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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 education@guitarfoundation.org

Soundboard Editor: Robert Ferguson has been active in the classical guitar community for four decades, teaching, performing, composing, arranging, writing, and broadcasting. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University, the latter from the Jacobs School of Music, where he studied performance with Ernesto Bitetti and Thomas Binkley. Other mentors include Javier Calderon and Jeffrey Noonan. In addition to applied guitar, Bob teaches guitar history and literature at IU’s regional campus in Fort Wayne. His radio program, Guitar Showcase, has aired weekly on NPR affiliates WBNI and WBOI since 1985. He has contributed to Soundboard since the early 2000s. Bob can be reached at rferguson@guitarfondation.org

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 privateand Suzuki studio

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 ads@guitarfoundation.org 

Operations Administrator: Emma Markham received her Bachelor's degree from Ithaca College in guitar performance and writing. While at Ithaca she studied with Pablo Cohen and Jeremy Harting and completed numerous independent studies on flamenco music and culture. Emma's writing has appeared in Soundboard magazine and Buzzsaw magazine. She plans to pursue further education in arts management in an effort to continue serving her music community. Emma teaches privately and performs in her local community. Emma can be reached at emarkham@guitarfoundation.org

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 regionals@guitarfoundation.org

 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 youthcompetition@guitarfoundation.org

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 csheu@guitarfoundation.org

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.

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