CSU Student wins International Guitar Competition Despite Injury Setback

Dragos Ilie, a music performance student at Columbus State University, recently won first prize at the Texas A&M International Guitar Symposium and Competition. Ilie, who came to CSU in 2015 from Romania, says his experience at CSU helped prepare him for the prestigious award.

"Attending CSU has been one of the most life changing experiences, because I have been able to interact with so many different people from all over the world," says Ilie. "Columbus is a small town, but it has put me in contact with the international guitar world."

Ilie's win comes despite a guitar-related back injury that has limited his practice time over the last two years. When he was unable to practice, Ilie says that he would look over the music and mentally practice it. He also credits the "Body Mapping for Musicians" course at CSU for helping him to overcome the injury.

"The class helped me understand how a musician's body works and also helped me integrate good alignment to the everyday life," said Ilie. "Although the injury was challenging, it was one of the best life lessons that I have ever gotten. It taught me so much, not just about guitar, but about life itself."

Ilie's international win will provide him with a guaranteed solo performance in 2020. Scheduled to graduate in spring of 2019, Ilie hopes to pursue a master's degree and ultimately become a performing artist and professor.