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College students, children and award-winning guitarists from around the world to perform at Radford University's guitar festival

Students at Radford University performed at the 2022 International Guitar Festival.
Radford University
Students at Radford University performed at the 2022 International Guitar Festival.

Students and faculty at Radford University are hosting a free, two-day festival this weekend, featuring musicians from around the world who will teach and perform different styles of classical guitar.

Professor Robert Trent has organized the annual event for the past 22 years, along with his students.

“It’s really student driven because they vote on which artists they’re gonna bring in,” Trent said. “They write grants to pay for the artist fees.”

Trent said in the past, the event has drawn visitors from as far as Georgia and New York State.

“I started with electric guitar, as most people do now, I think,” said senior Anthony Del Grosso, president of the Southwestern Virginia Classical Guitar Society, the student organizion at Radford which officially hosts the event.

“Once I realized there was more to playing guitar and an academic path, I realized classical guitar is what I needed to be working with.”

Del Grosso will be performing on stage during the festival on Saturday night, along with other guitar students at Radford and 11 children, ages 8-18, who are learning guitar at a local music school in Blacksburg.

Guitarists from around the world will teach and perform Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, ranging in styles of Flammenco music from Spain to classical pieces from Italian composers.

Trent said the master classes are open to anyone, no matter their skill level. "It’s really a open lesson for the public to witness a view behind the scenes so to speak of what goes on learning something," Trent said.

The International Guitar Festival at Radford begins Friday at 3 pm. All events are free and open to the public. A full schedule of events and performers can be found here.

Roxy Todd is Radio IQ's New River Valley Bureau Chief.