Member Spotlight: Julie Watson

///Member Spotlight: Julie Watson

Member Spotlight: Julie Watson

Julie Watson has been a member at CGC Academy for almost two years now. In that time she has become an essential, dedicated member of the CGC Academy community and last year she attended the first annual CGC Summer School. Here Julie performs Fernando Sor’s Etude in D Major, Op. 35, no. 17. Julie also writes a blog about learning classical guitar as an adult: check it out here. Please leave a comment to congratulate Julie on her playing and on her continued progress on the classical guitar!

Fernando Sor’s Op. 35 was first published in September of 1828 under the title Vingt-quatre Exercises. Unlike his earlier studies (Opp. 6 and 29) Op. 35 has fingerings throughout and the pieces are much easier than the earlier sets. As Brian Jeffery concludes, this set of studies (along with Op. 31) “shows Sor gradually taking on the role, no longer primarily of composer, but of teacher” (Brian Jeffery, Fernando Sor: Composer and Guitarist [London: Tecla, 1977], 101). – Dave Belcher

2018-05-14T13:14:14+00:0057 Comments


  1. Roger Ramirez May 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Lovely playing!
    I met Julie last year at the Classical Guitar Corner Summer School where we were stand partners for the big ensemble. It has been wonderful to read about Julie’s journey this past year with all the ups and downs. She has a beautiful sense of phrasing and a sweetness as she plays this piece. Julie is a wonderful part of the Classical Guitar Corner community.

  2. Marty Wolf May 16, 2018 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Julie, that was wonderful!

    You looked so relaxed and confident. I hope to get there one day.

  3. Kari May 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Bravo, Julie! You play the Sor piece beautifully.
    It is such a joy to have you part of the CGC community.
    I wish you all the best as you continue your journey with this lovely instrument.

  4. Jeff Peek May 16, 2018 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Yes, Bravo! I was really affected by your rendition.

    Your adult-learning blog has also been very helpful to me. Much appreciated.


  5. Tim Flanigan May 16, 2018 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Nice performance Julie, your dynamics was wonderful.
    Thanks so much.

  6. Mark May 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    That was simply exquisite, Julie!!

    I imagine that if I could play like that my plants might look more like yours (or at least still green) ;-]

    Thanks for sharing,

  7. Fleur May 16, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Beautiful playing Julie!!

  8. Bruce May 16, 2018 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Bravo, Julie! That was an excellent performance and video. I have been following your posts about performance anxiety issues. From where I am sitting, you look very musically assured and comfortable with the artistry of the piece.

    Thanks for your contributions to the site, and all best wishes,


  9. Julian May 16, 2018 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Quite sublime, Julie! Way to go! I must check out your blog.

  10. Donna Zitzelberger May 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    That was so beautiful Julie – I just loved it!

  11. Richard Croad May 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Great playing in a beautiful, indoor garden setting. I have read you blog before, but will remind myself to revisit. You capture, in a jocularly self-depreciating way, exactly what all we adult classical guitar learners are experiencing, and strategies to improve. Thank you!
    Cheers… Richard

  12. Armando May 16, 2018 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Wow Julie!,
    That was awesome. Sorry I have not been following what you have been writing in your journal (where does time go?). So this a most delightful surprise for me. Oh my! You have made SO MUCH PROGRESS!

    Others have already said it, but your control of the instrument, your dynamics, the way the music flows, …. very, very good. I know very well this doesn’t happen just by chance. You have obviously been working hard and methodically.

    Finally you yourself look great. Quite a lady in a most tasteful setting.

    Now I look forward to meeting you in person very soon.

    My most sincere congratulations


  13. Naomi May 16, 2018 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Julie, that was beautiful! You have definitely come a long way! Bravo!

  14. Bonnie Stenstrom May 16, 2018 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Julie – very nice legato playing on your part! I enjoyed listening to this lovely melody. Good job and thank you!

  15. Johan May 16, 2018 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed this Sor Study, Julie. It sounded lovely and your tone is excellent.

  16. Sue Kallaugher May 16, 2018 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Julie , you get such a sweet sound and play with real grace and elegance. I know the hours and passion you put in learning all your pieces and it has really paid off.
    Well done.

  17. Giuseppe Gasparini May 17, 2018 at 2:53 am - Reply

    Bravo, Julie!

  18. joannes May 17, 2018 at 2:56 am - Reply

    Hi Julie,

    you played this piece with a beautiful rhythm, flowing, musical, a delight to hear your performance.
    To be in the spotlight is well deserved after such hard work.



  19. Julie Watson May 17, 2018 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Classical guitar corner academy is such a supportive community – it has really made a difference to how I feel about guitar playing -for me it started off as a solitary pursuit to alleviate stress and perhaps make a little music, but now it is so much more. I really enjoy being part of this guitar community of adult learners at all different levels – so difficult to find otherwise. I am looking forward to meeting many more people that I “know” already from the forum at this year’s summer school, and I anticipate there will be many more musical collaborations this year because we met many new friends at last year’s summer school! One of the other great things about the site is that everyone is always willing to share their expertise – I sometimes think we learn as much from each other as we do from the lessons! :) I look forward to being a member for many years and continuing to learn and grow on my musical journey.


    • Myles Hewitt May 25, 2018 at 2:07 am - Reply

      Wow, Julie! What a lovely birthday surprise for me to stumble on your excellent rendition of the Sor piece. Being willing to put yourself in the spotlight like this shows true grit – or is it true Brit! (ouch!). Dreadful punning aside, have a brilliant time at this year’s summer school and keep up the good work on the guitar – it’s clearly paying off. All the very best. Myles

      • Dave Belcher May 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm - Reply

        Happy (belated) birthday wishes to you, Myles! Always a treat to encounter your “dreadful punning” and (Brit) wit!


        Dave B (CGC team)

  20. Linda Tsardakas May 18, 2018 at 4:23 am - Reply

    Bravo Julie! You play this piece with such sensitivity, it’s absolutely lovely.

  21. Drew Burgess May 18, 2018 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Wonderful playing Julie! The setting is lovely, your articulation is sensitive and beautiful!


  22. Gino May 18, 2018 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Very gentle, sensitive and beautiful interpretation Julie! Bravo!

  23. Anne Flanigan May 18, 2018 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much, Julie. You play beautifully.A

  24. Leo Roberts May 19, 2018 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Nicely played, Julie. Lovely feel and flow to the piece.

    Now you just need to work on the lyrics :)

  25. Julie Watson May 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Leo – I lnow just the person for the lyrics 😉

  26. Mark Campbell May 25, 2018 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Sor is smiling Julie! Very well done indeed. Your progress has been remarkable! Just lovely.
    I look forward to hearing it in person soon

  27. Gerard May 26, 2018 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Really, really nice Julie. A pleasure to hear.
    Best Wishes

  28. Martha June 25, 2018 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Julie – I am finally catching up with some previous postings. Beautifully performed – and a delightful setting for the video.

    I enjoyed getting to know you during Summer School.

    Keep up the good work. Your progress really shows.

  29. Bubble Burns August 22, 2018 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Well done Julie. You have set the bar high! Just hoping that after 2 years I will be able to play as well.

  30. Chris Mills August 22, 2018 at 9:08 am - Reply

    A beautiful piece, played beautifully. Well done Julie.

  31. Bartley O'Donnell August 22, 2018 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Beautiful. Congratulations!🍾🎉🎈

  32. Eduardo Hinostroza August 22, 2018 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Bravo Julie, very good presentation, sounds very relaxing and pleasant to the ear. I will try to imitate your very sensitive execution. congratulations.

  33. Janet Agostino August 23, 2018 at 2:55 am - Reply

    Hey Julie, Congratulations on a fine, polished performance and I especially loved those articulated slurs towards the end!! Wow. Great work! Cheers from Down Under!

  34. Chris Winter August 23, 2018 at 4:16 am - Reply

    A beautiful, sensitive rendition. Lovely! How long have you been playing? After nearly three years, I have some way to go util I reach your standard.

  35. Mike August 23, 2018 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Julie – The sensitivity of your approach is inspiring. I’m currently working on Sor’s Op. 35, No.22, but now this one will be one my to-do list. Thank you for sharing!

  36. Nick August 23, 2018 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Hi Julie
    I listened and enjoyed your interpretation here. Very nicely done! I’ll have to look this one up…it is so nice!

  37. Peter August 23, 2018 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Beautifully done. As a short-time guitarist and a lifetime photographer, I am also as impressed at how you got such a nice video image with that strong backlighting. I can’t add anything to the compliments that came before. It falls good on the ear.

  38. Jeff Blackwell August 23, 2018 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Hello, Julie. Where do I start learning classical guitar as a beginner? I’m 67 years old. Thanks.

  39. Dean Allan Slickis August 24, 2018 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Brava…! Beautifully played.

  40. Cipriano Pinto August 24, 2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Hello Julie you were superb and your blog was informative,thanks

  41. Bill Gifford August 25, 2018 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    A very nice relaxed rendition there Julie, and one I’m sure will impress many others.


  42. Joanna August 29, 2018 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Beautiful interpretation! Sor is always on my top list.

  43. David J DiPietro September 20, 2018 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Wow – wonderful!

  44. Paul October 2, 2018 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Very lovely playing Julie, Bravo!


  45. W. Don Seaborg October 27, 2018 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Just gorgeous,Julie!

  46. Michael J Mallen October 28, 2018 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie
    A beautiful rendition, thanks for sharing this with us. You play with such feeling. I hope all is well with you and hope we will meet again at the summer school next year

  47. Connie October 30, 2018 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Wow, what an inspiration to a very new beginner! How absolutely serene.

  48. Antonio December 2, 2018 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Lovely interpretation, Julie. I enjoyed it very much.

  49. Dean Allan Slickis December 2, 2018 at 9:01 pm - Reply


  50. Mariana Bates December 3, 2018 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Very nice interpretation!
    Can I bri g my daughter next year . She is 10 and play classical guitar.

    • Dave Belcher December 3, 2018 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Hi Mariana,

      Please send us an email at [email protected]


      Dave B (CGC team)

  51. Nando December 3, 2018 at 4:01 am - Reply

    Beautiful, Julie!

  52. martin December 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm - Reply


  53. ieva January 8, 2019 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Beautiful playing! But the background with the plants and the window – that is just awesome.

  54. Joseph February 8, 2019 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Excellent performance! Lovely and moving interpretation.

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