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Regional Symposium 2020
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GFA Regional Symposium

Las Vegas, NV

February 15, 2020 @ 9:30 am

Hosted by Matthew Nishimoto

Coronado High School


The Guitar Foundation of America is excited to announce our next Regional Symposium taking place in Las Vegas, on February 15, 2020. The symposium will offer adjudicated solo performances, an ensemble showcase recital, three guitar orchestras led by Chuck Hulihan, and workshops and performances by our guest artists Martha Masters, Ryan Ayers, and Tengyue Zhang.

    With Support from:


Participation is FREE for GFA members, but registration is required.
For more information, contact Federico Musgrove Stetson:

All Symposia are FREE for GFA members.

Advanced registration is required for daytime events.
Evening concert is FREE and open to the public.


Please follow the link below to complete your registration, and remember that you must have an active GFA membership to be able to register!



High School Track:

'Concertino' by Jan Bartlema

College Track:

'Pulsar' by Vincent Lindsey-Clarks 

Meet our Orchestra Director, Chuck Hulihan

Chuck Hulihan, has enjoyed a career over the past two plus decades as a guitarist, educator, conductor, narrator, arts administrator, and as a classical music radio host. Chuck has directed the guitar program at Glendale Community College since 1999, where he is the Assistant Department Chair for Performing Arts, and in 2015 he was chosen by his peers to receive the GCC Gaucho Globe Award for Supporting Student Success. His work at GCC is highlighted by collaborations with composers whom have written new works for the GCC Guitar Ensembles, including Mark Houghton, Rex Willis, Jan Bartlema, Adrian Andrei, Frank Wallace, Andrew York, Vito Nicola Paradiso, Francisco Munoz, Aramis Silvereke, and Phil Moloso. Since 2000, his students have consistently won the Artists of Promise competition in both solo guitar and instrumental ensemble categories, and in 2014 the GCC Guitar Octet won the Guitar Foundation of America’s Ensemble Showcase Competition and went on to perform two world premieres at the 2014 convention.

Chuck’s work as a conductor has included over 50 concerts directing the GCC Guitar Ensembles and includes leading large orchestras comprising students from high school, college, and guitar society ensembles. He has led the Arizona Guitar Orchestra (AZGO), a collaboration of musicians from across Arizona, in three statewide tours that featured Shingo Fujii’s Concierto de Los Angeles with soloist William Kanengiser, Brad Richter’s Once We Moved Like the Wind, and Andrew York’s By Chants with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. He has been a featured guest conductor with the Clark County School District Honor Ensemble, the Vanguard University Guitar Festival Orchestra, the State College of Florida Guitar Ensemble, The Maryvale Festival Ensemble, Austin Classical Guitar’s Guitar Curriculum National Teacher Training Summit, and the 2019 Florida All-State Guitar Ensemble. Future conducting adventures include 2019 Virginia All-State and 2020 New Mexico All-State Guitar Ensembles and the 2019 Austin Classical Guitar Ensemble Festival. He serves as the Director of the Guitar Foundation of America’s Youth Guitar Orchestra, Community Guitar Orchestra, and Guitar Summit. Chuck actively contributes to the field of music education conference clinician and presenter and serves as Western Division Representative for the National Association for Music Education’s Innovations Council, as Innovations Chair for Arizona Music Educators Association, and is an active board member of the Grand Canyon and Phoenix Guitar Societies.




Ryan Ayers is a composer and solo guitarist; and, while his music is classical in nature, an evening in concert with Ryan is anything but traditional. Each of his original pieces feels approachable for a modern audience, and Ryan’s masterful storytelling rounds out the experience, giving deeper meaning to each song he plays.

Ryan takes you into his world and holds you there; until each piece becomes as personal for the listener as it is for the artist. As a result, a performance by Ryan Ayers ends up feeling more like an intimate conversation, set to a rich, vibrant soundtrack. Whether you are a musical aficionado or a stranger to classical guitar, this peek behind the curtain will give you new appreciation for the craft Ryan has spent years refining.

“And Ryan – who possesses a classical technique which he cleverly puts into his steel-string guitar’s service - is definitely a gifted and talented musician whose musical world is as poetic as it is personal. ”
— Roland Dyens


Classical Guitarist Tengyue Zhang, also known as TY, has won 1st prizes over many world competitions, including the Forum Gitarre Wien International Youth Competition of Austria, GFA International Competition Senior Division, the Changsha International Guitar Competition, Alexander Frauchi International Competition of Russia and the Schadt String Competition of America etc.

In 2017, TY received one of the world’s most prestigious guitar competition award, the Rose Augustine Grand Prize of the Guitar Foundation of American (GFA) International Concert Artist Competition (ICAC), become the first Chinese to be honored with this prize. His win followed by a tour with over 50 concerts in the U.S., including his Carnegie Hall debut.

“One of the most talented young players...Every time I hear him play, I’m struck by the extraordinary levels of mastery, comfort and relative ease... And that is true on this Guitar Recital album.” —Classical Guitar Magazine






Martha Masters first achieved international recognition in 2000 when she won first prize in the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition. That same year she also won the Andres Segovia International Competition in Linares, Spain, and was named a finalist in the Alexandre Tansman International Competition of Musical Personalities in Lodz, Poland.

Since then, Ms. Masters has been active as a solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist around the world. Her 2015/2016 season included appearances at festivals and on concert series through the United States, Germany, Poland, Russia, and China.

Masters received both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Manuel Barrueco, and completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California as a student of Scott Tennant.

Ms. Masters is currently on the guitar faculty of Loyola Marymount University and California State University Fullerton, and is president of the Guitar Foundation of America. She has five recordings on the Naxos and GSP labels, and has published books three books with Mel Bay Publications and Alfred Music. For more information, visit

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