Classical guitar summer school strums into town

JENNA HOUGHTON
Last updated 05:00 14/01/2014

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The classical guitar is the instrument of choice in New Plymouth this week.

The Taranaki Classical Guitar Summer School is on again following the success of the inaugural programme in 2012.

Students of all ages will attend classes, tutorials and concerts throughout the week at New Plymouth Girls' High School and the 4th Wall Theatre.

"We have around 80 participants from New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Italy," event organiser Dominique Blatti said. "It's about getting to know people who play the same instrument and share the same passion."

Ms Blatti and fellow member of the New Plymouth Guitar Society John Couch found room for a summer school in the New Zealand music scene.

"Schools were extremely popular in the 70s, but we haven't had any for 20 years," Ms Blatti said.

Highlights will include performances from the New Zealand Guitar Quartet, William Kanengiser (US), Simone Iannarelli (Italy) and Gunter Herbig, who was born in Brazil but now lives in Wellington.

"It's [the school] a wonderful thing, largely due to getting international people over," Herbig said.

"It's not a part of grassroots here as it is in the Old World, where it's cultural tradition. It's a labour of love for the instrument and the art form."

The musician, who has been playing the classical guitar for 40 years, performed last night and will hold classes today and tomorrow.

The week of lessons will culminate with a show featuring all participants at the Hatchery Lawn in Pukekura Park on Friday.

This will be a highlight for many students, including Hawaii-born Hannah Kurosu, 12, who hopes to pursue music and attend the prestigious Julliard School in the US.

All performances are open to the public, with daytime and student tickets $15, and evening shows $25 at the 4th Wall Theatre.

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