As we open our 25th season this upcoming Saturday with world renowned classical guitarists Kazuhito Yamashita, we can’t help but look back on how far we have come. Our Executive Director, Matt Hinsley, has written a few words to give us a little insight on his history with the organization:

“Austin Classical Guitar was founded in 1990. I joined the organization in 1996, after arriving in Austin to start my master’s degree. At that time ACG was looking for new leadership. I had run a student guitar club during my undergraduate studies, so I got the job!

We launched our first International Series soon after, and in 1998 added the free Community Concert Series. In 1999 we formed our Community Guitar Ensembles, and in 2001 established our Educational Outreach program. 2003 marked the first time we presented the legendary Pepe Romero in concert, and in the years that followed came John Williams, Christopher Parkening, Eliot Fisk and so many more amazing artists.

In 2004 we began developing a curriculum and teacher resource for classroom guitar. GuitarCurriculum.com launched online in October of 2008, and soon became the backbone of our educational services, enabling us to reach more students than we ever had before. This fall we are supporting 55 school programs locally, and many hundreds more around the world, serving thousands of students.

By 2005, Austin Classical Guitar had become the largest nonprofit classical guitar organization in the United States, and we’ve continued to grow by about 30% every year since! For me, it all began as a dream of a future where classical guitar could meaningfully impact the lives of diverse individuals in our communities, and guitarists could be paid fairly for delivering their vital and uplifting services. Twenty-five years later, together with our uniquely vibrant community, we pause to reflect on how much we have accomplished. But only for a moment – there’s so much more to do, and the dream is shining within us more brightly than ever.

Here’s to another twenty-five glorious years of sharing and celebrating humanity through music.”

We never would have made it this far without the support of our sponsors and our community, and for that we thank you.