Sneak Peek

We are so excited to present The Lodger on January 16th and 17th at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar! The Alfred Hitchcock film will be presented with accompaniment by the Texas Guitar Quartet and cellist, Bion Tsang. The entire live score has been written and arranged by Composer in Residence, Jospeh V. Williams II.

the lodger

Tickets are available for the show here.

We are also excited to share this sneak peek preview of the film! It’s time to get excited about this awesome event!

the lodger 2

Letter from Travis Marcum

MarcumFor the past nine years, I have directed Austin Classical Guitar’s education team in building a flourishing guitar community for Austin students and teachers. What began in one school with one class of 20 students has expanded to serve 50 schools and more than 3,000 students locally.

Each day we see teachers working tirelessly, often in difficult situations, to help their students become refined, joyful musicians. We work with students who are navigating complex lives full of unique and difficult obstacles because we believe that talent and artistry are not luxuries reserved only for those with means. In the midst of individual hardships and complications, these students spend hours playing the guitar because it is meaningful to them. As one young student recently said so eloquently, “I play music because it is real and it feels human.”

Austin Classical Guitar has long been committed to bringing quality music education to students without access to the arts. As part of this commitment, we began a guitar program at Travis County’s Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center in 2011. Teaching these students over the past four years has been a great honor, and they have changed my life and inspired me in profound ways. I am thrilled to say that, because of these students’ success, the program will expand this spring with support from Austin ISD.

Not a day passes when I’m not reminded that there are still so many opportunities to bring meaningful music experiences to people from all walks of life—whether it’s teaching an ensemble of 25 enthusiastic employees at Silicon Labs on their lunch break or starting a new program at Annunciation Maternity Home for young women experiencing unplanned pregnancy. It is your support that allows us the privilege to bring these experiences to the Austin community.

I look forward to seeing you in 2015, as we continue to foster a community of creative education and inspiration.


To check out the Changing Lives blog click here.

To support ACG click here.

ACG in November

November at ACG: an extraordinary Russian guitarist on a US tour, a phenomenal Turkish talent in a gorgeous home, and our last Classical Cactus of 2014! We hope to see you soon.

Anton Baranov - International Series – Saturday, November 8th

Spectacular Russian virtuoso. Pre-show features Austin Classical Guitar Youth Orchestra performing a scene from Joe Williams’ new score to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (premiering January). Join Williams, Matt Hinsley and friends for dinner at Chez Zee beginning at 5:45pm. Learn more.

Celil Refik Kaya - Austin Guitar Salon – Wednesday, November 12th

ACG debut of marvelous Turkish talent who recently performed at Carnegie Hall. This concert is in the intimate Tarrytown home of premiere Austin architect Peter Pfeiffer.  Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and Twin Liquors make this evening extra tempting! Learn more.

Kaya and Emilfork - Classical Cactus – Thursday, November 13th

From Turkey and Chile respectively, these two phenomenal players will light up the Cactus stage like never before. A perfect end to our 2014 Cactus Cafe programming.  Sip, relax, enjoy! Learn more.

Anton Baranov this Saturday


Our last International Series event of 2014 is this Saturday and features fiery Russian virtuoso Anton Baranov, on a US tour after winning the world’s most prestigious classical guitar competition.

Tickets and details are online here, or call 512-300-2247.

This concert is free for members. Reply to this email or call us to reserve your tickets!

Matt Hinsley says: “Anton is truly stunning. Speed and clarity effortlessly flow out of his instrument like it’s an extension of his consciousness. This will be unforgettable.”

To see what Matt’s talking about, watch Anton perform online here!


Make a night of it! Chez Zee is just minutes from the concert, and the chefs are making a special meal just for us for our last ACG dinner of the year!

Dinner reservations are online here, or call 512-300-2247.

The delectable fall menu includes Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Black Cherry Sauce, Stuffed Bell Peppers with Rice, Kale and Garbanzo Beans, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms, and Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

At dinner, ACG Composer in Residence Joseph V. Williams II will tell us a bit about the enormous new work he’s creating for us: more than an hour of original film music for four guitars and cello, to be performed in January with Alfred Hitchcock’s early silent masterpiece The Lodger. Williams has adapted a scene from the movie for guitar ensemble, and Austin Classical Guitar Youth Orchestra will premiere it on Saturday right before Baranov takes the stage!

Our dinner is generously sponsored by Laraine and Leon Lasdon.

Coming up at ACG:

November 8th: Anton Baranov at GT Austin

November 8th: Anton Baranov Dinner

November 12th: Celil Refik Kaya at the Pfeiffer Home

November 13th: Celil plays Classical Cactus

Baranov Dinner Menu

This Saturday, GFA Winner Anton Baranov will be performing and the concert wouldn’t be complete without our pre-concert dinner, sponsored by Laraine and Leon Lasdon, and we are excited to share the menu with you below!

Tickets for the concert are still available here and tickets for the pre-concert dinner are available here. Get them while you can!

Austin Classical Guitar Menu 11.8.14 title

Austin Classical Guitar Menu

Garden Salad served with house Basil Herb Vinaigrette Dressing (GF, V)
Sourdough bread & Smokey Olive Oil (V)
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Black Cherry Sauce
Stuffed Bell Peppers with Rice, Kale and Garbanzo Beans—(GF, V)
Mashed Sweet Potatoes (GF, V)
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Mushrooms (GF, V)
Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

(GF) gluten-free item
(V) vegetarian item

Guitar for the Blind & Visually Impaired logo
One of the programs we’re most proud of at is the course at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, currently in its fourth year.


The teacher at TSBVI, Jeremy Coleman, is a classical guitarist with master’s degrees in both Music Therapy and Music Education.  He began the program as a contractor with Austin Classical Guitar and, this summer, became a full-time employee of the school – as well as the proud father of twin girls!


We asked Mr. Coleman to tell us a little about himself, his work with visually impaired students, and his recent full-time appointment:



On July 27th I was delirious, lying on the hospital couch, looking at my phone. I remember the day vividly. My wife had just giving birth to our twins, Chloe Page and Greyson McCartney, the day before. As I lay on that couch thinking how my life had changed, I noticed an email on my phone.


The email was from the principal at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). He said that he was very impressed with my work with TSBVI guitar students the last three years, and that a full time music educator position was posted on their website.


I thought to myself: what a great time to start a new job!


It’s hard to believe that it has been three years since ACG and TSBVI began their collaborative effort.  In 2011, both parties agreed that starting a guitar ensemble would be beneficial for the students at TSBVI. At that time I was working part-time as a guitar teacher, implementing ACG’s in two schools, while working part-time as a board-certified music therapist. With my background in classical guitar and music therapy, the staff at TSBVI and ACG thought I would be a great fit to teach the class. And they were right!  It was so rewarding to provide enriching musical experiences to these wonderful students on a daily basis.


My objective was to teach TSBVI students the skills of classical guitar performance. As part of my graduate work at UT Austin, I decided to examine whether could be used effectively with students with visual impairments. My plan was to follow the curriculum course outline with no modifications. If students needed additional assistance, like Braille music notation or assistive technology, I would provide theses accommodations on an individual basis.


Within the first year of instruction, five high school students with no prior guitar experience achieved the knowledge and skills of levels 1-3 of the curriculum. These students performed numerous times for peers, parents, and school administrators, both on and off-campus. Over the following two years students achieved similar results.


Now that I am working full time at TSBVI, I am able to implement the principles of the with multiple classes – and to reach that many more students. In addition to the junior high and high school guitar class, I am implementing the Elementary Primer with a group of younger students with visual impairments. I am also continuing to transcribe some of the repertoire pieces from the music library into Braille music notation, which is quite an extensive task!


It is my hope that all students, both sighted and visually impaired, will have access to the things they need to become life-long learners and lovers of the classical guitar.


Jeremy Coleman

Together we can change…

Austin Classical Guitar Logo
I received an email early this morning from one of our graduates who is now in college. She has big dreams of owning her own studio and writing, arranging and producing commercial music, and today she asked me for advice on what courses to take and what professional experiences to pursue.

She graduated from a Title I school with an 87% low-income student population. She was an Austin Classical Guitar scholarship student, she distinguished herself as a member of our youth orchestra, and she volunteered for ACG events. She graduated and earned significant college scholarships, and she’s pursuing her dreams.

Together we can change lives.

Last Thursday, a graduate student from Yale University called and asked me many questions about Austin Classical Guitar. He’s involved in a New Haven outreach program where he teaches our curriculum – he says the materials “saved him” in the classroom.

He’s been watching ACG from afar for years, considers us to be the greatest classical guitar organization ever, and hopes one day to create something similar in another community. Friday he asked if he could intern with us this summer, and I look forward to his arrival.

Together we can change the future.

On Friday I got a call from a young man in Dallas who was recently appointed to a university faculty position. He had attended our national teacher training this summer, and one of his first orders of business in his new role is to work together with our education team to establish rigorous school programs in his area like he has seen here.

Together we can change communities.

I’ve never been so excited about our service as I am right now. I spoke with an excited educator in Houston last week who has launched a teacher support model we helped design, and it’s working wonders. I spoke with a community organizer in New York City asking if we would establish programs there next year, a trainee from Killeen asked if he could bring his kids to our Austin adjudicated contest in hopes that he can develop one in his own district soon.

Each fall during our Changing Lives Fall Fund Drive we ask for your support. We are able to serve thanks to your trust in us and your belief in the power of great music to change people’s lives. With your help, I am proud to say that we are actually changing the world. And we could not do it without you.

You can donate online here, or call us any time at 512-300-2247.
Changing Lives Storyboard

Changing Lives 2014



Our Changing Lives Fall Fund Drive has begun. If you have thought about supporting Austin Classical Guitar but have been waiting for the right time, we hope you’ll consider making a gift today to keep our organization strong.

You can give online today, or call us anytime at 512-300-2247.



Our Changing Lives Storyboard is online now through December 31st. Respond to this email with your story of music, guitar, or of how ACG has changed your life, and we’ll share it with our community.

Austin Classical Guitar is a reflection of all of our values. We are here because of you, and we are here to serve our diverse community. Our Changing Lives Storyboard is our chance each year to share your stories, the stories of students, parents, teachers, artists, and audience members.



More than half of our budget is dedicated to education. What started in 2001 as a small program in one school, built with passion, elbow grease, and belief that great music has the power to positively change kids’ lives, has grown – thanks to you – to serve thousands of kids in fifty Austin schools in rigorous, enriching, for-credit courses at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

The curriculum and training methods we developed along the way are now used internationally, our team is increasingly called upon to help build similar programs all over the country, and Texas Education Association has just adopted classical guitar as a statewide TEKS-supported course.

The majority of gifts to ACG go to support this, our most vital and rapidly-growing, program. For more information about this program, visit any of these pages on our website: How to Give, Education Overview, 2013-14 Education Progress Report, ACG Curriculum, ACG Online Student Magazine, Austin Classical Guitar Youth Orchestra.



ACG maintains seven performance series: International, Summer Chamber, Classical Cactus, Austin Guitar Salon, Play!, Community Concerts, and FlamencoAustin. We are often responsible for bringing artists to the US for the very first time, including past ACG artists Niño de Pura, Yamandú Costa, the Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo(who played for us a third time two nights ago, and were amazing!), and many more.

Our free Community Concerts have been performed for more than 40,000 diverse audience members, and we’ve brought artists from all over the globe, including all of the world’s most famous active classical guitar recording and performing artists, and many rising stars.

Is there a particularly memorable concert for you? Respond to this email with your story for our storyboard. We’d love to share it.

Gifts can be made to help ACG with our general operating expenses, but you can also make gifts to support specific concerts or programs. Sponsorship opportunities are online here, and April Long welcomes your call at 512-300-2247 to discuss what might work best for you or your business.


Giving to Austin Classical Guitar

All gifts to ACG are tax-deductible. ACG can accept gifts of stock and other properties as well, just give us a call at 512-300-2247. A growing number of our friends are joining our Legacy Circle, naming ACG in their estate plans.

As a locally-based non-profit organization, nearly all gifts donated to ACG stay right here in our community paid to artists, local vendors, and the people who make ACG happen day to day. Resources that don’t stay in Austin are given to the amazing artists we bring to Austin from around the globe, artists who enrich our lives in indescribable, unforgettable ways.

Gifts can be made one time or as recurring pledges. Gifts may be made in honor of someone or something. Gifts can be made to sponsor certain programs or events.

Even if now if not the right time to give, we hope you’ll consider participating in our Storyboard in the next few months either as a contributor or a reader.

Thank you for making Austin Classical Guitar possible, and we look forward to sharing music with you again very soon.

Möller and Fraticelli Program

We have an incredible Classical Cactus this Thursday!  The Thursday, October 9th performance will feature Johannes Möller, who won the 2010 Guitar Foundation of America Concert Artist Competition hosted in Austin, and his duo partner Laura Fraticelli. The two are unbelievably talented, and we are so excited to be hosting them. Johannes and Laura take the stage at 9pm, preceded by the UT Guitar Quartet at 8pm.

Here’s a sneak peak of what we’ll hear from Johannes and Laura at the Cactus!

Duo Möller-Fraticelli

Milonga Justo
T. Morales (1877-1953)

A ti solita!…
Federico Spreafico (1871-1958)

Ich Denke Dein
Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856)

Prelude No. 7 in A-major – Allegretto*
Prelude No. 8 in F-sharp minor – Andante Moderato
Prelude No. 9 in E major – Larghetto
Prelude No. 10 in C-sharp minor
Johannes Möller (b.1981)

The Night Flame
Johannes Möller

Johannes Möller

Johannes Möller & Laura Fraticelli (b.1977)

*Dedicated to Austin Classical Guitar

Eight Seasons Program

Our first concert on the 2014-15 season is fast approaching on Saturday, October 11th. We are thrilled to be hosting the incredible Bandini and Chiachiaretta tango duo performing alongside the Cerrato brothers (cello and violin) from Italy.

The concert begins at 8pm and we’ve got delicious handmade, seasonal treats for concessions! Tickets are still available here.

We’re also thrilled to give you an early peek at their absolutely incredible program for the evening! Also, take a moment to listen to this beautiful performance of the tango duo. It promises to be an amazing evening this Saturday and we hope to see you all there.

Austin Classical Guitar
Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo & the Cerrato Brothers
Giampaolo Bandini, guitar
Cesare Chiacchiaretta, accordion & bandoneón
Francesco Cerrato, violin
Stefano Cerrato, cello
The Eight Seasons
Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 8 pm

Concerto No. 3 in F major “Autumn” Antonio Vivaldi(1678 – 1741)
Adagio molto

Otoño porteño Ástor Piazzolla (1921 – 1992)

Concerto No. 4 in F minor “Fall” Antonio Vivaldi
Allegro non molto

Invierno porteño Ástor Piazzolla


Concerto No. 1 in E major “Spring” Antonio Vivaldi

Primavera porteña Ástor Piazzolla

Concerto No. 2 in G minor “Summer” Antonio Vivaldi
Allegro non molto

Verano porteño Ástor Piazzolla