UK Celebrates New Guitar Program

Contact: Whitney Hale

Photo of Guitarists Doug Smith and Andrew Leonard
Doug Smith and Andrew Leonard

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“Although the focus of the program is the performance of the traditional classical guitar repertoire,” Leonard believes, “it is important for students to be exposed to as many styles of solo guitar playing as possible. Especially since Kentucky is a state with a great guitar tradition."

-- Andrew Leonard,
instructor,
School of Music,
University of Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2005) -- In celebration of the new guitar program at the University of Kentucky, classical guitarist and School of Music instructor Andrew Leonard will perform 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the UK Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall.

Joining Andrew Leonard will be 2005 Grammy award-winner Doug Smith, a steel string guitarist from Portland, Ore. Leonard and Smith have been touring together over the past four years. During their performance, each guitarist will play a solo set and the evening will end with several duets.

Leonard will play classical guitar pieces from Spain, world and folk inspired music from Turkey and the United States, and music by J.S. Bach. Smith will perform his original contemporary acoustic guitar pieces, which have been heard on national television, including The Discovery Channel, ESPN, CNN, and the television show “Martha Stewart Living.”

Leonard, UK’s classical guitar instructor, has been called a “guitar phenomenon” by the Portland Phoenix of Maine and hailed for his “inspiring … effortless mastery” by Northeast Performer. His two recordings, “A World of Guitar Music” and “Music of the Ages,” have been broadcast on National Public Radio affiliates throughout the country. Leonard received his Master of Music degree from Yale University School of Music. Before coming to UK to teach, he taught at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Billboard magazine referred to Smith’s music and guitar playing as “inviting melodies … stunning finger-picking.” He received a Grammy award in the Best Pop Instrumental category this year for his arrangement and performance of the Henry Mancini song “It’s Easy to Say” on the recording “The Pink Guitar.” Warner Brothers Music released Smith’s instructional DVD “Contemporary Instrumental Guitar” and a companion CD & book in the last year as well. Both contain many of his most popular original guitar pieces.

The UK School of Music offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a music minor in classical guitar. “Although the focus of the program is the performance of the traditional classical guitar repertoire,” Leonard believes, “it is important for students to be exposed to as many styles of solo guitar playing as possible. Especially since Kentucky is a state with a great guitar tradition. I am very excited to be a part of the UK School of Music and I look forward to performing with Doug Smith on April 9. It is an opportunity to hear two different styles of solo guitar in one evening.”

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for UK students. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center box office at (859) 257-4929.


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