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Master guitarists to perform concerts around Maui

July 2, 2015
Lahaina News

Renowned guitarist Benjamin Verdery is bringing his annual Guitar Master Class to Maui, with a week of concerts and classes July 7-16.

Verdery chairs the guitar department at the Yale School of Music. This summer marks the 16th year that he has held a guitar class on Maui. Over that time, more than 130 guitarists have come from across the United States and around the world to Maui to study with Verdery, many of them returning several times.

The class includes one-on-one instruction not only with Verdery but also with world-famous guest teachers, including this year Andrew York, an acclaimed performer, composer and former longtime member of the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

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Benjamin Verdery, chair of the guitar department at the Yale School of Music, holds guitar classes on Maui each year.

The class also includes the performance of ensemble music, with the 15 to 20 guitarists in the class performing as a guitar orchestra.

Each year, the orchestra performs at least one piece of music written by a Hawaiian composer. This year, that piece will be Dennis Kamakahi's "Pua Hone" in an arrangement by Ian O'Sullivan. Other ensemble pieces will include Verdery's "Scenes from Ellis Island" and York's new composition, "Playground."

The first concert will be held on Tuesday, July 7, at 7 p.m. at Makawao Union Church at 1445 Baldwin Avenue. Verdery, York and O'Sullivan will perform a special concert to open the week. The suggested donation is $10. The program will include music composed by the performers, with both solo and ensemble songs.

On Friday, July 10, at 3 p.m., O'Sullivan, Yale School of Music graduate Christopher Mallett, and University of Hawaii at Manoa student Aaron Cardenas will perform a free concert at the U.H. Maui College featuring a variety of music for solo guitar, as well as duets and music for ukulele. A reception will follow the concert, which will be held in the Science Building Lecture Theatre.

On Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church at 8992 Kula Highway in Kula, advanced class participants Cardenas, Mallett, Liz Faure and John Olson will perform a free concert of music by Verdery, Brouwer, Torroba, Brahms, Pasieczny, DeBlasio and others.

On Tuesday, July 14, at 7 p.m. at Lahaina Jodo Mission at 12 Ala Moana St., class participants will play a free concert featuring solo performances and pieces for guitar orchestra composed and conducted by Verdery, York and O'Sullivan.

And on Wednesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. at Keawala'i Congregational Church at 5300 Makena Road in Makena, class participants will perform a free concert with solo performances and pieces for guitar orchestra composed and conducted by Verdery, York and O'Sullivan.

For more information, visit or contact John Olson at verderyclass@



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