Southern Guitar Festival & CompetitionInspiring Guitarists and Music Lovers Alike with World-Class Performances and Competitions


Networking Session

The Southern Guitar Festival’s Networking Session is designed to introduce prospective students to guitar educators from leading music programs. Over the course of the session, students and educators will matched in private, one-on-one rooms for several minutes to learn about. Then, they will change rooms, and students and educators will be re-matched.

The Networking Session is only open to competitors, with priority given to Division I finalists. If there are spots remaining, registration will open to other competitors on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The guitar educators participating in the Networking Session are listed below.

Prof. Stephen Aron, Oberlin College & Conservatory


Classical guitarist Stephen Aron has dedicated himself to a lifetime of encouraging young guitarists to find their own voices. Through careful attention to the nuances of both physical technique and musical expression, a gradual mastery is achieved. Each student is recognized as unique, both in their artistic directions and in their musical backgrounds and physical capacities. By helping them find and prepare for their unique musical paths, truly original artists emerge.

Aron, described by the New York Times as “cultivated and musical,” performs regularly throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. An active composer and arranger, his work is published by Tuscany Editions (“wonderful guitaristic arrangement,” American Music Teacher), Mel Bay Publications (“historic,” Guitart), and Clear Note Publications (“a book to be ignored at your peril,” Classical Guitar). Clear Note also recently published several of Aron’s original compositions (“imaginative, adventurous, effortlessly entertaining,” Classical Guitar).

He has released 13 publications, totaling nearly 600 pages of music.

Aron’s recordings have been described as “stunning” (Guitar Review), “superbly produced” (Soundboard),“ warmly recommended” (Fanfare) and “inspired” (Classical Guitar). Notably, most of the works on his nine CDs are either original arrangements, original compositions, or premiere recordings of the works of others. His recordings and publications of 30 Lieder ohne Worte by Felix Mendelssohn and the complete Chopin Mazurkas, both for solo guitar, were industry firsts.

Aron’s most recent releases, One Fell Swoop and A Musical Congeries are collections of new original music for solo guitar.

He is a dedicated chamber music advocate, and maintains a regular duo with his wife, soprano JoNell Aron, and another with flutist Jane Berkner. He plays frequently with mixed chamber ensembles both traditional and new music.

Aron has adjudicated numerous national and international competitions and has been a repeat guest, giving performances, lectures, and master classes at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention, Stetson Guitar Workshop, Portland Guitar Festival, Eastman Guitar Festival, Rantucci Guitar Festival, Alexandria Guitar Festival, the National Summer Guitar Workshop, the Eastern Carolina University Guitar Festival, the Sauble Beach Guitar Festival, and the Appalachian Guitar Festivals. He’s also been a frequent guest performer and lecturer at the Yale Guitar Extravaganza, the Ithaca College Winter Guitar Festival, the Eastern Tennessee Guitar Festival, the Montreal Guitar Festival, the New York Guitar Seminar, the Miami International Guitar Festival, the Mediterranean Guitar Festival, the Scotland Classical Guitar Retreat, the TAMU Guitar Symposium, and others.

Recently, Aron has been a guest at guitar festivals in Iserlohn, Germany, and Sorrento, Italy. He has appeared on recital series across Italy, as well as in France and Denmark.

Aron was professor of music at the University of Akron from 1981 until his retirement in 2015. He continues as teacher of classical guitar and founder of the Classical Guitar Program at Oberlin, where he joined the faculty in 1992.

His blog,, is one of the most-read classical guitar resources on the web.


Prof. Nicholas Ciraldo, University of Southern Mississippi


Nicholas Ciraldo is a leader among his generation of American classical guitarists. At the start of his career, he won awards and reached high levels at the Tredrez-Locquemau International Guitar Competition (France), the Gaetano Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition (Italy), the GFA Solo Guitar Competition (USA), the Portland International Guitar Competition (USA), and the MTNA Guitar Competition (USA). Ciraldo now pursues numerous solo, chamber, and concerto performances across four continents, now having played in such venues as the United States’ Jordan Hall, Germany’s Berliner Dom, and Brazil’s Teatro José Maria Santos.

Soundboard magazine states that Nicholas Ciraldo’s performances are “without reservations, marvelous…with abundant technique and commitment to the music…one of the best….” describes his playing “goes right to the heart of the music, with his precise, active, athletic style.” The Baton Rouge Advocate writes that Ciraldo is “definitely in command….generating a collective gasp of amazement in the audience.” Kansas City’s Journal of the Performing Arts says Ciraldo’s “touch was nimble and delicate, skilled without being flashy. The instrument was a clear extension of the performer, with integrity of sound and performance taking precedence.”

As an avid chamber musician, Nicholas Ciraldo has collaborated with harpist Franziska Huhn, guitarist Eliot Fisk, trumpet player Brian Shaw, violinist Stephen Redfield, and the Quadrivium Guitar Quartet in various chamber music performances. Currently, Dr. Ciraldo performs regularly with flutist Rachel Taratoot Ciraldo, in Duo Cintemani. Their concert venues have included the National Flute Association Convention, the Pelican State Chamber Music Series, the Christ Church of Pensacola, and the Escola da musica e bellas artes do Parana, Brazil. Ciraldo was also a founding member of the multi-genre music trio, the HonkyTonk Philharmonic.

Nicholas Ciraldo has been artist-in-residence at several notable organizations. As a member of the Quadrivium Guitar Quartet, he traveled throughout rural Kentucky under the auspices of New Performing Arts. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Austin Classical guitar has hosted Duo Cintemani. Most recently, Ciraldo taught at the School of Music and Fine Arts in Curitiba, Brazil, the Industrial University of Santander, in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and the University of Costa Rica. He has given numerous lectures and masterclasses throughout North and South America.

Nicholas Ciraldo is Full Professor of the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music, in Hattiesburg, where he manages the guitar program. He has received several awards and grants, including the College of Arts and Letters’ Creative Activity Award, the Lucas Faculty Excellence Award, and the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Performing Artist Fellowship.

Nicholas Ciraldo held diverse positions with several arts organizations. He was Artistic Director of the Boston Classical Guitar Society and Vice President of Austin Classical Guitar. He was co-founder of the Hammer/Nail Project, a collegiate program that links student composers with guitarists and shows how to write for the guitar in the most idiomatic way possible. He was Undergraduate Coordinator as well as Associate Director of the Southern Miss School of Music.

Nicholas Ciraldo earned a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University at Bloomington, where he studied with Ernesto Bitetti. He earned a Master of Music with Honors and Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Leisner. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin as a three-year recipient of the “Freeman Fellowship” and student of Adam Holzman.

His doctoral research involved the “1928 Manuscript” of the Etudes for Guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos. He has released three full-length compact-disc recordings.



Dr. Elliot Frank, ECU School of Music


Applauded by critics and audiences for his unique blend of powerful virtuosity, beautiful tone, and natural musicianship, Elliot Frank is a frequent guest performer and teacher at guitar festivals, as concerto soloist and on concert series throughout the Americas and Europe. Most recently he has appeared at the Florida Guitar Festival, the Utah Classical Guitar Society, Great Guitarists at Stetson, as concerto soloist with the McClean Orchestra, and at the CSU Guitar Symposium. Other highlights include performances for the Mediterranean Guitar Festival in Cervo, Italy, the Sea and Guitars Festival in Vrsar, Croatia, the inaugural Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra Villa Caletas in Herradura, Costa Rica, Sauble Beach Festival of the Classic Guitar in Sauble Beach, Ontario and at the Sixth Guitar Festival of the Dominican Republic. He has also been a featured performer at the 2006 Guitar Foundation of America Festival, the Alexandria Guitar Festival, the Festival Lachine in Montreal, Canada, and at the Southwest Guitar Festival in San Antonio. He has also performed for the North Carolina Bach Festival, the Tennessee Guitar Festival, and the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Festival, where he serves as Artistic Director. His first compact disc, South American Guitar Music, has been praised as being “eloquent” and “delightful.” An aficionado of guitar music of Hispanic cultures, he has performed lecture/recitals pertaining to the music of Antonio Lauro for the Guitar Foundation of America at international festivals in Pasadena and New Orleans. He recently gave the world premiere of Concerto da Camera for guitar and chamber orchestra by Mark Taggart in March of 2016, and premiered the E Sonata by Andrew Zohn in 2004.

Elliot Frank is also a prizewinner in national and international competitions including the Concurso Internacional de la Casa de España in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While completing his doctorate at FSU, Elliot Frank was selected to initiate the guitar studies program for East Carolina University and holds the position of Professor of Guitar in addition to maintaining an active concert schedule. His students and alumni, continue to distinguish themselves with an impressive array of first prizes in national and international competitions, and they hold teaching positions at universities across the United States.


Adam Holzman, The University of Texas at Austin


Adam Holzman, international performer, recording artist and teacher is hailed as “…polished and quite dazzling,” by The New York Times, “…brilliant!,” by De Gelderlander, Holland, and “…masterful!,” by The Toronto Star.

Five times a winner in major international competitions including: First Prize at the 1983 Guitar Foundation of America Competition held in Quebec, Canada and Top Prize at the Ninth Concorso Internazionale di Interpretazione di Gargnano, Italy. Mr. Holzman has performed at the prestigious Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and distinguished New York venues such The 92nd St. Y, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie Recital Hall. He is also a frequent guest in music festivals and series around the globe. His extensive international performances have taken him throughout Europe, Canada, Mexico, Central and Latin America. Recent seasons performances had him appearing in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Montreal, Mexico, Boston, Houston, Dallas and Milwaukee. He was also chosen by the 92nd street Y as one of 5 American artists to appear in a concert honoring Andres Segovia in fall 2013.

Mr. Holzman’s recordings for the Naxos label have been critically acclaimed. The first two are discs of the music of Fernando Sor and have been called “…irresistible” by Gramophone Magazine. Discs three and four contain the music of Manuel Ponce. Of the Sonata for Guitar and Harpsichord on Ponce Volume II Classical Guitar Magazine (England) says “It’s a fine and substantial work and here it receives the finest recording yet…” Of his Naxos release, The Venezuelan Waltzes of Antonio Lauro, the American Record Guide had this to say: “The landmark recording was David Russell’s 1980 LP. Now, 20 years later, comes another masterly recording by Adam Holzman: in many ways it raises the benchmark still further.” His Naxos release Bardenklange, Opus 13, of Johann Kaspar Mertz is considered a seminal recording and has been praised by critics around the world. His recording debut, on HRH Records, was a collection of rarely or never before recorded selections. According to The American Record Guide this performance is “…so flawless he makes it all sound easy.” His recordings are all featured on the Adam Holzman channel on Pandora.

Mr. Holzman’s commitment to new music led him to co-commission Samuel Adler’s first Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra. He has also premiered works by composers Robert Helps, Roland Dyens, and Stephen Funk Pearson among others. In 2018 he was part of a Consortium Grant to commission the new concerto for Guitar and Orchestra Colours by Stephen Goss Adam Holzman, founder of the Guitar Department at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music and the Austin Guitar Society is considered one of America’s leading guitar pedagogues. He heads a thriving guitar studio and his students have won an astounding array of international prizes. He is also Program Director for Classical Guitar Studies at the Brevard Music Festival where he runs two three week summer sessions focused on intensive study of all aspects of solo and chamber playing for students 14-29 years of age. He also directs the Adult Guitar Workshop for students of all levels 30 years of age and older.

From 1992-1994 Mr. Holzman held the title of “Maestro Extraordinario” given by the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico, where he served as artist-in-residence. He was awarded the Ernst von Dohnanyi Prize for Outstanding Achievement from Florida State University and has been named The Parker C. Fielder Regents Fellow in Music at the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Holzman has been featured on the covers of both Classical Guitar Magazine and Guitar Magazine.

Mr. Holzman’s performance studies were with Bruce Holzman, Albert Valdes Blain, Eliot Fisk and Oscar Ghiglia. He was chosen twice to perform in the historic Master classes of the legendary Andres Segovia.

Douglas James, Appalachian State University


Douglas James has appeared as a classical guitarist throughout the United States as well as in Europe
and Mexico. He has been a featured recitalist for such notable venues as the Guitar Foundation of
America annual convention, Guitar-Festival Iserlohn, Stetson International Guitar Workshop, Oberlin
Conservatory, New York’s Carnegie and Merkin Halls, and many more. He has won top prize in the
Arturo Toscanini Solo Guitar Competition (Italy), and twice has been awarded a National Endowment for
the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowship. James often features 19th century instruments in his performances of
the Classical and Romantic literature, and plays regularly in a period guitar duo with the Italian guitarist
Pasquale Rucco.

James has recorded three critically acclaimed CD’s for the Cala Vista label. The first, Italian Romantic
Music of the Early 19th century, featuring 19th century solo guitar music on period guitars, was followed
by two in duo with Pasquale Rucco, Early Romantic Music for Two Guitars, and A Night at the
Opera. Gitarr och Luta (Sweden) notes that “Douglas James’ playing on the record is for my taste totally
splendid. His enthusiasm to explore the early guitar repertoire is obvious, and he has an ability to use
the old instruments to their full capacity, with all of their timbral possibilities. He plays intensely and
sensitively with flow, ease and elegance.” Classical Guitar (England) states, “Douglas James clearly has a
great deal of sympathy for this repertoire and a carefully worked out approach to its interpretation …
everything is animated by concern for the life of the music on its own terms and in its own time. This is a
welcome addition to the choice of 19th century repertoire played on genuine instruments of the time.”

In addition to his work as a classical guitarist, James has in recent years expanded his musical horizons to
include his earliest roots playing electric guitar in various contemporary styles, and playing Baroque
music on the theorbo. For him there’s a strong connection in the almost purely improvisational playing
of contemporary electric guitar, and the improvisation involved in realizing continuo in Baroque music.
Douglas James holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona where he studied
with Thomas Patterson. Dr. James is Professor of Guitar at Appalachian State University, a past member
of the Board of Trustees of the Guitar Foundation of America, and directs the annual Appalachian GuitarFest.

You can view more about Douglas James at his personal web sites at, and

Jay Kacherski, The University of Texas at Austin


“Virtuosismo” and “technical dominance” are the words used by the press to describe American guitarist, Jay Kacherski. A native of New York, Kacherski has performed around the world as a soloist and member of the highly praised Texas Guitar Quartet. Kacherski has performed at distinguished festivals and venues such as the Festival International de Guitarra de Taxco, the Florida Guitar Foundation, the Brevard Music Center, Round Top, the Festival Internacional de Guitarra del Conservatorio Nacional de Música, Mexico City, the New Orleans Opera, and the GHM International Guitar Art Festival in Shenzen, China among others. He has also collaborated with Grammy-winners and nominees such as the chamber choir Conspirare, Chilean flutist Viviana Guzman, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

Jay Kacherski spent two years living in Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar and member of the guitar faculty at the Escuela Nacional de Música, the music conservatory for the National University of Mexico (UNAM) researching, performing, and promoting contemporary classical guitar music of Mexico. His guide and teacher for this work was the world-renowned Mexican guitarist Juan Carlos Laguna. Kacherski has since premiered and edited many new works from Mexico and has created a complete catalog of Mexican guitar works with links to videos, audio, scores, and more that can be found at

Jay Kacherski is currently on the guitar faculty at Loyola University, the University of New Orleans, and McNeese State University, and NOCCA, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He is an Associate Editor for Soundboard Magazine, the director of the Francis G. Bulber Youth Orchestra Guitar Program, the Artistic Director of the Houston Classical Guitar Festival and Competition in Texas and the Loyola Guitar Fest. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s Degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and undergraduate degrees Music and Spanish from Florida Southern College where he graduated with honors.

Dr. Jonathan Leathwood, Lamont School of Music


Jonathan Leathwood teaches guitar, music analysis and the Alexander Technique at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, where he is Associate Teaching Professor and chair of the guitar program.

As a recitalist, Jonathan has appeared at the Leo Brouwer Festival in Brazil, the Wigmore Hall, the Cheltenham Festival, the D-Marin Festival in Turkey, and many other venues in Europe and both American continents. The Musical Times of London has written of his “remarkable talent and singular artistry”; Fabio Zanon wrote in Violão Intercambio that “he has to be seen to be believed,” while Classical Guitar has called him “a genius.”

Equally known as a collaborator with both performers and composers, Jonathan Leathwood has recorded two albums with the legendary flutist William Bennett, and recorded and broadcast with elite cellists Rohan de Saram and Steven Isserlis. His commissions from composers such as Param Vir, Stephen Goss, Robert Keeley and Chris Malloy have pushed the boundaries of both six- and ten-string guitars. His recordings of Goss, Dodgson, Malloy and Keeley are available on the Cadenza and nMC labels.

Jonathan is passionate about integrating different modes of knowledge and understanding in musical performance and education. Whether he is teaching a studio lesson, a class in the history, pedagogy, or repertoire of the guitar, or one of his graduate theory seminars in Schenkerian Analysis or the music of Bach, his overriding concern is how we can practice more deeply and perform more expressively.

Jonathan is one of the few guitarists in higher education to be internationally certified as a teacher of the Alexander Technique. He is the editor of Soundboard Scholar, the Guitar Foundation of America’s peer-reviewed journal of guitar studies, and has two books in preparation.

Dr. Stephen Lochbaum, Oklahoma City University


Stephen Lochbaum began his classical training at the late age of 18 and achieved much in a short span of time. Within six years he had earned a Master’s degree from the University of Victoria, won the National Music Festival of Canada, and had the immense honor of performing with the legendary guitarist Pepe Romero as well as Alexander Dunn and Randy Pile. Shortly after graduation Stephen had his radio debut on CBC Radio 1 performing Romancero Gitano by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the Vancouver Cantata Singers.

Currently Stephen is working on a doctoral degree in performance at the University of North Texas where he was awarded a full-time teaching fellowship. His related field is early music and as such Stephen also performs on period instruments including 8-course renaissance lute, 14-course theorbo, 5-course cittern, baroque guitar, 19th-century guitar, and terz guitar. He has performed in the Boston Early Music festival with UNT and various early music societies and groups in Dallas/Fort Worth.

On top of his busy schedule teaching, performing, and doing schoolwork Stephen has been very active on the competition circuit. Over the last four years he has earned thirty top prizes in international competitions in Canada, the United States, Germany, and Spain. He recently won a contract with EMEC Discos and will record a CD of Guilio Regondi in Madrid.


Rafael Padrón, University of Miami


Cuban-born guitarist Rafael Padrón brings an extensive and diverse career as both an artist and educator to his role as Program Director of Classical Guitar at the Frost School of Music. An innovative and passionate performer, he has been featured both solo and with orchestra in numerous cities throughout the world. His credits include work with such stellar ensembles as the Symphony Orchestra of Matanzas, Cuba, the Ayacucho Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, the Chamber Orchestra of Caracas, Venezuela, Camerata Latinoamericana of Costa Rica. The Independence Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, the Panama National Symphony Orchestra and The Panamerican Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C.

Mr. Padrón has also been a featured performer at any number of high profile international music festivals. As an artist who is constantly in demand, he has headlined the International Festival of the Guitar in Havana, Cuba, The International Festival of the Guitar in Panama, The International Music Festival in Costa Rica, The Festival Iberoamericano de Guitarra in Tenerife, Spain, Rust International Guitar Festival and Competition in Rust, Austria, and Brno International Guitar Festival in the Czech Republic. He also premiered composer Leo Brouwer’s “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra No. 3, Elegíaco” at the International Festival of Music of the Hatillo in Caracas, Venezuela, and introduced Mr. Brouwer’s suite “From Yesterday to Penny Lane” at the International Guitar Festival in Costa Rica.

Mr. Padrón’s wealth of teaching experience is equally diverse. He taught classical guitar at the Jose Antonio and Carmen Calcaño Foundation of Caracas, Venezuela, the National University of Heredia, Costa Rica, Costa Rica University of San Jose, Costa Rica, The Paco de Malaga Guitar Gallery in Washington D.C., The Olenka Music School in Columbia, Maryland, and The Levine School in Washington D.C.

Among his many accolades, Mr. Padrón has received major honors from numerous national and international competitions, including the Best Interpretation of Latin American Music in Havana, Cuba, The Diploma of Honor at the International Classical Guitar Competition in Chile, and top prizes from the National Guitar Competition in Havana and the Montpelier Cultural Arts Center Recital Series Competitions in the United States.

Mr. Padron began studying the guitar at the age of eleven. He attended the National School of Art in Havana, Cuba, studying under the guidance of the distinguished Argentinean teacher and performer, Victor Pellegrini. In 1986, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Advanced Institute of Art in Havana, where he graduated with a degree in music in 1991, while also receiving the prestigious “Student of High Achievement” award. In addition, he participated in master classes with such accomplished artists as composer Leo Brouwer and guitarists Maria Luisa Anido, Alvaro Pierri, Costa Cotsiolis and David Russell. He graduated from the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where he also completed his Graduate Performance Diploma on a full scholarship, under the tutelage of world-renowned guitarist Manuel Barrueco. Mr. Padron received his Master’s Degree Diploma at the University of Miami in December 2005.


Dr. Robert Trent, Radford University


Robert Trent has performed on the continents of North and South America, Europe, and in Asia, performing on modern guitar, Renaissance lute, and historic instruments of the nineteenth-century, in particular the 10-string Scherzer and authentic 19thc.guitar.

A first prize winner in numerous National and International competitions including; the Webb National Guitar Competition, the Masterworks Young Artist Competition (which was for all instruments), and the chamber music prize at the International Competition “Arturo Toscanini” in Italy in Period Instrumental performance.

Reviewers have said: “His interpretations are dignified, formal, and carefully thought out, with a sense of structural integrity that informs every passing tone.”NEW YORK TIMES;

“A SEASONED ARTIST STRUMS THE DEPTHS (headline) “…. he seemed most intent on using his sweet, crystalline sound to plumb the emotional depths of each work.”PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER;

“This is a real exposition of Trent’ s art, unfolding unhurriedly and ever gracefully like a flower opening to the sun…This is a recording of the first rank”. Fanfare, Colin Clarke. Review of “Barcarolles & Fantasies –10-stringed guitar” on Soundset Records.

“Trent exploits that vibratory potency in performances of impeccable timing, liquid phrasing, and sophisticated timbral diversity. He’ s assembled a program that gives full play to his coloristic gifts, variety of articulations, and skill”, Fanfare, Robert Schulslaper.

“Robert Trent is a most accomplished guitarist…while many players have played such works most satisfactorily on the standard guitar, Trent’s marvelous-sounding instrument makes the case that these pieces are best heard in their original tonal garb.” Soundboard, Al Kunze. Review of “Barcarolles & Fantasies -10-stringed guitar”.

“Perhaps the best Chamber Music recording of the year.” Fanfare, Jerry Dubins. Review of “Concert Royaux” on Epiphany Recordings Ltd. Robert Trent, archlute.

In addition to his in solo recitals he performs regularly with fortepianist Pamela Swenson Trent (as Duo Firenze). In past summers they have been in residence as performers and teachers in period instrument performance at the “Accademia L’Ottocento” in Rome and Verbania in Italy. Duo Firenze is the recent recipient of numerous awards including: unprecedented two Career grants from The Johns Hopkins University – Peabody Conservatory, two Faculty Development Grant from Radford University, twice from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

As a scholar is published by; has contributed improvised cadenzas in the style of Fernando Sor to the “Complete Sonatas of Diabelli, Giuliani and Sor, Vol. 1”, published by Mel Bay; chaired the national standards committee for the guitar division of the American String Teachers of America (ASTA); and, served on the editorial team of the Guitar Foundation of America’s ‘Soundboard Scholar’; and, blogs on music, guitar, practicing and historical performance practice

He was the conductor for the inaugural concert of the All-Virginia Guitar Ensemble, which is composed of guitar students selected by audition from across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

He is the first recipient of the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in guitar performance from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Julian Gray, Manuel Barrueco, lutenist Ronn McFarlane, and singer John Shirley- Quirk. He also holds a Master of Arts of degree in music from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) from whom he has received the Distinguished Music Alumni Award, and a Bachelor of Music in performance from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (now the University of the Arts).

Dr. Trent is in his 28th year as Full Professor of Music (Guitar and Renaissance Lute studies) at Radford University where he is in his 20th year as director of Radford University’s Annual International Guitar Festival. Many of his students are performers, educators, producers, recording artists, and administrators at all levels in the U.S., and in Asia.