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Texas State University-San Marcos
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Hill Country Classical Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition

gtrThe First Annual Hill Country Classical Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition

April 5th and 6th, 2013 

This festival will be held at the beautiful Texas State University – San Marcos campus. This is a national competition and is open to high school students, college level students and independent studios of high school classification in an effort to bring like-minded individuals together to celebrate guitar and strive for excellence in performance. These performances will be adjudicated by a prestigious panel of judges including Tony Morris, Mike Chapdelaine, and other accomplished instrumentalists.

Stellar and award-winning classical guitarist, Chad Ibison, will be featured on the evening of the 5th. The dazzling Hanser-McClellan Guitar Duo will close the festival with their captivating blend of lyricism and virtuosity on the evening of the 6th. These guest artists will be giving masterclasses on the day of the competition. There are a limited number of masterclass spaces available. Positions will be granted to early registrants.

A vendor fair will also be present at our festival that will include luthiers and publishers.

Pricing and deadlines for registration and masterclasses are located on the registration form. See below.

Eligibility and Rules:

• Duos, trios, quartets and large ensembles are eligible to compete. Five guitars or more are considered large ensembles. Please limit one large ensemble per school. Each school may only bring a maximum of three ensembles.

• If one student or more participates in more than one ensemble from the same school, each of those students must still pay for each performance.

• There are no set pieces for the competition, although, programming with contrasting works are expected and will be one of the elements to be evaluated – along with tuning, unified time, tone quality, balance, mix, interpretation, dynamics, musicality, presentation, etc.

• High school students (ages 14 to 19) must prepare a program of seven to ten minutes.

• College students (no age limit) must prepare a program of twelve to fifteen minutes.

• There are no penalties for exceeding the time limit, but we encourage participants to remain within the boundaries of these time limits. Additional time will be cut off at the judges’ discretion. Performances under the time limit will result in a deduction of ten points out of a possible hundred per judge. This means that if there are four judges and each gives a perfect score of one hundred, each will deduct ten points from their score and then those scores will be tallied (360 total).

• Ten points will be deducted (per judge) should the director perform with students. There is no penalty for directors conducting for their students.

• Only classical guitars are permitted to be used. Upper or lower ranged instruments such as a requinto or acoustic bass may also be used as long as the strings are nylon. No electric or steel-string instruments.

Certificates of participation will be granted to all groups. A 1st prize, 2nd prize and 3rd prize certificate will be given to the top three groups in each category. Evaluation sheets will be provided to all participants at the end of the festival.


If you would like additional information, including hotels, and directions,

please download the info packet. 

 Competition Registration Form:

(click here to download)

Registration forms must be received by March 1st, 2013 to get the $30.00 per participant charge. Late registrants will be charged $50.00 per participant. No registration forms will be accepted on or following March 23rd.

Arrival time for the festival is on Friday, April 5th, around 6:00 pm when check-in begins. Performance times for participants will be provided within a program to be given out at check-in. Austin and area schools could check in on the day of the competition (Saturday morning on April 6 at 8:00 am) but are encouraged to attend the Friday evening performance.

For Potential Vendors:

Vendor Application:
(click here to download)

 Our featured artists:

Chad Ibison – April 5 at 8:00 pm at the TSU School of Music Recital Hall

IBISONChad Ibison is gaining attention throughout the United States as an emerging artist of great virtuosity. He has distinguished himself in many competitions including first place at the 2010 A&M Guitar Symposium, 2009 CSU Guitar Symposium and the 2009 ECU Guitar Workshop Competition. In June of 2008, Chad performed as a semifinalist in the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. In 2007, Mr. Ibison was a semifinalist in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America International Competition, and was selected as a concerto soloist with the CSU Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2010, Chad Ibison graduated with honors at Columbus State University under the tutelage of Dr. Andrew Zohn. Currently, Mr. Ibison is pursuing graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin in guitar performance with Professor Adam Holzman where he was awarded a fellowship. He has been selected to perform in masterclasses for such renowned artists as David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Pepe Romero, Paul Galbraith, Lorenzo Micheli and Ricardo Gallen.



Hanser-McClellan Guitar Duo
April 6 at 8:00 pm at the First Lutheran Church – 130 West Holland St., San Marcos

John McClellan and Kirk Hanser began performing together in 1996, each already being an established artist in his own right. As a duo, they quickly became known for their choice of entertaining programs, their technical and musical prowess, and their abilities for connecting with audiences. Over the past thirteen years, they have become recognized by critics and audiences alike as one of the most highly respected chamber music groups in the US.