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New Prize for GFA IYC Winner

Tuesday, April 29, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Connie Sheu
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The Guitar Foundation of America is excited to announce that the winner of the 2014 GFA International Youth Competition (15-18 year old division) will receive a full scholarship to attend the weeklong Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation (COCGF) workshop and festival. The festival, now celebrating its fifth anniversary, is held August 24-August 31, in Bigfork, Montana at the Flathead Lake Lodge. David Feffer, Founder and Chairman of COCGF and a classical guitarist states, “We are thrilled to offer this scholarship in collaboration with the GFA to support development of the next generation of classical guitarists.” See scholarship details and eligibility below.

As a part of this collaboration between GFA and COCGF, a special workshop offer is being made available to all GFA members. Any GFA member who registers for the 2014 COCGF workshop will receive a one-hour private lesson with David Leisner and a $250 workshop discount. To register and receive this offer, please all Martha Barton at 406-471-1165 or email her at See for a complete description of the workshop and festival.

The COCGF workshop and festival is a unique opportunity to study in an intimate setting for a full week with classical guitarists David Leisner and Andrew Leonard and to attend workshops and concerts given by guitarists in many different styles and genres. This year’s classical guest artist David Leisner comments, “I’m really looking forward to interacting with students on an intimate level, not just in daily master classes, but in small-group workshops, ensembles and just hanging out. So much can get accomplished this way in the short space of a week, and all amidst the extraordinary beauty of the mountainous, wide-open spaces of Montana.”

Andrew Leonard, a founding member of COCGF and director of the classical guitar program at the festival, will collaborate closely with Leisner to organize and teach the workshop. Leonard explains that COCGF reaches out to students before they arrive to find out what specific areas of their playing each one would like to improve. “The result is a unique mix of learning through group interaction, master classes, one-on-one learning and our ‘topic of the day.’” Leonard adds, “Beyond formal classes, there is plenty of time to interact musically and socially with the two of us, fellow students and all of the other Artists in Residence and faculty.”

The scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to perform solo on the festival stage, participate in ensembles, attend performances and master classes by the Artists in Residence, faculty and guest performers. In addition he/she will be able to enjoy the amenities, Montana atmosphere and hospitality provided by the world-renowned Flathead Lake Lodge.

Kevin Loh, from Singapore, is a past winner of the GFA International Youth Competition who attended the 2013 workshop and festival as the recipient of the CCOGF Artist in Residence Scholarship. Kevin states, “It was an awesome experience studying with Scott Tennant. Beyond working on all aspects of guitar playing, it was the face-to-face discussion that made the difference. He shared with me his career experiences, advice on university selection and much more. To top it off, I had the opportunity to hear talks and concerts by so many guitar legends all in a single festival.” Kevin’s father, Marcus, also a guitarist, who joined his son for the week commented, “This is one of the best guitar festivals I have attended; breathtaking location, diverse genres, world class musicians, concerts and great people! I look forward to returning to this one of a kind guitar festival.”

In addition to David Leisner, this year’s Artists in Residence lineup includes jazz guitarists Lee Ritenour and Mike Stern, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee John Oates (of Hall & Oates), blues guitarist Ana Popovich and singer-songwriter Shelby Lynn. The faculty is comprised of nationally recognized guitar instructors in their respective genres and styles.

A core part of the COCGF’s charitable mission is to provide scholarships for students and teachers to participate in its programs. During the past four years the COCGF has awarded 94 scholarships valued at over $230,000. In addition to the many scholarships given to Northwest Montana residents, scholarships have been awarded to individuals throughout the United States and in Japan, Singapore, Canada, France, South Africa, Ireland, Hungary and Brazil.

To further its educational mission, COCGF has partnered with Lee Ritenour to support his Six String Theory international guitar and rhythm section competition, hosting the finals in 2011 and 2012. The winners of the 2014 Six String Theory guitar and rhythm section competitions will receive scholarships to attend this year’s workshop and festival.

COCGF has a donor who wishes to sponsor a scholarship for the winner of the 2014 GFA International Youth Competition (ages 15-18) to participate in the August 24-31, 2014 workshop and festival. The scholarship will include: full tuition to the workshop and festival, air transportation to Kalispell Montana and all-inclusive accommodations at the Flathead Lake Lodge ( If the winner is under 18, a parent or guardian whose expenses will also be fully covered must accompany them. The value of this scholarship is between $6,000-$15,000 depending on travel costs and whether a parent or guardian will be included. The scholarship recipient also must have the ability to comfortably understand and communicate in English. If the competition winner is unable to accept the scholarship or does not meet the English-speaking requirement, the scholarship will be offered to the 2nd or 3rd place winners.

Artists in residence in previous years of the Crown Guitar Workshop are listed below.
Scott Tennant-Classical, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet-Classical, Dennis Koster-Classical/Flamenco, Joe Bonamassa – Blues, Pat Metheny (and trio) – Jazz, Lee Ritenour - Jazz/Funk/Rock, Steve Lukather – Rock, Alex de Grassi – Acoustic, Robben Ford – Blues, Chris Hillman - Country Rock, ,Julian Lage (and trio) – Jazz, Patty Larkin - Singer/Songwriter, Mac McAnally - Singer/Songwriter, , Herb Pedersen –Country Rock, Daryl Stuermer – Rock, Livingston Taylor - Singer/Songwriter, David Wilcox - Singer/Songwriter, Dave Grusin – Keyboards, Abraham Laboriel – Bass, Melvin Lee Davis – Bass, Sonny Emory – Drums, Dave Weckl – Drums.

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