Developed as a means to showcase talented guitarists between 15-30 years of age, the first-ever Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival was a multi-genre competition which featured four different categories—Rock/Blues, Fingerstyle, Jazz, and Classical. Thirty-seven guitarists from Australia, Puerto Rico, and 11 states across the US traveled to Brookfield to take part in the live, invitation-only semi-final competition rounds at the Center on Thursday, August 15. The final competition rounds took place on Saturday, August 17. Contestants competed for $22,000 in prize money and featured solo performances on the Wilson Center’s 2013-2014 Club and Starry Nights Series.

The festival weekend also included master class and clinic opportunities for participants and auditors, and featured evening performances by some of the finest guitarists of our time, including Daryl Stuermer of Genesis, Julian Lage, Chris Eldridge, Rene Izquierdo, and Don Linke.  Featured performers were among the judges for the final competition rounds.

Local student guitarists were also showcased throughout the Festival with ongoing short performances on an ancillary stage, located beside the Center’s Grand Hall.

The entire festival - including semi-final and final competition rounds, master classes, vendor booths and a stage filled with local young guitarists - was open to the public.


2013 Classical Competition Winners
First Place – Nemanja Ostojic (Bloomington, IN)
Second Place – Jacob Hildebrand (Gig Harbor, WA)
Third Place – Jonathan Smith (Akron, OH)


2013 Rock/Blues Competition Winners
First Place – Do Hoon Lee (Astoria, NY)
Second Place – Gavin Colahan (Hartland, WI)
Third Place - Jonathan Smith (Akron, OH)


2013 Jazz Competition Winners
First Place - Akira Ishiguro (Brooklyn, NY)
Second Place - Christopher Newlin (Menomonee Falls, WI)
Third Place - Brandon Miller (Pewaukee, WI)


2013 Fingerstyle Competition Winners
First Place - Macyn Taylor (Waterford, WI)
Second Place - Brock Camden (Milwaukee, WI)
Third Place - Doug Justice (Milwaukee, WI)

For additional information on the Guitar Competition & Festival, please call 262-439-5681 or email