Glen McCarthy, chair

For over 30 years, Glen McCarthy has taught guitar pedagogy and class guitar required for all music education majors at George Mason University. He has been a guest clinician and adjudicator at numerous festivals, conferences and workshops both nationally and internationally. He is the executive director and a clinician for Teaching Guitar Workshops, past-chair of the NAfME Council for Guitar Education, and the past-chair of the ASTA Guitar-in-the-Schools Committee and past-chair of the All-Virginia Guitar Ensemble.

Glen retired from Fairfax County Public Schools after 30 years at Robinson Secondary School where he developed a multi-level guitar program. Robinson was the first recipient of the Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association’s award to recognize innovative guitar programming in the United States. Under his direction, the Robinson Guitar Ensemble performed in numerous venues and was consistently awarded superior ratings at adjudicated festivals.

In 2014 from over 32,000 nominees the Grammy Foundation recognized Glen as one of the top ten music educators in the United States. He continues to perform in numerous venues and genres.

Darin Au

Darin has taught high school classroom guitar for 25 years with most of those years at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. During that tenure, he has maintained a successful private teaching studio, 7th Fret Guitar Studios, specializing in small group instruction to children ages 5 and up. Darin earned a Master of Music in Composition from the University of North Texas College of Music. He earned a BA in Music from the University of Redlands where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He has presented sessions on creativity, collaboration, and guitar education at state and national conferences. Darin currently serves as the Western Division representative on the NAfME Council for Guitar Education.

Darin’s compositions are performed by guitar ensembles around the country, including the NAfME All-National Honor Ensemble in 2018 (Chasing Dragons), 2020 (Gävlebocken) and 2022 (D’Bootsy Bass Baby). His works are published by the Theodore Presser Company and Les Productions d’OZ. He also has published Beginning Ensembles for the Next Generaton of Guitarists which was written to accompany any guitar method series.

At Punahou School, he served as Academy Music Department Head from 2005 – 2016. In that time the Punahou Marching Band participated in two Tournament of Roses Parades, two Presidential Inauguration Parades and a London New Year’s Day Parade. He also led the way in proposing and creating new courses including Hawaiian Music Ensemble, Creative Music Studio, Creativity and Composition, and a complete line of Guitar Ensembles.
He performs regularly on classical, acoustic, and electric guitars (and some ʻukulele) ranging from classical music to rock and reggae.

In his teaching, Darin encourages student independence, leadership, and autonomy. His students make programming decisions, rehearse themselves, create their own arrangements, and compose and record. In 2022-23, his students composed and recorded an all-original soundtrack for their senior class musical involving over 40 musicians and 350 of their classmates. Bread (Original Cast Recording) can be found on all major music services.

Corey Blaker

Corey teaches at El Cajon Valley High School in El Cajon, CA. During his 23 years at ECV, he has taught Band, Choir, Guitar, and assisted with the Drama program. He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Idaho State University and holds a Master of Arts – Teaching and Learning Degree from National University. He’s served as ECV’s Performing Arts Department Chair for 21 years, and serve on many district committees, including Performing Arts Council and Curriculum Master Steering Committee. He also teaches guitar classes for continuing education.

He began playing guitar because he was informed by his principal that he’d be teaching a section of guitar. He spent the summers figuring out a curriculum and during the next couple of years, stayed a few weeks ahead of his classes. After attending both the Level 1 and 2 Teaching Guitar Workshops, everything suddenly made more sense. His classes gained structure and it became easier to test students for mastery and keep kids engaged. Because of TGW, he and his students have become life-long learners. He truly demonstrates the power of TGW to help teachers help their students.

On another note, he’s learned to play bass so he could play and sing for an all-teacher oldies rock band.

Traci Bolton

Traci Bolton has been a music educator in Missouri since 1997, holding Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education.

Traci has been working for over a decade to bring guitar experiences and quality education to the St. Louis County region. These include a classical ensemble with a dedicated solo and ensemble festival as well as a full rock show with lights and sound. These venues often feature original student composition and arrangements. On a national level, Traci has served on the National Association for Music Education Council for Guitar Education and the American String Teachers Association Guitar Task Force. Traci serves as a clinician at the district and state level helping teachers deliver quality guitar education.

Shelley Brobst

Shelley Brobst has been a classroom guitar instructor for over 20 years. She holds a M.Ed. in Administration and a M.M.Ed. She has taught in elementary, middle and high schools in Nevada, Arizona, United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands. She was trained as a classical guitarist and has been an instructor with TGW since 2006.

Currently Shelley teaches general elementary music and is a Fine Arts Teacher leader in her district. She serves on the Guitar Committee of the Fine Arts Cohort for Dodea. Shelley continues to study music education as a student in the Doctor of Music Education program at Boston University. As a performer she has played with the Las Vegas Classical Guitar Ensemble, The Cambridge Guitar Orchestra, The Stitching Guitarorkest Netherlands and currently with the Aachen Guitar Orchestra, Germany.

Bill Burke

Bill Burke learned early in his playing career that he also liked to teach.  “When I taught my friends a few chords and songs, then it doubled the fun and freed me to solo and create other parts.” Soon after, Bill taught his first group guitar class at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Cambridge, Massachusetts and found his calling, while continuing to perform at home and on the road.  With bachelor’s degrees in Music and Psychology, and a master’s degree in Teaching and Education, he is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Utah State University, Grove School of Music, and George Mason University.

Bill serves as Director of Guitar Studies, Performing Arts Department Chair, and as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team at Centreville High School in Fairfax County, Virginia.  He began the guitar program in 1999 and has grown and maintained a full four-year program since. Bill was part of the three-person team who wrote the Program of Studies in Guitar for Fairfax County Public Schools.  Using his classroom as a laboratory, he presented his academic research on ‘Teaching Reading to Guitar 1 Students’ at a World Education conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.   Since 1995, he has been an adjunct professor of music at the College of Southern Maryland. He is the resident guitar instructor at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts at the Center for Education.  Bill continues to teach private lessons and community classes and has been with Teaching Guitar Workshops since 2007.  An active performer and composer, he has released two solo albums in recent years of original compositions on which he played all the instruments:  December Skies and Shelter No.3 available from CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon etc. He is currently working on his next release.

Dr. Matthew Dunlap

Dr. Matthew Dunlap began playing the guitar at the age of ten. He completed his BM in guitar performance at Kennesaw State University, MM in guitar performance at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a DM in guitar performance at Florida State University where he was a Teaching Assistant to Bruce Holzman from 2003-2005. During the summers of 2004 and 2005, he studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana with world renowned guitar pedagogue, Oscar Ghiglia. He has performed concerts and conducted masterclasses in Italy, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada and numerous venues in the US.

 Dr. Dunlap has been on the faculty of Andrew College, Florida State University, Troy State University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Carver Elementary Arts Magnet School, and Loudoun County Public Schools in northern Virginia. His duties have included teaching class guitar, guitar ensemble, guitar literature, AP Music Theory, and DE Music Appreciation. He has received multiple awards for teaching and leadership through his tenure as an educator including being a finalist for teacher of the year and the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction.

Dr. Dunlap’s students have participated in workshops and masterclasses with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Canadian Guitar Quartet, Texas Guitar Quartet, Atlantic Guitar Quartet, Zane Forshee, Kevin Gallagher, Rick Whitehead, Ana Vidovic, Marco Tamayo, Julian Gray, Leo Welch, and Jason Vieaux. In the Spring of 2014, they were featured in the Yale University Guitar Extravaganza and the Peabody Preparatory Fret Festival. The following school year they performed with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet at the Washington College Guitar Festival.

Dr. Julie Goldberg

Named Guitarist of the year by Classical Guitar Alive, internationally-broadcast radio program, Julie Goldberg is the first guitarist to receive a Doctorate in Music Performance from Northwestern University, and holds degrees from the Chicago Musical College, and College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.  Julie has performed solo recitals in New York, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Michigan and Washington, D.C. and has been featured on the internationally known Dame Myra Hess Concert Series.

Dr. Goldberg has a passion for music education and is on the faculty of North Park University, VanderCook College of Music, and Adlai Stevenson High School in Chicago.  She is a guest artist at the Interlochen Music Academy, CCM Summer Guitar Workshop, Wisconsin Center for Music Education, Illinois Music Education Association, Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival and  Michigan Music Conference. Over seas she has taught master-classes at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, Hanoi and the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music. She recently co-authored the book 100 Classical Guitar Lessons, which is published by Hal Leonard.  Dr. Goldberg  writes a monthly blog on guitar education for the D’addario Education Collective and performs regularly with the Avant Guitar Trio.

Don Hicks

Don Hicks, from Lexington, Kentucky, holds a BA in Music Education from Western Kentucky University, and a Masters’ degree in Education from Georgetown College. He has taught Band, Choir, Music Theory, & Guitar in public school systems since 1994. He is currently the director of The Academies of Bryan Station High School Guitar program. An alumnus of the Teaching Guitar Workshops, he has hosted Level I & II workshops for several years, as well as instructor in 2018 & 2021. His professional affiliations include Kentucky Music Educators’ Association, Guitar Foundation of America, American String Teachers’ Association, & National Association for Music Education- serving on the Council for Guitar Education 2016-18.  He is an active performer in the community, as a soloist and sideman, and maintains a small private teaching studio.

Steve Krenz

Steve holds a Bachelor in Music from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  As a professional guitarist in Nashville, Steve has played guitar in the studio and live with numerous Grammy and Dove winning artists including Robben Ford, Donna Summer, Bryan White, Michael W. Smith, Darlene Zschech and Hillsong, the Fifth Dimension, Phil Keaggy, Israel Houghton, American Idol finalist Melinda Dolittle and many others.

As an life-long educator, Steve has been a featured guitar instructor at Gibson.com. As founder of GuitarGathering.com, his weekly streaming broadcasts with world-renowned guitarists serve an online YouTube audience of 18000+ subscribers with over 2.8 million views.
His guitar instruction course, Gibson’s Learn & Master Guitar, won the Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s Players Choice Award for Best Instructional Material. This and his multiple other guitar instructional courses represent global sales of over 100000+ units with 10 million dollars in sales worldwide online and retail sales through Hal Leonard.

Steve’s summer Guitar Gathering conference is listed as one of the nation’s “Best Guitar Camps” by Acoustic Guitar Magazine.

Steve lives in Nashville, Tennessee and, along with playing and recording, serves as a guitar professor at Trevecca University in Nashville – teaching acoustic and classical guitar, guitar classes and the guitar ensemble.

Christopher Kuzmanoff

Christopher Kuzmanoff graduated from VanderCook College of Music in 2003 earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and returned to VCM Earning his Master’s Degree in 2015 writhing his masters project on guitar curriculum design.  After graduating in 2003, he was appointed Director of Bands at George W. Collins High School, a high poverty Chicago Public School. While at Collins, he was awarded the Ronald R. Nezbit Community Educator Award, worked with the Chicago All-City Bands, and was a gigging musician.  In 2006, Colling High School was ”phased out” by the city and Mr. Kuzmanoff and his family moved to Southern Ohio where he served as a strings teacher for the Chillicothe City School District. While at CCSD, he increased enrollment in the orchestra program, started a guitar program, served as department chair, was named Who’s Who of American Teachers, served as South Central Regional Chair for the Ohio Music Educators Association, and was appointed the Midwestern Representative for the National Counsel for Guitar Education for NAfME!  In 2012, the Kuzmanoffs returned to Chicagoland to be closer to family and Mr. K began working for Loyola Academy as Director of Orchestra and Guitar. While at LA, he founded the Loyola Guitar Ensemble as a performing group, traveled with the strings program, and worked to foster a strong sense of community within the strings program. In 2018, Mr. Kuzmanoff joined the River Trails School District to teach Orchestra and Guitar in the community he lives in and loves!

Outside of teaching Mr. Kuzmanoff is a proud husband, father of two, and an avid bowler, golfer, and gamer. 

Bob Morris

Bob Morris holds the Master of Music degree in Music Theory and the Bachelor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma. In 1996 Bob launched a classroom guitar program for the Clark County School District (Las Vegas, Nevada) – a program that eventually grew to be one of the largest in the country. His pilot program, which had over 150 beginning students in its first year, has since expanded to many other schools in the district, and is now considered a model for many programs nationwide.

Dr. Rob Pethel

Dr. Rob Pethel is a musician, educator, and researcher based in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned a B.Mus. with a concentration in classical guitar under John Sutherland in 2002 from Georgia State University (GSU). Rob’s graduate work [M.Ed., Auburn University (2010) – Ph.D., GSU, (2016)] researched guitar education, pedagogy, ethnomusicology, and public education.

In 2008, Rob initiated a classroom guitar program in the Atlanta Public School district, where he continues to teach. In addition to secondary education, he has also taught undergraduate courses at GSU in guitar and general music. Rob is active as a clinician and teaches workshops on the national, state, and local levels.

Ed Prasse

Edward Prasse holds the MME and BME degrees from the Florida State University College of Music.  He currently heads the four-year guitar program at Leon High School in Tallahassee, Florida, which annually serves over 200 students across four levels of instruction.  The program culminates in the auditioned performing guitar ensemble “Frets”, who has performed for the Governor of Florida, Justices of the Florida Supreme Court, the FMEA conference, and many numerous community and school performances.  The Leon High Guitar program is driven by a multi-style approach studying all genres “from Bach to Rock”.  Ed is currently the General Music Committee Chairperson of the FMEA Executive board, which has developed a series of guitar-focused events within Florida including a state-wide ensemble festival, an All-State Guitar event, and a track of guitar-related sessions at the FMEA clinic/conference.  Additionally, Ed is a partner, co-author, and editor for the publishing company Class Guitar Resources, Inc.  He is an active presenter/clinician for various state MEAs, and district training workshops.  Ed is the proud parent of three children and in his spare time (what is that any more?), enjoys playing golf, grilling great food, a bit of sleep, and PLAYING GUITAR!!

Bill Purse

Bill Purse is a full professor, chair of the guitar and music technology departments at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), where he was instrumental in the development of two new majors: the undergraduate music technology degree and graduate music technology degree programs. Purse received his bachelor of music and master of music at Duquesne University. Purse has received Duquesne University’s 1996 Presidents award for excellence in scholarship and a 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award for guitar pedagogy and performance. He is an honored member of the Lexington Who’s Who and received a Senate of Pennsylvania 2002 Citation for his guitar and education leadership. He was initiated into the Duquesne University Office of Research Hall of Fame in 2008.

Purse is the chair emeritus of the NAfME/NAMM/GAMA (National Association for Music Educators / National Association of Music Merchants / Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association) Guitar Education Team where he served as chair three time since 1995. Teaching Guitar Workshops and the Guitar Education Team were created to revitalize the guitar in music education, and these very successful Teaching guitar workshops have retrained more than 3,200 teachers, who in turn have taught more than 980,000 young guitarists.

Purse has written several books for the Alfred Publishing: co-writing Alfred’s Sound Innovations Guitar Method Level 1 and Level 2 and Teacher Editions SI Level 1 and Level 2 with Aaron Stang. Warner Brothers and Belwin Ultimate Beginner Tech Start Series(tm): Home Recording Basics, Belwin’s 21st Century Guitar Ensemble Arrangements for Europa and Classical Gas. Purse also has a new publication for Alfred, The Finale 2014 Primer, available this summer.

Purse has produced numerous critically acclaimed albums such as: “On Fire” by Amanda Ford (Alanna Records) GRAMMY nomination submission for Producer, “Rachmaninoff by Nissman Volume I & Volume II” GRAMMY nomination submissions for Engineer; Concert Favorites Volume I, Volume II & II, GRAMMY nomination submission for Engineer and Producer; Volume IV, Volume V, Volume VI & Volume VIII (Pierian Recording Society) “Fireworks!” and “Out Of Doors” (Thee Oranges Records) for artist Barbara Nissman, Mussorgsky -Songs and Dances of Death/Shostakovich Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Op. 145 and a second CD “Nostalgia” for Guenko Guechev (Gega New/Bulgaria-Sony International), several tracks on Ken Karsh’s “Ventana” (Alanna Records) and in addition released Catch 22’s “Reappearance”, “Sly on Life”,  Aergo’s Free (Pursestring Productions), and a new CD of original music “Sonic Art” and new CD for fall “In The Loop” (Ridgewood Studios) featuring trumpet virtuoso Sean Jones.

Scott Seifried

Scott Seifried has been teaching guitar at James W. Robinson Jr. Secondary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, since 1991. Under his direction, the Robinson Guitar Ensemble has performed throughout the United States, including invitational performances at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Convention and the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) International Competition and Convention.

He is the author of The Guitar Workbook: A Fresh Approach to Exploration and Mastery, published by Oxford University Press, which is an invaluable resource for class guitar instruction. He is actively involved in research concerning classroom guitar, and has published several articles in peer-reviewed professional publications, including the International Journal of Music Education and American String Teacher.

Scott was a contributor to the National Core Arts Standards for Harmonizing Instruments, and co-wrote the Fairfax County Public Schools Program of Studies for Guitar. He is a former a member of the ASTA National Guitar in the Schools Committee, and also a former member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Council for Guitar Education.

Scott received his BFA in Classical Guitar Performance from Carnegie Mellon University; he also holds a Master of Music from James Madison University and a PhD in Education Research from George Mason University.



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