Department of Music

2013 PLU Guitar Festival

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA


Elizabeth Brown & Stephen Howland, Directors


Designed for guitar enthusiasts of all levels, the PLU Guitar Festival will feature hands on Jazz, Classical and Flamenco Guitar workshops, concerts and a Guitar Builder Exhibit.  Festival participants will have the opportunity to perform in one of two Guitar Orchestras, with music available in advance. All events take place at Pacific Lutheran University, in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center, with concerts held in the exquisite Lagerquist Concert Hall.  

Festival Registration: $60 (General), $40 (Senior) and $30 (Students, Grade 6 and older).  Register ASAP to get your first choice of complimentary D'Addario guitar strings!  Registrations will be accepted up until the day of the Festival.

The 2013 PLU Guitar Festival is supported in part by the D’Addario Music Foundation and the Seattle Classic Guitar Society.

D'Addario logo

Elizabeth CD Brown PicElizabeth CD Brown

A specialist in standard classical guitar as well as various early guitars and lutes, Elizabeth C. D. Brown is a very active performer throughout the Pacific Northwest, giving an average of 50 concerts a year. Highlights from recent seasons included solo lute and baroque guitar recitals at Early Music Festivals in Berkeley and Cleveland, performing as the soloist in Vivaldi's "Concerto in D," and a 10 performance run of Monteverdi's Ulysses in Seattle and San Francisco. She has performed in operas by Purcell, Blow, Paisiello, Rossini and Verdi, as well as all of Monteverdi's surviving operatic works. Elizabeth's first solo recording, La Folia de España: Dances for Guitar, features works for baroque, 19th century, and modern guitars, and has been praised for its "...apparently effortless ease." (Lute News, UK) She is also featured in the recording Dolce Desio as a member of the early music trio Le Nuove Musiche, and in the recording Navidad: Christmas in the New World with Seattle Pro Musica. She has just released her second solo recording, In Her Honor, which includes music from the Princess [Queen] Anne Guitarbook and the Elisabeth of Hesse Lutebook, as well as her own arrangements of works by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. An enthusiastic advocate for the guitar and lute, Elizabeth has given numerous outreach performances at schools, senior centers, and community centers for the Seattle Classic Guitar Society and the Early Music Guild, as well as by arrangement while on tour. She is head of the Guitar and Lute program at Pacific Lutheran University, has taught at Seattle Pacific University, and is on the faculty of the Accademia d'Amore (baroque opera workshop, Seattle). See her on YouTube at or for more information visit:

Stephen HowlandStephen Howland

Stephen Howland is a native of Walla Walla, Washington.  He has a diverse professional background, playing solo classical and flamenco guitar and performing in nightclub bands; jazz trios, combos, and big bands; and a wide variety of classical and early music ensembles.  He has been a featured guitarist-composer in new music festivals and a visiting concert artist and clinician at universities, colleges, and guitar societies throughout the West.  He has been featured on recordings as a jazz soloist with big band, classical and early music chamber musician, solo guitarist in various styles, and writer and studio guitarist for independent artists and bands, including the Seattle based band Motopony.  Howland earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance from Arizona State University, Master of Music from ASU, and Bachelor of Music from the University of Idaho.  He received the highest marks and many academic honors and awards, including a teaching assistantship at ASU, the Presser Award, and the Eleanor Mader Memorial String Award.  Howland currently teaches both jazz and classical guitar at Pacific Lutheran University and the Rosewood Guitar in Seattle.  He Performs Classical, solo Flamenco, and original Jazz with some of the best new Jazz talent in the Seattle area, including Courtney Fortune and Nate Omdal, among others.

Kevin CallahanKevin Callahan

While Kevin holds a BA in English literature from Dartmouth College, he pursued harmony, composition and orchestration throughout his undergraduate career. Upon graduating, he returned to his hometown of Boston for private study with Thomas McGah, head of the composition department at Berklee College of Music, and jazz studies with both Mitch Coodley and Mick Goodrick.  Kevin moved to Seattle in 1983 where he spent a year studying classical guitar with Gary Bissiri.  At home in a variety of music genres, Kevin has performed or recorded with groups including the Assad Brothers, the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Guitar Quartet, Seattle Guitar Trio, Dave Koz, Arnold McCuller of the James Taylor band, Greg Adams of Tower of Power, Roger Fisher of Heart, Rita Coolidge and others. Kevin's compositions for classical guitar have been performed around the globe in venues such as Carnegie Hall, New York Met, Benaroya and others.  His pieces are published by Henry Lemoine and Doberman Editions.  “Kevin Callahan is one of the best guitarists I’ve had the pleasure to meet in my life.”  - Sergio Assad

Gary Burgess PicGary Burgess

As a Puget Sound local, Gary Burgess has been actively involved in the classical guitar community for close to a decade. Introduced to classical guitar by his father, Gary went on to study at Pacific Lutheran University with Elizabeth C. D. Brown where he received a B.M. in classical guitar performance and performed in master classes for Stephen Stubbs, Kevin Callahan and the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. Since graduating in 2009 Gary has performed with the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra, the City Cantábile Choir, the Bellevue Chamber Chorus and as a duo with his brother Greg Burgess. Gary also teaches a small group of dedicated students. As an advocate for classical guitar in the Northwest, Gary regularly performs with the Pacific Lutheran University Guitar Orchestra as an alumnus.

Derrick Robinson PicDerrick Robinson

Derrick Robinson is a guitarist and educator currently residing in Tacoma, WA.  He studied under David Feingold at Western Washington University where in 2005 he earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Guitar Performance. During his time at Western, Derrick was a three-time finalist in the Northwest Classical Guitar festival and recipient of the Bellingham Music Society scholarship for musical excellence.  Since receiving a Masters in Teaching in 2010, Derrick has worked in the public schools teaching guitar and audio production. Derrick currently runs a successful music technology and guitar program at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma. 

Register ASAP to get your first choice of complimentary D'Addario guitar strings!  

Advance payment via check or credit card is required for registration. To register call the PLU Music Office at 253-535-7602 or Click HERE for a registration form.  Space permitting, registrations will be accepted up until the day of the Festival.  

D'Addario logo

Saturday, March 16, 2013

All events take place in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center 

9:30 am – Registration Opens (Lobby)

10:00 am – Brief Welcome and Introduction (Room 306)

10:15 am – Small Ensemble Workshop, Elizabeth CD Brown (Room 306)

Small ensemble playing is all about watching and listening, but what exactly does one watch or listen for, and how do you actually use that information?  In this hands on workshop we will explore practical ways to use and improve these important skills.

10:15 am - Flamenco Guitar Workshop, Stephen Howland (Room 322)

This workshop will examine the popular flamenco form of Bulerías with musical examples from Paco De Lucía’s Cepa Andaluza.  Students will have a chance to learn and practice a few highlighted passages and distinctive flamenco techniques, including rasgueados, golpes, and alzapúa.

11:00 am – Right Hand Technique Workshop, Gary Burgess (Room 306)

Have you ever wondered how to get an indefinitely sustained note on the guitar or felt like the tune you are working on would benefit from a less legato and more articulate trill? In this workshop you will learn how to remedy both of those problems while exploring how the tremolo and the cross-string trill work.

11:00 am – Jazz Guitar Workshop, Stephen Howland (Room 322)

This workshop will examine the popular jazz form of “Rhythm Changes,” one of the staple categories of chord progressions used by countless jazz musicians.  Students will have a chance to learn and practice key concepts for playing chords, single-note lines, and walking-bass lines in the form. 

11:45 am – Intermediate/Advanced Guitar Orchestra Rehearsal, Elizabeth CD Brown (Lagerquist Concert Hall)

See the Perform page for more information.

11:45 am – Beginning/Intermediate Guitar Orchestra Rehearsal, Derrick Robinson (Room 322)

See the Perform page for more information.

12:45 pm – Lunch Break

2:00 pm – Guitar Listening Session, Stephen Howland (moderator) & Gary Burgess (performer) (Room 306)

Guitar listening session, featuring instruments from the evening Guitar Builders Exhibit.

3:00 pm – Guitar Ensemble & Orchestra Concert, Elizabeth CD Brown & Derrick Robinson, Festival Participants (Lagerquist Concert Hall)

See the Perform page for more information.  This event is free and open to public and will be streamed live by the PLU School of Arts and Communications.

4:15 pm – Technique & Fretboard Theory Workshop, Kevin Callahan (Room 306)

There are lots of ways to understand the fretboard including sight-reading and rote memorization.  However, in this workshop, Kevin Callahan will guide you towards mastering the fretboard through the mastery of harmony.  You will gain insights on how to grow your musicianship on a much deeper level, improving your abilities in any style of music you choose to play.

5:15 pm – Dinner Break

6:30 pm – Guitar Builder Exhibit (Room 322)

See the Guitar Builder Exhibit page for more information.  This event is free and open to public.

8:00 pm – Elizabeth CD Brown, Stephen Howland & Friends Faculty Concert (Lagerquist Concert Hall)

Elizabeth CD Brown, Stephen Howland, and guest jazz performers Courtney Fortune (vocals) and Nate Omdal (bass) present a three-part performance featuring classical solos, duos, and original works for jazz guitar and small group.  Featuring the world premiere of a new work written by Kathryn Smith Derksen for Elizabeth Brown, as well as works by Howland, Albeniz, Almeida and Duarte.  Admission is included in the Festival Registration, or tickets may be purchased separately.  Mary Baker Russell Music Center: Lagerquist Concert Hall. Tickets: $8-general, $5-senior, $3-alumni, complimentary-18 and under.  This event is open to the public and will be streamed live by the PLU School of Arts and Communications.

Perform at the PLU Guitar Festival

All festival participants are encouraged to perform in a Guitar Orchestra while at the PLU Guitar Festival.  There will be a Beginner/Intermediate Guitar Orchestra and an Intermediate/Advanced Guitar Orchestra.  Both groups will rehearse at the festival and perform in the 3:00 pm concert, which is free and open to the public.  Please feel free to look through the music available below by clicking on the title and choose parts that suit your ability and interests.

Beginning/Intermediate Guitar Orchestra 

The Beginning/Intermediate Guitar Orchestra will be directed by Derrick Robinson and rehearse at 11:45 am in Room 322.  The music includes single line melodies, mostly in first position, as well as some chord accompaniment parts.  Some of the parts are available in TAB.

Beginning/Intermediate Guitar Orchestra Music, click on the title:

A Que Has Venido, Forastero


Intermediate/Advanced Guitar Orchestra 

The Intermediate/Advanced Guitar Orchestra will be directed by Elizabeth CD Brown and rehearse at 11:45 am in Lagerquist Concert Hall.  The music includes special techniques, such as natural and artificial harmonics, percussion, slurs, glissandos and strumming.  Notes throughout the fretboard are used.  All parts are identical, since the piece is a 3-part canon.

Intermediate/Advanced Guitar Orchestra Music, click on the title:

Folia y Milonga

Click HERE to view a video of these piece.

Courtney FortuneCourtney Fortune

“The proof is in her music,” One wrote of American singer/songwriter Courtney Fortune, “[She] delves into the bitterness of heartbreak with a distinctly nostalgic flair, a smooth homage to timeless jazz greats embellished with Fortune’s distinctive pop fusion.”  Born into a family of visual artists, the Seattle native began cultivating her crossover style at an early age while performing at cabaret clubs and rock venues around town.  She played shows across Japan and the UK, before moving to Los Angeles where she began her collaboration with four-time Grammy nominated producer/arranger Chris Walden. Together they released Courtney’s debut jazz album “Speak Love” in 2009, driven by her original work and those co-written with the celebrated composer.  She also performed as the featured vocalist of the Grammy nominated Chris Walden Big Band.  Then in 2010 she joined forces with internationally acclaimed DJ/producer Alex Nahai to create Two Tribes, an electro synthpop duo that combines innovative style and genre-blending talents.  Two Tribes is currently at work on their debut studio album and their single “Madly” will be featured as an exclusive game on Rock Band 3 for Microsoft XBox Live this year, as well as part of an upcoming Rock Band Relief campaign. Courtney has been recognized by MTV, The John Lennon Foundation, as a Brian Wilson Award honoree and recipient of GLAMOUR Magazine’s “Top Ten College Women of the Year”.

“She is a steady warm presence, and she handles adeptly the balance of grace and appeal to sensuousness that is an earmark of many jazz-vocal greats. That’s quite an accomplishment for a young performer of unquestionable beauty…Courtney has developed a textured, sultry, arrestingly mature torchsinger’s delivery to which experience may eventually lend depth and credence.” -Peter Monaghan, Earshot Jazz Magazine

Nate OmdalNate Omdal

Nate Omdal is one of the most in-demand bassists in the Seattle area. He studied jazz performance and composition at Cornish College of the Arts. After Cornish Nate has continued to live and work in Seattle, performing in various groups for many of Seattle’s fine public and private events. In 2007 he co-founded an independent record label to support new and emerging northwest artists. In February of 2010, Nate as awarded a smART Ventures grant from the Seattle Mayors Office of Film and Music to produce a concert featuring the music of film composer Ennio Morricone. (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Untouchables) Most recently Nate co-founded a non-profit (501-C3) with the Seattle-based arts management company Shunpike, to help commission new jazz compositions and collaborations.

Brandt ParkeBrandt Parke

Brandt Parke is a senior Bachelor of Musical Arts student with concentrations in jazz guitar and studio production work with a minor in Business Administration. He has been playing the guitar for nine years and is heavily rooted in the blues, jazz, funk, and rock genres. He is currently a member of the PLU Jazz Ensemble, the Steel Pan Ensemble, and plays in a rock band outside of school. Brandt recently performed as the guitarist in fall production of "Our Town," and as the guitarist and bassist for the theater production of "Falling Slowly." For the past two years he has performed with the Jazz Ensemble at the PLU Christmas Jam, and has shared the stage with greats such as Pearl Django. Last year he participated in PLU's first annual Guitar Festival with Dr. Stephen Howland and Dr. Elizabeth Brown, and is thrilled to be a part again this year. This is his third year of studying guitar under Dr. Howland, and his second year of composition lessons with Jeff Leisawitz. After graduation in May, Brandt is traveling with the Jazz Ensemble to Australia to perform and experience the trip of a lifetime before entering the real world.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Henry Claassen

Henry Claassen

Henry Claassen, originally from Boise, Idaho, is a first year student here at Pacific Lutheran University.  He has studied guitar for eight years, during which time he played in his high school jazz band and performed in various solo and ensemble competitions and festivals.  He is currently a member of the University Jazz Ensemble and studies with Dr. Stephen Howland.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

The 2013 PLU Guitar Festival will host a Guitar Builder Exhibit from 6:30-7:50 pm in room 322.  This event is free and open to the public.

Serious guitar builders interested in participating should contact Elizabeth CD Brown at  

Robert Hamm
I am a lifelong enthusiast of the Classical Guitar. My passion for lutherie began 6 years ago. I have studied with several guitar builders: Dan Biasca, Jeff Elliott, and Greg Oxreider. My particular area of interest are instruments made in the Hauser/Torres tradition.

J. T. Hargreaves Basses & Guitars
Since building my first electric bass, some 40 years ago, I think my skills have greatly improved!  Lately, I've concentrated on developing new design concepts to create modern acoustic instruments.

Roseberry Guitars
Scot Tremblay
250 384 9776
I am a Canadian luthier specializing in replicas of 19th century/Early Romantic guitars.

Maxwell T. Sipe
Handmade classical and steel string guitars located in Portland, Oregon.

Robert Webster
Building fine custom classical guitars in Gig Harbor, WA