Columbus State Hosts Premier Classical Guitar Event

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University‘s Schwob School of Music has attracted a premier event of the international classical guitar community.

CSU is hosting the 2011 Guitar Foundation of America Convention and Competition at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in downtown Columbus from June 28-July 3.

The gathering represents “the most significant event for classical guitar in this hemisphere,” said CSU faculty guitarist Andrew Zohn, who is coordinating the event.

gfa performersThe GFA, likewise, has praised its host. “RiverCenter is indicative of the Schwob school’s rise to excellence and includes the finest performance spaces in the city,” according to the foundation’s announcement of the event. “Its three superb concert halls enjoy outstanding acoustics and attract large and enthusiastic audiences each year.”

The convention features concerts by celebrated artists from around the world, interactive workshops, scholarly lectures, a vendor fair, an international concert artist competition and youth competitions.

In addition to a $295 full registration package, a $185 weekend package and $65 day passes are available to the public.

Separately, $15, $25 and $30 tickets will be sold for performances in the Heard Theatre by convention headliners Paul Galbraith at 8 p.m. Friday, July 1 and David Russell at  8 p.m. Saturday, July 2. For tickets, contact the RiverCenter Box Office at 706-256-3612.

Columbus joins the likes of recent host cities Los Angeles, Austin and San Francisco. “During the course of the week, more than 1,000 registrants will be coming to Columbus,” Zohn said.  “In addition to the international artist competition, a youth competition brings the greatest young talent from all over the world to the festival.”

CSU sophomore Colin Fullerton earned second prize in last year’s youth competition in Austin. While no CSU guitarists are competing this year, the university’s hosting of the event provides an invaluable experience.

“Most of the CSU guitar students are serving as volunteers for the festival, which will put them in contact with many of the great artists who are coming to perform and teach,” Zohn said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for students to be exposed to the very best the world of classical guitar has to offer.”

Founded in 1973, the Guitar Foundation of America is the largest multinational guitar organization, providing guitarists worldwide a full range of educational, literary and performance resources and opportunities.

A recent recipient of a University System of Georgia Regents Teaching Excellence Award, the Schwob School of Music ( is part of the College of the Arts on Columbus State’s RiverPark campus in downtown Columbus. Schwob’s classical guitar division, directed by Zohn, hosts a yearly CSU Guitar Symposium, drawing top guitarists from around the world.

To register for the GFA event, or for more information, go to or contact the Schwob School of Music at 706-649-7225.