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This guitar method addresses all the essential topics for the beginning student: music notation, chord playing, technique development, and basic music theory. Each exercise is designed to introduce new melody notes and chords that accompany the melody. This book works well as a self-study guide, in private lessons, or as a method book for a group class. Special emphasis is placed on detailed explanation of fingerstyle right hand technique. Such important concepts as rest stroke and free stroke, block chords, arpeggios, and scales are all addressed at length with many useful exercises. All exercises are original compositions and arrangements by the authors. The book includes an appendix, which provides additional solo and ensemble pieces.
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A native of Houston, Texas, Fernand Vera is a sought-after guitar soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He holds a Bachelor s of Arts in Music from the University of St. Thomas and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Guitar Performance and Music Theory from the University of North Texas. Fernand was a prizewinner in the Rantucci Guitar Competition and Eastfield Collegiate Guitar competition (1st Prize-2008), and a finalist in the University of Texas at Dallas International Guitar Competition. His playing was hailed as sensitive and poetic by the renowned judges of the Rantucci competition.
Fernand's unique gift as a teacher has won him many heartfelt accolades from students. His guitar students have won prizes in many competitions and performed recitals throughout Texas. He is the author of The Beginning Guitar Method Volumes 1 and 2, and Guitar Fitness: Technical Studies for the Advancing Guitarist. He is faculty at Collin College in Plano, TX.
Composer and guitarist Olga Amelkina-Vera grew up in Belarus and moved to the United States in 1997. She holds a Bachelor s of Arts in Music Summa Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas and Masters of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Guitar Performance and Music History from the University of North Texas. Olga is an active soloist, chamber musician, and award-winning composer. Olga was a prizewinner in the Eastfield Collegiate Guitar Competition and a finalist in the University of Texas at Dallas International Guitar Competition.
Olga s compositions have been performed at festivals and universities around the country. Olga was the winner of the 2009 Austin Classical Guitar Society s Guitar Ensemble Composition Competition for her guitar quartet Ninochka. Her articles have been published in Soundboard magazine. Olga is faculty at North Lake College in Irving, TX and Collin College in Frisco, TX.
Kithara Duo (Fernand Vera and Olga Amelkina-Vera) was formed in 2002. They have been invited to perform in Europe and South America, as well as nationally by numerous organizations and festivals, most notably Foundation of Modern Music (Houston), Col Canto (Houston), Voces Intimae (Dallas), Classical Minds Guitar Festival at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, Fort Worth Guild Music Festival, Mesquite Guitar Festival, and live on The Front Row, a program on Houston's classical radio station KUHF 88.7. Kithara Duo are the creators and directors of the annual Guitar Orchestra Workshop in the North Texas area. Their debut CD, Beings, is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2011.
Accolades for the duo:
The duo impressed with touching musicality, elegant presentation, and seamless coordination.
--Chris Shull, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
[Kithara Duo] wove a dreamy spell in Piazzolla s Lo Que Vendra.
--Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
Fernand Vera and Olga Amelkina-Vera are flawless guitarists possessing musical taste and refinement in the highest degree. Their performances show a beautiful command of the entire range of sounds, dynamics, and effects of which the guitar is capable, together with a deep understanding of the repertoire. I consider them one of the best guitar duos I have heard in terms of perfect ensemble, naturalness of expression, and sheer musicality.
--Robert Guthrie, Southern Methodist University
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