2016 PLU Guitar Festival

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

Elizabeth Brown & Stephen Howland, Directors

Julie DeCamp, Administrative Assistant

PLU Guitar Festival Registration Form or call 253-535-7602

Pacific Lutheran University is pleased to announce their sixth annual Guitar Festival on Saturday, February 27, 2016. This full day of hands on workshops, lectures and concerts features PLU guitar faculty members Elizabeth CD Brown and Dr. Stephen Howland alongside exciting guest faculty and performers, including Michael Nicolella, Mimi Fox and Melyssa Stone.  Festival participants will have the opportunity to perform with the Festival Guitar Orchestra, 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. Thanks to the D’Addario Music Foundation festival participants will receive a set of guitar strings—first come, first served! All-inclusive price:  $60 (General), $40 (Senior) and $30 (Students, Grade 6+) Thanks to the D’Addario Music Foundation festival participants will receive a set of guitar strings—first come, first served! The 2016 PLU Guitar Festival is supported in part by the D’Addario Music Foundation, the Seattle Classic Guitar Society the Seattle Jazz Guitar Society, the Rosewood Guitar and Sound Island.


All events take place in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center 

  • 9:30 am – Registration Opens (Lobby)
  • 9:50 am – Brief Welcome and Introduction (Room 306)
  • 10:00 am – Myth Busting the Lute, Elizabeth CD Brown (Room 306) – This hands-on class will focus on some of the common myths surrounding the lute, lute music and technique.  Students will be given practical advice and exercises on how to apply what they’ve learned to the modern guitar.
  • 10:00 amBeginning Jazz Guitar Workshop, Stephen Howland (Room 322) – This hands-on class will look at the guitar style of Antônio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto, a tradition blending the classical guitar, finger-style technique, jazz harmony, and Latin rhythms.  Subjects include basic technique, rhythm, and harmony.
  • 11:00 amFestival Guitar Orchestra Rehearsal, Elizabeth CD Brown (Lagerquist Concert Hall) – PLU Guitar Festival Orchestra rehearsal.  Please note that this will include everything from easy to advanced intermediate parts. See the Performance box to the right for more information.
  • 11:00 am – Intermediate Jazz Guitar Improvisation Workshop, Stephen Howland (Room 322) – This hands-on class will build on the materials covered in the beginning workshop.  Subjects will focus on fundamentals of improvisation, including adding color tones and building lines.
  • 11:50 pm – Lunch Break
  • 1:00 pm – Guitar Ensemble & Orchestra Concert, Elizabeth CD Brown, Festival Participants (Lagerquist Concert Hall) – This event is free and open to public and will be streamed live by the PLU School of Arts and Communications
  • 2:15 pmRight-Hand Technique Workshop, Michael Nicolella (Room 322) – While rooted in classical guitar, the information covered will be equally applicable to steel string or electric guitarists wishing to further their right-hand “finger-style” capabilities. The workshop will cover such topics as: hand position, mechanics, free stroke versus rest stroke and specific exercises to develop and refine your right hand technique regardless of current level.
  • 3:30 pmJazz Guitar Masterclass, Mimi Fox (Room 306) – Mimi will coach a couple student performers, engage the audience, and take time for Q/A.  Informative and inspiring for everyone.
  • 5:00 pmFaculty Concert (Lagerquist Concert Hall)- Elizabeth CD Brown, Stephen Howland, and guest performers Mimi Fox, Michael Nicolella and Melyssa Stone.  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.


We are still accepting registrations!

To register please call the PLU Music Office at 253-535-7602 no later than noon on Friday, February 26.  We will also accept walk-up registrations the day of the festival, starting at 9:30am in the Mary Baker Russell Music Building lobby.  All-inclusive price:  $60 (General), $40 (Senior) and $30 (Students, Grade 6+) Thanks to the D’Addario Music Foundation festival participants will receive a set of guitar strings—first come, first served! We have nylon (classical) strings, acoustic steel strings and electric guitar strings, please indicate your choice on your registration form.  Register early to guarantee your first choice of free strings!

PLU Guitar Festival Registration Form


Perform at the PLU Guitar Festival All festival participants will have the opportunity to perform in the Festival Guitar Orchestra, which will rehearse at the festival and perform in the afternoon concert, which is free and open to the public. The 2016 Festival Orchestra will perform “Adelita” by Francisco Tárrega and “Valse No. 1” by Enrique Granados.  These arrangements are from the extensive GuitarCurriculum.com Music Library, who has graciously made them available for the festival.  Participants are encouraged to pick a part from the options below and prepare the music ahead of time.

Ensembles Also Invited to Perform! Pre-existing guitar orchestras and guitar ensembles (2+ performers) that have a prepared piece are also invited to perform in the afternoon guitar ensemble concert.  All performers should be registered participants in the PLU Guitar Festival.  Please contact festival director Elizabeth CD Brown at brownec@plu.edu if you have a group interested in performing.  Please note that proposed program information for performing ensembles is due to Elizabeth CD Brown at brownec@plu.edu by February 9, 2016.

2016 PLU Guitar Festival Music

AdelitaGtr1 ValseGtr1 Guitar 1 part contains notes in high positions as well as frequent accidentals, slurs and ornaments.

AdelitaGtr2 ValseGtr2  Guitar 2 part contains notes up to 3rd position, some accidentals and some block chords.

AdelitaGtr3 ValseGtr3  Guitar 3 part contains a few accidentals and some block chords.

AdelitaGtr3simplified The simplified Guitar 3 part is very beginner friendly.

AdelitaScore ValseScore  Scores of all parts for reference

A special thanks to GuitarCurriculum.com and arrangers Matthew Hinsley (Adelita) and Travis Marcum (Valse No. 1) for the use of this music.


Additional Participant Information:


Mimi Fox

Mimi Fox

Internationally renowned guitarist/composer/recording artist Mimi Fox has been named a winner in 6 consecutive Downbeat Magazine international criticʼs polls and is one of the most widely acclaimed jazz guitarists on todayʼs scene.  Mimi has released nine recordings as a leader, including her newest release on Steve Vaiʼs Favored Nations label, “Live at the Palladium.” This new DVD features Mimi in front of a sold out audience and has all the magic and excitement of a live performance. Pop Culture Classics said: “Fox demonstrates her vibrant virtuosity in this concert and turns each selection into a distinctive gem.” Just Jazz Guitar said: “This is simply jazz guitar playing at its best. Her ideas are creative, heartfelt, and sophisticated.” 2006’s double CD, Perpetually Hip, received rave reviews from scores of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, which called this project Fox’s “Masterwork” and said: “The two discs stand as a definitive Fox statement. The first showcases her simmering interplay with a quartet featuring drum maestro Billy Hart, while the second captures her breathtaking solo style in an approach that is as harmonically resourceful as it is lyrically inventive.”  Mimi has performed/recorded with Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez, Houston Person, Don Lanphere, Abbey Lincoln, Diana Krall, Kevin Mahogany and Janis Siegal (Manhattan Transfer), Joey DeFranceso, Barbara Dennerlein, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, and fellow guitarists Charlie Byrd, Stanley Jordan, Charlie Hunter, and Mundell Lowe. She has also shared the stage with legends Stevie Wonder and John Sebastian and was featured on La Guitara, a special project of Vanguard recording artist Patty Larkin. Mimi has released eight highly acclaimed albums as a leader, including her two most recent on Steve Vaiʼs Favored Nations label. Her YouTube videos have received hundreds of thousands of views.  Mimi maintains a whirlwind touring schedule, playing major festivals from New York to Tokyo, including tours of the Caribbean, Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. International festivals include the Montreal Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, the Perth International Jazz Festival, and the Monterey Jazz Festival among countless others. Stateside, she has headlined at elite jazz venues, including the Blue Note, Merkin Concert Hall, Sweet Rhythm, and The Village Gate in New York City, the Regattabar and Scullers in Boston, Blues Alley in Washington DC, Triple Door and Jazz Alley in Seattle, and Yoshiʼs and the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Mimi Has appeared on numerous television shows, including “BET on Jazz”, and as a guest on many radio shows, including NPRʼs “piano Jazz” with Marian McPartland.  Mimi has also written and performed original scores for orchestras, documentary films and dance projects while receiving grants from prestigious funders such as Meet the Composer and the California Arts Council.  A respected and devoted educator with several popular books and CD-roms with Mel Bay Publications and True Fire, Mimi conducts clinics worldwide and heads the guitar department at the Jazz School in Berkeley, and is adjunct professor of jazz studies at New York University.  Whether delivering jaw-dropping solo sets, performing dazzling duets with sympathetic partners, or leading a hard-charging combo, Mimi is a consummate improviser who seizes the imagination of her listeners with her passion, soul and unerring ear for beauty. http://www.mimifoxjazzguitar.com

Michael Nicollela

Michael Nicolella

With a repertoire spanning from J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti to Jimi Hendrix and Elliott Carter, Michael Nicolella is recognized as one of America’s most innovative classical guitar virtuosos. Described by Classical Guitar magazine as: “one of the contemporary guitar’s most gifted stars” and by Guitar Player as a: “classical iconoclast (who) continues to push the boundaries of the genre as both a composer and player,” he has received wide critical acclaim for his performances, recordings and compositions. As a concert artist, Michael has performed throughout North America, Europe and Japan as solo recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestra.  Nicolella blurs the lines between musical styles and disciplines. He is part of a growing trend in classical music to revitalize the role of the composer/performer. As a concert artist he frequently programs his own works for guitar in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Known for his creative programming, he has introduced electric guitar into his ‘classical’ programs and extended the repertoire and audience of his instrument not only with his own compositions and transcriptions, but also by premiering and commissioning works by some of today’s most exciting emerging composers. His work as both a classical and electric guitarist prompted Gramophone magazine to state “Others have ‘crossed the track’ in one direction or the other but none has done so with the technical and/or musical success as Nicolella, who, chameleon-like, achieves comparable distinction in both fields.”  Michael’s newest recording, a double album of his arrangement of the Complete Bach Cello Suites was described as a “monumental achievement” by Soundboard magazine and as “performances that show the suites in an entirely new light” by the Seattle Times. His previous four critically acclaimed releases were albums of contemporary music for classical and electric guitar. Nicolella has collaborated and performed with a wide range of artists including: the Seattle Symphony, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, violinist Gil Shaham, Broadway legends Bernadette Peters and Brian Stokes Mitchell, jazz vocalist Johnaye Kendrick, Charanga Danzon, and the Seattle Guitar Trio, which performed Michael’s groundbreaking arrangement of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”  Michael is a graduate of Yale University, Berklee College of Music and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy.  He is on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. http://www.nicolella.com


Elizabeth C. D. Brown
Elizabeth C. D. Brown - Senior Lecturer
Stephen Howland
Steve Howland


Melyssa Stone

Melyssa Stone

An up-and-coming jazz vocalist, Melyssa Stone has made a name for herself as a versatile lyricist with a “voice that draws you in with every note.” She has performed alongside John Pizzarelli, Steve Turre, Dee Daniels, the New York Voices, and was a backup singer for pop artist Ben Folds. Melyssa is the 2013 runner-up for the Seattle-Kobe Jazz Vocalist competition at Jazz Alley, and continues to perform at prominent Seattle-area venues with her group, the Melyssa Stone Quartet. She works as a studio vocalist for Seattle-area composers, vocal producer for a studio and a clinician for area schools. A well-rounded musician in her own right, she is also a former violist for the Thalia orchestra and three-time member of Seattle Theatre Group’s More Music @ The Moore String Ensemble led by then artist-in-residence, Daniel Bernard Roumain. An educator in her own right, Melyssa currently conducts with the Northwest Girlchoir, and recently joined the faculty of the Seattle Pacific University Kodály Summer Institute as a musicianship instructor. melyssastone.com