Where are they now?

Our greatest joy at ACG Education is connecting with students and teachers over long periods of time. We make music together, but even more important are the powerful friendships that develop.

This summer Angelica Campbell, a former student of ours from Crockett High School who is now a junior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in music, caught up with a few of our alumni and asked "Where are you now?”

We hope you enjoy reading their answers as much as we do!

2019-2020 budget for ACG Education: $593,141. Contact us for ways to get involved.

Rey Rodriguez Jr

Like many, music has always been a part of my life. It helped connect me to the ones I love. I remember growing up listening to jazz with my dad. I would love to see his face light up as Stan Getz or Wes Montgomery played on the radio. In a special kind of way, this is where I first fell in love with music. Even when signing up for classes in my first year of middle school, I wanted to become a jazz musician. Although that didn’t exactly pan out as planned, I still stumbled across an even better passion, Classical Guitar.

Although the Guitar hasn’t always been a part of my life like music has, It has brought me so many opportunities and even an entire new family. I have had amazing teachers, mentors, and made amazing friends. Music has given me so many happy experiences.It has even given me a future to look forward to. In August of this year I get to attend UT and study Classical Guitar. I am so grateful for what Music and Guitar has brought me, and I can’t wait to see where they will take me.

 

Saul Hernandez

I can say with a lot of certainty that music has shaped my life in a tremendously positive way. In my life, the act of creating music has been a very empowering process. During my teenage years when many aspects of my life were in disarray, I was able to enter a classroom and create harmony. During this time when I felt lost, I was able to find a home in the notes and rhythms of my instrument. Upon participating in guitar classes in high school, I was able to join an environment where I felt encouraged and supported. Music has allowed me to join an empowering culture where everyone is passionate about learning and growing together. 

This fall I will be entering my first year of teaching classical guitar in the classroom. As I reflect on all my past experiences, I only hope that I can positively influence the lives of my students in the same way that my mentors and teachers have influenced my own life. I hope that I can teach my students that it is okay to be unapologetically passionate about something that you love. I hope that I can encourage my students to always to create, learn, and grow. I am optimistic that, through an education in the arts, my students will obtain the tools and knowledge to be successful - wherever the future may take them.

 

Javier Saucedo

Music has been a part of my life since childhood; my dad was in a family band with his brothers since the late 60’s. Ever since I could remember I always wanted to be a musician, especially a guitarist. Like many other musicians, it has given me a sense of identity, opened many doors, as well as many amazing opportunities. I hope that the love I have for music, guitar, and for the ACG community will transcend through my teaching and influence my students to give back to their communities in the future. 

After receiving my degree at Texas State University, where I studied Classical Guitar Performance, I started working under contract with Austin Classical Guitar for their education outreach program. This led me to enlist in the alternative certification program called Teach Quest. Now I have accepted a teaching position as one of the Guitar Directors at what is now Lively Middle School, formally known as Fulmore. 

 

Justice Phillips

Like any serious musician, music and specifically guitar has had a profound impact on my life in various manners. When I ponder the things music has done for me the first thought that comes to mind are the relationships in my life that have started because of music. The first guitar class I ever took was after school in sixth grade at Fulmore Middle School, and in that class I became friends with the person who would go on to be my closest friend throughout middle school. Also in my classroom classical guitar class that was ran by Jeremy Osborne from Austin Classical Guitar, I met many friends that I would know for many years. But, the most important relationship guitar has created for me is the one with my current closest friend that I have known now for close to a decade now and have lived with for over four years. I had the pleasure of meeting him at McCallum Fine Arts Academy, a school I didn’t live in the area for but attended for the sole purpose of pursuing classical guitar. There have been numerous relationships in my life that were created because of the opportunities I had with music and guitar. 

Music and guitar have also provided for me in many different ways other than the relationships they’ve helped me build. Obviously music enriches my spirit and playing guitar soothes my soul, but that much is true for every serious musician and their instrument of expertise. We all love music in a way that’s hard to convey in words, and you don’t have to be a musician to feel that. What music has done for me as a guitar player though is allow me an outlet to give back to my community, and do something to make people feel happier for a brief moment. When I play guitar for people and the music induces feelings of happiness, I feel a sense of purpose and satisfaction. That is why I feel so fortunate to be able to work for Austin Classical Guitar. Through ACG I am constantly finding myself having opportunities to use music and the work we do to give back to the community and spread joy to people of all backgrounds and ages. It’s extremely humbling, provides a feeling that is unmatched, and it’s something I wouldn’t have experienced without music and guitar. 

 

Alex Lew

Playing music has been a defining trait of my character ever since I can remember. However, my life was truly put on a trajectory once I found the classical guitar. It all started in middle school when I joined the guitar program and started taking private lessons. I have always been introverted and reserved, but when I play the guitar in front of an audience I feel a sense of self empowerment and confidence that I wouldn’t be able to feel otherwise. The staff at ACG allowed for this discovery, and the guitar allowed me to develop my personality to who I am today. Once my teacher suggested that I could get a degree in something that I genuinely enjoy, it was a no-brainer. My appreciation for music continues to grow, but especially after I realized that it’s not just about the notes on a page, but about how those notes are interpreted by the performer. I am now entering my last year at the University of Texas majoring in classical guitar performance and I have ACG to thank for my accomplishments.

 

Angelica Campbell

Music has always been a huge part of my life and community I grew up around. I first started learning how to play music in my early childhood. Mainly off the internet, but I joined music programs at my public school as soon as I could. I always felt the most connected to people when playing music with them. The friends I made in my guitar and mariachi classes are still my longest and strongest friendships. Growing up in a low income household, I wasn't able to have many opportunities to continue music outside of school. However, once I met the members of ACG in high school every opportunity I needed to succeed was laid out on the table for me. Through the help of ACG I was donated a guitar so that I could have my own to audition with for University, and I was also donated private guitar lessons to help me grow and succeed as a musician.

I am currently a junior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in classical guitar performance and I genuinely believe that I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the community, safety, acceptance, success, and room for growth that the music programs I was a part of brought to me. ACG was a huge part of bringing that together for myself and the friends I made throughout the programs and I couldn't be more grateful.