Information for the 2025 Guitar Festival is still being updated. Check back soon for more details!

PLU Guitar Festival

March 2, 2024

Mary Baker Russell Music Center | Elizabeth C.D. Brown & Stephen Howland, Directors

The festival will feature hands on Classical and Jazz guitar workshops, lectures and concerts with PLU guitar faculty members Elizabeth CD Brown and Dr. Stephen Howland alongside guests Stella Kosim and Elliott Turner.  Festival participants will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the Festival Guitar Orchestras, with music available in advance. All events take place at Pacific Lutheran University, in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center, with rehearsals and concerts held in the exquisite Lagerquist Concert Hall. The 2024 PLU Guitar Festival is supported in part by the Seattle Classic Guitar Society the Seattle Jazz Guitar Society, and the Rosewood Guitar.

Registration Costs:

Please note we are unable to take registration and payment information at the festival.

  • General ($60)
  • Senior ($50)
  • Grade 6 and Older Student ($30)
  • PLU Student ($10)

Active members of the Seattle Classic Guitar Society and/or the Seattle Jazz Guitar Society will receive a $10 registration discount.

Teachers who are Registering School Groups, please contact Elizabeth or Abby. Additional registration discounts for groups!

Performing in Guitar Orchestras:

All registrants are strongly encouraged to participate in the Festival Guitar Orchestras, from beginning students to professionals. This is a great opportunity to have fun, meet fellow guitarists and enjoy the camaraderie that is such an enduring element of the PLU Guitar Festival. Participants are welcome to practice in advance (see below for sheet music and practice recordings), or just grab some music and play along!

In addition to performing in the Festival Guitar Orchestra, pre-existing ensembles (2 or more) also have the opportunity to perform in the 2:00pm Guitar Ensemble concert.  Our faculty will also provide written feedback for these ensembles! If you have an ensemble interested in this opportunity please contact Elizabeth Brown no later than Friday, February 16.

Guitar Orchestra Music I

We are excited to play a theme from Rossini’s William Tell set for guitar by 19th century composer, arranger and guitarist Justin Holland, arranged for guitar ensemble by Elizabeth Brown. Parts vary in difficulty–Guitar 3 and Guitar 4 are the most beginner friendly. Feel free to pick the part that suits you best. Sheet music for all four parts and the full score, as well as a Practice Track, are below!

Justin Holland William Tell Guitar 1

Justin Holland William Tell Guitar 2

Justin Holland William Tell Guitar 3

Justin Holland William Tell Guitar 4

Justin Holland William Tell Score

Practice Track at slower speed:

Practice Track at full speed:

Guitar Orchestra Music II

We have another fun Jazz Guitar Orchestra arrangement by Dr. Stephen Howland to play this year.  Guitar part 1 has the melody and Guitar 4 a repetitive riff-style bass part. Guitar 2 and Guitar 3 are the most beginner friendly, and establish the repetitive harmonic and rhythmic groove. Feel free to pick the part that suits you best. (Music removed now that the festival has past.)


  • Noon – Registration Open, Mary Baker Russell Music Center Lobby
    • Come pick up your packet with schedule, workshop handouts, concert tickets, etc. The MBRMC lobby is right outside the Lagerquist Concert Hall on the 3rd floor, which is the main floor of the building.
  • 12:30 pm – Festival Guitar Orchestra Rehearsals, Lagerquist Concert Hall
      • Guitar Orchestra rehearsals for the afternoon concert. Participants are welcome to practice in advance (see “Perform in Guitar Orchestras” for sheet music and practice recordings), or just grab some music and play along!
  • 2:00 pm – Guitar Ensembles and Orchestra Concert, Lagerquist Concert Hall
    • Various ensembles perform, including the PLU Guitar Orchestra and Ensemble and the Festival Guitar Orchestra. This performance is open the public, both in-person and via livestream.
      In addition to performing in the Festival Guitar Orchestra, pre-existing ensembles (2 or more) also have the opportunity to perform in the 2:00pm Guitar Ensemble concert.  NEW THIS YEAR:  We will be providing written feedback for these ensembles! If you have an ensemble interested in this opportunity please contact Elizabeth Brown no later than Friday, February 16.
  • 3:00 pm – How to Make Your Guitar Sing with Stella Kosim, MBR 306
    • The guitar is a highly versatile instrument that is capable of rhythmic, harmonic, and lyrical playing. This workshop will focus on the lyrical or singing capabilities of the guitar. You can give life to melodies by playing them clearly and expressively with legato and other expressive devices. We will take a close look at traditional studies for classical guitar, and the content and activities will help guitarists of all styles make their music more enjoyable to themselves and their audiences.
  • 4:00 pm – Writing With the Fretboard with Elliott Turner, MBR 322
    • Explore ways to use the tuning and structure of the guitar to make music uniquely different than what is written on a keyboard and inspire your creativity. This workshop will be beneficial for non-jazz guitarists!
  • 5:00 pm – PLU Guitar Festival Faculty Concert, Lagerquist Concert Hall
    • PLU guitar faculty members Elizabeth CD Brown and Dr. Stephen Howland perform alongside guests Stella Kosim and Elliott Turner. This performance is free and open the public, both in-person and via livestream.

Enjoy listening to a video of the 2022 PLU Guitar Festival orchestra!

Guest Faculty:


Stella Stephanie Kosim’s recent performances include a solo concert on Seattle Classic Guitar Society’s Good Shepherd Center series and a solo concert in Jakarta, Indonesia for the Yayasan Pendidikan Musik (YPM). She has also performed for the Whidbey Island Guitar Festival, the Guitar Society of the Tri-Cities, and the DODO Music & Art Center in Jakarta. Stella has released two CDs: “Be Thou My Vision” which features traditional hymns for solo classical guitar, and “Bubuy Bulan”, a collection of Indonesian folk songs arranged for classical guitar by Iwan Tanzil.

Stella began her classical guitar studies at Yayasan Pendidikan Musik (YPM), in Jakarta. She graduated from the Pre-Conservatorium guitar program under the guidance of Oliver Pletscher, and taught at the school for three years. She continued her classical guitar studies at the University of Washington in Seattle with Michael Partington, and has also studied with Jorge Caballero, Paul Grove, Scott Kritzer and David Leisner. Additionally, she has performed in master classes presented by the Seattle Classic Guitar Society, Northwest Guitar Festival, New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, and the Guitar Foundation of America.

Stella currently teaches guitar at the Snohomish County Music School in Snohomish, Washington, and teaches online classes for the Indonesian Classical Guitarist Community (ICGC).

Elliott is a composer, guitarist, and avid organist born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. He is deeply inspired by the bluesy rock of Seattle native Jimi Hendrix and jazz great Pat Metheny, from which he drew the inspiration to take up the guitar and the composition book. His work has been performed by artists such as Joshua Redman and Victor Wooten, and two of his jazz big band charts, “Can’t Even Feel the Blues” and “Alternative Facts,” earned him each an ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award (2019, 2020). After finishing his Bachelor’s in Composition at Pacific Lutheran University, he moved to Colorado to earn his Master’s in Jazz Studies – Composition Emphasis at the University of Northern Colorado while working as the organist and choir director of the First Presbyterian Church of Berthoud.

After returning to the Pacific Northwest to raise a family, he found a new passion for the organ, both the sacred and the “cool”. While directing the choirs and performing on the pipe organ for St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church (2020 – 2023), he continues to play the hammond B-3 organ at church events, local haunts such as Cider and Cedar, and now is working on several recording projects with his organ trio, Threocracy and the Noah Peddibon Trio. Yet the love of the organ has only complemented his journey as a guitarist. He performs regularly throughout the South Sound with the Susan Tuzzolino Quartet, his own trio and the Bill Frisell/Pat Metheny-inspired guitar/piano duo 96 Strings Attached. Now returning to his natural habitat amongst the evergreens, Elliott is determined to build up Seattle’s musical community through performing, writing, and teaching the children of Tacoma about the spiritually healing and inspiring power of music.

Elliott’s love for music is complemented by a love for family and friends, board games, hiking, and reading philosophy. His wife, Keigan, and daughter, Rosemary, are best friends, inspiration, and partners in musical adventures. They live wherever Tahoma (Mt. Rainier) is within sight.

PLU Faculty Artists & Festival Directors:

Elizabeth C. D. Brown - Senior Lecturer

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. Elizabeth’s first solo recording, La Folia de España: Dances for Guitar, features works for baroque, 19th century, and modern guitars. Also active as an ensemble musician, she is a member of Baroque Northwest, La Lira, the Puget Sound Consort and Ayres and Graces, and has appeared in the Early Music Guild’s three baroque opera productions and with various other ensembles. 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, and has taught at Seattle Pacific University and the Accademia d’Amore (baroque opera workshop, Seattle). See her on YouTube at or for more information visit:

Stephen Howland

Co-director of the PLU Guitar Festival and Lecturer of jazz guitar, Dr. Stephen Howland joined the PLU faculty in 2008. He has taught jazz and classical guitar, ear training, and jazz history at PLU. Howland and his colleague Elizabeth Brown started the festival in 2011. They have played together as a classical guitar duo most years at both the festival and the annual Seattle Classic Guitar Society Holiday Concert. Howland has written and arranged much music for the guitar over the last 30 years. Programing for the duo led to new arrangements of pieces by Albéniz, Bach, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Turina. Howland has taught many jazz clinics at PLU, including “The Popular Jazz Form of Rhythm Changes” (2013), “Jazz Rhythm Guitar Styles” (2014), “The Guitar Style of Charlie Christian” (2015), “The Guitar Style of Antônio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto” (2016), and “Playing Modal Jazz” (2017). Most years Howland has also written and premiered new original solo and ensemble pieces for improvisation. In 2017 Howland began directing the PLU Guitar Festival Orchestra in a jazz piece to promote hands-on jazz education and appreciation in the community. He has arranged works by Jeff Beck, John Coltrane, Angelo Debarre, Duke Ellington, and Artie Shaw. Howland teaches both online and at Seattle’s Rosewood Guitar and plays private and public gigs as a soloist, bandleader, and sideman. He has played with Clipper Anderson, Marco De Carvalho, Jared Hall, Mark Ivestor, Adam Kessler, Kate Olson, Nate Omdal, Jason Parker, Gordy Ryan, Melyssa Stone, and Cassio Vianna, among others.

For Questions:

Elizabeth C.D. Brown, Guitar Lecturer
School of Music, Theatre & Dance; Pacific Lutheran University
(253) 535-7602 e-mail:

Abby Deskins, Coordinator of Educational Outreach Programs
College of Professional Studies; Pacific Lutheran University
(253) 535-7877 e-mail: