‘Classical Minds’ Institute & Competition
June 9-14, 2015
Moores School of Music, University of Houston
Valerie Hartzell, Director



Welcome to the 12th Annual 'Classical Minds' Guitar Festival, held at Moores School of Music, University of Houston. 'Classical Minds' is open to classical guitarists of all levels and ages.
‘Classical Minds’ (CM) further educates middle school, high school, college level students, and adult amateurs with private lessons, technique classes, master classes, lectures, concerts, student recitals, and guitar orchestra classes. The goal of this festival is to increase each student's sight-reading abilities, gain ensemble experience through the Guitar Orchestra Class and of course, reach individual goals through the private lessons and/or master classes. There will be two Guitar Orchestras; one will be the Erwachsen Orchestra (ages 14 and older) and the other will be the Jugend Guitar Orchestra for students 13 and under.
The 2015 CM will also have an Open Division Competition. Come back soon for a list of our prizes!

Thank you for visiting us and please feel free to email me with questions regarding the festival,
Valerie Hartzell Director of the 'Classical Minds' Guitar Institute and Competition as part of the Texas Music Festival

From the 2014 CM

Listening recommendations from Jeremias Garcia's workshop at the 2014 Classical Minds.

Fosforito - Tangos y Bulerias:

Terremoto de jerez - fandangos

La Marelu y Paco Cepero - Jaleos Extremeños

Competition Results 

A big thank you to all the faculty for your teaching, performing, & judging! Another successful festival, the 11th.
Here is the result of our competition, 2 divisions: Junior level (9-13 yrs old) - Aytahn Benavi 1st Prize; Mark Citzman 2nd Prize; Max Casselman 3rd Prize; Andrew Mann Honorable Mention.
High School Division (13-19yrs old) - Ricardo Gomez 1st Prize; Avi Medina 2nd Prize; Tiffany Chang 3rd Prize; Alex Lew 4th Prize

We had a very high level of playing and thank all the competitors for participating. Hope to see you all next year!

Applications Deadline and Fundraiser Concert 

Hi Everyone!
We have extended the deadline to turning in the applications to June 2nd! The applications page has every possible package deal to fit each student's need. For the high school competition you can choose to only compete OR to attend both the festival & competition. Not in high school or just don't want to compete? We have an application for JUST the festival. What if you cannot take a whole week off? We have a weekend package available just for that. http://classicalmindsfestival.org/applications Here you can download the application right for you.
If you are able to attend only a few day events but are unable to attend the whole week we have auditor's passes for $15 which can be purchased at the box office, 713-743-3313. Click HERE to download the day event's calendar. The pass is for ONE day: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Friday and Saturday afternoon events are free.

Valerie Hartzell and Andrew Smith, Fundraiser Concert for Classical Minds on May 31st at 7:30
Organ Recital Hall, Fine Arts Bldg off of Cullen Blvd, take Entrance 16, ample parking
Tickets: $5 UH students/$10 college students, children & senior citizens/$15 general public - tickets can be bought at the door or you can call the UH box office at 713-743-3313
Raffle tickets available: $5 for smaller gift items like gift certificates, CM faculty CDs, 2 free tickets to one CM concert, etc and $10 for larger items such as gift baskets from No Label, Cellar Door, etc
Silent Auction: Valerie Hartzell is putting herself up for auction! Private party, Salon Concert, Corporate Party, or Church Event; performance would happen end of October or early November. Starting bid is $300 and individuals, groups, corporations and businesses can put in a bid either at the concert or you can email me privately: valeriehartzell@yahoo.com and I will add you to the list.
All ticket sales and raffle tickets will be going toward the CM budget and scholarships

Soundboard Magazine 

Thank you to Soundboard Magazine for including an article on Classical Minds. We have recently pushed the due date for applications to JUNE 2nd. The full schedule of events is also available. I am posting a link to it here and on the applications page. We lost our fundraising coordinator a month ago so we were forced to drop the Open Division. However, we have GREAT high school prizes and a nice middle school division plus a few scholarships available. Please contact me at valeriehartzell@yahoo.com for questions.


Fundraiser April 12 and Master class April 13 

Thank you to Jay Kacherski who played a concert at University of Houston for the Classical Minds Festival and Competition! It's extremely generous that he donated his time & energy to raise funds for competition prizes and scholarships. We also sold loads of raffle tickets and Dawn Coe (mom to 2012's 1st Prize Junior Division, Freyja Coe) won a certificate to the Texas Music Festival season pass to all concerts. Wow!!! So glad Dawn won, she's been an avid supporter of Classical Minds for years now. Bravo!

Thank you to Mike Taylor and Aquiles Torres for running the show on Saturday night. Our CM staff are volunteers and put on the show Saturday night. Then, on Sunday, Jay did a fantastic job at the master class hosted by Houston's premier luthier, Aquiles Torres with participation from Erin (Garvin's student), TIffany (Bustos' student and the 2013 1st Prize Junior Division), and 3 of Jeremy Garcia's students (Freyja, Hayden, Richard - San Jacinto College students).



Kay Meek Fundraising Concert, April 8th 

Tuesday, April 8. 7:00pm

Kubacak Elementary
4131 Warpath Ave, Santa Fe, TX 77510
(409) 927-8262

Suggested donation: $5 for adults and $2 for children. There will also be a silent auction. High School student, Prax Cornejo, a prizewinner of the 2012 Junior Division, will be performing along with the Kubacak Elementary guitar students of Kay Meek. Students will perform both solos and ensemble music.

It is so heart warming to see other classical guitar teachers in Houston trying to raise funds to help socioeconomically challenged children attend a festival which will enhance their education. Classical Minds has a special program for middle school students which includes guitar class, theory class, and a special guitar orchestra just for them. They will be lead by education specialists Jake Ramirez and Rachel Hull-Cutler-Loss.

Competition Update 

Our fundaising coordinator is unable to help us out and because it is March now, we will have to cancel the Open Division. Trying to organize the festival/competition from overseas is very difficult and we will concentrate on raising funds for the High School and Junior competitions along with trying to raise funds for hotel rooms for the faculty, in-kind donations for prizes, and scholarships.
All the applications have been updated and the schedule of events should be up soon.

Classical Minds' Future 

A big thank you to Bandzoogle for supporting organizations like the 'Classical Minds' Festival and making this web site possible. Last year was our 10th anniversary and we are very excited to begin a new decade of the 'Classical MInds' Festival with themes every year. The 2014 CM will feature all Texas faculty and the 2015 CM will be an all women's faculty....and Matt Palmer! It's just funny to have all women and....Matt Palmer, we think he's going to be one lucky guy.
We are looking for future themes. If you have one and would like to give me your idea, email it to valeriehartzell@yahoo.com You could win a guest artist CD or a free ticket to one of the evening concerts.



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