Fingerstyle Judges:


Antoine Dufour 

34 year old Montreal, Canada based guitarist Antoine Dufour is known colloquially among the best guitar players in the world as a musician’s musician. To fans of popular music, he deftly combines jaw-dropping guitar playing skills and an artistic soul in crafting instrumental compositions that reflect ambient and progressive music that transcends global cultures and languages. That he does this in an incredibly visual and entertaining style has endeared him to a broad spectrum of fans of popular music.

Via his six albums of original material released to critical acclaim, two live performance DVDs, 6 years of global touring and more than 50 million cumulative views on YouTube, Antoine Dufour has emerged as a young star of fingerstyle acoustic guitar, building a worldwide reputation for innovation and creativity.  2014 will showcase his abilities as he tours global markets including Canada, Germany, USA, China, UK, France Netherlands, and many others. He has recorded a new album of material that is slated for a fall 2014 release.

Antoine’s records of accomplishment include winning First place at the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Championships, Third place at the ultra-prestigious international guitar championships at Winfield, recording for the leading Instrumental music record label Candyrat, plus touring and playing with luminary guitar players such as Andy McKee and Don Ross.


Guy Van Duser

Guy Van Duser is the legendary guitarist who ‘set the bar’ for virtuoso fingerstyle with his astonishing arrangement of “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”  His playing echoes Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed (both of whom he knew personally and worked with), and the classic fingerstyle sounds of country guitar picking, and his instrumental technique is second to none. Guy is currently Professor of Guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston, as well as soundtrack composer for the Disney’s World of English video series and for PBS programs such as Nova and “American Experience”. That’s Guy playing guitar on the “Antiques Roadshow” theme. He scored the music for Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima, nominated for an Academy Award. Guy has performed as a swing jazz duo with clarinetist Billy Novick for the last thirty-eight years. He records on Rounder, Daring, and Poor Jack Recordings. Most recently, Guy appeared in performance at the Country Music Hall of Fame for the "Flamekeeper's Tribute to Chet Atkins".


John Stropes

John Stropes is a leading authority on finger-style guitar. Through the historical research, analysis, transcription, teaching and performance of finger-style guitar, he has brought focus to this style as a significant American music. His publishing company, Stropes Editions, Ltd., has set a new standard for written music for the guitar and guitar education. Stropes was president of the Milwaukee Classical Guitar Society, 1985-1996 and artistic director of the American Finger-Style Guitar Festivals, 1985, 1987 and 1989, which were funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He performed and taught at the First Chinese Guitar Artistic Festival in the People's Republic of China in 1986 and returned to China in 1988 and 1990 to perform and teach with a performance at Beijing's Symphony Hall broadcast on Chinese television. He was advisor to the Beijing Guitar Research Association. chair of the Guitar Department, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1984-1994, author of Michael Hedges/Rhythm, Sonority, Silence; Leo Kottke/Eight Songs; 20th Century Masters of Finger-Style Guitar and John Fahey's Guitar Christmas Book. Stropes is author of numerous transcriptions of contemporary works for finger-style guitar and related instructional materials and a frequent contributor to guitar publications.


Andrew Lardner

Andrew Lardner received numerous scholarships and awards as an undergraduate at UWM and received a bachelor’s degree in the fall of 2009 with high honors. While earning his master’s degree he received the Chancellor’s Award and served as a TA/PA for the guitar department.

His primary focus is on the transcription, typesetting, and teaching of new repertoire for finger-style guitar. Andrew has participated in master classes and workshops with many of today’s performing virtuosi. This list includes Leo Kottke, Alex de Grassi, Pierre Bensusan, Pino Forastiere, Stefano Barone, Gareth Pearson, Antoine Dufour, Billy McLaughlin, Michael Gulezian, Andy McKee, and several others. With a particular interest in the music of Leo Kottke and John Fahey, Andrew brings strong analytical skills to his teaching.

Andrew is currently an Associate Lecturer at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin where he teaches private lessons in finger-style guitar and finger-style ensemble. He received the First Year Student Success award during his first year as a faculty member at UWM. This award is given to faculty members who are voted on by first-year students indicating that they are the person who helped them the most in their Freshman year of study.

Andrew also teaches beginning guitar for UWM’s pre-college Mini-Course program. In addition to his work for the University he works for Stropes Editions, Ltd. and teaches privately.


Willie Porter

Having toured with artists as diverse as Jeff Beck and Tori Amos, Willie Porter capitalizes on his experience as a seasoned live performer on How To Rob A Bank. World-renowned guitarist Greg Koch had this to say about Porter's new disc: "you get the same feeling listening to it as you do from one of his solo gig's...that you are in the presence of greatness..." Each song is a fresh cross-pollination of styles, genres and musical forms. In the Woody Guthrie-informed, would-be bank robber's pre-heist confessional title track:

[Porter] sings the bailout blues: 'You can't walk in there brazen with an Uzi like Patty Hearst /I'm gonna secure myself a seat on the board of directors first / That's how you rob a bank.' Given the cyclical nature of corporate scandals, it's likely that How To Rob A Bank — and the rest of Porter's new album...will remain timely for years to come... (The Onion)

Frets Magazine called Porter "a genre-defying maverick." He continues on that path as he easily transitions from the light-hearted McCartney-esque "Lemon Tree" into "I Didn't Bring it Up," in which Porter wryly declares he "checked the oil and cleared the gutters" of mid-life marriage. In the electric guitar driven "Hard Place" he digs into three generations of an American soldier's perspective. The rest of the album includes flavors of New Orleans ("Wide Open Mind"), The Band ("Psychic Vampire") and post-bluegrass country ("Barefoot Reel").

On How To Rob A Bank Porter fills out the production with a deep supporting cast of musicians he has known and toured with for years. The LA-based folk/rock quartet Raining Jane bring their vocal harmonies, cello, sitar and percussion to the disc in warm and subtle ways. LA über-session artist, Reggie Hamilton, lends his virtuosity on Upright Bass to the title track and Weasel Records label-mate Natalia Zukerman sews her lap-steel, dobro and vocal chops into several tunes. For the core heavy lifting on the album, Porter enlists his own seasoned backing band of Dave Adler (keys), Steve Kleiber (Bass), and Dave Schoepke (Drums & Percussion).


Kurt Plahna

As a pre-teen, after a short stint in the air band Van Zeplica, Kurt Plahna realized it was time to learn real guitar. A self-taught rocker from the start, he eventually entered the guitar consortium program at UW-Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, earning a BFA with honors in 2000. Solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar became his favorite musical medium, though he continued to play, record, and experiment with various electric bands and groups around the Milwaukee area.

Kurt went on to work full-time for Hal Leonard Corporation as an instructional guitar publication editor in 2003, managing the creation and production of guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, drum, brass/woodwind, vocal, and keyboard products (not to mention sitar, oud, and bagpipes!). He was also a contributing editor and columnist for Guitar Edge magazine from 2006 to 2010, and served as music director on a variety of instructional DVDs and web lessons for www.guitarinstructor.com.

Kurt currently resides in the Milwaukee area with his wife and two daughters and continues to write and record music in his home studio. Visit Kurt’s music page at www.soundcloud.com/gratton.


Classical Judges:


Brian Torosian

Brian Torosian is an active soloist and chamber musician on guitar, lute, and mandolin best known for his work with 19-century guitarist and composer J. K. Mertz. In addition to the standard six-string guitar, he plays baroque guitar, Terz guitar, and 10-string guitar replicas, the latter two made for him by R. E. Bruné after 19th-century Viennese instruments. Concert performances include appearances with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony, Chicago Opera Theater, His Majesties Clerkes, and Classical Symphony Orchestra. Torosian directs the guitar program of Northeastern Illinois University and is on the faculty of Wheaton College Conservatory. He received bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University as a student of Anne Waller, and studied with Oscar Ghiglia in Italy at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana where he received the Diploma of Merit. Brian's published editions include Mertz's Opern-Revue, Mertz's trio for violin/flute, viola, and guitar Divertissement, Op. 32 (DGA Editions), an anthology of operatic concert works entitled Selected Operatic Fantasies of Mertz (Mel Bay), as well as new editions of Mertz's selected works published by Chanterelle Verlag, Heidelberg. His recordings include a track on the harp guitar compilation “Christmas Present” and a collection of Mertz’s guitar and piano duos.


Anne Waller

Anne Waller has performed as both a soloist and as a member of Waller and Maxwell Guitar Duo in concerts and festivals throughout the United States and Europe. She has also been heard on live broadcasts on radio and television as well as in master classes with Andrés Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia, and José Tomás.   Other activities include conducting master classes at universities and festivals throughout the United States.  Waller has studied with Robert Guthrie and Oscar Ghiglia.


René Izquierdo

René Izquierdo graduated from the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and Superior Institute of Art in Havana, where he studied with renowned guitarist Jesus Ortega. After his arrival in the United States, he graduated from Yale University School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery. At Yale, he earned a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma degree and was awarded the “Eliot Fisk Prize” to an outstanding guitarist. He has studied with Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Eli Kastner, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, David Starobin, Eduardo Fernandez, Jorge Morel, Robert Beaser and Anthony Newman. Mr. Izquierdo is currently recording his debut CD with Luthier Music Corporation.

Izquierdo has been awarded several competition prizes, and most recently was a finalist in the JoAnne Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. He has appeared as a guest soloist and in chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Cuba, Spain, France and Italy. In 2004 he performed the Villa-Lobos concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and played the U.S. premiere of The Divan of Moses Ibn-Ezra by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, a 19-song cycle, with soprano Arianne Slack in a Merkin Archive concert.


Peter Baime

Peter Baime is a member of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music faculty since 1969. Mr. Baime began his studies with Nino Bernardo in the U.S. and in Spain with the legendary gypsy guitarists Diego Gastor and Paco Gastor. In 1996 Mr. Baime joined the faculty at Cardinal Stritch University. In addition to teaching he has performed more than 2,500 concerts in public schools. He has scored, performed, and recorded six documentary films airing on PBS. Mr. Baime performs extensively in the U.S. and Puerto Rico as well as in Spain, Canada, Italy and Mexico. He has recordings on the Dr. Black and Narada labels. He has commissioned several contemporary and now-published works for classical guitar. In October 2000 he won an Emmy Award from the National Academy for Television Arts & Sciences for his original score in Indigenous Always.


Nathan Wysock

Nathan Wysock received Doctor of Musical Arts (with a major in guitar performance and a minor in early music) and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music.  He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois State University. His teachers include Douglass Rubio, Angelo Favis and Nicholas Goluses. Dr. Wysock is an avid performer of both solo and ensemble repertoire and has performed in competitions in the United States and abroad.  He has been a featured performer on Wisconsin Public Radio and has performed with the Lawrence Chamber Players, the Festival City Orchestra, the Edgewood Community Orchestra, the Lawrence Wind Ensemble, and L’Ensemble Portique.  Recently he performed in a production of Henze’s El Cimmaron with Skylight Music Theatre (Milwaukee, WI). In his solo recitals Dr. Wysock creates innovative programs that range from ragtime to music of the Middle East.  He has presented lecture recitals and workshops on tango, blues and 19th century music.

Dr. Wysock is a dedicated teacher who has been on the faculty of several community programs, the secondary guitar program at the Eastman School of music and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. He is currently on the faculty at Lawrence University in Appleton and Edgewood College in Madison.


Jason Behr

Jason Behr BIO PIC.jpg

Since the age of 18, Mr. Behr has been an active teacher and performer in the Milwaukee metropolitan area.  He has been a faculty member of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music since 2009. He earned his Masters Degree in classical guitar at UW-Milwaukee, studying with Professor Rene Izquierdo. In addition to teaching, Mr. Behr is a member of the Milwaukee Guitar Quartet and maintains an active performance schedule around Milwaukee and abroad. In 2008, Mr. Behr was asked by composer Carlos Rivera to record Cancion, his acclaimed solo work for classical guitar. In 2009, composer and guitarist Štepán Rak requested Mr. Behr to perform the American premiere of his new work titled Royal Suite. Mr. Behr was a recipient of the “Dr. Shinichi Suzuki” scholar award in 2010 & 2011.


George Lindquist

George Lindquist has been one of the foremost teachers of classical guitar in Wisconsin for more than 25 years. Teaching at UW-Whitewater since 1995, he gives private instruction in classical guitar and directs the guitar ensemble and teaches a guitar class. Well known as a performer on both the guitar and the lute, he has been a member of several ensembles, including a classical guitar trio, a flute and guitar duo, and a guitar and harpsichord duo. He has performed at a variety of venues throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. He has also given many performances in the public schools sponsored by Young Audiences of Wisconsin. Mr. Lindquist received the M.M. from UW-Madison and a B.A. from Carthage College in both Music and Business Administration. He is one of the guitarists featured on the CD Milwaukee Guitar: Strictly Solo and can be heard on recordings with the Master Singers of Milwaukee and the Festival Choir of Madison. 


Edel Muñoz

A Cuban native and United States resident, Edel Muñoz is one of the most acclaimed and sought-after players in the classical guitar scene.  Edel is the first prize winner in more than 20 international guitar competitions including the Boston Guitar Fest, the Miguel Llobet International Competition in Barcelona, the Montreal International Guitar Competition and the Havana International guitar Competition.  He was only 13 years old when Maestro Leo Brouwer described him as “perfect” and a “professional” in every sense of the word.  

As a concert artist, Edel has performed in major theaters and recital halls throughout the world including Carnegie Hall in New York, Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, Teatro Municipal de Viña del Mar in Chile, Sala Nezahualcóyotl in Mexico, Zitarrosa Theater Uruguay, Salle Gothique del Hotel de Ville de Bruxelles Belgium, Goethe Institute Santiago de Chile, IFT Theater Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Teatro Nacional de Cuba among others both as a solo recitalist and chamber musician with orchestras such as Barcelona Sinfonietta, Miami Symphony Orchestra and Cuba' s National Symphony Orchestra. 

Also an increasingly sought-after teacher, he has been invited to give master-classes in universities and conservatories. Edel has performed in more than 25 countries around the world including Canada, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Venezuela, Uruguay, France, the United States and many others.

Edel Muñoz  plays a guitar made by Richard E. Brune and uses Savarez strings.


Jazz Judges:

Manty Ellis

Manty Ellis is the cornerstone of Milwaukee jazz. Manty co-founded the jazz program at the Wisconsin Conservatory along with Tony King. He is also a recipient of the 1997 Arts Midwest Jazz Masters award. Some of the musicians Manty has worked with include Sonny Stitt, Eddie Harris, Stanley Turrentine, Richard Davis, Buddy Montgomery, Brian Lynch, Willie Pickens, David Hazeltine, and Melvin Rhyne. In 1999 Manty cut his CD, In His Own Sweet Way.

Manty owned a music store, Ellis Music, and all the famous jazz musicians who came to town would go there to jam with him. Musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Frank Foster, Eddie Moore, and many others could be found there whenever they were in town. Manty's style and approach embodies the Midwestern jazz sound. Manty Ellis is Milwaukee jazz.


Jack Grassel

Mr. Grassel is a jazz artist known for his adventurous concerts, books, inventions, CDs, compositions, and extraordinary musical abilities which include perfect pitch.

Jack's music career began early at age 3, when his father started him on music lessons. By age four, he was performing professionally with the "Bar O Ranch", a traveling variety show, and on television and radio. He enjoyed years of personal tutelage by mentors, Jimmy Wyble, George Van Eps, Tal Farlow and Joe Daley which fathered his unique style resulting in over 13,000 performances. Among his favorites are duets with Luciano Pavarotti, recordings with Tal Farlow and Melvin Rhyne, and concerts with Rosemary Clooney and other name artists too numerous to mention.

In a nation-wide poll, Guitar One Magazine readers voted him "One of the 10 Best Guitarists in America...". This winner of seven WAMI awards as Guitarist Of The Year was also voted Best Jazz Artist twice by the Milwaukee Shepherd newspaper. Guitarists the world over have studied his 10 books, instructional DVD and 19 recordings which feature his 70 compositions. Jack Grassel's Big Ax book trilogy is the groundbreaking system for playing melody, chords and bass simultaneously on a standard guitar. Jack's instructional columns have enlightened readers of Guitar Player and Just Jazz Guitar magazines while his students from the past 40 years are a legion of the world's finest musicians. Currently Jack tours Mexico each winter and teaches students around the world via Skype. Learn more about Jack and his work, visit www.jackgrassel.com.


Paul Silbergleit

Paul Silbergliet is on faculty at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and a member of the Conservatory’s We Six jazz sextet. B.A., Oberlin College. An accomplished jazz composer as well as performer, Mr. Silbergleit has played clubs, concert halls, and festivals throughout the area as both a leader and a sideman. He has appeared with Jack McDuff, Jon Faddis, Richie Cole, Tierney Sutton, Melvin Rhyne, Brian Lynch, David Hazeltine, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, among others. Both his 1996 debut CD Silberglicity and his 2003 release My New Attitude have made it onto the jazz charts with nationwide airplay. He can also be heard on the 2005 We Six recording Bird Say. Mr. Silbergleit also teaches at Cardinal Stritch University, and is a featured instructor in Hal Leonard's Guitar Licks Goldmine DVD series.


Don Linke

A professional musician for 30 years, Don Linke is both a performer and educator. Linke has appeared in the pit at the Melody Top Theatre, Skylight Opera, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Florentine Opera and the Riverside Theatre. He has appeared as an opening act for Freddy Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, and Richard Elliot; and on stage with jazz luminaries Greg Abate, Frank Morgan, Melvin Rhyne, Richie Cole and Brian Torfe. He has ten recordings including four critically acclaimed solo releases. He is the recipient of grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the United Performing Arts Fund. Linke began teaching at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in 1978 and has taught master classes and workshops throughout the country. His students are professional musicians around the world.


Bob Monagle

As a professional musician for the past 30 years, and a broadcast editor for 12 years, Tanner-Monagle principal Bob Monagle brings a unique perspective to video editing. He combines unparalleled technical capabilities with a sensitivity to how the music, audio and photography come together to create arresting and effective visual communications.

His national work on radio and television projects includes advertising spots, television shows, industrial, educational and corporate videos and interactive DVDs for clients such as Tenet Healthcare, Walgreens, Hal Leonard, Subway, Simplicity and Sun Country Airlines.

His background in music and music composition, as well as video and audio production make him uniquely qualified to integrate the audio and visual elements necessary for achieving great work. He also directs and produces, and can assemble top-notch television and video production crews to see any project through from concept to completion.


Steve Lewandowski

Steve Lewandowski has more than 40 years of professional experience in the music business as a guitarist. His playing is characterized by widely diverse styles such as post-bop, funk edged jazz, and blues. He has arranged, composed, and conducted in a variety of popular and jazz bands, and played guitar as a theater musician, solo, on radio, recordings, and television. Steve has performed with a variety of international and local artists – The Milwaukee Symphony, Tha Racine Symphony, Gary Burton, Ashley Alexander, Alan Vache, Charlie Braughm, Russ Phillips, Bobby Lewis,  Manty Ellis, Berkley Fudge, Fifth Dimension, Chuck Hedges, OPUS, Bel Canto Chorus, with touring Broadway shows such as Sweet Charity, Chicago, Lion King, Spamalot, Legally Blonde, and others.

He has a rich history of club performances, shows, concerts, and clinics. As a member of OPUS he participated in the Vibrations Unlimited Series concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony, performed at numerous Summerfest, Lakefront Festival of the Arts and other music festivals, and backed artists such as Buddy Rich, Pat Metheny, Yellow Jackets, and Dizzy Gillespie. His original compositions from the EP “First Light” received airplay on public radio stations internationally. Steve was awarded “Best Guitarist, 2006”, and nominated “Best Guitarist, 2007” by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI). More recently he has recorded a solo CD, “Familiar Melodies” which has received international radio attention, and has taken over leadership of Chuck Hedges’ Milwaukee Connection. In the summer, 2013, Steve premiered “Trinity” for jazz band and orchestra with the Racine Symphony Orchestra.


Rock/Blues Judges:


Mike Derose

Mike DeRose hails from the Midwest city of Racine, WI. Born & raised there, he was drawn towards the guitar at an early age. Mike taught guitar for 20 years at a local music store, until recently when he decided to devote all of his time to recording and performing. Mike has played in numerous locales from New York to California. And he can recently be found performing for Hal Leonard instructional series. His many years of travel and playing have all contributed to his wide variety of styles and techniques. Mike prides himself on being able to play just about any genre of music that a recording artist may require, with his favorites being: Jazz/Fusion, R & B and Rock ‘n Roll.


Greg Koch

An unsung guitar hero from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he grew up just a few miles from the Waukesha birthplace of the late, great guitarist-inventor Les Paul, Greg Koch has established himself within six-string circles as a masterful technician, accomplished clinician (for Fender) and general bad-ass guit-picker. No less than guitar virtuoso Steve Vai noted Koch’s six-string prowess and promptly signed signed him to his Favored Nations label in 2001. Tom Wheeler from Guitar Player magazine hailed him as “fiendishly talented” while other critics have called him everything from “a twisted guitar genius” to “the best kept secret in the guitar firmament.”


Peter Mac

Peter Mac is the guitarist for Uprising as well as Peter Mac And The Fighting Fish, The Brian Dale Group and Streetlife. Beginning his musical education at age three, the breadth of Peter's styling comes from years of formal training and a long list of great and diverse influences; artists ranging from The Beatles, Sting, Pat Metheny, and George Benson.

It was Jimi Hendrix, however, who provided the initial inspiration that shifted Peter's dedication from his studies in classical and jazz piano to the guitar at the age of fourteen. Peter attended Wisconsin Conservatory of Music until 1981, when he took his talents on the road, never looking back and continually honing his skills. In addition to performing over 200 gigs a year and teaching over 62 students per week, Peter is in high demand as a studio musician. He has recorded literally hundreds of commercials and TV and Radio spots. As a recording artist, Peter has self-produced 10 solo CDs albums, each demonstrating outstanding compositional skills with a knack for strong melody.

Peter Mac's diversity has allowed Peter to open for a wide variety of acts, such as Kenny Loggins, Dave Koz, Tower of Power, the late Danny Gatton, Grover Washington, the late Jeff Healey, Eddie Money, Kansas, Doc Severinsen, Tim Wiesburg, Jeff Lorber, The O'Jays, Al Jarreau, and most recently King's X, Adrian Belew,Robin Trower, Peter Frampton, Blue Oyster Cult, Hal & Oates, INXS, & David Sanborn! http://www.aboutpetermac.com/us.htm


Peter Roller

Peter Roller, a music professor at Alverno College, is the author of Milwaukee Garage Bands: Generations of Grassroots Rock, which documents amateur bands from the ’50s through the ’90s. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Roller started out playing electric guitar in garage bands. He later went deep down the rabbit hole of American roots music—studying folk, bluegrass, country blues and American finger-style guitar—and played open stages at classic Greenwich Village folk clubs the Gaslight and Folk City during their final years of operation.

While working on his Masters degree in Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, Roller was chosen as main guitar accompanist for one of the last of the pre-war southern bluesmen: Yank Rachell. Roller and Rachell played in clubs and folk festivals through the 1980s and made the album Blues Mandolin Man (Blind Pig Records), which was nominated for a Grammy in the Traditional Blues category.

Having written guitar instrumentals since his first surf-rock garage band, Roller’s 2011 album, Blue Fog, features an original take on styles ranging from Hawaiian slack key and ragtime blues to bossa nova and steel guitar jazz. Prior to this CD release, Roller’s lap slide instrumental “Rancho Mirage” was included on the best-selling Masters of Acoustic Guitar (Narada Records).While teaching at Alverno College in Milwaukee over the past 25 years, Roller has continued to perform and record with local musicians like Steve Cohen, Robin Pluer, Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans, the Masonic Wonders, and Little Rev.


Matt Schroeder

Matthew Schroeder is a Milwaukee based WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) winning guitarist who is equally at home on electric or acoustic guitar. Matt is one of a handful of players to graduate, with honors, from the short lived cooperative program between The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a performance degree in American Finger-Style guitar.

Matt is one of Milwaukee’s prominent guitar educators and serves as Chair of the guitar department at The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, where he has taught since 1992. Matt is also the Artistic Director for the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music's annual Guitar Weekend Workshop and Interlochen College of Creative Arts' Fingerstyle Guitar Workshop. 

Matt is featured on recordings such as Pet Engine's 1994 release Hearts and Bones and Voices, the compilation CD American Finger-Style Guitar circa 1999, and his debut solo acoustic fingerstyle CD, Signal, which was released in 2006. 

Matt can be seen performing as a soloist, in a duo with vocalist Lynda Lee, with the all-star band Slumpbuster featuring KB from 96.5 WKLH-Milwaukee, and as the smoking guitar wielding "Space Ace" with the KISS tribute band Dr. Love. 


Troy Stetina

Troy Stetina is an internationally renowned guitarist, leading authority in guitar instruction and clinician. He has authored more than 40 rock and metal guitar methods for Hal Leonard Corp., which have been translated into numerous languages and have sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

Troy is endorsed by PRS guitars, Engl Amps, Vader Cabinets, and Modtone pedals. He is also the guitarist for the hard rock band Second Soul, runs Artist Underground recording studio in Milwaukee, and is co-owner of the online music retailer Music44.com as well as Lampifier Microphones.

Perhaps the best known of Troy’s works is the classic book/CD guitar method, Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar, often referred to as the “shredders’ Bible.” Published in 1990, it was the first major work in electric guitar pedagogy to standardize an effective approach to achieving the highest levels of guitar technique. Other popular Stetina works include Metal Lead Guitar Volumes 1 and 2, Metal Rhythm Guitar Volumes 1 and 2, Total Rock Guitar, and the complete eartraining and theory manual, Fretboard Mastery, published in 2007.

His latest instructional work is Troy Stetina: The Sound and the Story released in 2011 and featuring over three and a half hours of interviews, technique lessons, and composition lessons teaching six Second Soul songs. The DVD also features special invitation guest lessons by Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge/Creed), Michael Angelo Batio, Bill Peck (Exit the Ride), and Eric Friedman (Creed).



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