Columbus State Hosts International Gathering for Feb. 26-27 Guitar Symposium

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music is welcoming classical guitar musicians, educators and enthusiasts from around the world for its 12th annual Guitar Symposium, Feb. 26-27 at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.
Andrew Zohn
“Guitar has an interesting niche in the classical music world,” said professor Andrew Zohn, right, festival founder and director. “It has a crossover appeal, so we have seen a lot of success with this festival in Columbus as well as abroad, and we hope to continue that trend.”

The festival’s original intent was to create a regional event for guitar-lovers, but the festival has grown, now attracting participants from about 30 states and five countries. 

The festival consists of guest artist performances, master classes, lectures and an international competition for guitarists, with divisions for participants as young as age 6 to those of college and professional level. 

“This festival is really as big as any of the known festivals in the states, and as such it has become a great recruiting tool for CSU,” Zohn said. “We get students to come here from all over, and they see the Schwob school and guitar studio in action.”

Most of the festival’s events are limited to paid, registered participants. However performances in Legacy Hall by featured artists are open to the public for $20 per evening.

Featured artists include festival director Zohn and Dutch composer and guitarist Jan Bartlema at 8 p.m. on the first night. The second night concludes with performances by the Newman-Oltman duo, a husband and wife from New York with 30 years of acclaim as performers, and Xuefei Yang, from Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music.

“This is a huge event for us, considering the competitions, the featured artists and, more importantly, an educational component, which is very important,” said Zohn “We have the pleasure of having Dr. Kevin Manderville as the guest lecturer. Plus, all of the featured artists will hold master classes.”

Mandeville has toured internationally and released his debut CD last year. He currently serves on the faculties of Troy University and Huntingdon College.

“We are very excited about the support from the people of Columbus and are expecting a successful event,” said Zohn.

For more information, go to or contact Zohn at 706-649-7295 or