Fine Arts Academy
Instrumental Music: Classical Guitar
The McCallum High School and Fine Arts Academy is home to one of the leading classical guitar programs Texas. McCallum’s Guitar Ensembles have won several consecutive first prizes in the UT Brownsville and Hill Country National Classical Guitar Ensemble Competitions, and performed showcases at major conventions such as TMEA, and the Guitar Foundation of America. They have performed alongside the Miro Quartet under the baton of Peter Bay for the world premiere of Joe Williams’ ‘Austin Pictures’ at ACL Live Theater, and shared the stage with Yale Professor Ben Verdery during a performance of his work ‘Ellis Island’ at Concordia University. Ensembles have also given pre-show performances for iconic guitarists such as Pepe Romero, LAGQ, and Solo Duo for Austin Classical Guitar’s International Concert Series.
Students in the McCallum Classical Guitar Program have opportunities to perform in masterclasses for leading classical guitarists such as Adam Holzman (UT), Stephen Aron (Oberlin), as well as the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Students have also won prestigious awards such as the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Competition’s ‘Outstanding Musician’ award, as well as the Texas Young Master’s grant.
The Classical Guitar Program at McCallum features three annual program concerts, as well as opportunities to perform in the All City Guitar Event, Full ensemble/sight reading competition, as well as UIL solo/ensemble competition and AISD solo/ensemble competitions.
Meet Our Faculty
Andrew Clark moved to Austin from Canada to join the Fine Arts Academy music faculty. Mr. Clark began musical studies at the age of 5 and guitar at the age of 13. A Royal Conservatory of Music Silver Medallist, he attended The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, graduating in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Guitar Performance. That same year, he was selected for a full 2 year scholarship to continue his guitar studies at L’Escuela Nacional de la Musica in Havana, Cuba. Mr. Clark has attended and performed in classical guitar symposiums such as Le Domaine Forget in Quebec, the Iserlohn Guitar Festival in Germany, and the Mediterranean Guitar Festival in Italy. An avid pedagogue as well as performer, Andrew Clark attended Columbus State University in Georgia, where he graduated with a Masters Degree in Music Education with a concentration in guitar pedagogy.
The Chamber Ensemble is five time consecutive national champions at the University of Texas, Brownsville Classical Guitar Ensemble Competition, the only known national classical guitar ensemble competition in the country.
We perform at the Austin Classical Guitar Society’s Season concerts every year, as well as various community events throughout Austin.
The Chamber Ensemble has been featured at Austin Classical Guitar Society concert events, including in October 2009 for a guest artist from Japan.
The Chamber Ensemble has also been featured at the Guitar Foundation of America Festival/Competition showcase.
Students in the classical guitar program have won Texas Outstanding Musician Awards, numerous UIL “1 ratings”, national solo competition awards, and scholarships to post-secondary art programs.
The curriculum follows The Austin Classical Guitar Society’s online guitar curriculum, a sequentially developed, nine-level curriculum designed both for a classroom of students who are all at the same level (i.e. most beginning classes) as well as varying levels represented.
Classes consist of rehearsing repertoire in three/four parts while developing technical, music reading, and expressive skills. Selected repertoire consists of a historical survey of music arranged and composed for the classical guitar ranging from the Renaissance era to contemporary works by Austin composers. Every student is required to participate in winter and spring performances.
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