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Education Director: Matthew Denman is the Director of the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute and Assistant Professor of Music for Southern Nazarene University.  Pepe Romero has said, "What José Antonio Abreu is to El Sistema, Matt Denman is to the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute."  Matthew is also faculty for Classen School of Advanced Studies where he teaches music theory, international baccalaureate music, and the national award winning guitar program.  Awards include the Images of Excellence Award (2012, 2010, 2009), and Teacher of the Year (2010-2011 Classen SAS).  Matthew has been a guest lecturer, clinician, and performer throughout the United States.  Matthew is a student of Pepe Romero. Matthew can be reached at

Tour Director: Michael Kagan Michael’s performances have been noted for their “remarkable poise and artistry coupled with a sharp intellectual acumen.” The young classical guitarist has found a deep passion for teaching and performing, which, for Michael, both stem from the need to share music. Michael graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Westfield State University where he received a B.A in Music Education and Classical Guitar Performance under the tutelage of Phillip de Fremery, a curator of the Segovia legacy. There, he received a departmental award for Excellence in Musical Performance among his graduating class. Most recently, Michael completed a Master of Music in Classical Guitar Performance with Dr. Stephen Mattingly, noted soloist and member of the Tantalus Quartet at the University of Louisville. A passionate educator, Michael currently holds a full time position teaching class guitar, music theory, and music history at the Youth Performing Arts Magnet High School in Louisville, Kentucky in addition to maintaining a private and Suzuki studio. Michael can be reached at


Publications Art Director & GFA Advertising Manager: Kim Kanoy received her bachelor’s degree, graduating cum laude, in Art History from Salem College (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and holds an Associates Degree in Commercial Art and Advertising Design. Her role as owner and creative director of Kanoy Design has encompassed many areas in the field of graphic arts–design, production, sales, writing, editing, and publishing. She designs and produces GFA’s collateral materials and has designed the GFA Convention Programs since 2005. Kim became the Art Director of Soundboard in 2013. Her connection to the classical guitar world came about through her love of music and the years of attending youth competitions with her son, William. She joined the GFA staff as Advertising Manager in 2005. Kim can be reached at 

 Operations Administrator: Emma Markham recently graduated from Ithaca College where she earned a Bachelor of Music with an Outside Field in Writing. She studied with Pablo Cohen and Jeremy Harting. While in school, she completed several inter-disciplinary studies on flamenco music, one of which was published in Soundboard Magazine in 2011. Emma plans to pursue a career in nonprofit arts management. She currently teaches and performs in her local community. Emma can be reached at


Regional Symposiums Director: Lynn McGrath is a member of the guitar faculty at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2006 from the University of Southern California, where she studied with William Kanengiser, Pepe Romero, and James Smith. Lynn has performed as a soloist and ensemble member in the United States, Mexico, and Italy with upcoming performances in Spain and Montenegro. Lynn served GFA previously in the role of Tour Director, and became Regional Symposiums Director in August of 2013. Lynn can be reached at

 Soundboard Editor: Dr. Kim Perlak is a performer, educator, and American music scholar living in Austin, TX.  Kim received her Bachelor of Music studying guitar with Stephen Robinson at Stetson University, her Master of Music at Yale School of Music with Benjamin Verdery, and her DMA at the University of Texas at Austin with Adam Holzman. Her performances, concerts for charity, and academic work have been featured on NPR and funded by grants through Yale Alumni Ventures and The Carolina Institute for Leadership and Engagement in Music. Kim serves on the faculty of Concordia University-TX, Austin Community College, and the National Guitar Workshop. Kim began working for GFA in 2012.

 International Youth Competition/UK Tour Director: Helen Sanderson studied guitar at the Royal College of Music with Charles Ramirez, where she received her graduate degree and postgraduate performance diploma. As a member of the VIDA Guitar Quartet she has performed extensively throughout the UK and mainland Europe, and in 2011, Helen made her U.S. debut in Los Angeles (LMU Guitar Festival) and New York (Baruch Performing Arts Centre). She is the founder and director of the World Youth Guitar Festival, Europe’s largest residential festival for young classical guitarists, Winchester Guitar Festival, and GUITAR CIRCUS, a monthly ensemble training scheme. Helen is a member of the guitar faculty at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Helen can be reached at

General Manager: Connie Sheu earned her Bachelor of Arts in U.S. History and Music from Columbia University with Antigoni Goni and her Master of Music from The Juilliard School with Sharon Isbin. Connie is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Southern California under Bill Kanengiser. Her playing has been hailed by the New York Sun as "excellent, ruminative... scholarly." Past performances and teaching engagements have taken her from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, to Florida, Oklahoma, Moldova, Hungary, and throughout California. Her debut solo album was released in 2008. Connie teaches privately and at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. She joined the GFA staff in 2009. Connie can be reached at

Soundboard Scholar Editor: Thomas Heck (B.A., Univ. of Notre Dame, 1965; Ph.D., Yale University, 1970; MLS, Univ. of Southern California, 1977), was the individual most responsible for the creation of the Guitar Foundation of America, having convened its inaugural meeting in 1973 and drafted its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. As a Fulbright fellow (Vienna, 1968-69) he did seminal research on the early classic guitar (ca. 1800) and the life and works of Giuliani. His monograph, Mauro Giuliani: Virtuoso Guitarist and Composer (Columbus, 1995, r1997), is considered the standard work in the field. For over twenty years Dr. Heck served as the GFA Archivist; he taught music research methods and bibliography and was Head of the Music & Dance Library at the Ohio State University for most of his career. In 1994-95 he was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), where he undertook research on the iconography of the performing arts, the subject of a recent book, 'Picturing Performance…' (1999). He has served as adjudicator and lecturer at various international guitar festivals since 1980; and currently is a freelance consultant, musician, and writer/lecturer based in Santa Barbara. Thomas can be reached at

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Pepe Romero