School of Music

Summer Guitar Festival

 Summer Guitar Workshop

June 30-July 3, 2018

A. J. Fletcher Music Building
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
Phone: 252-328-6245
Dr. Elliot Frank, director

Public Radio East features ECU Guitar Festival

ECU Guitar Festival 2015 - the 20th Year video

The 2018 ECU Summer Guitar Festival is open to students of all skill levels who wish to acquire or improve skills on the classical guitar. The artist-faculty, which consists of world-class concert artists and teachers, draws talented students from across the United States and abroad as well as from North Carolina. Area concertgoers can also hear these gifted musicians perform in recital during the workshop. We are extremely excited to have the extraordinary Italian artists Lorenzo Micheli and Matteo Mela, who have combined to form the preeminent guitar duo of their generation Soloduo, and the outstanding Cuban guitarist Rene Izquierdo, return this year. We also welcome for the very first time Stephen Mattingly, a preeminent performer and teacher for many years on the national and international scene, the Canadian virtuoso Francois Fowler, and the Kossler Duo, Adam and John Kossler. Perennial festival favorite Andrew Zohn returns along with 2016 solo competition winner Matthew Gillen, and festival director Elliot Frank as well as teaching faculty Mary Akerman, Joseph Ikner, and Patrick Lui.

Click here for PDF of 2018 flyer

2018 Sponsors         Thomas Baldwin Stringed Instruments


Please note that refunds will not be given after July 1, and all refunds are minus the amount of the deposit. However, any tuition paid this year may be applied to next year's event.

Commuting Students

•    Workshop tuition: $400.00 if received in full before July 1.
•    Workshop tuition if received after July 1: $475.00
•    Weekend only:  250.00
•    Auditors: $150
•    Exhibitors: $150

Room and Board

•    Single $300.00  
•    Double $275.00
•    Unaccompanied students under the age of 18 must stay on campus unless they have adult relatives in the area.
     Minimum age to stay on campus is 15. There will be adult supervision in the dorms.
•    This rate is for four nights. If you need to come early you may pay an additional $50.00 for that night.

Scholarship Assistance

A limited amount of scholarship assistance is available to qualified applicants. A recording or link to a video is mandatory for first time scholarship applicants and competitors.


Participants may fly directly into Greenville, North Carolina on American Airlines.  Cheaper flights may be available into Raleigh-Durham Airport. Transportation from RDU may be arranged by contacting You2RDU RDU Airport Shuttle Service.

For those traveling by car, Greenville is 40 miles east of I-95 on US 264. Visit here for maps.

Hotel Information

  • Recommended Hotel
    • Microtel of Greenville, 800-771-7171- If staying here, please mention the ECU Guitar Festival for the best rate.
    • view web site

  • Other area hotels:

Apply online — click here.

If not applying online- Please click the link below to download the print application if not applying online. Fill out the application and mail it with payment to the address listed at the bottom of the application.

Download Application

As SoloDuo, Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli have performed throughout Europe, Asia, the USA, Canada and Latin America, and have been acclaimed everywhere - from New York's Carnegie Hall to Seoul's Sejong Chamber Hall, from Kiev's Hall of Columns to Vienna's Konzerthaus - as one of the best ensembles ever heard. About one of their performances, "The Washington Post" wrote: "the duo's playing was nothing less than rapturous - profound and unforgettable musicianship of the highest order." In addition to classic, romantic and modern repertoire, Matteo and Lorenzo - joined by lutenist Massimo Lonardi - have extensively explored Italian music from the XVII and XVIII century for baroque guitar and theorbo. Together, Matteo and Lorenzo have recorded François de Fossa's Three Quartets, op. 19 (2004), a CD of 17th Century Italian music for baroque guitar, archlute and theorbo ("La Suave Melodia" with Massimo Lonardi, 2008), a CD of Arias and Cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti ("Clori, ninfa e amante", 2013), an anthology of 20th Century masterpieces for two guitars ("Solaria", 2007), the Duos Concertants by Antoine De Lhoyer (2007), a collection of chamber works by Mauro Giuliani (2008), a collection of 19th Century pieces for two guitars ("Noesis", 2009), the Sonatas of Ferdinand Rebay (2010), the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (2012), and the album "Metamorphoses" (2014), as well as a dozen solo recordings on the labels Naxos, Brilliant, Contrastes, Kookaburra, Mel Bay, and Stradivarius. They are the Editors of the "SoloDuo Collection" for the Canadian publisher Productions d'Oz. Matteo resides in Geneva, Switzerland, where he teaches at the Conservatoire Populaire. Lorenzo lives in Milan, Italy, and teaches at the University School of Music in Lugano, Switzerland. Since 2015, they are Artists in Residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Cuban guitarist Rene Izquierdo has appeared as a guest soloist and in chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Cuba and Europe. He has shared the stage with prestigious guitarists including Eliot Fisk, Benjamin Verdery and Jorge Morel, as well as renowned flutist Ransom Wilson, soprano Lucy Shelton, David Jolley and Paquito d'Rivera. Renowned composers such as Jorge Morel and Carlos R. Rivera have dedicated works to him.Mr. Izquierdo is a winner of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition, the Extremadura International Guitar Competition, the Schadt String competition, and the Stotsenberg International Guitar Competition among others.He is currently a professor of classical guitar at the Wisconsin State University in Milwaukee and an active solo performer and chamber musician. Rene has studied with Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Eli Kassner, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, David Starobin, Eduardo Fernandez, Jorge Morel, Robert Beaser and Anthony Newman among others. He holds degrees from the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and Superior Institute of Art in Havana. Mr. Izquierdo also holds the Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees from the Yale University School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery. While at Yale he represented the university in an exchange program with the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse du Paris and worked with guitarists Olivie Chassain and Roland Dyens.


American guitarist Andrew Zohn is recognized internationally for his work as a performer, instructor, and composer. He has performed concerts on five continents as a soloist and chamber musician.  In addition to extensive touring throughout the United States, recent performances include venues in China, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Malaysia, Germany, and the Netherlands. Since 1999 Dr. Zohn has served on the faculty of the Schwob School of Music (Columbus State University) where he is the Jo and George Jeter Distinguished Chair in Guitar. He has performed and taught at many of the world's most prestigious music festivals including the Festival of New Music (Central Conservatory of Music, China), Sevilla Guitar Festival (Spain), Guitar Festival Changsha and Shenyang Festival (China), the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium (Germany), Borguitar Festival (Italy), the Guitar Foundation of America (USA), Festivale Emilia Romagna and Musica Ravenna (Italy), and GuitareMontreal (Canada). Students of Andrew Zohn have won prizes in over 100 national and international competitions including, among others, The Parkening International, The Guitar Foundation of America, The World Guitar Competition(Serbia), and The Asia International (Bangkok). Many of his students have been also been featured on the American National Public Radio program highlighting outstanding young musical talent From the Top.

Stephen Mattingly has been warmly received by audiences in the United States and Europe as a soloist and as a founding member of the Tantalus Quartet. His performances have aired on television and radio programs across the United States. Stephen has performed on concert series including the Appalachian State University Guitar Festival, International Guitar Institute, Marshall University, New York Summer Music Festival, Sierra Nevada Guitar Festival, Tennessee State University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Valdosta State University. Stephen has judged, lectured, performed, and taught at international conferences including the Silesian Guitar Autumn Competition in Tychy, Poland; the Guitar Foundation of America Convention the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium in Germany; the Columbus State Guitar Seminar; the Acadia International Guitar Festival in Canada; the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes; the New York Summer Music Festival and the College Music Society. Stephen enjoys a vibrant teaching career as Associate Professor of Guitar at the University of Louisville, directing classical guitar studies. His students have won top-prizes in competitions and have been accepted to graduate programs including the Eastman School of Music, Florida State University, Peabody Conservatory, and the Shenandoah Conservatory. In addition to his performing and teaching engagements, Stephen is the Director of the University of Louisville Guitar Festival and Competition.


Guitarist Francois Fowler has given recitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including concerts in Albany, Auburn, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Columbus (GA), Dayton, Denver, Grand Rapids, Hagerstown, Hartford, Jekyll Island, Kennesaw, Los Angeles, Montréal, Monterrey, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Rochester, San Jose, Sauble Beach, Seattle, Spartanburg, Springfield, Syracuse, Tallahassee, Tampa, Tifton, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Youngstown. Fowler is the recipient of national and international prizes including finalist in the 2001 Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) International Guitar Competition.  A faculty member at the Dana School of Music (Youngstown State University, Ohio), he maintains an active guitar studio and coaches guitar ensembles. Fowler obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Ottawa, Canada, where he studied with Ed Honeywell, and his Doctorate from Florida State University where he was a teaching assistant to the renowned pedagogue, Professor Bruce Holzman. Francois performs on a Thomas Humphrey guitar with D'Addario Strings, his compositions and arrangements are published by Clear Note Publications, and his recordings are released by CBC records, Canadian Music Center, Clear Note, Novalis, and independently.  His latest CD, Sonata, features music by C.P.E. Bach, J.S. Bach, Agustin Barrios, Gregorio Huet, and Domenico Scarlatti. Fowler is also a founding member of the flute and guitar duo, Duo Allant, with Kathryn Thomas Umble.


Brothers Adam and John Kossler have established themselves individually as soloists, chamber musicians and educators.  As the Kossler Duo John and Adam have performed for concert series including the Auburn Guitar Society Concert Series (Auburn, AL), The Aguado Guitar Series (Washington, DC), and a number of other venues around the US.


Adam Kossler is a top prizewinner in a number of national and international guitar competitions including the Boston Guitarfest, Columbus Guitar Symposium, East Carolina Guitar Competition, MANC Guitar Competition, Texas International Guitar Competition, Music Teacher National Association Competition, and the Appalachian Guitarfest Competition. Kossler's international performance career has taken him throughout the US, Canada and Central America including the John E. Marlow Guitar Series (Bethesda, MD), Isle Newell Concert Series (Appalachicola, FL), and the Seven Hills Guitar Series (Tallahassee, FL).

In 2014, Kossler released his first solo recording,  Guitar Recital.  The album was received with enthusiasm by critics and audiences and was featured Tom Cole's show, "The G String" on WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington D.C. In 2015 Kossler released his second solo record.  Ekloge, an album of 20thcentury music, includes works by Joaquin Rodrigo, Manuel Maria Ponce and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, as well as his own new transcriptions of music by Jean Sibelius.

Adam Kossler began his musical studies with his father William Kossler.  He went on to earn his BM degree at East Carolina University with Dr. Elliot Frank, his MM degree at Appalachian State University as a teaching assistant to Dr. Douglas James, and completed a DMA in Guitar Performance at Florida State University where he served as a teaching assistant to Bruce Holzman.


John Kossler started his guitar studies through the Suzuki Method with his father, William Kossler, at the age of four years old.  He eventually attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, North Carolina, studying under Joseph Pecoraro.  Placing in competitions such as the ECU Guitar Festival in Greenville, North Carolina, the Young Arts Festival in Miami, Florida, and the Music Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina, John then attended Wake Forest University, studying under Patricia Dixon.  During his education at WFU, he performed in Europe in cities that include Milan, Italy and Postojna, Slovenia.  He also won the New York Artists International Competition for 2016, performing at Carnegie Hall.  John holds the Masters of Musical Arts degree in Guitar Performance from Yale University.


Applauded by critics and audiences for his unique blend of powerful virtuosity, beautiful tone, and natural musicianship, Festival Director 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 on the Great Guitarists at Stetson concert series, the CSU Guitar Symposium, as concerto soloist with the McClean Orchestra, the Aguado Guitar Series, and at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Other recent highlights include performances for the Mediterranean Guitar Festival in Cervo, Italy, the Sea and Guitars Festival in Vrsar, Croatia, the Mediterranean Guitar School in Karlovac, Croatia, the inaugural Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra Villa Caletas in Herradura, Costa Rica, the 2009 Fort Worth Guitar Guild Festival, and the Sauble Beach Festival of the Classic Guitar in Sauble Beach, Ontario. 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. Elliot Frank holds the Doctor of Music from Florida State University, where his major professor was Bruce Holzman. He also obtained his Masters Degree at Southern Methodist University where his major professor was Robert Guthrie. Dr. Frank was selected to initiate the guitar studies program for East Carolina University, and he is currently teaching there 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.


Long time ECU Festival participant, Mary Akerman, teaches classical guitar at Kennesaw State University. She is a winner of the Guitar Foundation of America Competition and has subsequently served on the GFA Board of Trustees for over ten years. She has performed/taught/adjudicated at many colleges and regional festivals including the Columbus Guitar Symposium, the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Workshop, the San Antonio Guitar Festival, and the GFA Festival. She also performs extensively as a member of the Akerman Teixeira Duo with guitarist Robert Teixeira.


Joseph Ikner is happy to serve the music faculty of Auburn University as an instructor of guitar and music appreciation. As an active soloist and chamber musician, Joseph engages a variety of audiences with an energetic, thoughtful and entertaining program of diverse repertoire for the guitar. Dr. Elliot Frank of East Carolina University hails, "Joseph Ikner plays with a beautiful and rich tone, one possessed by very few guitarists." Joseph's debut recording, Premiere, has been featured on public radio and is available on and Joseph has directed guitar studies at Campbell University and served on the faculties of Shenandoah Conservatory, Barton College, Johnston Community College and Coastal Carolina Community College and has served as a guitar pedagogy advisor for the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He is a charter faculty member of the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Workshop. He has completed studies toward a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Guitar Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory and holds a MM and BM, magna cum laude, in Guitar Performance from East Carolina University.


An artist with a reputation for embodying both depth and precision in his playing, the Hong Kong born and raised Chinese American guitarist Patrick Lui has established himself as both a notable performer and a gifted teacher. His Students included a Grammy Award Winner, 2 GFA Young Artist Guitar Competition prize winner, featured artist on the Radio and PBS television show From the Top and well over 200 prize winners in guitar competitions national and internationally. Patrick is in constant demand as a lecturer, often conducting clinics and master classes throughout United States. Patrick is the Director of Guitar Studies at Weaver Academy for Performing and Visual Arts in Greensboro, NC. He is also one half of the Lui and Rogers Guitar Duo.


Originally from Kings Mountain, NC, ensemble director William Hart Wells first began his classical guitar studies as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow under the guidance of Dr. Douglas James at Appalachian State University. Hart graduated in 1999 with his Bachelor's in Music Education and began teaching K-5 general music at Granite Falls Elementary School in Granite Falls, NC and directing the guitar program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, NC. In 2004, Wells accepted a teaching position with Loudoun County Public Schools and has since served as the Director of Guitar for Potomac Falls High School (PFHS) in Sterling, VA. With an annual enrollment of approx. 120 guitar students, the program at PFHS continues to be at the forefront of pre-college guitar education. The program has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), the Department of Education (Washington DC), the Cathedrals of Saint Paul the Apostle and Saint John the Devine (New York City, NY), the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD), as well as adjudicated performances in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Orlando. Additionally, Mr. Wells' students have gone on to win prizes in solo competition as well, most recently the Beatty Memorial Guitar Competition, the Appalachian State University GuitarFest Competition, the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Festival, the Salisbury University Guitar Competition, and the Aguado Guitar Competition.


Administrative director and faculty member Cindy Spell holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from East Carolina University, where she studied with Dr. Elliot Frank. Cindy has served as guitar instructor at several schools in North Carolina, including Barton College, Pitt Community College, Coastal Carolina Community College, and the Music Academy of Eastern Carolina. She has appeared as guest soloist with the Wilson Symphony Orchestra, PCC Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of Hope. More recently, she joined the Salt Lake Symphony for an arrangement of Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5. In her debut recording (Avenues, 2015), Cindy is joined by guitarist David Norton for an eclectic set of solos and duos from Elizabethan England to the 21st century including first recordings of works by Benoît Albert, Laurent Méneret, Andrew Shiels, and Andrew York. Currently a resident of Salt Lake City, Cindy is Coordinator for Guitar Studies at Utah Valley University and serves as President of Utah Classical Guitar. Cindy has been Administrative Director for the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Festival since 2003.

The ECU Summer Guitar Workshop will hold its nineteenth solo guitar competition for college students and college graduates in the early stages of their concert careers. There will be three rounds, a preliminary round, a semifinal round and a final round. The competition is open to guitarists of all ages. College/professional participants will perform a fifteen-minute solo program of works of their own choice, which will be taken from the standard repertoire of the classic guitar. This program will be performed in its entirety in the final round and competitors will choose selections in the preliminary and semifinal rounds.

The first round will take place on Sunday, July 16th at 1 pm in Room 110 in the Fletcher School of Music.

The semifinal round will take place on Monday, July 17th at 4pm in the AJ Fletcher Recital Hall in the ECU School of Music.

The final round will be held the next afternoon, Tuesday, July 18th at 4:30 pm in the AJ Fletcher Recital Hall in the ECU School of Music.

The semifinal and final rounds will be open to the public. The preliminary round will be closed.

Competitors must EMAIL a copy of your program to the workshop director prior to the beginning of the competition.

Collegiate/professional competitors may choose to only compete without participating in master classes for $150.00. This amount includes admission to all concerts and any workshop activities that you wish to audit. Please submit a check in the amount of $150.00 made out to the ECU Summer Guitar Competition with the application. Full festival students who wish to compete in the open division may do so for a reduced fee of $75.00.

First prize will consist of $1,200 and, at the discretion of the jury, a paid recital at next year's workshop. Second prize will be $600, third is $300, fourth is $200.

All competitors must have a valid email address. Foreign competitors without a valid US Social Security number may be subject to 30% withholding on any prizes won.
For the thirteenth year, the ECU Summer Guitar Workshop will have a competition for middle and high school students. This competition is open to workshop participants of high school age and younger who have not yet enrolled in college coursework. High school students who will graduate this spring are still eligible to compete in the pre-college division.

Two first prizes in this year's pre-college competition will be again be given, one for competitors 15-18 and one for the best competitor age 14 and under. Second prizes will be given in each division as well. In the event of insufficient enrollment, both divisions will be combined and there will only be one youth division competition.

The pre-college semifinals will take place on Sunday July 18th at 10am in Room 110 of the Fletcher Music Center. The finals will take place on Tuesday July 18th at 4pm in the recital hall of the Fletcher Music Center. High School participants should prepare a program of 7 minutes maximum in duration. Middle school and younger participants should prepare a program of 5 minutes maximum in duration. This program will be performed in its entirety should the contestant be selected for the finals. Competitors will select their pieces in the semifinal round.

Competitors should submit a typed copy of their proposed program to the workshop director via email. When paying tuition, please include a separate check for $75 made out to the ECU Guitar Competition.


Competitors must also have a valid email address. All communications regarding the competition will take place via email.

Competition fees are not refundable.

  July 15
July 16
July 17
July 18
8:30 AM
Registration and Dormitory Check-in
9:00 AM
Registration and Dormitory Check-in
(until 9:30 AM)
Guitar Orchestra
Guitar Orchestra Guitar Orchestra
10:00 AM
Classes, all levels
Classes, all levels/pre-college competition semifinals 110
Classes, all levels Classes, all levels
11:00 AM
Classes, all levels Classes, all levels
Classes, all levels
Classes, all levels
12 noon
Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1:30 PM
Classes, all levels
Classes, all levels/
college competition 1st round 110
Classes, all students
1:30 Ensemble Warm-up
2:00 PM
all levels
Classes, all levels Classes, all levels 2:00 Student Recital/
Guitar Orchestra

3:00 PM

3:00 Lecture Michael Hardy
4:00 PM

Afternoon Concert I: Matt Gillen

Afternoon Concert II:
Kossler Duo
Solo Competition Semifinals
Competition Finals
5:00 PM
6:00 PM

7:30 PM

Evening Concert: Elliot Frank/Rene Izquierdo

Evening Concert: Francois Fowler/SoloDuo

Evening Concert: Stephen Mattingly/Andrew Zohn

Please note that schedule is subject to change.

Check back frequently for updates.

Those who love the guitar but don't play can still be a part of the workshop by attending the Evening Concert Series.

Single event ticket prices:

Evening concerts $20 adults and $15 student; Afternoon concerts $10 adult, $5 student

Series prices:

Pass for all afternoon and evening concerts $50 adult, $30 students

All events will take place in the recital hall in the Fletcher Music Center on the ECU campus.

Tickets are available at the door at A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall. 1-800-ECU-ARTS; 252-328-4788, 252-328-4736 V/TTY;

Workshop and concert schedule click here