2016 GUITAR COMPETITION JUDGES

RULES & REGULATIONS • JUDGES COMPETITORS

ROCK/BLUES JUDGES

Roger Brotherhood
Paul Cebar
Peter Mac
Peter Roller
Matt Schroeder
John Shiely
Mike Standel
Troy Stetina
Paul Terrien

FINGERSTYLE JUDGES

Antoine Dufour
Ben Kammin
Andy McKee*
Billy McLaughlin
Kurt Plahna
Peter Roller
John Stropes
Guy Van Duser

CLASSICAL JUDGES

Jason Behr
Javier Calderon
Elina Chekan
Rene Izquierdo
Anabel Montesinos*
Marco Tamayo*
Brian Torosian
Nathan Wysock

JAZZ JUDGES

Jack Grassell
Steve Lewandoski
Don Linke
Jay Mollerskov
Bob Monagle
Steve Peplin
Paul Silbergleit

*2016 Festival headliner


ROCK/BLUES


Roger Brotherhood

Guitarist Roger Brotherhood has been a professional musician since 1966. He attended the University of Wisconsin for two years as a journalism major, and graduated with honors from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree. He has taught professionally for more than 25 years and has extensive experience recording, playing in clubs and shows, leading his own jazz groups, conducting workshops and clinics, and playing solo. He has appeared as guitarist with Diahann Carroll, the Drifters, Rita Moreno, Bobby Rydell, Vic Damone, Al Martino, Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Mickey Rooney, Donald O'Connor, Rich Little, John Gary, Tommy Tune, and many others. He has also played for theater productions such as A Chorus Line, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jaques Brel Is Alive And Well ..., Cabaret and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Roger has played often with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Madison Symphony, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, with whom he was featured at the world premier of the Symphony Of Two Worlds. He was Artist in Residence at Verona High School for two years, and he has conducted successful improvisation workshops in association with the Isthmus Jazz Festival and at area high schools. He has taught privately since 1980, working with beginners as well as advanced players. His students have gone on to excel in jazz programs at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, North Texas State University, William Paterson College (with Rufus Reid), the University of Oregon, and other colleges. Early experience in blues bands (opening for the likes of B.B. King, Albert King, Bobby Bland, Junior Wells, Major Lance and Freddie King), playing gospel music with the Gospel Belles and the New Zion Baptist Choir, and laying down R&B with The Charmers, of Boston, led to his love of jazz music. This culminated in Roger's four years of study at the Wisconsin Conservatory, where he studied with Tony King, guitarists Manty Ellis and Jack Grassel, saxophonist Hattush Alexander, and multi-instrumentalist Kenny Danish. He also studied privately with guitarist Roy Plumb, a former student of the great George Van Eps. Since then, his jazz groups have been featured at the Isthmus Jazz Festival, the Art Fair On The Square, and live radio broadcasts from WORT. His duo with pianist Jane Reynolds appeared at the Ovens of Brittany in Shorewood for two consecutive years, and they were featured playing their original material on the locally produced TV series On The Town. Roger's quartet was a monthly tradition at The City Bar in downtown Madison for six years running. Roger performed for many years with Madison trumpeter Doc DeHaven while living in Madison. Currently living in the Milwaukee area, he performs regularly with vocalist Adekola Adedapo, saxophone master Berkeley Fudge, drummer Ben Hans and many other local jazz musicians, in addition to freelancing in the Milwaukee/Madison area and leading his own duos, trios, and quartets. He also maintains a busy schedule teaching at The Guitar Studio, both in Madison and Milwaukee. 


Peter Mac

Peter Mac is the guitarist for Uprising as well as Peter Mac & 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 14. He attended Wisconsin Conservatory of Music until 1981, when he took his talents on the road. In addition to performing more than 200 gigs a year and teaching more than 62 students per week, Peter is in high demand as a studio musician. He has recorded literally hundreds of commercials, as well as television and radio spots. As a recording artist, Peter has self-produced 10 solo CD albums, each demonstrating outstanding compositional skills with a knack for strong melody.

His 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, and David Sanborn.


Steve Roberts

Steve Roberts (guitar), a veteran of the Chicago rock, jazz and experimental music scene, has recorded and performed with a myriad of local and touring  artists. His work as co-founder/songwriter/electric guitarist for the bands Loud Thoughts and the post-punk/art rock D-Section has somehow led (most unnaturally) to orchestral, new music, musical theater and chamber music. Recent performances on guitar, banjo and mandolin include: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Godfather live soundtrack; Melissa Etheridge in concert; Stewart Copeland and his Ben Hur soundtrack live; Otello with Riccardo Muti and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall and recording); Steven Spielberg's Lincoln soundtrack;  Fulcrum Point New Music Ensemble; Chicago Chamber Musicians; Contempo; The Rembrandt Chamber Players; The Pirate Queen (Broadway); Book of Mormon; Present Music in Milwaukee; Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago and The Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. Some favorite performances include the US premier of Elevator Music on Mars by Tomi Raisanen: The World, Chicago and New York premiers of Jacob TV's multimedia opera The News; Gnarly Buttons by John Adams with the Chicago Chamber Musicians featuring Larry Combs on clarinet; Working with Sting and Rob Mathes on the pre-Broadway production of Sting's The Last Ship; Using his Masters degree in music composition to write songs for his wife Julie to sing to their Great Dane Lester.


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 Master's 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.


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 more than one 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 ear training 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 more than 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).


FINGERSTYLE


Antoine Dufour

The 34-year-old Montreal-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, six 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.  In 2014, he showcased his abilities with global tours including Canada, Germany, USA, China, UK, France Netherlands, and many others.

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.


Benjamin Kammin

As a fingerstyle guitarist, Benjamin Kammin has extensive experience both as a performer and educator. He has immersed himself in the music of Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Billy McLaughlin, John Fahey, and many other significant fingerstyle artists. Working closely with leading fingerstyle guitar authority John Stropes, Kammin’s focus is on education, transcription, and research on the history and performance of fingerstyle guitar. He has been an instructor for the Music of Leo Kottke workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 2008. As part of the requirements for a Master of Music in Musicology/Ethnomusicology at Northern Arizona University he completed his thesis in 2013 titled “The Fingerstyle Guitar Music of Leo Kottke: Emerging Methodologies for Research, Transcription, and Pedagogy.” He has participated in master classes with Billy McLaughlin, Alex de Grassi, Pino Forastiere, and Pierre Bensusan. Benjamin Kammin was the first student to graduate from the Master of Music in Guitar Performance in the Fingerstyle Guitar program at UW-Milwaukee, where he continues to be directly involved in primary research in fingerstyle guitar.


Andy McKee

Andy McKee is among the world’s finest acoustic guitarists, and his 200+ million YouTube views underscore his emergence as one of today’s most unique and influential artists. To fans of virtuoso musicianship, it is Andy’s attention to song structure and melodic content that elevate him above the rest. To fans of popular music, Andy entertains both the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into a full orchestra via his use of altered tunings, tapping, partial capos, percussive hits and a signature two-handed technique. He recently garnered plum exposure playing with Prince at sold out arena shows in Australia as a featured soloist and special guest member of Prince’s extraordinary live band.


Billy McLaughlin

Billy McLaughlin is recognized internationally as a world-class guitarist, Emmy Award-winning composer, and inspirational keynote speaker who has appeared on Billboard’s Top-Ten Chart. Previously signed to Virgin Records’ Narada label, McLaughlin has 14 CD releases, three National Campus Entertainer of the Year Awards*, five Minnesota Music Awards, and his decades of national concert touring earned him the Hall of Fame Achievement Award*. But in 1999, McLaughlin vanished from sight as his career crumbled due to a little-known neuro-muscular disorder called Focal Dystonia. After suffering several years without a cure or even a diagnosis, this right-handed guitarist embarked on an unlikely attempt to regain his career by re-learning his instrument ... left-handed! His remarkable comeback is captured in the independent documentary film Changing Keys (seen on PBS stations in 2010) and a concert film called Coming Back Alive featuring McLaughlin with string orchestra and a reunion of his longtime rock band. KPBS (San Diego) produced the 2013 Emmy Award-winning live concert program called Starry Night – Billy McLaughlin with Orchestra Nova highlighting McLaughlin’s extraordinary talent as both guitarist and inspirational speaker. Now serving as Ambassador for Awareness for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, McLaughlin is the winner of the 2010 Public Leadership in Neurology Award** whose previous winners include Paul Allen, Julie Andrews, Leon Fleischer, and Michael J. Fox. McLaughlin has resumed an international schedule of concert appearances and keynote speaking. He resides in his home state of Minnesota where he is proudly raising two boys.
 
*National Association for Campus Activities/NACA
**American Academy of Neurology/AAN
 


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 the University of Wisconsin-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.


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 Master's 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.


John Stropes

John Stropes is a leading authority on fingerstyle guitar. Through the historical research, analysis, transcription, teaching and performance of fingerstyle 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; and author of Michael Hedges; Rhythm, Sonority, Silence, Leo Kottke: Eight Songs, 20th Century Masters of Finger-Style Guitar and John Fahey's Christmas Songs for Guitar. Stropes is the author of numerous transcriptions of contemporary works for fingerstyle guitar and related instructional materials and a frequent contributor to guitar publications.


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. Guy’s distinctive guitar playing (accompanied by Billy Novick) is regularly heard on This Old House and Antiques Roadshow.. 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 38 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.


CLASSICAL


Elina Checkan

A native of Minsk, Belarus, Ella began studying guitar at the age of 13 with Valeriy Gromov. She graduated from Minsk Music College in 1994 and the Belarus Academy of Music in 1999 under Eugene Gridiushko with a degree in Classical Guitar Performance, Orchestral Conducting, and Guitar Pedagogy. In the year 2000, Ella entered Yale University where she received the Louis and Anne Rosoff Award and graduated with a degree in Classical Guitar Performance with professor Ben Verdery. Combining active performance and teaching careers, Ella has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad. Some of this year's appearances include Chamber Music Milwaukee Series, Brussels Royal Museum of Musical Instrument in Belgium, Tucson Classical Guitar Society, Mannes College Guitar Festival in New York. In her teaching, Ella believes in the individualized approach to every student with tailored instruction based on student needs. Mrs. Chekan has extensive knowledge of guitar pedagogy and repertoire, and has experienced first hand different guitar schools of thought. Ella is also a certified Suzuki instructor registered with the Suzuki Association of Americas. All this experience allows her to find unique approaches and repertoire for each of her students, giving them a solid foundation in technique and musicianship at an early stage. Along with conducting, Ella has arranged a wide variety of music for solo and chamber music. Since 2005, Ella is on the faculty at Usdan Center for the Performing Art in Long Island, New York. In addition to teaching and performing at USDAN, she conducts the guitar orchestra with up to 60 performers. In her quest for present-day student repertoire, Ella commissioned composer Jorge Morel to write a series of student repertoire solo and ensemble pieces that is published by Mel Bay. With the belief that young players are our future, Ella works with musicians and composers to encourage them to write appealing and musically interesting pieces for the young generation of guitarists. Renowned Argentinean Composer Jorge Morel dedicated to Ms. Chekan his composition "Campañas" published by Mell Bay in The Magnificent Guitar of Jorge Morel. Ella Chekan performs on a John Price guitar and uses Savarez strings.


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.


Brian Torosian

Brian Torosian is an active soloist and chamber musician on guitar, lute, and mandolin best known for his work with 19th 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, master’s, 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 titled 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.


NathanWysock_07.jpg

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, Wisconsin). 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.


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 three, 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 more than 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 nationwide 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.


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—and 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 of 2013, Steve premiered “Trinity” for jazz band and orchestra with the Racine Symphony Orchestra.


Don Linke

A professional musician for more than 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 10 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 Roberts

Steve Roberts (guitar), a veteran of the Chicago rock, jazz and experimental music scene, has recorded and performed with a myriad of local and touring  artists. His work as co-founder/songwriter/electric guitarist for the bands Loud Thoughts and the post-punk/art rock D-Section has somehow led (most unnaturally) to orchestral, new music, musical theater and chamber music. Recent performances on guitar, banjo and mandolin include: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Godfather live soundtrack; Melissa Etheridge in concert; Stewart Copeland and his Ben Hur soundtrack live; Otello with Riccardo Muti and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall and recording); Steven Spielberg's Lincoln soundtrack;  Fulcrum Point New Music Ensemble; Chicago Chamber Musicians; Contempo; The Rembrandt Chamber Players; The Pirate Queen (Broadway); Book of Mormon; Present Music in Milwaukee; Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago and The Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. Some favorite performances include the US premier of Elevator Music on Mars by Tomi Raisanen: The World, Chicago and New York premiers of Jacob TV's multimedia opera The News; Gnarly Buttons by John Adams with the Chicago Chamber Musicians featuring Larry Combs on clarinet; Working with Sting and Rob Mathes on the pre-Broadway production of Sting's The Last Ship; Using his Masters degree in music composition to write songs for his wife Julie to sing to their Great Dane Lester.


Paul Silbergleit

Paul Silbergliet is on faculty at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and a member of the Conservatory’s We Six jazz sextet. 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 teaches at Cardinal Stritch University and is a featured instructor in Hal Leonard's Guitar Licks Goldmine DVD series. He received his BA from Oberlin College.


For additional information on the Guitar Competition & Festival, please call 262-439-5681 or email dsipe@wilson-center.com.