A collection of presentations, collaborations, and discussions from the members’ forum at Classical Guitar Corner Academy
About the book
For Episode 11 of the Classical Guitar Corner Academy Members Podcast (better known as the RogCast), Roger Ramirez asked the members of Classical Guitar Corner to record their 2019 guitar goals. Among those responding was Barbara Ryan, whose goals included the ability to listen to her classical guitar CDs and think “Ah, that’s Bach, or Albeniz, or Villa-Lobos or Torroba”, and perhaps even be able to identify individual works without having to look at the CD covers. Thus began the Composer of the Month Club, a two-year, crowdsourced, free range, fair trade, and predominantly vegan attempt by the members, for the members, of Classical Guitar Corner Academy to spend each month exploring a composer with relevance to our development as guitarists and musicians. Although we used the repertoire developed at Classical Guitar Corner Academy as a springboard, the discussions ranged far beyond the composers of our grade level pieces. In fact, we didn’t get to one of our repertoire composers until the fourth month. As the club relied on an all-volunteer army of moderators/ curators, the choice of composer was left to those who were willing to take on such duties, which led to a greater breadth and depth of discussion than would’ve ever been possible through centralized assignments.
This project — to bring the Composer of the Month Club discussions together into a compendium — was born on August 14 of this year. I had been out driving and listening to Julian Bream playing transcriptions of Isaac Albeniz (our first composer of the month, moderated by Barbara), only to learn that Bream had passed away that morning. My initial idea was to try to construct a self- assessment examination as a culmination of our Composer the Month Club discussions, but quickly realized that that would hardly be fair without a compiled reference, especially for those who were not able to actively participate throughout the 20 months of discussions. So, instead, I floated the idea to our moderators and was amazed at the high level of enthusiasm, which has led to this collection of essays (“trials, attempts, endeavors”, 1590). It is my impression that we have been at least somewhat successful in realizing Barbara’s original goals, and we hope that what follows will be both enjoyable and instructive in each of your musical journeys.
– Mark Cohen