano. He is a member of the Pacific Guitar Ensemble and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and he is Chair of the Guitar Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.


Marc Teicholz won first prize in the 1989 International Guitar Foundation of America competition. He has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia, receiving critical acclaim for his recitals and master classes. Teicholz also has toured Southeast Asia under the auspices of the U.S.I.A. Artistic Ambassador program. He has recorded for Naxos and Sugo records and his solo CD of waltzes (“Valseana”) recorded on vintage instruments with GSI was named by Acoustic Magazine as one of the 10 best CDs of 2011.  Teicholz has published an edition of Fernando Sor with the Alfred Music Company and of Ernesto Nazareth with Les Productions D'Oz. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received an M.M. from the Yale School of Music and a J.D. from the Boalt School of Law at the University of California–Berkeley. He is on the faculties of California State University, East Bay and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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